MV Batch 12’s Heritage Walk on Saturday 11 December 2010
By Kon Cze Yan
It was an end of term treat for Batch 12. An outing instead of another classroom lecture. The day began quite badly with the closure of Dataran Merdeka to traffic because of a 1Malaysia Run and traffic diversions because of demonstrations regarding Selangor’s water problems. The organiser (me!) was late from trying all possible routes to enter the Royal Selangor Club. Luckily all the other 13 participants turned up fairly punctually around 8.30am. They cleverly came by public transport or parked away from Dataran Merdeka.
Our guide for the 1.5 hour walk was the most knowledgeable Lee Choo Sim. Choo Sim took us from Dataran Merdeka to “Kuala Lumpur” to Medan Pasar. At the Dataran, he regaled us with numerous stories about the buildings around Dataran Merdeka & how life was during colonial times. He gave us little snippets of some interesting characters – who had an affair with whom & who was in love with whom! When we moved on to the river area where the Gombak & Klang Rivers meet, Choo Sim pointed out a few obscure facts like the meaning of Kuala Lumpur, which was the Klang & which was the Gombak River(!) & that the river had a little family of otters. Things started getting steamy in Medan Pasar with stories of drugs/opium dens and sex/brothels. Luckily by then it was time to cool off at the historic Royal Selangor Club.
The Royal Selangor Club (RSC) was established in 1884 – 126 years ago. It was founded by J.P. Rodger, Resident of Selangor, A.R. Venning, Selangor Treasurer, Captain Charles Syers, Commissioner of the Selangor Police, H.F. Bellamy, Superintendent of the Selangor Public Works Department & K. Thamboosamy Pillai, businessman. It was the social hub of KL during colonial times and almost every big event would be held there.
The MV members had tea, coffee and sandwiches next to the famous Long Bar, the bar which is still off limits to women. Chrissy Lioe, husband & son joined us for refreshments. They had just returned from India. Ismail of the RSC then took us for a short tour of the Club’s premises which was rather like a pub crawl – nearly every room in the Club has a bar!
MV members who attended:
Kon Cze Yan
Bahyah Mohd Noor
Justin Lai Lye Kim
Low Mei May
Lee Ah Chai