Heritage status for 1938 mosque

Heritage status for 1938 mosque

By FOONG THIM LENG

north@thestar.com.my

Photos by LEW YONG KAN

MASJID Ihsaniah Iskandariah in Kampung Kuala Dal, Padang Rengas, near Kuala Kangsar is set to regain its former glory now that it has been restored and accorded heritage status.

Conservation works on the mosque, popularly known as Masjid Lama Kampung Kuala Dal, was completed after a year on Dec 17, 2009.

Alternate place of worship: A front view of the restored Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah with Masjid Al-Wahidah in the background.

The mosque, with a design like a bird’s nest, was conserved as part of the Department of National Heritage’s overall objectives to encourage the present generation to appreciate and learn more about national heritage inherited and passed down through the generations.

Visitors to the mosque would be impressed by the beautiful intricacy of plaited bamboo walls and carvings that dominate the building’s facade.

Masjid Kampung Kuala Dal was abandoned in 1976 after another mosque, Masjid Al- Wahidah, was built at a site close to it until recently.

Mosque committee chairman Mohamad Anuar said the Friday prayers were now being rotated at the two mosques.

Delicate work: A section of the plaited walls with intricate carvings on panels on the restored Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah in Kampung Kuala Dal, Padang Rengas.

Masjid Al-Wahidah would be used for the Friday prayers consecutively for two weeks followed by one Friday at the restored mosque.

He said the prayer hall on the first floor of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah could accommodate about 200 people while the hall at Masjid Al-Wahidah could take in about 500 people.

The ground floor would be used for religious functions, he added.

Located about 5km from the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, the old mosque was built in 1938, commissioned by Sultan Iskandar Shah, the 30th Perak Sultan who ruled between 1918 and 1938.

Drab past: Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah or Masjid Lama Kampung Kuala Dal, as the locals call it, before restoration.

“It is believed that the Sultan made a vow to build a mosque for the recovery of a son who was sick.

“He had also earlier passed by the area after a picnic at Lata Bubu nearby and seen the local people praying in a dilapidated madrasah,” said Jaafar.

Construction of the mosque was by Chinese artisans with assistance of the local community carried out in the traditional gotong-royong manner or teamwork spirit.

The land on which the mosque was built belonged to a nobleman Juragan Abdul Shukur who bequeathed the property to the state through a verbal declaration.

The land was subsequently listed as waqaf land under the state religious administration.

Today, the mosque, restored to its original structure and design, has become the pride of the people in Padang Rengas, if not the state.

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Blind School Visit to Muzium Negara

Some 15 Form 3 (15 years old) students from Setapak blind school visited the museum on Oct 20, 2009.
This was the first time a blind school has visited the museum with the MVM.
We had a spice “smell, taste & identify” activity with them, followed by introducing them to the “Jom main!” games and finally, Sherman and his band members from the Museum played a few popular Malaysian songs (Rasa Sayang & Gelang Si Paku Gelang) for the teenagers.
Setapak Blind School students smelling spices
MVM talk to Setapak Blind School
Setapak Blind School tambourine playing
Setapak Blind School visit

MVM Batches 7 and 9

Our new graduates MVM Batches 7 and  9:

Bernard Brigitte
Dian Fitrasari
Ellen Roen
Kanistha Jethwani
Linda Intoft Gauffin
Maple Keh
Raquel Golfarin
S Gokilan
S Lingham
Mr Teo
Delorme Segolene
Dominique Leblanc
Elodie Michel
Liz Burton
Melanie Goudard
Ray Smith
Shaukani Abbas
Suzie Tuomey

Heritage protection for neglected church

The Star: Saturday January 23, 2010 and March 20

MALACCA: The ruins of a 17th century church next to the Malacca

Ruins of the Ermida Do Rosario

River in Pangkalan Rama will finally get some protection from heritage authorities.

The Ermida do Rosario, or The Church of Rosary, was a Portuguese chapel built on the site of the Church of St Lawrence.

It was either destroyed or allowed to fall into ruins during the first decade of the Dutch occupation of Malacca in 1641 and was subsequently taken over by St Peter’s Church, which was erected nearby in 1710.

Sad state: Sim looking at the ruins of the Ermida do Rosario in Malacca Friday.

The National Heritage Department has allocated RM20,000 to carry out necessary work to give the historical site due recognition following the media highlighting the issue.

Heritage Commissioner Datuk Prof Zurina Abdul Majid said field work on the historical ruins would commence once the department finalised plans for the site.

Besides the site being used as a dumping ground, heavy machinery employed for the nearby proposed monorail project had resulted in damage to a section of the ruins.

Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him said he raised the issue of the site’s state of neglect in Parliament last December following numerous complaints by heritage conservationists.

2010 Granny shares her memories with readers

Wednesday March 17, The Star By ANDY CHUA

GRANDMOTHER Angela Yong, 84, who broke the hearts of fans two years ago when she quit writing due to failing health, has made a return and is working on her eighth book.

Her latest book, which has yet to be named, will be a memoir and is expected to be published in August.

“There are stories about headhunters, the outlook of people I know and even information on the anthem of Sarawak during the colonial rule called Sarawak Arise.

“I hope to give our younger generation a clearer picture of life in the old days,” Yong said.

She had previously published an autobiography, five collections of short stories and a book of Foochow proverbs and idioms.
Prolific writer: Yong was halfway through the eighth book when she fell and took a break to recover from her injury.

Her first book published in 1997 was Through the back door. This was followed by One Thing Good But Not Both; Different Lives, Different Fates; 160 Foochow Proverbs and Idioms; Green Beans and Talking Babies; Sarawak Rojak; and 888, All The Way Prosper.

When met recently at her residence, Yong, whose mind is still sharp although she has difficulty hearing, said she was prompted to continue writing by her son, Philip Hii, who is also her editor. Hii has been a lecturer in a university in the United States for the past 20 years.

“Philip called me up from the United States several times saying that since I still have a lot of interesting stories to tell, I should put them into books for people to read,” Yong said.

“Philip will be back in June. He would as usual go through the manuscript and edit it before sending it to print. I am expecting the book to be available to the public in August,” she said.

She said she had completed half of her new book before she had a fall at home in February last year and was bedridden for several weeks.

She said that she would have completed the book by the end of last year if not for the accident.

In all her previous works, she focused on real life happenings during the colonial rule and the Japanese occupation. Most readers found her stories to be entertaining, informative and humorous.

In her books, she tells the stories of her childhood and early adult life. She also has stories of people she knew and stories told to her; human stories, some tragic, others comical — but all with a touch of the same human frailties.

Yong was born in China in 1926, the year her parents migrated to Sarawak. She grew up in Sibu.

During World War II, she married James Hii Mee Chiong. They raised eight daughters and five sons. James died in 1986.

Yong, a former teacher at St Francis Xavier Primary School in Kanowit, used to entertain her 15 grandchildren by telling them stories. That was a decade ago and it was then that her children persuaded her to write.

All her books are sold at RM10 each and available at most leading bookshops in Sarawak.

Asked whether she would continue writing, she replied: “A lot of people want me to write at least 10 books. As age is really taking a toll on me, I will only do so if my health permits.”

MVM on the Road

Last year, 7 MVM members set off for Penang in convoy.  We stopped on the way in Kuala Kangsar, the old Royal Capital, taking in the oldest rubber tree in Malaysia, The Perak Royal Museum, Malay College, Istana Kenangan and of course not forgetting our tummies we had to go to a traditional coffee shop for Steak and fried Potatoes!  We arrived in Penang in the afternoon and after quickly dropping off our bags at the hotel went straight out to explore our surroundings before heading to Bagan Restaurant for a delicious dinner. The next day we were up bright and early for a coffee shop breakfast before joining  The Historic Enclave walking tour of Georgetown with a very knowledgeable guide from Penang Tourist Guides Association.  After a quick lunch it was off to the Clan jetties before another tour of the Pinang Peranakan Museum with our very enthusiastic guide.   At this point many of us were flagging considerable and we decided to drop in at Clove Hall, a beautifully renovated old home, now expertly converted into a boutique hotel, where the owner very kindly laid on high tea and then offered to take us to many of his shopping contacts in Georgetown for a rummage around some very interesting antique shops.  After purchasing a few treasures we finally stopped for dinner at a traditional Peranakan Restaurant before making our way back to the hotel through a torrential rain storm.  Enthusiasm at a high the girls all managed to stay up for a pyjama party way into the night for a good gossip before bed!!On our final day we decided to head over to Balik Pulau For a driving tour of the beautiful agricultural side of the island before heading back to KL after lunch. It was a wonderful trip, we managed to cram so much into just two days and had a lot of fun along the way. With many thanks to Zahara for her brilliant organisational skills.  Roll on the next trip! Angela Naylor