A Very Rough Guide To Jempol and Bahau

By Eric Lim


The Clock Tower is an iconic landmark of Bahau / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

Moving back to Negeri Sembilan, this time to the district of Jempol. It is the largest district in the state which covers approximately 22% of the total land area of Negeri Sembilan. It shares boundaries with the district of Jelebu, Kuala Pilah, Tampin, Bera in Pahang and Segamat in Johor. Prior to becoming the Jempol district, it was known as Bahau Kecil, under the administration of the Kuala Pilah district. Jempol was declared a district on 1 January 1980. Then on 29 January 2019, the status was upgraded to a municipal council, the fourth municipal council in Negeri Sembilan. The two principal towns in the district are Bandar Seri Jempol (previously known as Bandar Baru Serting, and the current district capital) and Bahau. This article will focus on the history of the district, Jempol and the town of Bahau.


Map of districts and mukims of Negeri Sembilan today.

Map of towns in the district of Jempol / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

Jempol was not in the original Malay federation that consisted of nine states when Raja Melewar became the Yam Tuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan in 1773. However, when the British arrived in the state, Jempol was very much in the picture where a series of treaties were signed between the 1870’s to the 1890’s. Sungai Ujong was the first state in Negeri Sembilan that had requested for British protection in 1874. On 23 November 1876, a treaty was signed between Tengku Antah and the minor states of Johol, Inas, Ulu Muar, Terachi, Gunung Pasir and Jempol; witnessed by British officials from the Straits Settlements which recognized Tengku Antah as the Yamtuan of Sri Menanti. This treaty effectively ended the civil war in the state where the warring states were divided into two, the East region came under Sri Menanti and the West consisting of Sungai Ujong, Jelebu and Rembau. On 13 July 1889, the rulers of Tampin and Rembau joined Sri Menanti and agreed to a confederation known as ‘The Old Negri Sembilan’ and placed themselves under the protection of the British government. The states were then separated into two districts namely Kuala Pilah which administered the minor states of Sri Menanti and Johol; and Tampin which took care of Rembau, Tampin and Gemencheh.

Charles Mitchell / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

Martin Lister / Photo source : Sejarah-ahmadyaakob.com: PENUBUHAN KONFIDERASI NEGERI SEMBILAN

When Charles Mitchell (full name Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell) succeeded William Edward Maxwell as the 14th Governor of the Straits Settlements in 1894, he had proposed that Sungai Ujong and Jelebu be amalgamated with ‘The Old Negri Sembilan’ faction. He commented that ‘the Negri Sembilan are a small confederation in which Sungai Ujong was in old days included, so that their combination under one Resident is historically sound as well as politically convenient’. It was initially met with resistance but later, both states agreed to the proposal. On 8 August 1895, a treaty was signed and a larger and modern Negeri Sembilan was constituted and Martin Lister was appointed as the first Resident. The following year, Negeri Sembilan joined the other three protected states in the Malay Peninsula namely Perak, Selangor and Pahang, in the formation of the Federated Malay States (FMS). The first Resident General of FMS was Frank Athelstane Swettenham. Finally, in a treaty on 29 April 1898, the Yamtuan of Sri Menanti was elected the official ruler of Negeri Sembilan.

The history of Jempol long precedes the formation of Negeri Sembilan, and some believed it was even earlier than the Malacca Sultanate. The district was first settled by people from Pasai, a Muslim kingdom on the north coast of Sumatra (Acheh today).This kingdom was the first to convert to Islam, believed to be in the second half of the 13th century. The settlers started the cultivation of paddy in the state and due to the fertility of its soil, enjoyed a bountiful harvest every year. This prompted them to name the area ‘Jempol’ which roughly translated to mean ‘beautiful and the best place’.

Jempol continued to thrive when the locals discovered two navigable waterways that proved to be invaluable assets. These two rivers flowed in opposite directions from the interior, one to the direction of the Straits of Malacca and the other drains to the South China Sea, creating a shortcut for traveling from the west coast to east coast without having to go through the arduous journey round the southern tip. This led to the start of the trans peninsula trade route used by both local Malay and foreign traders. And the key factor that attracted foreign traders to this trade route was gold. This waterway was marked on early mapping of South-East Asia compiled by cartographers of the West from the 16th century. However, the waterway is depicted as a continuous river or canal as roughly bisecting the peninsula. This glaring error was corrected by Emanuel Godinho de Eredia in a map drawn in 1602.

16th century maps showing the waterway. / Photo source : https://www.jstor.org/stable/1150179

Emanuel Godinho de Eredia was born at Malacca on 15th July 1563. He was of Bugis – Portuguese descent and had his early education at College of the Company of Jesus, Malacca. When he reached thirteen, he was sent to Goa where he completed his studies in astronomy, cartography and mathematics. In 1594, he was ranked ‘Descobridor e Adelantado da Nova India Meridional’ by King Philip I of Portugal. ‘Descobridor’ means ‘officer commissioned to organize the work of exploration and discovery’ and the rest of the title supposedly means ‘the southern land’. He did not see action for six years and only in 1600, he was given the green light. He returned to Malacca to make preparations for the exploration but local wars intervened and he was forced to stay back to see action for the next four years. During this time, he was made the commanding officer of the southern squadron of 70 armed ships. In 1604, he founded the Fortaleza de Muar (Fortress of Muar) located at the mouth of Muar river and joined General Andre Furtado de Mendoca in the conquest of Kota Batu, the capital of Johore at that time. Then he was met with some health issues that kept him away from starting his exploration. He then turned to writing books until his last book in 1620. He died in 1623. His books were never published in his lifetime. Declaracam de Malaca e da Índia Meridional com Cathay (Description of Malacca, Meridional India and Cathay in English) written in 1613, first translated to French in 1880 and later to English by JV Mills in April 1930, contains valuable information on Malacca and the surrounding region when it came under the control of the Portuguese. It also included maps and illustrations, including the location of the two rivers that formed the trans peninsula trade route as mentioned above.

Map by Emanuel de Godinho Eredia showing the location of the Panarican (in box)
/ Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

Self portrait of Emanuel de Godinho Eredia / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

Emanuel de Godinho Eredia discovered that the two main rivers, Pahang river (Rio de Pan in the map) and Muar river (Rio de Muar), are separated by land about 600 meters apart. He also pointed out two points, namely Sartin (Serting today) and Jompol (Jempol), and these are names of tributaries of Pahang river and Muar river respectively. He also named the place ‘Panarican’, from the Malay word ‘penarikan’ which is from the root word ‘tarik’, meaning to pull / drag. The overland portage of vessels and goods were carried out by the locals, elephants and buffalos. Later, in 1614, he appended an explanatory note in the map that ‘Por panarican passao de Malaca a Pam em 6 dias de caminbo’ meaning ‘By the Panarican, one travels from Malacca to Pahang in 6 days’ journey’. It was believed that the journey using the open sea south route would take up to six months and traders also face the risks of rough waters and pirates.

According to local text references, the Panarican / Jalan Penarikan in Malay, was used by merchants from Arab to spread Islam in the interior during the 11th century. The route was also frequented by the Sultanate of Malacca, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan. In the 14th century, at the height of power of the Srivijaya and Majapahit Kingdom, Jalan Penarikan was an active trade route between the interior and the cities along the shores of the Malay Peninsula. Sultan Mahmud also used the route to escape from the Portuguese. Earlier, Hang Tuah had used it to accompany the beautiful Tun Teja from Pahang to Malacca. At the start of the 17th century, the newly formed Dutch V.O.C was a threat to the Portuguese’s monopoly in the region. On 25 February 1603, the Dutch managed to capture Portuguese’s treasure ship, Santa Catarina, at the Strait of Singapore. The ship and its cargo were taken back to Europe as booty of war. After that incident, the Portuguese diverted to use Jalan Penarikan to return to Muar. It also cited the journey through the portage taken by Charles Gray in early January 1827, and in his journal, he noted that he made an overnight stop in a small village called Bahru, which is believed to be Bahau today. Coincidentally, the next part of this article would be on Bahau.

The first railway line built by the British linked Taiping in the Larut Valley to Port Weld, covering a distance of about 8 miles (13 kilometers) , was officially opened for traffic on 1 June 1885. By the turn of the new century, saw the formation of the Federated Malay States Railway (FMSR) and in 1903, the railway track was extended from Prai in Province Wellesley (Penang) in the North, running across Perak and Selangor to reach Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan in the South. The next phase of construction was in the state of Johore, starting in 1904. And in 1910, saw the start of the East Coast Line connecting the West to the East coast states of Pahang and Kelantan.

The first stretch of the East Coast Line between Gemas and Bahau was opened on 4 April 1910. Also on the same day, was the opening of the branch line from Bahau to Kuala Pilah in the interior. The opening of this branch line was to serve the tin mining industry at Parit Tinggi which is situated north of Kuala Pilah. This line was in operation until 1930 when it was dismantled due to stiff competition with road transport. On 1 October 1910, the East Coast Line was extended from Bahau to Pahang, reaching Triang located in the south west of the state. The line was completed with the opening section of the last stretch between Gua Musang and Kuala Gris in Kelantan on 5 September 1931.

1929 FMSR map showing the branch line between Bahau and Kuala Pilah and Bahau – Triang.
Photo source : FMSR 1929 railway map

The next significant record of Bahau in the history archive came during the Japanese Occupation. Japanese forces landed in Kota Bharu on 8 December 1941 and in just two months, they had steamrolled the peninsula and were fighting the British in Singapore. On 15 February 1942, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival surrendered the island to the Japanese. The loss came as a great shock to Prime Minister Winston Churchill. With an impending chronic food shortage, Japanese authorities immediately embarked on a Grow More Food Campaign in the city state. However, the campaign did not produce the desired results. The next course of action by the Japanese was to set up agricultural settlements outside of Singapore. The Chinese were the first group to be coaxed into the resettlement project and Endau in Johor was the venue for the project. The pioneer settlers arrived in September 1943 and by the end of that year, 12,000 Chinese had made Endau their new home.

Settlers building the rudimentary road from the train station to the settlement
Photo source : Bahau: A Utopia That Went Awry

The next group to join the project were the Eurasians and the new venue was Bahau. The first settlers consisting of mainly young, single men and led by Catholic Bishop of Singapore, Adrien Devals arrived in late December 1943. They took the overnight train from Singapore to Gemas, followed by a local train to Bahau town and walked the last five miles (8 km) to the site of the settlement. Prior, the site had been cleared and rejected by the Japanese for use as an airfield and by the Chinese group who had wanted Endau instead. The Japanese name for the settlement was ‘Fuji Go’ which means ‘Fuji Village or beautiful village’. These men were tasked to clear the land of dense forest, build a rudimentary road from the train station to the settlement and set up the basic infrastructure for the arriving families. By April 1944, the population had risen to 2,000, of which about half were Chinese Catholics and it also included European Protestants families and neutrals from countries like Denmark, Switzerland, Romania and Russia. Each family was given three acres of land to build their own home with whatever that they could find from the jungle and to grow crops.Though they had enjoyed some measure of freedom from the Japanese, many of them suffered from malnutrition and diseases such as malaria which eventually led to a high death toll. Japanese Occupation came to an end in August 1945, and immediately after, the MPAJA (Malayan People’s Anti Japanese Army) guerilla movement took over control of the country for a brief spell. Bahau was finally liberated with the arrival of Force 136 on 3 September 1945. The settlement was abandoned and settlers returned to Singapore. (In total, Japanese authorities had created three agricultural settlements outside of Singapore, namely Endau, Johor for the Chinese, Bahau, Negeri Sembilan for the Eurasian community and Pulau Bintan in Indonesia for the Indians).

Photo source : Google Maps

According to the 2020 survey, the population of Bahau stands at 32,018. Federal Route 13 (FR13 in the map) that links Juasseh to Bahau, cuts across the town to connect to Federal Route 10 (FR10) to Rompin and Gemas. In essence, the straight stretch of FR13 is built over the old railway track that used to run from Kuala Pilah to Bahau. Remnants of the old tracks like stone foundations can still be seen underneath the road. There are two popular trails that are open all year-round and are beautiful to visit at any time of the day in Bahau. The elevation of Bukit Penarikan (1) is 1364 ft / 416 meters and the 3.2 km out-and-back trail takes an average of 1 hour 28 minutes to complete. It is regarded as a moderately challenging route. Bukit Taisho (2) is shorter than Bukit Penarikan, and it takes a slightly shorter time to complete. However, it attracts more hikers / visitors as they can enjoy a spectacular sky mirror and breathtaking sea of clouds view from the peak of the hill. The modestly built Bahau train station (3) is located at the center of town. Today, Bahau has the distinction as the only town in the west coast to be served by the East Coast Line instead of the west coast main line. The name Bahau is believed to come from a Chinese / Cantonese phrase ‘Makou / Mahou’ meaning ‘horse’s mouth’ and there is a nearby Chinese village by the name of ‘Mahsan’ which means ‘horse’s body’.

View from the peak of Bukit Taisho
Photo source : Bukit Taisho: 116 Reviews, Map – Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia | AllTrails

Getting there

From Cheras, use the Cheras – Kajang Expressway (E7) that would link to Kajang Dispersal Link Expressway / SILK (E18). Look out for Exit 1804 Kajang Perdana, then link to LEKAS (E21) Lebuhraya Kajang Seremban. Exit at Paroi interchange and link Federal Route 51 (Seremban to Kuala Pilah). At Kuala Pilah, join Federal Route 13 to Bahau.


Negeri Sembilan was historically spelt as Negri Sembilan.


1. Info Jempol | Portal Rasmi Majlis Perbandaran Jempol (MPJL): http://www.mdjl.gov.my/ms/pelawat/info-jempol

2. Penubuhan Konfederasi Negeri Sembilan – PeKhabar: https://pekhabar.com/h-i-d-s-penubuhan-konfiderasi-negeri-sembilan/

3. bab 4: negeri sembilan sebagai sebuah persekutuan: http://studentsrepo.um.edu.my/722/5/BAB4.pdf

4. Sejarah-ahmadyaakob.com: PENUBUHAN KONFIDERASI NEGERI SEMBILANhttp://matsejarah.blogspot.com/2014/07/penubuhan-konfiderasi-negeri-sembilan.html

5. A Curious Feature on Early Maps of Malaya: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1150179

6. EREDIA’S DESCRIPTION OF MALACA, MERIDIONAL INDIA, and CATHAY: https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41560454.pdf

7. Three of Eredia’s illustrations: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41587427?searchText=&searchUri=&ab_segments=&searchKey=&refreqid=fastly-default%3A7f53f5e82f747c062c72613a4a30c736

8. Analysis Of Alternative Trade Route Based On Earliest Cartography And Textual Data: https://www.europeanproceedings.com/article/10.15405/epsbs.2018.05.43/image/3

9. The Capture of the Santa Catarina (1603) | Peace Palace Library: https://peacepalacelibrary.nl/blog/2018/capture-santa-catarina-1603

10. Federated Malay States Railway – Museum Volunteers, JMM: https://museumvolunteersjmm.com/2020/12/07/federated-malay-states-railway/

11. Mamoru Shinozaki in Syonan-To: https://museumvolunteersjmm.com/2020/04/23/mamoru-shinozaki-in-syonan-to/

12. Bukit Taisho: 116 Reviews, Map – Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia | AllTrails: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/malaysia/negeri-sembilan/bukit-taisho

M & M – Museums and MRT

By Eric Lim

Saturday 25 March 2023 was to be an eventful day for me. I woke up early and off I went to the Sungai Chua Recreation Park for my 3 kilometers run, followed by a set of Taoist Tai Chi. I then went for breakfast and hurried back home to shower, put on my comfortable pair of walking shoes, and I was all set for my to-dos of the day!

First stop was none other than our National Museum. I had wanted to join the scheduled tour but arrived late, so I decided to go solo. To my surprise, when I went into Gallery A, the place was a hive of activity. The usual English tour group had just ‘landed’ at the Neolithic showcase. Past the Perak Man, cave paintings, and metal age displays, was the next highlight of Gallery A – the Bujang Valley, and it was here where I found the first Japanese group. The second Japanese group was already looking at the bronze statue of Avalokitesvara at Gallery B. Just a mere distance away, I could see a mentoring programme in session, and they were just about to start learning about ‘the Melaka story’. Without wanting to interrupt the proceedings, I made my way to Gallery C on the second floor. Here, it was peaceful and quiet, except for some young lads who came charging from the opposite direction. When I arrived at the Penang showcase, it struck me that I had not been inside Fort Cornwallis despite having guided a good number of museum tours! The fort was built by Francis Light when he first set foot on the island in 1786. It was named in honour of Lord Cornwallis, who was then the Governor General of Bengal. It was initially constructed using trunks of the nibong palm but was later changed to brickwork after learning of a threat from the French in the region. In recent times, four cannons were discovered at Fort Cornwallis, two in 2018 and another two in 2019.

Replica of Fort Cornwallis at Gallery C, National Museum / Photo source : Eric Lim

It was just past midnight on 8 December 1941, Japanese forces had landed at Kota Bharu. This attack marked the start of World War II in Asia. In front of me, a replica of a pillbox. These concrete cement structures served as barricades during the war. Again, I have to confess that I have not been inside the pillbox. As I peeked through the hole, lo and behold, I saw a Japanese soldier standing at the far right corner! I have to make a dash to Malaysia Today, i.e. Gallery D. The first Malayan general elections were held on Wednesday 27 July 1955 and out of the 52 seats offered for contest, the Alliance Party won 51 and Pan-Malayan Islamic Party (PMIP) took the one and only seat i.e the constituency of Krian, Perak, won by its member, Ahmad Tuan Hussain with a majority of 450 votes. And out of the 52 who won, there was just one successful woman candidate and she was Halimahton Abdul Majid from UMNO / Alliance who took the Ulu Selangor constituency.

Replica of a pillbox / Photo source : Eric Lim

Information on the 1955 general elections at Gallery D / Photo source : Eric Lim

A look into the world of sports. Kuala Lumpur played host to two international events, one of it being the 16th Commonwealth Games which were held from 11 September 1998 to 21st September 1998. Malaysia became the first Asian country to hold this multi-sport event. Our country ended the campaign with a total gold medal haul of ten to be placed in fourth position, the best ever result that still stands until today. By the way, I had the pleasure to be a volunteer at the KL Games.

Next, the following year from 18th – 21st November, was the World Cup of Golf which was held at The Mines Resort & Golf Club. The golf course sits on what was once the world’s largest open cast tin mines which ceased operation in 1982. The team from the USA composed of Mark O’Meara and Tiger Woods who became the team champion, and the latter also went on to take the individual title with a comfortable nine-stroke margin. The Malaysian team was represented by the late P. Gunasegaran and M. Ramayah, who also passed on 6th March 2023. Ramayah had represented the country a record thirteen times in this competition.

Accreditation card for the 16th Commonwealth Games. Photo source: Eric Lim

M. Ramayah. Photo source: Pargolf Magazine

From one museum to another new history museum in the city. The Sin Sze Si Ya Temple Pioneers of Kuala Lumpur Museum (SSSYTPOKLM) is located on the top floors of four double-storey shophouses in front of the said temple, facing Lebuh Pudu and Jalan Tun H S Lee. When I reached the museum, I was immediately told to join the group that had just started the tour upstairs. And to my surprise (for the second time), I met fellow Museum Volunteers – VP Dennis Ong, Manjeet from Batch 39 and the SSSYTPOKLM museum docent, Lim Ken who had graduated from the National Museum programme a few years prior. Lim joined the SSSYTPOKLM curatorial team in 2018. After five years in the making, SSSYTPOKLM held its official opening on 5 March 2023. YB Nga Kor Ming, Minister of Local Government Development and H.E Tang Rui, Deputy Chief of Mission & Minister, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China were the dignitaries that attended the opening ceremony. The museum is separated into three sections – Kuala Lumpur, Trustees and Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Temple. The first section starts with ‘The Birth of KL’ that highlights the role of the early pioneers like Sultan Abdul Samad, Frank Swettenham, Yap Ah Loy and Sutan Puasa. Followed by ‘Establishment of Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Temple’, ‘Story of Yap Ah Loy’, ‘Era of Trustees’ and ends with panoramic views of ‘Transformation of KL’ over the decades. Along the passage to the third section, are photographs of ‘The Board of Trustees’ since its inception until today. The third section puts its focus on the temple, highlighting ‘Deities Worshiped in the Temple’, ‘Temple Artifacts’ and ‘History & Architecture of the Temple’. This section provides all the relevant information for the visit to the Sin Sze Si Sze Ya Temple. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

The official opening of SSSYTPOKLM. Photo source: SSSYTPOKLM Facebook

SSSYTPOKLM operating hours. Photo source: SSSYTPOKLM Facebook

Next stop on my ‘to-do’ list for the day is to ride on the latest train service in the Klang Valley, the MRT Putrajaya Line. It is the second line of the Klang Valley MRT Project, the first being the MRT Kajang Line. Both these lines form part of the Klang Valley Integrated Transit System. Phase 1 of the Putrajaya Line connecting Damansara Damai to Kampung Batu began operations on 16 June 2022 and with the completion of Phase 2 linking Kantonment to Putrajaya Sentral, the line is officially running full service as of 16 March 2023. This alignment which stretches from Kwasa Damansara in Sungai Buloh to Putrajaya Sentral covers a length of 57.7 km, and of which 44.2 km are above street level and 13.5 km passing through underground tunnels. In all, there are 36 stations, with 27 elevated and 9 subways. The full journey is estimated to take 84 minutes. Some of the places of interest or popular attractions to visit around some of these stations are the National Art Gallery, Istana Budaya and Hospital Kuala Lumpur from the Hospital Kuala Lumpur station; the KLCC park, Asy-Shakirin mosque and Ilham Gallery are within 300m from the Persiaran KLCC station; Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex that consists of the Craft Museum, Gift & Souvenir Shop and Craft Village is just five minutes walk from the Conlay station and the Putrajaya Sentral station also serves as interchange stop for the ERL KLIA Transit Line.

The Klang Valley Intergrated Transit Map. Photo source: MRT Corp

A brand new MRT train on the MRT Putrajaya Line. Photo source: Rapid KL

For my return to Kajang, I had to switch trains from the Putrajaya Line to Kajang Line at Kwasa Damansara station. Thus far, I had been sitting on the trains for almost two hours, and it would take another sixty minutes to reach home! It was all about walking and more walking while doing the museums round and just sitting tight and sitting right on the Mass Rapid Transit trains. And for the rest of the day, in the comfort of my living room, I watched a Japanese series that was released last November in Japan.

1. Fort Cornwallis – Heritage Sixteen
2. Two 200-year-old cannons found at Fort Cornwallis | Free Malaysia Today (FMT)
3. The Mines Resort & Golf Club | Malaysia | (minesgolf.com.my)
4. Tributes pour in for late Ramayah (nst.com.my)
5. MRT Putrajaya Line – MyRapid

A Very Rough Guide to Taboh Naning

by Eric Lim


Dato Dol Said Mosque Taboh Naning is a well known local landmark, located along Lebuh AMJ. Photo source : Portal Masjid v1.0

I woke up this morning to the news that Barisan Nasional had scored a landslide victory in the Melaka 15th state election. They had captured 21 seats out of the 28 seats that they had contested. So, I thought it was timely to visit Taboh Naning, a state constituency located in the northern part of Melaka, bordering Negeri Sembilan. Tampin is just 11 km away via Federal Route 19 (Jalan Kampung Taboh-Kampung Ulu Kendong) and Federal Route 1 (Jalan Seremban-Tampin) while the state capital is 37 km south via Lebuh AMJ (Alor Gajah-Sentral Melaka-Jasin Highway) a.k.a Federal Route 19. This constituency covers a large area and it includes the following mukim (sub-districts): Taboh Naning, Brisu, Sungai Buloh, Melekek and Ayer Paabas. And, Taboh Naning is within the municipal borders of Alor Gajah.


State of Naning and position of Taboh pre 1511 / Photo source : Dol Said Pahlawan Naning

Naning has existed since the time of the Melaka Sultanate and it was under kingdom’s suzerainty. Taboh was one of the main settlements in the state. When Melaka fell to foreign powers, Naning was protected by the Sultanate of Johor. Later, when Raja Melewar became the first Yamtuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan in 1773, Naning was one of the original nine states of this loose confederacy. However, due to its position as the most southerly district and its close proximity to Melaka, Naning was disunited from the other states in Negeri Sembilan during the long and distinct period of the Portuguese, Dutch and finally, the British in Melaka.

The Malacca Territory (showing Naning – spelt ‘Nani’ in the top left quadrant of the map – as part of the Malacca Territory) from ‘The Description of Malacca’, a report written by Manuel Gordinho de Eredia in 1613. This report was published in the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, volumn 8 part 1 in April 1930. / Photo source : Buku Naning in Melaka – Jonathan Cave | PDF

Immediately after the capture of Melaka by the Portuguese in 1511, Alfonso De Albuquerque sent an expedition into Naning as part of their mapping exercise to determine the circumference of Melaka; Naning was made an integral part of the Melaka’s territory. Alfonso de Albuquerque then left for Goa where he later became the Viceroy. Though obligated to the Portuguese during its long reign, Naning retained its independence and territorial integrity until the arrival of another foreign power to Melaka.

Dutch Malacca circa 1665 / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

By the start of the 17th century CE, the Dutch were already making their presence felt in the region and ready to challenge the Portuguese for control of the spice trade. In 1606, the Dutch under a corporation that was formed in 1602 named Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie (VOC) and the Johor Sultanate concluded an alliance against the Portuguese and immediately after, the VOC fought the Portuguese in a naval battle at Cape Rachado (today Tanjung Tuan). However, it took the VOC another thirty-five years to break the dominance. On 14 January 1641, VOC together with the Sultanate of Johor and a new ally, the Achenese, took control of the fortress of Melaka.

Unlike the Portuguese, the Dutch did not send an expedition to Naning in the year they conquered Melaka. It was two years later, in 1643 that the Dutch invaded Naning and as a follow up action, Naning had to render tribute of one tenth of its produce to the Dutch. However, it was never enforced as the state was small and poor, and furthermore, it was not cost effective to do so. In 1701, Johor relinquished Naning to the Dutch following the conclusion of the Treaty of Protection. During the 18th century CE, the Dutch were enjoying a monopoly of the tin trade in the peninsula. Then, in 1765, the Dutch reduced the tenth to a yearly nominal tribute of 400 gantang of paddy, equivalent to 1/1000 of its total crop produce. Still, the Dutch allowed Naning self-rule.

Malacca town and fort at the time of the British takeover in 1795 
Photo source : Governor Couperus and the Surrender of Malacca, 1795

Moving forward to 1795, the French Republican armies were emerging as the new power in Europe. The Dutch was a refugee in England and while there, signed the Kew Letters, which gave Britain the right to protect Dutch possessions in the East, which included Melaka. British troops under Major Brown landed in Melaka and duly took possession of the fort from the Dutch. The British would take custody of Melaka while the war in Europe lasted, and return it to the Netherlands after the war ended.

Prior to the takeover, Melaka was facing a period of declining trade and revenue. In 1801, Naning saw a change in leadership when a 26-year old Abdul Said Bin Omar (Dol Said in short) was chosen as the new Penghulu Naning and the appointment was confirmed by the British authorities in Melaka. Both parties then inked a treaty where the British will receive one tenth of Naning’s total crop produce, similar to the Dutch treaty of 1643. This treaty was regarded by the British as proof that Naning was part of Melaka. The following year, the Treaty of Amiens ended the war in Europe and this provided for the return of Melaka to the Dutch but the resumption of war in May 1803 forestalled any British withdrawal. Dutch finally returned to Melaka in 1818 following the restitution of possessions to the Dutch by the Treaty of Vienna. The Dutch return lasted only six years. On 17 March 1824, Britain and Netherlands signed the Anglo Dutch Treaty in London, which put an end to the long period of territorial and trade disputes between the two nations in Southeast Asia. Melaka was ceded to the British and, in return, the Dutch took possession of Benkulen (Bencoolen) in Sumatra.

In 1826, the East India Company united the settlements of Penang, Melaka and Singapore into an administrative unit called Presidency of the Straits Settlements. Robert Fullerton, who was the Governor of Penang (1824-1827), was made the First Governor of Straits Settlements (1826-1829). He assumed that Naning was part of Melaka and hence subject to its land laws, judicial system and the delivery of the tribute of produce. Dol Said resisted and demanded the recognition of Naning’s autonomous status. However, Fullerton’s demands were kept on hold as it was met with counteractions from the other British officials until the final approval came from the Director in London in 1830. By this time, Fullerton had returned to Europe and he was succeeded by Robert Ibbetson (1830-1833). Ibbetson received fresh approval the following year to take action and the stage was set for an invasion of Naning.

Proclamation for the arrest of Dol Said and his supporters, written in Jawi and romanized Malay. Photo source : Buku Naning in Melaka – Jonathan Cave | PDF

In July 1831, the British moved in with a force of 150 sepoys and 2 six-pounders drawn by bullocks, led by Captain Wyllie. Dol Said managed to fend off the attack with help from the neighbouring Malay states of Rembau, Sri Menanti, Sungai Ujong, Johol and Muar. These states feared that after the capture of Naning, the British would levy the same tax on them. Furthermore, the Malays were notably better trained for jungle warfare than the British were.  Prior to the second attack, the British signed a treaty with Rembau on 30 November 1831, which marked the accession of Rembau to the British side in the Naning War. This was closely followed by another treaty on 28 January 1832 signed at Simpang. And as a final push, on 9 February 1832, the British issued a proclamation for the arrest of Dol Said and four of his supporters; the reward was $1,000 and $200 per supporter respectively. These manoeuvres duly changed the cause of the war. The second attack, started in March 1832, was led by Colonel Herbertwith far more superior weaponry. This was coupled with the arrival of Syed Syaaban, the son in law of Raja Ali of Rembau, with a force of Malays to help the British capture the stockades. On 16 June 1832, Taboh was captured and it effectively ended the conflict.

(L) Camp near Alor Gajah in March 1832 (R) Attack upon the first line at Taboh in 1832.Photo source :  Buku Naning in Melaka – Jonathan Cave | PDF

Dol Said managed to escape to Sri Menanti. Two years later, Dol Said surrendered on the promise of pardon. He was given a house, a pension and liberty to live freely in Melaka. He became a farmer, trader and a doctor/healer. He died in 1849. After the war, Naning was offered to Raja Ali but he turned it down. For his service to the British, Syed Syaaban was rewarded with a site for a house in Melaka town and given a pension. It proved to be an expensive and unprofitable venture for the British – they spent 100,000 British pounds to secure the paltry annual revenue of $100! This costly lesson discouraged British expansion in Malaya for the next four decades until the start of a new period with the signing of the Treaty of Pangkor in 1874.

Places of Interest

The most convenient and popular local landmark of Taboh Naning is Dato Dol Said Mosque Taboh Naning [1] (top photo) which is located near the Simpang Ampat toll plaza, along Lebuh AMJ toward Federal Route 1 intersection to Seremban-Tampin. The mosque was built in 1955 with public funds and was inaugurated by the 18th Penghulu/Dato Naning, Dato Mohamed Shah Mohamed Said. The significance of this mosque is the tomb of Dol Said, which is sited at the cemetery behind the mosque. He was believed buried near the graves of earlier Penghulu/Dato Naning and the site was a rice field.  (Note: A smaller mosque goes by the name of Masjid Taboh Naning at Kampung Cherana Putih)

Tomb of Dol Said / Photo source : www.mpag.gov.my (tourism)

Located further along this highway, just before reaching Kampung Cherana Putih, is the Datuk Tua Megalith [2] site. The Alor Gajah district is the major megalithic site in Melaka and there are more than 100 of these ancient stones or ‘batu hidup’ to the locals, which can be found in this district.

Datuk Tua Megalith / Photo source : https://malaysiamegalithic.blogspot.com

Coming to something more modern, located at Kampung Cherana Putih is the Cherana Putih Hot Spring [3]. It is actually a hot spring-cum-waterpark and a smaller version of the Toji Waterpark in Japan. In 2019, the park went through some repair works and as a result, it is one of the cleanest hot springs in the state. Admission fee is RM 6.50 for adults and RM 5.00 for children.

Cherana Putih Hot Spring / Photo source : Cherana Putih Hot Spring Facebook page.

On the other end of Lebuh AMJ, heading just past the Simpang Ampat police station is the Naning Heritage and History Museum / Muzium Peradaban dan Warisan Naning [4]. The museum is housed in the former Official Residency and Hall for Penghulu Naning, which was constructed in 1951. It was first used by the 18th Penghulu/Dato Naning, Dato Mohamed Shah Mohamed Said in 1953 until his death on 13 June 2004. Perbadanan Muzium Melaka took over the building on 9 April 2015 and soon after started conservation work. It was completed on 30 June 2015 and it is established as the museum today.

Naning Heritage and History Museum / Photo source : www.mpag.gov.my (tourism)

Further south from Simpang Ampat on Lebuh AMJ is the town of Alor Gajah. There are sites here that are closely linked to the Naning War. Found within the compound of Sekolah Kebangsaan Alor Gajah 1 and just beside the school canteen is a fenced enclosure containing three tombstones. The one in the centre is the grave of Ensign George Holford Walker who was killed in an attack on a stockyard on 3 May 1832 (second expedition of the Naning War). He was just 18 years old. The other two are graves of his horse and dog, which stood loyally beside his dead body until they too died of thirst and grief.

The school is located in the centre of the town, next to the Dataran Keris. Also within the vicinity is the Muzium Adatistiadat Alor Gajah / Tradition & Custom Museum. Dol Said is well remembered for his anti-colonial stance and in commemoration, there is a street in Alor Gajah named Jalan Dato Dol Said, as well as a school, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato Dol Said.

(L) Grave at SK Alor Gajah 1 / Photo source : www.mpag.gov.my (tourism). (R) Grave at Dutch Graveyard, Melaka / Photo source : Dutch Graveyard – St. Paul’s Hill, Melaka.

Moving on to the capital city of Melaka – located at the foot of St. Paul’s Hill is the Dutch Graveyard. This site was used in two stages, during the Dutch era from 1670 to 1682 when it was known as St. Anthony’s Kerkhof (graveyard), and the British era from 1818 to 1838. Two casualties of the Naning War are buried here, namely Lieutenant James White who was killed on 20 August 1831 and Lieutenant E.V Harding, killed on 29 March 1832. Both were in their mid-twenties when they died. Their grave is the only one marked with an obelisk.

Getting There

From Kuala Lumpur city centre, use the North South Highway (E2 South) and exit at Exit 227 Simpang Ampat. After the toll plaza, turn right to join Lebuh AMJ (Alor Gajah-Sentral Melaka-Jasin Highway) a.k.a Federal Route 19 to Taboh Naning. Dato Dol Said Mosque Taboh Naning is not too far from this junction (see the map above).


Portal Masjid v1.0 

Dol Said Pahlawan Naning

Buku Naning in Melaka – Jonathan Cave | PDF

Governor Couperus and the Surrender of Malacca, 1795

Robert Fullerton | Infopedia



www.mpag.gov.my (tourism)

The Malayan Peninsula embracing its history, manners and customs of the inhabitants, politics, natural history, etc. from its earliest records : Begbie, Peter James : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Nutmeg Books – Ensign George Holford Walker Few people… | Facebook

Dutch Graveyard – St. Paul’s Hill, Melaka

In this Series

Please click HERE for a list of articles in the ‘A Very Rough Guide’ series.

A Very Rough Guide To Tampin

by Eric Lim


Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

Today, there are seven districts in the state of Negeri Sembilan, namely Seremban, Port Dickson, Rembau, Jelebu, Kuala Pilah, Jempol and Tampin. Tampin district is administered by Majlis Daerah Tampin/Tampin District Council, which was established on 1 July 1980. The area size of the district is 85,349 hectares and the following towns are located in the district: Tampin, Pekan Repah, Gemencheh, Batang Melaka, Air Kuning Selatan, Pekan Pasir Besar and Gemas. Three of the towns are border towns; Tampin and Batang Melaka at the boundary between Negeri Sembilan and Melaka; and Gemas at the border with Johor. This article will focus on the history of Tampin and its attractions.


(L) Coat of arms of Negri Sembilan  (R) Original nine states of Negri Sembilan. Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

Taking a close look at the coat of arms of Negeri Sembilan, one can easily identify the nine yellow stalks of rice in the middle of the shield. These stalks mark the original nine states of Negeri Sembilan, namely Jelai, Jelebu, Johol, Kelang, Naning, Rembau, Segamat-Pasir Besar, Sungai Ujong and Ulu Pahang. The inscription, which is written in Jawi script, is the name of the state and below it is a nine-pointed star that signifies the nine states united as one. Negeri Sembilan today is smaller as parts of the state were annexed to neighbouring states in the 19th century CE. Following the Naning War in 1831-1832, the entire state of Naning was annexed to the Straits Settlement of Malacca and today, it falls under the Alor Gajah and Jasin districts. The long-standing boundary problem with Selangor was finally solved at a convention held in Singapore on 31 July 1880. Negeri Sembilan got hold of Lukut and Cape Rachado but lost some parts of Kelang and Sungai Ujong. They are now part of the Kuala Langat and Hulu Langat districts in Selangor respectively. One part of Ulu Pahang was annexed to Pahang and it became the Bera district of Pahang. Bera district is very much in the news lately because our current Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, is the Member of Parliament for Bera (P90). The other part of Ulu Pahang comes under the Jelebu district. Likewise, for Segamat-Pasir Besar, one part was annexed to Johor and the other is now part of the Tampin district.

The Minangkabaus from Sumatra arrived as early as the 14th century CE where they explored and built settlements within the west coast of the peninsula. The lowlands of Rembau were amongst the earliest sites due to its proximity to the main waterways, Sungai Linggi and Sungai Rembau. Later, they moved to the inland districts. When Melaka fell to the European colonists, these states came under the suzerainty of Johor. When the Dutch took over Melaka from the Portuguese, several treaties were drawn up. On 12 December 1757, at the Johor- Dutch Treaty, Johor ceded Rembau to its ally, the Dutch. A peace treaty between Bugis and Dutch was signed on 1 January 1758 at the newly built fort at Kuala Linggi. On 11 November 1759, Dutch made a treaty with Rembau, which gave a monopoly of its tin trade to the Dutch.

(L) Flag of Rembau (R) Flag of Tampin / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

The founder of the royal house of Rembau and Tampin was Raja Adil. According to Dutch records, Raja Adil was installed in February 1785. He was a strong supporter of Bugis leader Daeng Kemboja who had set up his main base at the estuary of Sungai Linggi. Raja Adil died in 1798 and he was succeeded by his son, Raja Asil. He was conferred the title ‘Yam Tuan Muda’ (YTM) by the second ‘Yam Tuan Besar’ (YTB) of Negeri Sembilan, Raja Hitam. Raja Asil was also offered a personal fiefdom in Tampin and the right to collect export duties on tin shipped down Sungai Linggi. In 1812, his son’s misdemeanour (he had abducted a woman who had earlier refused his hand for marriage) led to his downfall. Raja Ali ousted Raja Asil from office and became the second YTM. In 1832, at the height of the Naning War, Raja Ali and Rembau changed sides and supported the British who came out victorious in their second invasion of Naning. With British recognition of support, Raja Ali laid claim to the then vacant office of the YTB of Sri Menanti and relinquished the YTM to his son-in-law, Syed Syaaban. These developments enraged other rulers of Negeri Sembilan citing that they had no right to the posts. In 1836, Raja Ali and Syed Syaaban were driven out of Rembau by the combined forces of Dato Klana of Sungai Ujong, Dato Muda Linggi and the Undang of Rembau. Raja Ali fled to Lukut and then to his son-in-law at Tampin. He died at Keru in 1850/1856. Syed Syaaban commuted between Tampin and Melaka, where he had a house. He made several attempts to re-establish himself as the YTM and even the YTB but all came to nought. He only managed to secure his rule over Tampin as Tunku Besar. He died in 1872 and he was buried in Tampin. Syed Hamid took over and continued to push for the establishment of the office of YTM but the British had put a stop to the claim saying that it was no longer valid. The British however recognised Tampin as an independent district and as a ruler of a part of Negeri Sembilan. Syed Hamid died in 1894. Coming to the present, the current Tunku Besar Tampin is YTM Tunku Syed Razman,  who was installed on 26 December 2005. The Member of Parliament for Rembau (P131) is Khairy Jamaluddin. KJ, as he is commonly known, is now the Minister of Health. Prior to this, he was the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Coordinating Minister of the National Immunisation Programme.

Tampin Station on 8 August 1954 / Photo source : The Bernard Loughlin photographic collection –Keretapi Tanah Melayu

By the turn of the century, the development of the Malayan railway system moved to a new phase with the amalgamation of the Perak and Selangor State Railways to form the Federated Malay States Railway (FMSR) in 1901 with Edwin Spooner as the first FMSR General Manager. By 1903, the trunk line connected Prai in the north to Port Dickson in the south. 15 July 1905 saw the opening of the section between Seremban and Tampin. Right after, works started on the branch line linking Tampin to Melaka. The laying of the 21¼ miles (34.2 km) track was completed in good time by the Malacca Government Railway who was given the concession for this branch line. The opening of this section was on 1 December 1905 and it was reported the following day in The Malay Mail: “Yesterday was an important date in the annals of our railway system, as it marked the opening of the line from the southern boundary of Negri Sembilan to the ancient port of Malacca”. Meanwhile, The Straits Times reported that the first ticket from Melaka to Tampin was purchased by Mr Darbyshire who was the constructing engineer and a few Negeri Sembilan officers including the District Officer of Tampin, made the journey to Melaka where they had breakfast at the Residency. The following year, the main trunk line was extended from Tampin to Gemas. Gemas grew to become an important railway hub in our country, but that would be another story for another time.

During the Japanese Occupation, the entire FMSR network came under Japanese control. Some of the minor/branch lines were closed and construction materials were dismantled and transported to the Thailand and Burma (Myanmar today) border for the infamous Death Railway project. The train tracks of the Tampin-Melaka line was one of the lines that were dismantled. It was also reported that railway workers in Melaka were captured and forced to work there. The line was never rebuilt after the War.

In my last article about Pengkalan Kempas and Kuala Linggi, I wrote about megaliths found at the historical complex located at the former. The district of Tampin is one of the main areas in our country where these ancient stones are found. Further research into the megaliths culture have been lacking until a team from the Museums Department led by Adi Haji Taha and Abdul Jalil Osman started the excavation of the megalithic alignment at Kampong Ipoh, Tampin from the end of November 1981 to the first week of February 1982. Although the site did not yield any positive information, the excavation nevertheless concluded that a megalithic alignment in Peninsular Malaysia is not the site of historic or prehistoric burial, contradicting a widely held local belief.

Places of Interest

Tampin (container) / Photo source : Shopee Malaysia

The name Tampin is a Malay word for a pouch that is woven from pandanus fronds/nipah leaves and is commonly used to store food such as ‘dodol’ (a kind of sticky sweet toffee-like confection made from coconut milk, red sugar and rice flour) and ‘belacan’ (shrimp paste).

Photo source : Google Maps

As Tampin is located within the area with the largest distribution of megaliths in the country, a visit to one of the sites would be in order. There is none better than the nearby Megalith Datuk Nisan Tinggi [1] at Kampung Repah, along Jalan Tampin-Gemas. It is located inside a Muslim cemetery and the stone is recorded to be the tallest in the state, standing at a height of 3.5 metres, which is twice the height of average Malaysians. Megaliths from the old site at Kampong Ipoh were transferred elsewhere after the excavation. Some of the stones are on display at the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur.

When the Tampin-Melaka railway section was opened in 1905, Tampin station was initially known as Pulau Sebang station, named after the actual location of the station, which is in the Alor Gajah district of Melaka. Tampin, which is situated just across the border, was developing rapidly and it was decided that the station’s name be changed to Tampin. However, residents on the Melaka side continued to call it Pulau Sebang station. It was only in 2013, when the old station was demolished and a brand new station was built and also to accommodate the double tracking and electrification project, that KTM managed to resolve the dispute by naming it Pulau Sebang / Tampin station [2]. Today, the station is served by KTM Komuter (the southern terminus of the Seremban Line), KTM ETS (Electric Train Service/Padang Besar-Gemas) and KTM Intercity (starting point of Ekspres Selatan Line to Johor Bahru Sentral station).

(L) Megalith Datuk Nisan Tinggi / Photo source : Sustainable Living Institute (SAVE). (R) Megaliths from Kampong Ipoh, Tampin at National Museum / Photo source : Eric Lim

Religious architectures are easily visible in our country and it is not uncommon to find various places of worship all in close proximity to one another, Tampin town is a very good example. Located opposite Pulau Sebang/Tampin station is Masjid Aleyah Kuala Ina [3]. The mosque was opened on 1 January 1972 but was destroyed in a fire in 2000. The current building, which closely resembles the Al Azim Mosque in Central Melaka, was built and at the same time, its perimeter extended. It was inaugurated on 14 March 2004 by the Chief Minister of Melaka. Just next to the mosque is the Tampin Green Dragon Temple [4]. Besides Chinese deities, the shrine of Datuk Kong is also featured in the temple. Further up along Jalan Besar on the Tampin side is the Tampin Chinese Methodist Church [5]. Services are on Sunday mornings and conducted in English, Malay and Mandarin. Also located on Jalan Besar, at the centre of the town is Gurdwara Sahib Tampin [6]. The land of the present site of the Gurdwara Sahib was purchased in 1967 and in the following year, the adjoining land was purchased. Construction of the Gurdwara Sahib started in 1996 and it was completed two years later. It was officially declared open on 15 November 1998. Prayers are held on Sunday mornings at 9.00 am. About one km away from Gurdwara Sahib Tampin, along Jalan Tampin-Gemas is Sri Sundara Vinayagar Temple [7].

(L) Tampin Green Dragon Temple and Masjid Aleyah at the top right corner / Photo source : Tampin – Great Malaysian Railway Journeys(R) Gurdwara Sahib Tampin / Photo source : Gurudwara Sahib Tampin, Negeri Sembilan

Tampin may be a small town but it is not short of parks for recreation. It also offers interesting places for ecotourism and extreme sports enthusiasts. Not too far from the Tampin District Council office and just next to the boundary line is the Tampin Recreational Park [8]. The park covers an area of nine acres and 0.8 acres of it is the existing lake area. Also within the park are the Tampin Stadium and Tampin Square. About 1.7 km away from the park, heading to Seremban via Jalan Seremban-Tampin/Federal Route 1 is Tampin Lake Gardens [9], another popular spot for family recreation. It is within walking distance to the R&R (Rehat & Rawat / Rest & Recuperate) stop area for motorists coming into the district from the north. Located at the foot of Tampin forest reserve is the Tampin Water Park [10]. This park offers four pools with depths ranging from 0.3 to 2.1 metres. Visitors to the park can also take part in jungle trekking, archery and paintball. At the Tampin Extreme Park [11], visitors can try rock climbing, waterfall abseiling, flying fox and tree climbing. According to the park operator, Tampin Extreme Park is one of the most popular rock climbing venues as it offers granite climbing. Gunung Tampin [12] eco-forest park is located in the Tampin forest reserve, which is at the end of the Titiwangsa Range. It has two peaks, namely Gunung Tampin Utara (north) and Gunung Tampin Selatan (south). From here, a track connects Gunung Datuk, Gunung Rembau and Gunung Gagak.

(Top) Tampin Recreational Park / (Bottom) Tampin Lake GardenPhoto source : Recreation | Official Portal of Tampin District Council (MDT)

According to a recent news report, the local district council is currently embarking on a beautification project of the town in the form of a mural painting. Sixteen wall blocks measuring 437 square meters would be given a fresh look. This beautification project is part of a district tourism project to attract tourists and it is expected to be completed within two months (before the end of the year).

Mural painting project / Photo source : Lukisan mural jadi tarikan terbaharu di Tampin

Getting There

From Kuala Lumpur city centre, use the North South Highway (E2 South) and exit at Exit 227 Simpang Ampat. After the toll plaza, turn left to join Lebuh AMJ (Alor Gajah-Central Melaka-Jasin Highway) a.k.a Federal Route 19 to Simpang Ampat. Once the Simpang Ampat Police Station is in sight on the left, turn left to join M10 – Jalan Kemus / Sempang Ampat. Upon reaching Pulau Sebang intersection, turn left to join Federal Route 61 / Jalan Alor Gajah-Tampin a.k.a Jalan Dato Mohd Zin (former Melaka Chief Minister Mohd Zin Abdul Ghani). Then, keep a lookout for Mydin Hypermarket. Turn left before Mydin and that will lead to Jalan Besar (Tampin) and Pulau Sebang/Tampin station, Masjid Aleyah Kuala Ina and Tampin Green Dragon Temple will be just ahead. Incidentally, A Famosa Resort and Freeport A Famosa Outlet / Melaka Premier Outlet are located along Federal Route 61 / Jalan Alor Gajah-Tampin a.k.a Jalan Dato Mohd Zin. Another option is to use the Komuter service and Tampin is the southern terminus of the Seremban Line.

In this Series

Please click HERE for a list of articles in the ‘A Very Rough Guide’ series.


Flag and coat of arms of Negeri Sembilan – Wikipedia


Federated Malay States Railway – Museum Volunteers, JMM

Keretapi Tanah Melayu

The Excavation of the Megalithic Alignment at Kampong Ipoh, Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. A Note

Muzium Negara

Gurudwara Sahib Tampin, Negeri Sembilan

Lukisan mural jadi tarikan terbaharu di Tampin

North-South Expressway Southern Route (E2), Malaysia

A Very Rough Guide To Pengkalan Kempas and Kuala Linggi

by Eric Lim


Photo source : The Star / All quiet here – 12 July 2021

Sungai Linggi is one of the major rivers in the state of Negeri Sembilan. The river originates near the hilly purlieu of Pantai, just outside of the capital, Seremban, and it follows a southwestern path across the state to the river mouth in Melaka, an axial length of about 83 km. The name ‘Linggi’ is derived from a Bugis word, which means ‘the stem or bow of a ship’. Pengkalan Kempas and Kuala Linggi are both located along Sungai Linggi – the former is located near the confluence with Sungai Rembau while the latter is at the estuary where the river empties into the Straits of Malacca.


Sungai Linggi, circa 1834 / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

As far back as the 14th century CE, Sungai Linggi was the main route in and out of Sungai Ujong (Seremban today), flowing from the interior to the coast. It was the only means of entry and circulation for traders. It was said that Parameswara used this waterway to reach Sungai Ujong prior to the founding of Melaka. Sungai Ujong later came under the control of the Melaka Sultanate. The Minangkabau and Bugis who were the earliest settlers in Negeri Sembilan used it to transport jungle produce and tin to Melaka when it became an entrepot. In a plot to get back in Sultan Mahmud Shah’s favour, Hang Tuah made his voyage to Pahang and succeeded to ‘charm’ the beautiful Tun Teja with some help from the ‘magical love potion’ which made her agree to accompany Hang Tuah on his boat to Melaka. However, Tun Teja found out later that she was betrayed by Hang Tuah. She eventually agreed to marry Sultan Mahmud Shah. For the mission accomplished, Hang Tuah was conferred the title ‘Laksamana’ (admiral).

A painting of the beautiful Tun Teja / Photo source : Tun Teja Mausoleum: a story of love, betrayal and war

When the Johor Sultanate started to lose its grip on Negeri Sembilan, the Bugis from Riau under Daeng Kemboja, made inroads into the state and settled at Linggi.  In 1756, the Bugis laid siege to Melaka, which was then ruled by the Dutch. In retaliation, Dutch reinforcement attacked the Bugis’s base the following year. The Bugis then decided to call a truce and both warring parties agreed to build a fort at the estuary of Sungai Linggi (for more information, check section on Kuala Linggi below). After a long period of peace, in 1784, the Bugis under Sultan Ibrahim of Selangor mounted another attack on Dutch Melaka. He sailed up Sungai Linggi to Rembau and rounded up Minangkabaus fighters from Rembau and Pedas for the attack.

After the Dutch left Melaka, Negeri Sembilan was divided into two camps – Dato Kelana and Dato Bandar –that fought to control Sungai Linggi, which had become the major trade highway. The Chinese started mining around Rasah in 1828 but left the tin mines to move to Selangor because of trouble with the Malays. They returned in 1830 and by 1874, there were 15,000 Chinese in Sungai Ujong; by then, it was a major tin mining area in the country.

On 21 April 1874, Dato Kelana and Dato Muda Linggi signed an agreement with the British seeking their protection and recognition of Dato Kelana as the ruler of Sungai Ujong. In the process, Dato Bandar surrendered to the British and he was sent to exile in Singapore. After the ouster, the opposing camp was now led by Yamtuan Antah of Seri Menanti. They started a move to drive the British out of Sungai Ujong and this paved the start of the Sungai Ujong War in December 1875. By the 22nd of December, British forces captured the stockades at Bukit Putus and Ulu Bandol and reached Yamtuan Antah’s stronghold at Seri Menanti where they burned his palace, Istana Pulih, to the ground.

Police station at Rassa (Rasah today) – The Golden Chersonese And The Way Thither / Photo source – Wikimedia Commons

Five years into the British Residential system in Sungai Ujong, Isabella Lucy Bird, Victorian explorer, naturalist and writer (international traveller and adventure blogger by today’s classification) visited Sungai Ujong via Sungai Linggi. In her book ‘The Golden Chersonese and the way thither’ published in 1883, she wrote that she visited the tomb of a ‘great prophet’ who was slain in ascending the Linggi  (for more information, check section on Pengkalan Kempas below). She then visited ‘Serambang’ (Seremban) and she was shown around the town by the host, British Resident Captain Murray. She also stayed at a sanatorium located three miles away in what the Resident called ‘Plantation Hill’. Isabella also wrote of her interest to stay longer in order for her to make acquaintance with a colony of ants!

(Left) – Greater moth orchid / (Right) – Elk horn fern – The Golden Chersonese And The Way Thither. Photo source – Wikimedia Commons

Places of Interest

Photo source : Negeri Sembilan

The distance between Port Dickson town and Pengkalan Kempas is about 33 km via Federal Route 5.  Pengkalan Kempas [1] is a one-street town and just a stone’s throw from Sungai Linggi. The first attraction of the town is the jetty (see first photo), which is located just before the town. Sungai Linggi is well known for giant freshwater prawns. There are plenty of boats available for rental to catch prawns. Besides that, visitors can take eco tours exploring the river, mangrove forest and catch a glimpse of saltwater crocodiles. It is reported that the population has reached 3,000. Isabella also encountered a crocodile, which she called an alligator on her cruise up the river (incidentally, a crocodile is larger than an alligator). In the olden days, this jetty was a bustling place. Tax was collected from traders and it was a key landing point for Chinese settlers predominantly from the Fujian Province. The town folks are very proud of this history that they had erected a sign to proclaim the landing site.

Directly opposite the jetty is the Police Station, which was established in 1920. It also served as a tax collection centre. The town is flanked on either side by pre-war shophouses but most of the shops are closed. The town used to be the pit stop for motorists en-route to Melaka. At the end of the street is SJK (C) Yik Hwa, a Chinese primary school that was opened on 15 November 1923. In 2018, it had an enrolment of only 49 pupils. Further up, located on a hillock is the Chinese Methodist Church, built in 1928. The worship service is on every Sunday at 4.00 pm.

Across the road from the church is the main drawcard of the town, the Pengkalan Kempas Historical Complex. When Isabella made the visit in 1880, it was known as Keramat Sungai Udang (prawn river shrine). Today, the complex consists of the tomb, a four-sided inscription tombstone with a cylindrical shaped hole at the centre and a number of ancient stones/megaliths.

Tomb of Sheikh Ahmad Majnun / Photo source : Pengkalan Kempas

According to the epitaph, the tomb is the final resting place of a saint, Sheikh Ahmad Majnun (also spelt as Ahmat Majanu), and it is dated to the 872 Hijrah era, corresponding to the year 1467/1468. It is also written that the ‘saint’ would by no means have been a holy man but on the contrary a traitor who was executed after an unsuccessful attempt at the life of Sultan Mansur Shah. Many scholars had come to study the tomb and offered their views. However, many questions remain unanswered until today. Who was Sheikh Ahmad Majnun? Was he a saint or a traitor? If he was a traitor, why was he commemorated with a true Muslim burial? Incidentally, the word ‘Majnun’ means ‘crazy’ in Arabic. As to the hole at the centre of the tombstone, many believe it is an olden day ‘lie detector’. Anyone who dares to take the challenge, do it at your own peril. Based on the date of this tomb, it is one of the oldest Muslim tombs in the country.

The megaliths found at the site are menhirs (freestanding stones) believed to be from the 2nd/3rd century CE; the locals called them ‘batu hidup’ or living stone. The most well known is the cluster of three erected inscription stones which are nicknamed after their distinctive shapes i.e rudder, spoon and sword. The rudder shaped stone has inscriptions of a horse, tiger, barking deer (known locally as kijang) and probably an elephant’s trunk. Interestingly, the sword stone has the Arabic word ‘Allah’ that sticks out a mile. This leads to more baffling mystery as the stone predates Islam. However, J.G. de Casparis concluded that the sword stone post-dates the introduction of Islam into the Malay Peninsula and probably only dates back to the middle of the fifteenth century.

(Left) –  Inscription tombstone / Photo source : AHMAT MAJANU’S TOMBSTONE AT PENGKALAN KEMPAS AND ITS KAWI INSCRIPTION(Right) – Cluster of three erected inscription stones, namely rudder, spoon and sword respectively / Photo source : Pengkalan Kempas

Megaliths in the Malay Peninsula are mainly found within the border of Melaka and Negeri Sembilan i.e in Alor Gajah district in Melaka and in Kuala Pilah, Rembau and Tampin districts in Negeri Sembilan. These upright stones are around 2 to 8 feet in height and arranged either in a cluster of one large menhir surrounded by smaller stones or in pairs and aligned side by side with one stone larger than the other. These stones are erected on earth mounds. Excavation of the megalithic site at Kampong Ipoh in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan by the Museums Department in 1981, found no skeletal remains in the megalithic area. The excavation proved that the megalithic groupings in Malaysia were not the sites of historic or prehistoric burial as believed by the local people. Research into megaliths in our country is rather scarce. Until today, the purpose and age of the megaliths remain a mystery. Some of the megaliths from the Tampin excavation are on display at the grounds of the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur. Another place to see these ancient stones is Laman Megalit (Megalith Park) inside Taman Putra Perdana in Putrajaya. The park which was completed in 2003 has over eighty erected megaliths and these stones were discovered by Petronas during work to lay a gas pipeline at Kampung Gelanggang in Negri Sembilan in 1989. Prior, the stones were displayed at the Petronas Megalith Garden located between Dayabumi and Kuala Lumpur Railway Station in the city.

Laman Megalit at Putrajaya / Photo source : Megalith Stones at Laman Megalit, Putrajaya

The next destination is Kuala Linggi [2] in Melaka, which is about 15 km from Pengkalan Kempas using Federal Route 5 heading to Port Dickson. Upon reaching Kampung Sungai Raya, exit to join N143 Jalan Pasir Panjang-Kuala Linggi. In my article about Lukut, I have mentioned Raja Sulaiman of Sungai Raya who had wanted to be liberated from the clutches of Raja Bot at Lukut but he failed to make a breakthrough. At the 12 km point, the Kuala Linggi Bridge would be in full view. This bridge was officially opened on 10 July 1990 by Tun Dr Mahathir when he was the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. The bridge serves as a border crossing between Negeri Sembilan and Melaka and it is currently a popular spot for fishing. A short distance from the bridge and located on top of a hill at the mouth of Sungai Linggi is Kota Bukit Supai / Sepoy Hill Fort. The word ‘supai’ may not be Malay but a Persian or Hindi word, which has the same meaning as ‘sipahi’, which means ‘sepoy’ or an infantry soldier. The sepoy guarding this fort were trained to use weapons, initially matchlock muskets and later flintlock, which was brought to the East by the Dutch. The Dutch name for the flintlock weapon was ‘snaphaan’, passed on to Malay as ‘senapang’ (rifle in English).

As mentioned earlier, the fort was built jointly by the Bugis and Dutch after the restoration of friendly relations and a peace treaty was signed on 1 January 1758 at the completion of the fort. The terms of the treaty were heavily in favour of the Dutch – first, they had full control of the fort, and second, they controlled all ship movements on Sungai Linggi and collected taxes from ships transporting tin quarried in the interior of Sungai Linggi and Sungai Rembau. The fort is rectangular, measuring 167 feet by 150 feet, fortified with bastions at every corner and the two entrances, landward and seaward. The walls were about eight feet high and a moat surrounded the fort. The Dutch named the fort, Fort Filipina, after the daughter of Jacob Mosel, the Governor General of the Dutch United East India Company (Dutch name, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie, in short VOC) at that time. About a year later, the Dutch abandoned the fort.

Kota Bukit Supai / Sepoy Hill Fort / Fort FilipinaPhoto source : Halaman Utama Portal Rasmi Majlis Perbandaran Alor Gajah (MPAG)

Between 1974 and 1975, the Museums Department initiated some conservation works on the remains of the fort. Buildings that were built within the fort and the seaward passageway that connected the fort and the landing stage at the beach had disappeared. The fort was later gazetted as a historical monument under the Antiquities Act 1976. As one of the ways to attract visitors to the site, the Alor Gajah Town Council have built a seafood restaurant on stilts and linked the eatery to the fort by a walkway. One wonders what would be the probability that the path of this walkway, the same as the original seaward passageway that had disappeared?

Ship-to-ship cargo transfer at KLIP / Photo source : TAG MARINE SDN BHD

T.A.G Marine Sdn Bhd (TMSB) is a local company involved in the shipping and maritime industry. They are licensed port operator/service provider and operated the Kuala Linggi International Port (KLIP) when it was gazetted in July 2006. The port is situated near the river mouth of Sungai Linggi. Since then, it has been providing ship-to-ship cargo transfer services and it has attracted a host of large carriers and ships. One of its major successes was Gazprom’s first ship-to-ship transfer of LNG cargo on 6 December 2014. In 2019, the company announced a RM15 billion KLIP expansion project. The land reclamation is expected to be completed in 48 months. This raised concern by the local communities for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife. In a press report on 13 March 2021, the Melaka Menteri Besar has said that it will ensure that the environmental impact assessment (EIA) will be carried out prior to the construction of the KLIP.

KLIP expansion project / Photo source :  LINGGI BASE SDN. BHD.

Unknown to many, the Linggi-Rembau estuary is blessed with a firefly colony. The Negeri Sembilan Tourism started to promote it as an attraction in 2008. Since then the Pengkalan Nelayan Sungai Timun [3] jetty in Rembau district has seen an increasing number of both local and foreign tourists. An added feature of the Sungai Timun fireflies is the combination of both the species that practice synchronous flashing and the non-synchronous flashing species. The former is known as Pteroptyx tener and the latter are Pteroptyx assymmetria and Pteroptyx malaccae. Based on studies done, there are 2200 identified types worldwide and in Malaysia, there are about 100 identified types. The local name for fireflies is ‘kelip kelip’, which means to flicker. Its life cycle consists of eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. It takes about a year for it to grow to adult size of 1-2 cm and adults only live for about two months. Fireflies in the mangrove forest congregate on the Berembang trees (Sonneratia caseolaris/mangrove apple) as a source of food and protection from the sun. Other mangrove trees that support the population of fireflies are nipa palms, nibong palms and ferns. Incidentally, July is the month where World Firefly Day is celebrated and this year, it was on 3-4 July. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Watch us, don’t catch us!’ which is to promote firefly tourism. It is hoped that the mangrove forest at Sungai Linggi and Sungai Rembau will be protected and preserved so that the giant freshwater prawns, saltwater crocodiles, fireflies, mangrove trees and the livelihood of the communities will continue.

Getting There

From Kuala Lumpur city centre, use the North South Highway (E2 South) and exit at Exit 223 Pedas Linggi. After the toll, head to Linggi. At Linggi, join Federal Route 5 to Pengkalan Kempas. From Pengkalan Kempas to Kuala Linggi, use Federal Route 5 and head to Port Dickson. Upon reaching Kampung Sungai Raya, exit to join N143 Jalan Pasir Panjang-Kuala Linggi. To go to Pengkalan Nelayan Sungai Timun from Pengkalan Kempas, join Federal Route 5 and head to Linggi and Lubok Cina. Before Lubok Cina, watch out for the turning to N116 Jalan Sungai Timun. The jetty is further ahead.

In this Series

Please click HERE for a list of articles in the ‘A Very Rough Guide’ series.



Tun Teja Mausoleum: a story of love, betrayal and war

Previous Post:Perjanjian Sungai Ujung 1874

A Battlefield Tour… – Sabri Zain’s Malayan History Society

The Golden Chersonese And The Way Thither


Pengkalan Kempas

The Excavation of the Megalithic Alignment at Kampong Ipoh, Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. A Note

Megalith Stones at Laman Megalit, Putrajaya.

Notes on the old Cannon found in Malaya, and known to be of Dutch origin – Footnotes 9 and 26

Halaman Utama Portal Rasmi Majlis Perbandaran Alor Gajah (MPAG)



Negeri Sembilan

Keeping the firefly magic alive


A Very Rough Guide To Lukut

by Eric Lim


Moving on with the exploration on Federal Route 5, this time we drive past the state boundary at Sepang to enter the Land of Nine States – Negeri Sembilan. The destination is only 20 kms away; it was originally a part of Selangor but in an agreement with Negri Sembilan, was given in exchange for Rekoh, a settlement on the upstream of Sungai Langat and all area in Labu which is understand to be the district of Semenyih today. Lukut is the name of this town and it became the wealthiest tin mining centre in the country between 1830 and 1860 but went into a decline after the switch to Negeri Sembilan.


During the start of the 18th century CE, the Bugis were already establishing their foothold on the west coast of the peninsula and had taken control of the coastline, starting from the mouth of Sungai Linggi in the south (Selangor’s border with Melaka), and stretching to the Bernam river valley at the border with Perak in the north. Tin had taken over from spices as the main trade commodity. The Chinese started mining (for gold and tin) in Melaka from 1793 and, by early 1800, they had ventured into neighbouring Sungai Ujong and Lukut. Records show that the Chinese were already mining for tin in Lukut from 1815. When John Anderson visited Selangor in 1818 to carry out a survey on the economy and population, he reported that Lukut had ‘lately become a great place for tin’ and the Chinese had formed a fifth of the total population of a thousand people in Lukut.

Raja Busu’s house / Photo source : Previous post Peristiwa Berdarah Di Lukut

In the 1820s, Raja Busu (full name Raja Hassan Bin Raja Nala ibni Almarhum Sultan Salehuddin), the youngest son of Sultan Salehuddin, the first Sultan of Selangor, attracted by the rich tin deposits, took control and proclaimed himself the first Malay Ruler of Lukut. Raja Busu ruled the settlement as an independent district and he brought in more Chinese from Melaka to expand the output of the mines. The Malays were already mining for tin using the ‘lampang’ (sluicing) but the Chinese mining technique of ‘lombong’ (opening  larger pits) was more effective in getting a larger yield. Lukut saw the start of tin mining using Chinese labour, technique and capital. The imposition of a ten per cent tax on the output did not go down well with the Chinese miners and merchants. On a dark rainy night in September 1834, some 300 to 400 Chinese gathered in front of Raja Busu’s house and demanded that he come out or they would set the house on fire. He refused to budge and told them that as a Muslim he was not afraid to die. The Chinese promptly took the cue and burnt the house down, killing Raja Busu and his family members. In retaliation, the Malays ambushed the Chinese as they tried to cross the border to British controlled Melaka. Thereafter, the mines were abandoned for a time.

This was during the reign of the third Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Muhammad, who took the opportunity to assert his authority and proclaimed Lukut as part of Selangor in 1836. In 1846, Sultan Muhammad announced the appointment of Raja Jumaat as Chief of Lukut. Prior to this, Raja Jumaat together with his father, Raja Jaafar and brother, Raja Abdullah, had settled in Lukut for some time. They were Bugis from Riau, Indonesia.

Tin mining in Malaya / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

The appointment of Raja Jumaat eventually turned out to be crucial and important for the town and the Sultan. Under his leadership, a well laid out township took shape with a main street and a double row of brick shophouses with tile roofs, large godowns and a customs house. He even set up a police force of twenty Malays attired in uniforms and hats with identification numbers. Chinese traders, mainly Hailam, set up their businesses in the town. As his residence, he built a fort on top of a hill overlooking the town and protected by cannons around the parameters. He had established good business relationships with Melaka businessmen and friendship with Lieutenant Colonel Ronald MacPherson who was the Resident Councillor (chief administrator) at Melaka between 1857 and 1860. Lukut reached the peak in tin production and the settlement became prosperous and flourished under Raja Jumaat.

Sultan Muhammad also tried his hand at tin mining in the Selangor and Klang river basins but without any success, instead he accumulated a large sum of debts. Raja Jumaat helped Sultan Muhammad by standing as guarantor for the royal debts on two occasions, in 1839 and 1846. For the former, the favour was reciprocated when Raja Jumaat married Raja Senai, daughter of Sultan Muhammad. For the latter, the Sultan had granted the Lukut district to Raja Jumaat and his heirs in perpetuity. Concurrently, the Sultan conferred Raja Jumaat the prestigious title of Raja Tua (royal coadjutor/assistant).

From 1846 onwards, Raja Jumaat became the most powerful man in Selangor. When Sultan Muhammad passed away in 1857, Raja Jumaat was in a position to influence the choice of a successor in place of the heir who was still a minor. Subsequently, Raja Abdul Samad became the fourth Sultan of Selangor. In the same year, Raja Jumaat and his brother, Raja Abdullah, prospected for tin at the Gombak and Ampang area with Chinese miners from Lukut and were successful two years later. When Raja Jumaat died in 1864, it was a big blow to Lukut as it began to decline and the situation was made worse with the gradual depletion of its tin deposits.

Raja Bot and his family, photo taken in 1912 / Photo source : Misteri Kehilangan Istana Kota Lukut

Raja Bot became the new Ruler of Lukut. Raja Bot was born on 4 December 1847; at the age of ten, he was sent to Malacca to study in an English school and stayed for ten months with Macpherson. He was then sent to Baba Chi Yam Chuan where he helped with reading and writing of Malay letters from and to Lukut. At thirteen, he was helping to look after his father’s business in Lukut.

During an early stage of his rule, Raja Bot had to face several disturbances. Raja Sulaiman of Sungai Raya had wanted to break away from Lukut and this prompted him to lead an attack on Lukut. Raja Bot and his men managed to stop the attack, even without the protection of his band of 30 Arab mercenaries as they had fled the scene after seeing one of them being stabbed to death. The next incident happened when Raja Yahya, adopted son of Sultan Abdul Samad, paid a visit. On the way to meeting Raja Bot, he had caught a Chinese Hailam whom he executed, without the permission of Raja Bot. When the Chinese arrived seeking an explanation, a melee ensued but Raja Yahya managed to escape. Then there was an incident where a Malay Raja set the Chinese bazaar on fire. These disturbances greatly affected the relationship between the Chinese and Malays and the prosperity of Lukut. Chinese miners started to head out to the more successful mines in Hulu Klang and Ampang in the north.

Raja Bot was not involved in the Klang War/Selangor Civil War (1867-1873) and Lukut was far away from the battlegrounds. After the war, the British started to gain stronger influence in the affairs of state with the implementation of the Residential system. In 1878, the British wanted to settle the long-standing boundary problem, brought up by Dato Kelana Sending of Sungai Ujong for a claim of the Lukut district including Cape Rachado (Tanjung Tuan today). Raja Bot, who was not consulted, protested strongly against the transfer of Lukut to Sungai Ujong.

It was finally concluded in a convention held in Singapore on 31 July 1880 where Raja Bot was compensated with a total sum of 27,000 dollars. He sought employment from the Selangor government but he was denied. In June of 1887, he applied for the post of Penghulu of Sungai Buloh and this time, Bot was successful. However, it was a short stint and his next posting was as a member of the State Council on 18 December 1888 where he stayed until his passing on 11 April 1916. He died of asthma and heart failure; he was buried at the Royal Burial Ground at Johor Bahru.

Fun Facts

(Left) – Saiyid Masyor (middle)  / Photo source : SEJARAH MELAYU DAHULU DAN SENJATA API??(Right) – Lieutenant Colonel Ronald MacPherson / Photo source : https://cathedral.org.sg/page/tour-the-cathedral

Kapitan Yap Ah Loy also came to Lukut to work as a cook at Chong Chong’s tin mine. They were both Fui Chew Hakka but ended up in different camps when theKlang War/Selangor Civil War erupted. Yap Ah Loy headed the Hai San group and Chong Chong was with Ghee Hin. When Chong Chong and Saiyid Masyor made their second attempt to capture Kuala Lumpur, they were intercepted at Rawang by Yap Ah Loy’s troops commanded by Chung Piang who managed to stop them and Chong Chong retreated to Serendah, where he is presumably killed.

Incidentally, the first Kapitan Cina of Kuala Lumpur, Hiu Siew, was a tin mine owner in Lukut. Hiu Siew and another mine owner, Ah Sze, were persuaded to relocate to Kuala Lumpur by Sutan Puasa.

The current Saint Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore was designed by Lieutenant Colonel Ronald MacPherson.

Places of Interest

Royal Tombs

There are two Selangor royal tombs in Lukut. The first one is located at a hillock at Kampung Kuala Lukut (now Chuah) [1]. This is where Raja Busu and his family members were buried. Earlier, there was a plan to upgrade it to reflect it as a Royal Tomb but this did not materialise. The other is Raja Jumaat’s tomb at the Selangor Royal Mausoleum [2] located inside the Lukut Muslim Cemetary. It is easy to find the place as it is opposite the Lukut Police Station and adjacent to a petrol station. As far back as 1855, it was designated as the final resting place of members of the Selangor royal family. The Selangor state government is still paying to the local authority for use of the land.

(Left) Raja Busu’s tomb / Photo source : https://twitter.com/zulkhairi_aziz/status/1374640165826666497?lang=en(Right) Selangor Royal Mausoleum / Photo source : Makam Raja Jumaat

Kota Lukut and Muzium Lukut Negri Sembilan

Kota Lukut/Lukut Fort [3] was the fortification that Raja Jumaat built on top of Bukit Gajah Mati in 1847. The fort is rectangular, measuring about 200 metres long and 170 metres wide, and surrounded by a 5-metre broad ditch with a wall of sharpened bamboo stakes as a first line of defence against intrusion. Cannons were mounted at the edges of the fort. At the centre lies the remains of the house that Raja Jumaat built for his daughter, Raja Wok, and located outside was a sepak raga (sepak takraw today) court. There are two wells within the fort, of which one was a poisoned well used for executions. There are also remains of several cisterns sunk in the ground.

The Muzium Lukut [4] is currently housed in a two-storey building, which reportedly was the residence of the District Officer. It was officially opened on 9 April 1999 and the museum is divided into four galleries, namely Lukut History, Nassau, Negeri Sembilan Negeri Beradat and Traditional Society Manufacturing Technology. Entrance is free and it is open from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm daily except on Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji.

(Left) – Plan of Kota Lukut / Photo source : The State of Lukut. (With text figures); (Right) – Muzium Lukut – Muzium Lukut

Lukut Town

Prior to the start of E29 Seremban-Port Dickson Highway (SPDH) [5], motorists travelling from Seremban/North South Highway to Port Dickson must pass through the town of Lukut. It is just ten kilometres away from Port Dickson and Lukut is becoming a haven for seafood. The local restaurants serve fresh fish, clams, prawns and crabs. For sea fishing enthusiasts, a popular fishing area is Kelong Mahmud, which can be reached by renting fishing boats from Kuala Lukut. Take a leisure stroll around the town and maybe visit the small theme parks located nearby. There is no shortage of accommodations along the stretch to Port Dickson.

Photo source : Lukut Town

Getting There

If you are from the coastal area, you can use Federal Route 5 to Lukut. Coming from Kuala Lumpur city centre, use the North South Highway (E2 South) and exit to the Seremban- Port Dickson Highway (E29). Then exit at Exit 2905A Lukut interchange to Lukut.


A History of Selangor (1766 – 1939) (page 34 – 48)

Raja Bot Bin Raja Jumaat (page 68 – 93)

The State of Lukut. (With text figures) (page 291 – 295)

Misteri Kehilangan Istana Kota Lukut

Previous post Peristiwa Berdarah Di Lukut


Muzium Lukut

Old Town, Lukut, Malaysia | Matthew Tan


Lukut Town

Perancangan Kerja Naiktaraf Makam Raja Busu

Makam Raja Jumaat

In this Series

Please click HERE for a list of articles in the ‘A Very Rough Guide’ series.

A Very Rough Guide to Banting, Tanjung Sepat and Sungai Pelek

by Eric Lim


Still staying in the southern part of Selangor, this article will take us on a road trip to a combo of places –  first to Banting, followed by Tanjung Sepat, both in the Kuala Langat district, and then make a turn back to the Sepang district as we head on to Sungai Pelek. These towns are connected by Federal Route 5, which is one of the three north-south backbone federal highways in Peninsular Malaysia; Federal Route 1 and 3 are the other two highways. The Kilometre Zero of Federal Route 5 is located at Skudai, Johor in the south and it runs mostly along the west coast of the peninsular and ends at its northern terminus at Jelapang near Ipoh.

Image Credit: Dennis Ong. Base image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanjung_Sepat,Selangor#/media/File:A_visit_to_Tanjong_Sepat(14242827477).jpg

Banting – History and Places of Interest

While researching Banting, this name kept popping up on the screen but of a different nature. It was the name of Frederick Banting, who made one of the most influential discoveries in medical history. He discovered insulin, the first available medicine for the treatment of diabetes. Banting and his fellow researchers were awarded US patents on insulin in 1923 and later the same year, they were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for the discovery of insulin. He died in World War II, in a plane crash on 21 February 1941 during one of the transatlantic trips to Britain.

Frederick Banting on the cover of Time Magazine 27 August 1923 issue / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

Banting originates from the Malay word ‘banteng’, which is buffalo in English. Banting’s moment in history also came during World War II at Morib beach, which lies to the southwest of Banting. On 9 September 1945, the 46th Indian Beach Group comprising 42,651 personnel and 3,968 vehicles landed at the beach in an operation to retake Malaya from the Japanese army. It was reported that one of the soldiers who came on that day was Muhammad Zia ul-had. He returned to India and joined the Pakistani army in 1947 after partition. On 5 July 1977, the military, headed by Zia, took over the government, imposed martial law and deposed Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in a bloodless coup. Zia was sworn in as the sixth President of Pakistan on 16 September 1978. He was killed in an air crash on 17 August 1988, possibly sabotage. Today, part of the beachfront has been converted into a recreational park called Dataran Pantai Morib [A] and it is becoming a popular destination during weekends and public holidays.

Dataran Pantai Morib / Photo source : Pantai Morib (Morib Beach) – Visit Selangor

Banting is the hometown of Malaysia’s most famous badminton siblings, the Sidek brothers. Misbun, Razif, Jailani, Rahman and Rashid began competing internationally from the early 1980’s. History was made in 1985 when all five of them were selected to represent the country in a competition in Hong Kong. On 16 May 1992, the final of the Thomas Cup that was held at Stadium Negara and Malaysia was pitted against arch rival and top favourite, Indonesia. Rashid gave us a winning start but it was all level when Razif and Jailani lost the first doubles match. Foo Kok Keong regained the lead and the second doubles match turned out to be a titanic battle and, finally, the pair Cheah Soon Kit and Soo Beng Kiang gave us the winning point. The Thomas Cup, which had eluded us for twenty-five years, was finally won. Razif, Jailni, Rashid and Rahman were in the winning team. Razif and Jailani went on to become the first Malaysians to win a medal at the Summer Olympics when they won the bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona games. Four years later, Rashid brought home the bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.

Image shows Sidek senior admiring the bronze medals won by Razif and Jailani at the 1992 Summer Olympic. Photo credit: The Star – 18/7/2021

A monument was erected at the Sidek Family Residence [B] in Kanchong Darat in 1992 when Malaysia recaptured the Thomas Cup. Last year, restoration work on the monument was carried out and a wall was added. Visitors can have photographs taken at the monument free of charge.

Monument at the Sidek family residence / Photo source : Badminton Monument to mentor restored

Today, Banting is the administrative-cum-commercial centre of the Kuala Langat district. Further growth in and around Banting can be expected when the long awaited West Coast Expressway (WCE) [C] is scheduled for full completion by the end of 2022. The 233 km highway that runs from Banting to Taiping, when completed, would be the third longest highway in the country, after North South Expressway and East Coast Expressway.

Tanjung Sepat – History and Places of Interest

Moving on to the next destination, Tanjung Sepat is about 29 km from Banting. Tanjung is cape in English and Sepat is the name of a freshwater fish from the Osphronemidae family, which is commonly found in tropical countries. It is predominantly a fishing town and the locals also engage in agriculture, initially planting coconut and rubber trees, but have since moved on to oil palm and dragon fruit. The latter is also known as pitaya, pitahaya, strawberry pear and thang. It is a member of the Cactaceae family and is native to the tropical forest regions of Mexico, Central and South America. There are many dragon fruit farms [A] located outside the town, along Federal Route 5, up to the Sepang district.

Tanjung Sepat is a popular tourist destination in the Kuala Langat district. The first site is Kuan Wellness Ecopark [B]. It is primarily a bird’s nest ecology park established by a local, Guan Jian Qi, in November 2010. In 2011, the company was awarded the international ISO 22000 food safety management system and in 2014, it was one of eight companies in Malaysia given approval to export bird’s nest to China. The eco park comprises an exhibition hall, natural organic pavilion, childhood pavilion, eco farm with bird park and aquarium and a restaurant. They are looking into adding a theme resort, durian orchard and outdoor team building area.

Left – Dragon fruit / Photo source : Wikimedia Commons
Right – Pantai Cunang / Photo source : Pantai Cunang wujud selepas tsunami, MDKL komited komersialkan

The next site is one that not many people know of. Pantai Cunang [C] is hidden behind a mangrove forest and is adjacent to a Mah Meri Orang Asli village. Pantai Cunang offers a stretch of white sandy beach and is an ideal spot to watch the sunset. It was once an isolated beach but the Mah Meri community and the district authorities transformed it into a tourist attraction. Cunang is in fact a Mah Meri word meaning calm and peaceful. It was first developed in 2010 and by the end of 2013, they had built 22 rest huts. In 2015, it won the best beach management and care title awarded by the state government. Kuala Langat District Council is committed to improving the economy of the Mah Meri community, and to making Pantai Cunang a major tourist destination in the state.

Kampung Baru Tanjung Sepat (today Tanjung Sepat Indah) [D] was established in 1950 and the settlers are composed of Chinese communities from neighbouring Tanjung Layang, Batu Laut, Kanchong Darat, Tumbuk and Sungai Belankan. It started with a population of 4,150 and reached 15,000 in 1995; today, the figure stands at 22,340. It has grown to become the commercial heartbeat of the town. SRJK (C) Tanjung Sepat, which was established in 1951, and most of the popular eateries and souvenir shops are located here.

Left – Outdoor dining / Photo source : Tanjung Sepat – Visit Selangor; Right – Lover’s Bridge / Photo source : Wikimedia Common

The star attraction of the town is the Lover’s Bridge/Qing Ren Qiao [E]. Originally, it was a long wooden jetty built before our country’s independence. It was a favourite haunt for couples to enjoy the scenery and sunset. In 2013, part of the bridge collapsed and it took the state government five years and RM 3.2 million to rebuild it. The new concrete jetty is 306 metres in length and it stretches into the Straits of Melaka. Besides the reconstruction, new amenities like food stalls, gazebos, kiosks, car park and toilets have been added to the site.

Sungai Pelek – History and Places of Interest

Selangor used to be covered by dense virgin jungle. The district of Sepang was notorious for tigers roaming the jungle. It was reported that 35 men, mostly Chinese rubber tappers from Chee Woh Estate, were killed by tigers. As a follow up action, the government raised the reward to catch/kill a tiger from 25 to 50 dollars. Still, the man-eater claimed another victim immediately after this announcement. On the other hand, it was reported that a resident of Salak, Lui Jing Tong, had killed a tiger with his bare hands!

Sungai Pelek is not the name of a river; it is the name of the town. ‘Sungai’ means river in English and ‘Pelek’ is strange/unusual/odd. There are two versions of how the name came about: 1) the unusual formation of a temporary river when the Sungai Sepang overflows its banks during high tide and disappears during low tide; 2) it happened during a flood where the water strangely flowed upstream rather than downstream! During the reign of Sultan Abdul Samad, Lukut (near Port Dickson) was part of Selangor but in 1880, it was ceded to Negri Sembilan in exchange for Semenyih. Since then, Sungai Sepang [A] serves as part of the boundary between the two states. Interestingly, there is a ferry service plying the route across Sungai Sepang, from Sungai Pelek to Bukit Pelandok on the Negri Sembilan side. It has been in service since 1930 and the ferry transports pedestrians, bicycles and motorcycles only. The Sungai Pelek Jetty [B] is located near the town.

Ferry across Sungai Sepang / Photo source : Good to be home

Kampung Baru Sungai Pelek [C] was set up by the British in 1952, settling Chinese communities from Bukit Bangkong, Bagan Lalang, Jalan Lapis and Ladang Tai Long; and a few Indian families. It started with a population of 1,750. According to an estimate in 2012, the settlement has grown to more than 6,000 residents with 536 residences. Today, there are two Chinese primary schools in its immediate vicinity, namely SRJK (C) Wah Lian and SRJK (C) Tche Ming.

Trivia – Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah spent his younger days in Sungai Pelek before moving to Kuala Lumpur with his mother and elder sister.

Photo source : Google Maps

Getting There

From Kuala Lumpur, use Plus Highway (E2) southbound. Exit at Exit 209 UPM to join Jalan Sungai Besi and continue on to join South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) at Ayer Hitam toll plaza. Continue on, and exit at Teluk Panglima Garang toll plaza and after the toll plaza, keep left to Jenjarom. Drive past Jenjarom and head towards Banting. Take Federal Route 5 to Tanjung Sepat and Sungai Pelek. From Sungai Pelek, continue using Federal Route 5 to Sepang, then head towards KLIA using B48 and turn to Jalan Kuarters KLIA and to Jalan Pekeliling. This will lead to E6 (Elite) and AH2 to Shah Alam or E608, E609, E611 to join E2 North South Highway.

In this Series

Please click HERE for a list of articles in the ‘A Very Rough Guide’ series.


Badminton Monument to mentor restored

Bumi Satu Kampung Dalam 2 Negeri – i Kampung Baru . Imbasan Sejarah Kampung Baru Cina Selangor – Published by Jawatankuasa Tetap Pembangunan Kampung Baru Kerajaan Selangor -First edition 2012 – pp 134 – 135 and 144 – 147.

Bygone Selangor; a souvenir(page 63 – 64)

Cover Story: WCE to spur growth in Banting

Malaysia Federal Route 5

Frederick Banting discovered insulin in 1921

Further Reading on Mohammad Zia ul-Haq

Good to be home

Nation NST175 Cup and away: Malaysia’s 1992 Thomas Cup win

New jetty paves way for development in Tg Sepat

Pantai Cunang wujud selepas tsunami, MDKL komited komersialkan

Pantai Morib (Morib Beach) – Visit Selangor

Tanjung Sepat – Visit Selangor

A Very Rough Guide to Jugra

by Eric Lim


(3) Channel linking Sungai Langat and Straits of Malacca 
Photo source : Bukit Jugra – Visit Selangor

The starting point of Sungai Langat is at Gunung Nuang on the Titiwangsa Range. The river flows westward across the state of Selangor covering a total distance of 190 km, passing through Kajang, Dengkil, Jenjarom and Jugra before it drains into the Straits of Melaka,. This article focuses on the town of Jugra, which was the royal town and administrative centre of Selangor during the reign of Sultan Abdul Samad and the period of the British intervention in the state. Sadly, today, the town has been left out of the state economic activity and it has slid into obscurity.

History, Tales and Remnants

The discoveries of large quantities of pottery shards, legs/stands of tripod pots and stone adzes at Kampung Jenderam Hilir near Dengkil proved that the Sungai Langat basin had been inhabited since the Neolithic times, believed to be between 3,000 – 4,000 years ago. The area later became a feeder point and regularly supplied local produce to the entrepot at Bujang Valley. At the height of the Melaka Sultanate in the middle of the 15th century CE, Sultan Mansur Shah made his son, Paduka Sri China, the Raja of Jeram near Langat. When the Sultanate of Selangor was set up following the installation of Raja Lumu as Sultan Salehuddin by Sultan Mahmud of Perak, the state was divided into five semi-autonomous districts based on the five major rivers in the state, namely Sungai Bernam, Sungai Selangor, Sungai Klang, Sungai Langat and Sungai Lukut. The settlements were at the estuaries, namely Sabak Bernam, Kuala Selangor, Klang, Bandar Langat (aka Bandar Temasya) and Lukut respectively.

Rivers in Selangor in the 19th century CE / Photo source : The Peopling of Ulu Langat

Up until the third Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Mohamed (1826-1857), Kuala Selangor was the main administrative town and capital of Selangor and Raja Abdul Samad was assigned the charge of Kuala Selangor while his father, Raja Abdullah, ruled the Langat Valley.  When Raja Abdul Samad took over the reign as the fourth Sultan of Selangor in 1857, he retired from Kuala Selangor and chose to reside in his ancestral fief of Langat, thus moving the capital to Bandar Langat. His eldest son, Raja Musa, who assumed the title of Raja Muda was put in-charge of Kuala Selangor. During the turbulent time of the Klang War/Selangor Civil War from 1867 to 1874, Sultan Abdul Samad issued a letter dated 26 June 1868 that delegated wide executive powers to his son in-law, Tunku Dhiauddin Zainal Rashid or Tengku Kudin in short, and Langat given as a gift to him.

The war was initially fought at Klang and it then spread to Kuala Selangor, Ulu Selangor and finally landed at Kuala Lumpur. After seven long years of fighting, in March of 1873, Tengku Kudin and his allies Yap Ah Loy and Pahang forces recaptured Kuala Lumpur. In November the same year, Kudin’s forces and a Pahang contingent retook Kuala Selangor, the last stronghold of Raja Mahadi in Selangor and it signalled the end of the war. In the middle of 1878, Tengku Kudin relinquished his position as Viceroy of Selangor and returned to his home state of Kedah.

(1) Settlement at Kuala Jugra / Photo : Wikimedia Commons
(2) Sultan’s fortified stockard at Bandar Langat 
 Photo source : Let’s learn more about one of Selangor’s greatest rulers, Sultan Abdul Samad

After the war, and after a court trial at (1) Kuala Jugra to settle a piracy case that happened in November 1873 in Selangor waters, Colonial rule in Selangor was established. John Guthrie Davidson became the adviser and aide to Tengku Kudin in Klang and a young Frank Swettenham of the Straits Settlements Civil Service was appointed the Assistant Resident in August 1874. He was to reside at the (2) Sultan’s fortified stockade by the river which according to him, was flooded twice daily! During his incumbency, Swettenham made many field trips, travelling the length and breadth of the state, including the key mining towns of Hulu Langat, which took him extra days to arrive and Kuala Kubu, where he commented on the gigantic dam that the locals had constructed. Davidson’s position as the first Resident of Selangor was confirmed the following year and at the same time, Swettenham left Bandar Langat and moved to Perak.

Chinese source showing the location of Bukit Jugra which the Chinese called Mian Hua Yu (綿花嶼)  /Photo source : Wikimedia Commons

The next phase was the development of the royal capital, which was shifted to Jugra, a Malay village south of Bandar Langat. The hill at Jugra was already a known spot and had served as a natural guiding beacon for seafarers in the Straits of Malacca for centuries. The earliest record came from the Chinese source through the sailing charts that recorded the expeditions of Admiral Zheng He in the early 15th century CE. They were published in a book in 1628 and it showed the location of Bukit Jugra, which the Chinese called Mian Hua Yu (綿花嶼) or Cotton Islet in English. Legend has it that when the Malacca Kingdom was ousted by the Portuguese in 1511, Puteri Gunung Ledang escaped and arrived at Bukit Jugra with her husband. One day, she killed her husband and buried him at the foot of the hill and their two cats turned into ‘rimau keramat/ghost tigers’ guarding the grave ever since. ‘Even to this day she pays periodical visits to Jugra Hill’. The hill was also mentioned in ‘The Oriental Navigator, Or, New Directions for Sailing to and from the East Indies’, an important guide to navigating the seas to the far reaches of Asia, which was first published in 1794. Bukit Jugra was known as Parcelar Hill, and the book mentions another hill with a similar name i.e False Parcelar Hill, which is Bukit Jeram today, located at Kuala Selangor. The name ‘Parcelar’ derives from the Arabic word ‘balasar’, which literally means above the head.

Parcelar Hill mentioned in ‘The Oriental Navigator, Or, New Directions for Sailing to and from the East Indies’ / Photo : Plan of Salangor, and of the coast of Malaya, from Point Caran to Parcelar Hill, including the Strai…

In the 1850’s, some Americans opened a tin mine upstream of Sungai Langat at Sungai Tangkas near Rekoh but was later met by altercations from the locals as they did not possess any consent and the mine was soon abandoned. They travelled down to Bandar Langat and while there, made a significant contribution by improving the communications in the area. They succeeded in making a (3) canal to provide a shortcut from Sungai Langat and the Straits of Malacca at the Jugra inlet (see the top/first photo). The canal later turned into a channel and a reference was made in 1877 that Emily Innes, wife of District Officer James Innes, had used the channel to transport her goods and chattels including a piano, which was a wedding present from her parents, in a big cargo boat from Bandar Langat to Bukit Jugra. At the summit of Bukit Jugra, the British had built a lighthouse to guide ships approaching Jugra. The locals said that during the construction, the waters in the area had turned red for thirty days and at the expiry, cockles, which were abundant, suddenly disappeared. In 1976, another concrete tower was built, this time equipped with the state-of-the-art navigational equipment. Today, there are (4) two lighthouses at Bukit Jugra; the taller was built during the colonial era.

The British started developing Bukit Jugra between 1875 and 1876 and probably the first building constructed was the police station. It was said that Tengku Kudin had initiated the construction. It was to be the first police station in Selangor. A twenty-two year old Harry Charles Syers arrived in March 1875 to set up the police force and he recruited Malays from rural districts of Malacca. One of his early accomplishments was the crushing of Sutan Puasa’s suspected uprising in Ulu Langat in October 1875. H.C. Syers moved on to become the first Federal Commissioner of Police. The ruins of ‘Rumah Pasung’, name given by the locals for the police station, were discovered by the state archaeology team in 2001 and restoration work was carried out the following year and since 2013, it has served as the (5) In-Situ Museum. Some parts of the old police station are preserved, such as the granite walls, flooring, two pillars and the jail cell.

James and Emily Innes’s first residence at Bandar Langat in 1876 before the move to Bukit Jugra
Photo source : EMILY INNES 1843-1927

Next to be built was the (6) Jugra District Office. Similar to the police station, the District Office was a two-storey granite and brick building and it also housed a bank and a court. It was by no coincidence that the building housed a bank and a court. The District Officer was indeed a Tax collector and Magistrate! The building has disintegrated and, today, only its ruins can be seen. It is located on the same road that leads to the lighthouses and next to the Chinese cemetery. When the (7) District Officer Residence was ready in 1877, James Innes and Emily moved in immediately. Those days, sightings of tigers in the open were quite common and particularly so in the Kuala Langat district. There was also news of people being killed by tigers. James reported an encounter with a tiger in his garden when he was reading the newspaper. Luckily, nothing bad happened to him. Today, it would be difficult to locate the building, as it may have been completely demolished. The photo below, taken before 1985, showed only one upright pillar.

Located about 300 metres from the Jugra District Office is the (8) Bukit Jugra Ammunition Store. This bunker-like structure with only one entrance was used to store ammunition for the police force and it is strategically located facing Sungai Langat to facilitate the movement of ammunition to and from the store. There is another similar ammunition store albeit a larger one located near Kota Raja Mahadi in Klang.

In 1876, Sultan Abdul Samad felt secure enough to move away from his stockade to his new residence, (9) Jugra Palace/Istana Jugra, which was also known as Istana Sedang Masa, located at Bukit Jugra. His stockade at Bandar Langat was destroyed and he told Swettenham that ‘he very much prefers his house and garden at the hill’. The palace went on to become his main residence for the rest of his life. When he passed away, the palace was abandoned and left to deteriorate. However, one item was left behind i.e. an iron chest. In 1968, Dato Shahrom Yeop who was then the Director of the National Museum had obtained special permission from Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman to move the item to the museum for an exhibition. Incidentally, Tunku was once the District Officer of Kuala Langat. Since its arrival at the museum, strange noises could be heard from the empty chest! In less than a week, it was returned to Jugra, even then the strange phenomena continued – the journey to Jugra took seven hours, a crane was needed to lift the chest and finally, it took just the caretaker and an assistant to carry it up to the room on top of the stairs! The chest is now being kept by one of the descendants in Kampung Permatang Pasir.

Within walking distance from Jugra Palace is the site of what used to be (10) Long Puteri Palace, the official residence of Sultan Abdul Samad’s granddaughter, Raja Long Puteri. In the 1930’s, the place was inhabited by Raja Sakiah Raja Mustar. Today, both buildings have almost ‘disappeared’ except for some tall pillars that stood out at Jugra Palace and the remains of the stone staircase of fourteen steps at the latter. Visiting these two buildings would be quite impossible as both are now within private property.

Sultan Abdul Samad passed away on 6 February 1898 at the age of 93. During his reign, the Resident and the state government was moved from Klang to Kuala Lumpur in 1880 while Jugra remained the royal town. In 1886, Sultan Abdul Samad attended the opening of the railway from Klang to Kuala Lumpur and spent three weeks in Kuala Lumpur. In 1897, after the British had established the Federated Malay States, Sultan Abdul Samad attended the first Durbar, meeting of the Malay Rulers of the four member states at Kuala Kangsar. As the most senior Sultan, he delivered the speech of welcome to the Governor. British officials also noted Sultan Abdul Samad preferred tin ingots rather than silver dollars as his personal reserves and he was reputed to have a hoard of tin worth $100,000. He was buried at (11) Jugra Royal Mausoleum, the Selangor royal family mausoleum since 1886. The mausoleum complex also contained the graves of his children, Raja Muda Musa who died in 1884, Raja Kahar and Tunku Alfiah. The mausoleum is open to visitors.

Jugra Royal Mausoleum / Photo source : Makam Sultan Abdul Samad – Visit Selangor

When Raja Musa died, his son Raja Suleiman was made the heir apparent to the throne when he was appointed as the new Raja Muda in 1887. Thus, when Sultan Abdul Samad passed away, Raja Sulaiman became the fifth Sultan of Selangor and he took the name Sultan Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah, ruling for 40 years, from 1898 to 1938. He was a pious Sultan and was very close to Islamic scholars. One of them, Shaykh Tengku Mahmud Zuhdi, was appointed as the Religious Advisor of the state of Selangor with the title of Shaykh al-Islam Setia DiRaja Selangor. Sultan Alaeddin had written at least three religious books in Jawi and one of the books was once used as a textbook for religious schools in Selangor. In July 1903, Sultan Alaeddin attended the Second Durbar, which was held at the Federal capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Sultan Alaeddin (seated fifth from left) at the Second Durbar.
Photo source : Durbar: predecessor to the Majlis Raja-Raja | SembangKuala

Sultan Alaeddin commissioned the construction of two buildings at Kampung Bandar, which is situated away from Bukit Jugra. Both constructions were funded entirely by Sultan Alaeddin. The (12) Bandar Palace/Istana Bandar was built in stages starting from 1899 and finally completed in 1905. It was said that the palace was designed by the Sultan who was inspired by the Sultan Abdul Samad building in Kuala Lumpur. The entire building is constructed of bricks and covered by lime plaster while the staircases and doors are carved from local hardwood. It underwent two renovations i.e in 1914, the rear facade was added with ornaments and inclusion of a fence, then a front entrance was added in 1925. His grandson, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah who later became the eighth Sultan of Selangor, was born here on 8 March 1926. Sultan Alaeddin lived in this palace for 33 years until his death in 1938. It then went into disuse when the sixth Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah moved to Istana Mahkota Puri in Klang. It was used as a Japanese base during the Japanese Occupation.

At the end of 1980’s, the palace went through major restoration work undertaken by the Selangor state government who turned it into a District Handicraft Centre, which did not last long. It was used as a  Maahad Tahfiz school by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department from 1997 to 1999 then left vacant until 2008 when it was certified as a National Heritage building. Upon completion of rehabilitation works, it was handed over to the Malay Customs and National Heritage Corporation of Selangor (PADAT) in December 2010 and was made a tourist attraction in the district. It underwent conservation work in 2015 and there was a plan to turn it into a Living Museum or Royal Gallery to preserve and educate future generations of this national heritage.

Bandar Palace / Istana Bandar. Photo source: Dennis Ong
Sultan Alaeddin Royal Mosque / Masjid DiRaja Sultan Alaeddin 
Photo source : Sultan Alaeddin Masjid in Malaysia..🇲🇾 | Masjid, Mosque, Taj mahal

The (13) Sultan Alaeddin Royal Mosque/Istana DiRaja Sultan Alaeddin, also known as Masjid Bandar, Masjid Alauddin, Masjid Sultan Suleiman, is situated close to Bandar Palace. It was inaugurated on 18 June 1924 and the design was believed to have originated from the Deli Kingdom in Medan, Sumatra. It was earlier known for its yellow or mustard colour; today the mosque is painted white. Sultan Alaeddin used to deliver sermons here even on Aidilfitri and Aidiladha. This century-old mosque is still being used and maintained by the residents. Prior to this mosque, there was another mosque, (14) Raja Muda Musa Mosque/Masjid Raja Muda Musa located next to the Kampung Bandar Royal Tomb/Makam DiRaja Kampung Bandar. It was built in 1875 and was the first mosque built in Kampung Bandar. The mosque was badly damaged in 1920 and a temporary one was built just outside the mosque. The congregation moved over to Sultan Alaeddin Royal Mosque when it was opened.

(15) Sekolah Kebangsaan Bandar located on the same street as Bandar Palace and Sultan Alaeddin Royal Mosque is the first school in Kuala Langat district and one of the oldest in the state. It was originally known as Sekolah Melayu Bandar Dandan Bakti Raja and was established on 13 March 1898. It started with an enrolment of 53, all boys. The first headmaster was Burok Bin Haji Ahmad who worked until 31 December 1922. In 1952, the school moved to the current site, which is close to the mosque.

Location map

Getting There

From Kuala Lumpur, use Plus Highway (E2) southbound. Exit at Exit 209 UPM to join Jalan Sungai Besi and continue on to join South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) at Ayer Hitam toll plaza. Continue and exit at Teluk Panglima Garang toll plaza and after the toll plaza, keep left to Jenjarom. Drive past Jenjarom and head towards Banting. When approaching Banting, watch out for signage to Kampung Bandar and Bukit Jugra.

In this Series

Please click HERE for a list of articles in the ‘A Very Rough Guide’ series.


The Peopling of Ulu Langat


Plan of Salangor, and of the coast of Malaya, from Point Caran to Parcelar Hill, including the Strai…

Bukit Jugra – Visit Selangor

Let’s learn more about one of Selangor’s greatest rulers, Sultan Abdul Samad

A History of Selangor (1766 – 1939) (page 38, 39 & 46)

EMILY INNES 1843-1927

Sejarah Pasukan Polis di Selangor

Selangor dahulu dan sekarang (page 13 – 29)

A Careless, Heathen Philosopher? (page 95)

Misteri Peti Besi Berpuaka di Jugra


Makam Sultan Abdul Samad – Visit Selangor


Durbar: predecessor to the Majlis Raja-Raja | SembangKuala

Jugra’s ancient royal link: A visit to Kuala Langat sheds more light on a mysterious envelope

Istana Bandar Jugra – Visit Selangor

Masjid Diraja Sultan Alaeddin – Visit Selangor

EDISI KHAS (page 30)

A Very Rough Guide to Jenjarom

by Eric Lim


FGS Dong Zen
FGS Dong Zen / Photo source :  Fo Guang Shan Malaysia – Home

In my last article (on Dengkil), I wrote about the discovery of Neolithic and later historical period artefacts at the confluence of Sungai Langat and Sungai Semenyih near Jenderam Hilir. Sungai Langat is one of the main sources of water supply for the state of Selangor. In this article, I shall follow the path of Sungai Langat further west, from Dengkil to Jenjarom. Located in the district of Kuala Langat, Jenjarom is about 54 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur and 24 kilometres from Klang town. Since its early days, it has been an agricultural town and today, it is turning into a popular tourist spot.


Ixora Plant
Ixora plant / Jenjarum. Photo source : Unsplash

The origin of the town’s name has two potential sources – from a river/stream and a plant. Sungai Jarom, which is a tributary of Sungai Langat, has a distinctive feature that looks like a needle (jarum in Malay) and thus the name. The Ixora is a flowering shrub that grows well in tropical Asia. The plants produce large clusters of tiny flowers and they flower all year round. In Malaysia, it is known by the following names – jarum jarum, jejarum, jenjarum, siantan, tabung jarum and pecah periuk.

The Banjar, an ethnic group native to South Kalimantan in the island of Borneo, were the earliest inhabitants in the area. They arrived in the 1920’s and at about the same time or slightly later, Chinese immigrants arrived. They were mostly Hokkiens from Nan Tian village, Anxi in the Fujian Province and they called their new residence Chap Si Gi, which means 14 miles, the distance to Klang. They were given land by the British for the cultivation of rubber trees. Besides rubber trees, they also cultivated coffee plants, tea and coconut.

Coffee growing in our country started as early as in the 1870’s and Selangor was historically the peninsula’s largest coffee producer. The estates were located around Klang and Kuala Lumpur. However, the industry did not last long due to the fluctuation in coffee prices, coffee leaf rust (disease) attacking the farms and the switch to rubber, which became the dominant cash crop. On the other hand, tea growing at Bukit Cheeding has survived until today (more information below).

The earliest school in Jenjarom was the Aik Kuan Chinese School, which was established in 1924. During the Emergency, its name was changed to Sekolah Rendah Cina Jenjarom and today, it is Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) Jenjarom. Kampung Baru Jenjarom was set up in 1950 behind the town. From an initial population of 4,500, it grew to 18,000 in 1995 and by 2012, it went up to 25,000; it was then, one of the largest Chinese New Villages in Selangor. Today, it is known as Kampung Seri Jarum.

(L) Hormat Rafei / Photo source : Portal Kerajaan Negeri Selangor Darul Ehsan; (R) Aishah Ghani at sworn-in ceremony in 1978 / Photo source : Aishah Ghani

Jenjarom was under the Telok Datoh state constituency from 1959 to 1974. This constituency was abolished and re-created as Teluk Datuk in 1995 and, following a re-delineation exercise, it was renamed Banting in 2018. Four-term state assemblyman, Dato Seri Haji Hormat Bin Rafei became Selangor Menteri Besar from 1976 to 1982. He took over from Dato Seri Haji Harun Bin Haji Idris who resigned in 1976. At the Federal level, Jenjarom comes under the Kuala Langat federal constituency. The Member of Parliament (MP) for three-terms, from 1974 to 1986, was Aishah Ghani, who was then the head of Wanita UMNO. Aishah’s early involvement in politics was in 1945, as a leading member of AWAS (Angkatan Wanita Sedar, the women’s wing of PKMM (Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya or Malay Nationalist Party). She was appointed as the Minister of Social Welfare in 1973 and served until 1984. She then became the Permanent Chairman of Wanita UMNO from 1984 until 19 April 2013 when she passed away at the age of 89. The current state assemblyman is Lau Weng San (PH-DAP) and the MP is Xavier Jayakumar Arulanandam (formerly PH-PKR, now Independent).

Plastic waste outside an illegal recycling factory in Jenjarom / Photo source : Malaysian Town Covered in 19,000 Tons of Plastic Waste: Photos

Moving forward to the beginning of 2018, residents of Jenjarom were having sleepless nights as they had difficulty breathing due to the putrid scent. They soon found out that it was the smell of burning plastic and it came from the illegal plastic recycling factories that were mushrooming in the township. Due to the town’s proximity to Port Klang, it became an ideal dumping ground. Greenpeace reported that plastic waste exported from the US to Malaysia in the first seven month of that year had doubled from the previous year. The Minister in-charge at that time, Yeo Bee Yin, took action by closing down the illegal factories, agreed to add plastic to the Basel Convention to combat the dangerous effects of plastic pollution worldwide and sent back the plastic waste to the exporting countries. The Government also suspended the operations of the 114 permitted factories and told them to re-apply under stricter criteria. One year after the discovery, residents of Jenjarom ‘can breathe normally and there are no more health problems. Jenjarom has been given a new lease of life’.

Places of Interest

The tea plantation at Bukit Cheeding, just outside Jenjarom town is owned by (1) BOH Plantations Sdn. Bhd. This is where lowland tea is grown and BOH is one of two companies that grow lowland tea in our country. Here, specially designed vehicular harvesters are utilized to pluck the green leaves. Bukit Cheeding is BOH’s only packaging plant. BOH’s other tea gardens are all located at Cameron Highlands, namely the first garden at Habu which was established in 1929, Sungai Palas and Fairlie. The current CEO is Caroline Russell who is the granddaughter of the founder, John ‘Archie’ Archibald Russell. In a news report on 6 December 2019, BOH is offering 651 acres of its Bukit Cheeding plantation for sale. It also mentioned that the land has been zoned for housing. BOH Bukit Cheeding is not open for walk-in visitors and prior permission must be obtained from Majlis Daerah Kuala Langat (MDKL/Kuala Langat District Council).

Photo source : BOH Tea Facebook

The (2) Wanshou Palace (仁嘉隆萬壽宮) located at Jalan Sungai Buaya is a unique temple. It is a unification of four temples, namely Shizhu Temple, Tongluo Temple, Guanyin Pavilion and Yufu Palace. The construction of the first temple was completed on 14 June 1965 on a piece of land given by the Government. In moving with the times, Wanshou Palace was registered as an official organization on 28 March 2000. They were also successful in getting the adjacent land from the government and the reconstruction of the temple went ahead in 2012 with a budget of six million ringgit.

Wanshou Palace / Photo source : 仁嘉隆萬壽宮

Further down Jalan Sungai Buaya is the location of (3)馬來西亞佛光山東禪寺 Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple which is a must-visit site in Jenjarom. FGS Dong Zen is one of the many branches of FGS, which was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun in 1967. FGS Dong Zen was built in 1994 and it occupies an area of 16 acres. The temple complex comprises a main shrine with a large seated Buddha, Lumbini garden, Zen garden, Waterdrop Teahouse, Sutra calligraphy hall, Dong Zen Institute of Buddhist Studies, Fo Guang Yuan art gallery, exhibition halls, meditation halls and more. Every Chinese New Year, the temple grounds will be transformed into a glittering wonderland of red lanterns, illuminated gardens, flotillas and colourful displays. This Lantern and Flora Festival will be on display throughout the Chinese New Year celebrations.

FGS Dong Zen
FGS Dong Zen / Photo source : Fo Guang Shan Malaysia – Home

Next, to shift focus to some food and beverage outlets that have appeared in Jenjarom in recent times. Starting with (5) Mansion 1969, this cafe-cum-heritage gallery started business in 2016. Incidentally, the building was built in 1969. Besides the many antiques that are on display, the wooden walls are filled with historical information taken from the pages of ‘Moving Mountains : A Pictorial History of the Chinese in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur’ published by the Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies; one of the partners of the cafe was involved in the editing of the book. The cafe serves local and Western dishes. Two years later, they started another F&B outlet at the car park outside of Mansion 1969, which they called (6)NightBus 127. Bus 127 used to be the only public transportation between Banting and Klang and it operated in the evenings. An old bus that has been renovated and brought back to life, now serving as the main dining area, is proving to be a crowd puller. The cafe serves western food and operates from 5.00 pm to midnight. And last but not least, one of the partners started another outlet at Kampung Sungai Jarom which he called (4) Pak Teh Kopitiam. The cafe is housed in a 1950’s built village house and started operations in 2019. They serve breakfast and lunch, plus many vegetarian foods and is pork-free.

Historical information on the wooden walls of Mansion 1969 / Photo source : Mansion 1969: A family home turned cafe-cum-heritage corridor in Jenjarom

Getting There

To get to Jenjarom from Kuala Lumpur, use Plus Highway (E2) southbound. Exit at Exit 209 UPM to join Jalan Sungai Besi and continue on to join South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) at Ayer Hitam toll plaza. Continue driving and exit at Teluk Panglima Garang toll plaza and, after the toll plaza, keep left to Jenjarom.

In this Series

Please click HERE for a list of articles in the ‘A Very Rough Guide’ series.



Portal Kerajaan Negeri Selangor Darul Ehsan

Aishah Ghani

Jenjarom folk reclaim their right to pollution-free life

Malaysian Town Covered in 19,000 Tons of Plastic Waste: Photos.

BOH Tea – Malaysia’s Most Popular Tea Brand since 1929 – BOH Tea

6 December 2019: Boh plantation partially for sale; Salary increase in Malaysia remains at 5%


Fo Guang Shan Malaysia – Home

Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple – Visit Selangor

Mansion 1969: A family home turned cafe-cum-heritage corridor in Jenjarom

SKVE, South Klang Valley Expressway (E26) – klia2.info

A Very Rough Guide to Dengkil

by Eric Lim


Dengkil town / Photo source : Eric Lim

Dengkil, Sepang and Labu are the three mukim that make up the Sepang district. Sepang officially became a district on 1 January 1975, making it the ‘youngest’ district in the state of Selangor. Previously, Dengkil was part of the Hulu Langat district. Incidentally, Sepang is the local name of a shrubby plant found in the area; its wood produces a red dye that is used for dyeing textiles. The tree was a major source of red dye used throughout the world up until the end of the nineteenth century. Its scientific name is Caesalpinia sappan L and the tree is also found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Indo-China and China.

District of Sepang / Photo source : Portal Rasmi PDT Sepang Kampung Dengkil

According to the district portal, Dengkil is the largest mukim and it comprises ten Malay kampungs, one Chinese new village, one Indian community village and 82 public housing developments. Dengkil has benefitted from its proximity to our country’s mega projects namely Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, KL International Airport and KL International Airport 2. Today, Dengkil is conveniently accessible via major highways like MEX, LDP, SKV4, ELITE, Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway, North-South Expressway, Jalan Banting-Semenyih (B18) and Jalan Putrajaya-Dengkil (B15).


The first version on how the name ‘Dengkil’ came about originated from an aboriginal word ‘dingkil’, which was used to describe a type of durian that has less/no pulp but has large seeds. There used to be a lot of durian trees planted on the banks of Sungai Langat. The second version came from the word ‘dengkat’, which means the shallow bed of the river, in this case Sungai Langat. In the third version, Dengkil came from the name of a plant called Nibong Dengkil, which is found in the area. Incidentally, Nibong Dengkil was the original name of Telok Panglima Garang, located at the Kuala Langat district. The Chinese name for Dengkil is Long Xi (龙溪), or Ling Kay in Hokkien, which means Dragon River. Local Chinese believed that an ascetical dragon was living in the area for a very long time but the British chased it away by setting it on fire. The dragon was badly injured and spew out black blood, which later formed a river and thus the name Dragon River. Another name for the river is Sungai Air Hitam (black water river in English) which still exists until today.

Chinese migrants settled in Dengkil in the early 1920’s and worked in the tin mines and rubber estates. In 1950, during the time of the Emergency, British gathered scattered Chinese communities in Banting, Air Hitam, Batu 4 and Dengkil into the newly established Dengkil New Village (today Kampung Baru Seri Dengkil). The transition back to normalcy returned, and tin mining and rubber tapping again became the primary source of income. When tin mining reached its peak in the 1960’s, Dengkil had seven tin dredges. In 1969, a fire razed through the town and caused massive amounts of damage. Many families lost their possessions and decided to move to Pandamaran in Klang.

(left) Map showing location of Jenderam Hilir (top right) cord marked earthen pot (bottom right) leg and stand of tripod pot. Photo source : Ancient Finds From Kampong Jenderam Hilir

Kampung Jenderam Hilir, nine kilometres east of Dengkil, is the location of an archaeological site. Brian C. Batchelor (today Dr Daud Abdul Fattah Batchelor) first discovered the place in December 1975, and, in 1977, Professor Leong Sau Heng and the Museum Department conducted further studies at the site. Most of the artefacts were recovered from the Teck Lam Hong Tin Mining Sendirian Berhad tin mines; a large collection was from the Neolithic period. It includes a cord marked earthenware pot, large quantity of pottery sherds, legs / stands of tripod pots and stone adzes. It also yielded artefacts from a later historical period, such as bronze bowls, wooden boat paddles and oars, ceramic wares, a celadon bowl of Lung Chuan type, a small stoneware jar and tin ingots. In her research paper Ancient Finds From Kampong Jenderam Hilir, Professor Leong mentioned that Kampung Jenderam Hilir, located near the confluence of the Sungai Langat and Sungai Semenyih, was first occupied in the late Neolithic and its inhabitants made stone implements and pottery and were involved in agricultural activities. She also said the place might once have been a feeder point to the entrepot at Pengkalan Bujang. Feeder points refer to places which regularly send supplies of their local produce to the entrepot and this type of trading sites may be found in inland riverine areas (like Kampung jenderam Hilir) or on the coast (like Kuala Selingsing in Perak). Excavation was also carried out at Bukit Piatu, located directly on the opposite bank to Kampung Jenderam Hilir, and it yielded mainly pottery sherds.

(left) Oar blades (top right) Bronze bowl (bottom right) Tin ingots. Photo source : Ancient Finds From Kampong Jenderam Hilir

In 1993, the Selangor state government sold a piece of land at Bukit Tunggul for the development of a golf resort. Thirty-four families of the Temuan Orang Asli group were told to vacate their land. This was the second time they were asked to move. Originally, the Temuan were from Bangi and in 1974, the Government told them to move as the land was marked for the construction of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. They resettled at Kampung Sungai Buah and Bukit Tunggul. The golf resort developer agreed to offer cash and build houses for them at Kampung Kechau Orang Asli Settlement, Semenyih. Many do not want to move there as that belongs to another group of Orang Asli. According to a press report in 2016, these families are still staying put on the land that now belongs to Bukit Unggul Golf and Country Resort Sdn Bhd without electricity and water supply.

Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Tunggul / Photo source : Eric Lim

Places of Interest

For fans of Dr Henry Walton ’Indiana’ Jones Jr., a visit to the archaeological sites of (1) Kampung Jenderam Hilir and (2) Bukit Piatu (today Kampung Bukit Piatu) are definitely a must-do. You may not find the Temple of Doom, Lost Ark or the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull but you will get to see an ex-tin mine, which is now a vast vacant sandy land, near the rivers. Start digging; you may chance upon the discovery of some Neolithic relics! Steeped in Orang Asli land issue controversy, the (3) Bukit Unggul Golf and Country Resort is a par-71, 5,858 metre long 18-hole hilly golf course. It was designed by American Ronald Fream and was established in 1994.

Bukit Unggul Golf & Country Resort / Photo source : Eric Lim

Places of worship are located at the town centre – (4) Masjid Jameatus Solehan Dengkil which is next to the Shell petrol station, (5) Tian Hu Gong temple, built in 1926 and dedicated to Chinese deity Nezha  (哪吒) and (6) Mariamman Temple at Taman Permata. Located close-by is the (7) Dengkil Police Station, which is located at the town’s T-junction overlooking Jalan Banting-Semenyih (B18) and Jalan Putrajaya-Dengkil (B15). It was established in 1928.

(L) Masjid Jameatus Solehan Dengkil (R) Tian Hu Gong temple / Photo source : Eric Lim

Using Jalan Banting-Semenyih (B18), about 6 km away from the Police Station heading to Banting is (8) Paya Indah Wetlands(PIW). On the right just before reaching the gate of PIW is the (9) former Paya Indah National Service Training camp. The three-month training programme for selected 18-year old youths started in December 2003. It was halted for a year in 2015 and finally abolished in August 2018. PIW was officially opened on 13 October 2001 by Tun Dr Mahathir Muhammad. The park is divided into three zones namely Recreation, Education and Conservation & Research. Walk-in visitors are only allowed to enter the Recreation zone while prior booking is required for the other zones. The activities at the Recreation zone include cycling, bird watching, fishing (charge for fishing rod), nature walk, photography, kayaking and paddle boat (chargeable), observation tower and feeding hippopotamus (at 10.00 am), pelican (10.30 am), crocodile (11.00 am) and porcupine (11.30 am). There are four hippopotamus, which are a gift from the Government of Botswana, and the crocodiles were transported to PIW from Langkawi. Chalet accommodation is available for rental.

Paya Indah Wetland / Photo source : Eric Lim

The current site of PIW was formerly a tin mine operated by Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB). The Selangor government awarded a 1,200- acre mining concession to the company in 1963/1964. Due to its size, the company decided to use a dredge and it was commissioned in 1967. SDB became the first Malaysian company to have its own dredge. The dredge was the largest in the world and it operated around the clock. To facilitate operations, a village was built around the dredge and the workers stayed on site. The village became known as (10) Kampung Selangor Dredging and the settlement still stands today in Dengkil. A second dredge was commissioned in 1973. At its peak, the population of Kampung Selangor Dredging was 1,800, which included staff and their families. The land was returned to the state government in the 1980’s.

Still on the subject of ‘dredger’, currently there are only two in our country. The Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No.5 or TT5, located at Batu Gajah has been rehabilitated and revived into a tourist attraction. Weighing 4 500 tonnes, TT5 was built in England in 1938, rebuilt in 1963 and was retired in 1982. The last owner, Malaysia Mining Corporation, donated it to the Perak government in 2014. It opened to the public in late 2017 in conjunction with the Visit Perak Year 2017. I guess by now you should know the location of the other ‘dredger’. When PIW started operation, there was a tin dredge lodged at one of the lakes; this was Petaling Dredge No.9 owned by Petaling Tin Berhad. ‘PetD 9’ was constructed at the mining site in 1982 and was later sold off. The other surviving dredger is the (11)Sri Banting Dredge currently located at Kampung Dengkil. Built in 1974, this 5,000 tonnes structure is up for sale. To view it, follow the map that starts at the Dengkil Police Station to the site – https://goo.gl/maps/334qmjyGaSWrS5gBA

(L) PetD 9 (R) Sri Banting Dredge / Photo source : Sri Banting Dredge

Update – The writer visited Dengkil a day before it went under MCO and would like to make the following updates.

  1. The archaeological sites of Kampung Jenderam Hilir and Bukit Piatu are now located inside the Semenyih 2 Water Treatment Plant and entry to the sites may/will be denied.
  2. The Orang Asli are now staying at Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Tunggul, which is next to the entry road to Bukit Unggul Golf & Country Resort. They have access to water by sharing a water supply pipe but there is still no electricity supply.
  3. Many chalets in PIW are in a state of decay and visitors to the park are rare. 
  4. To reach Sri Banting Dredge, you have to walk the last one kilometre or so to the site.
Sri Banting Dredge (photo taken in May 2021) / Photo source : Eric Lim

Getting There

From the North, use Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP/E11) and exit at the end of the toll expressway at Serdang Interchange. Then enter Putrajaya-Cyberjaya Expressway (Federal Route 29) and exit at Dengkil East Interchange (Exit 15) to join Jalan Banting-Semenyih (Federal Route 31) to Dengkil.

In this Series

Please click HERE for a list of articles in the ‘A Very Rough Guide’ series.



Portal Rasmi PDT Sepang Kampung Dengkil

Caesalpinia sappan L


Dragon tales and old charm

Bumi Satu Kampung Dalam 2 Negeri – i Kampung Baru . Imbasan Sejarah Kampung Baru Cina Selangor – Published by Jawatankuasa Tetap Pembangunan Kampung Baru Kerajaan Selangor -First edition 2012 – pp 148 – 149.


Ancient Finds From Kampong Jenderam Hilir

Time to resolve orang asli land issues near Dengkil

Personal communication with Mr Lee Kim Sin – Director of Kajang Heritage Centre

Mangsa Pembangunan : Orang Temuan di Sungai Buah dan Bukit Tunggul, Sepang, Selangor.

By Dr. Mohamed Salleh Lamry

Paya Indah Wetlands Introduction

Untitled (Selangor Dredging Berhad)

Opening of tin dredge delayed to year end

Sri Banting Dredge (also check Dredge supply > construction of new dredges)

%d bloggers like this: