Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Old Buildings, Architectures and Structures in and around Kajang Town


It is always our habit of driving or walking at relatively fast pace through town. Only if you were to spare some time walking slowly and looking up at the structures and designs of the old shop houses along Jalan Sulaiman, Jalan Besar, Jalan Tukang and Jalan Mendaling, you will notice artistic design and year of construction displayed at the buildings. Most of the buildings in “Kajang Old Town” were constructed around 1920s to 1930s. The architecture of these shop houses is a combination of traditional Chinese and European design. The ground floor was used for commercial activities and the upper floor as living space for the family.

The older street of Jalan Tukang has more varied display of design as compared to others. Till today, the corner Lee Chang Long goldsmith shop stands as a Kajang landmark. Formerly named Hong Bee, i.e. Low Ti Kok’s shop had a panel of cast-iron floral motif (picture) which was torn down and replaced by flat wall some years ago.

Another big shop house at the end of the row along with Maybank has a third storey and a balcony overlooking Langat River. This building was owned by Towkay Low Boon Liew who was a rich man in Kajang and a philanthropist. He was a committee member of the then Kuomintang branch in Kajang. There is an emblem of the party engraved which is still noticeable even though part of it had broken off during a fire some years ago.

In Langat 14th Mile, the eye-catching distinguish old shop house of Woon Family has a big KMT emblem at its back facing the Langat River. Its owner was Towkay Woon Peng. Further down the end of the old town across the river, there is another old building which was built using compact earth, a traditional Hakka technology. The owner was Chong Koon Lin, a successful businessman involved in tin mining and was appointed as council member of Selangor Sanitary Board.

The flag of Kuomintang consists of a twelve ray sun
(originating from the twelve traditional Chinese hours of
the day) to symbolize the spirit of progress. The flag forms
the Canton of the flag of the Republic of China

Article and photos by Lee Kim Sin
email : leekimsin@myjaring.net

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