Selasa, 11 November 2014

Klang .... dari perspektif Perantau Terkenal

Salam buat semua. Kali ini kalian akan aku bawa balik ke zaman atuk nenek moyang kita dulu untuk menghayati wajah Klang masa itu. Tak perlu nak guna time machine atau kereta De Loreans ala filem Back to the Future tu. Cukup hanya imaginasi korang. Aku nak korang baca teks di bawah dan letakkan diri korang di Klang masa itu. Selamat mengembara ke Klang tahun 1872, ketika itu Selangor sedang mengalami perang saudara antara geng Tengku Kudin dan team Raja Mahadi.

1. Klang dalam bulan April tahun 1872…Dari perspektif  Muhammad Ibrahim Munsyhi  (Anak Munsyhi Abdullah),
Dalam Bandar Kelang terdapat banyak rumah atap yang baharu didirikan, berderet di kiri kanan jalan; ada di antaranya terdiri daripada kedai Cina dan orang Melayu. Di antara rumah itu  banyak yang disewakan dengan mahalnya iaitu setiap rumah sewanya dari tiga sampai enam ringgit sebulan. Jumlah rumah dalam Bandar Kelang masa itu lebih kurang 400 buah. Ada beberapa batang jalan yang baru dibuat dan banyak simpang pula. Sebatang jalan yang lurus dari kota tadi sampai ke bandar diberi nama China Street. Di hujung jalan inilah ada sebuah stesen dan jambatan. Masjid belum ada melainkan surau atap lama yang belum dibaiki. Ada juga jel (penjara), balai polis dan rumah sakit, semuanya rumah atap.

Ada sebuah pejabat yang agak besar iaitu sebuah rumah limas atap genting, dindingnya separuh batu dan papan; rumah ini rumah lama yang baru dibaiki; tingkat atas bagi pejabat, dan tingkat bawah bagi tempat menyimpan timah cukai; rumah ini tinggi dan  di bawahnya penuh dengan kekotoran. Nama-nama jalan dalam Bandar Kelang seperti berikut: King Street, Beach Street, Market Street, Wharf Street, China Street, Chulia Street, Hospital Street dan Mosque Street.-Inilah sahaja jalan yang ada di Kelang pada masa itu, dan ada juga yang sedang dalam pembinaan. Seramai enam belas orang banduan dikerahkan bekerja membina jalan. Jumlah penduduk Kelang itu lebih kurang 3,000 orang terdiri dari orang Melayu,Arab,Cina, orang putih, India Islam, Hindu, Benggali dan lain-lain. Perempuan dan kanak-kanak tiada kelihatan berjalan-jalan dalam bandar. Dalam bandar ada lebih kurang 90 buah kereta lembu; kereta kuda belum ada. Tidak ada kebun atau dusun; di sekitar bandar itu hutan rimba belaka. Di seberang bandar Kelang itu ada orang bertanam pisang, tebu,dan sayur-sayuran; sawah padi tidak ada. Barang- barang makanan orang Kelang kebanyakannya dibawa dari Melaka

 Disappointment over the Anglophile attitude of the Malay rulers and their descendants, that is:
‘On hearing that Kudin and Syed Zain have given English names to all the streets in Klang, he     (Muhammad Ibrahim Munsyhi) expressed his dismay that Malay names have not been used and remarks that some modification is necessary when English usage are adopted by a Malay state’ (Sweeney dan Phillips 1975: xxix)   

Hahaha...apa macam? Macam apa? Macam itu ler Klang masa itu! Tak lama kemudian ada seorang 'maam' Mat Salleh, bini seorang pemungut cukai British yang melawat Klang, Jugra dan serata Selangor. Tapi Mat Salleh ni menyombong sikit penulisannya. Melayu dipandang sebelah mata, Cina dipuji belaka. Bacalah....

3. Klang in 1879… dari perspektif  Isabella Lucy Bird  dalam bukunya,     The_Golden_Chersonese_and_the_Way_Thither
(sememangnya pandangan beliau penuh ‘white supremacy prejudice)’
At daybreak the next morning we were steaming up the Klang river, whose low shores are entirely mangrove swamps, and when the sun was high and hot we anchored in front of the village of Klang, where a large fort on an eminence, with grass embankments in which guns are mounted, is the first prominent object. Above this is a large wooden bungalow with an attap roof, which is the British Residency. There was no air, and the British ensign in front of the house hung limp on the flag-staff. Below there is a village, with clusters of Chinese houses on the ground, and Malay houses on stilts, standing singly, with one or two Government offices bulking largely among them. A substantial flight of stone steps leads from the river to a skeleton jetty with an attap roof, and near it a number of attap-roofed boats were lying, loaded with slabs of tin from the diggings in the interior, to be transhipped to Pinang. A dainty steam-launch, the Abdulsamat, nominally the Sultan's yacht, flying a large red and yellow flag, was also lying in the river.

Mr. Bloomfield Douglas, the Resident, a tall, vigorous, elderly man, with white hair, a florid complexion, and a strong voice heard everywhere in authoritative tones, met me with a four-oared boat, and a buggy with a good Australian horse brought me here. From this house there is a large but not a beautiful view of river windings, rolling jungle, and blue hills. The lower part of the house, which is supported on pillars, is mainly open, and is used for billiard-room, church, lounging-room, afternoon tea-room, and audience-room; but I see nothing of the friendly, easy-going to and fro of Chinese and Malays, which was a pleasant feature of the Residency in Sungei Ujong. In fact, there is here much of the appearance of an armed post amidst a hostile population. In front of the Residency there is a six-pounder flanked by two piles of shot. Behind it there is a guard-room, with racks of rifles and bayonets for the Resident's body-guard of twelve men, and quarters for the married soldiers, for soldiers they are, though they are called policemen. A gong hangs in front of the porch on which to sound the alarm, and a hundred men fully armed can turn out at five minutes' notice.
Rumah Residen di Klang 1879

The village of Klang is not interesting. It looks like a place which has "seen better days," and does not impress one favorably as regards the prosperity of the State. Above it the river passes through rich alluvial deposits, well adapted for sugar, rice, and other products of low-lying tropical lands; but though land can be purchased on a system of deferred payments for two dollars an acre, these lands are still covered with primeval jungle. Steam-launches and flattish-bottomed native boats go up the river eighteen miles farther to a village called Damarsara, from which a good country road has been made to the great Chinese village and tin-mines of Kwala Lumpor. The man-eating tigers, which almost until now infested the old jungle track, have been driven back, and plantations of tobacco, tapioca, and rice have been started along the road. On a single Chinese plantation, near Kwala Lumpor, there are over two thousand acres of tapioca under cultivation, and the enterprising Chinaman who owns it has imported European steam machinery for converting the tapioca roots into the marketable article. Whatever enterprise I hear of in the interior is always in the hands of Chinamen. Klang looks as if an incubus oppressed it, and possibly the Chinese are glad to be as far as possible from the seat of what impresses me as a fussy Government. At all events, Klang, from whatever cause, has a blighted look; and deserted houses rapidly falling into decay, overgrown roads, fields choked with weeds, and an absence of life and traffic in the melancholy streets, have a depressing influence. The people are harassed by a vexatious and uncertain system of fees and taxes, calculated to engender ill feeling, and things connected with the administration seem somewhat "mixed."

Klang does not improve on further acquaintance. It looks as if half the houses were empty, and certainly half the population is composed of Government employés, chiefly police constables. There is no air of business energy, and the queerly mixed population saunters with limp movements; even the few Chinese look depressed, as if life were too much for them. It looks too as if there were a need for holding down the population (which I am sure there isn't), for in addition to the fort and its barracks, military police stations are dotted about. A jail, with a very high wall, is in the middle of the village.

I went to see the jail, a tolerable building,–a barred cage below, and a long room above,–standing in a graveled courtyard, surrounded by a high wall. Formerly there were no prisons, and criminals were punished on the spot, either by being krissed, shot, or flogged. Here they have a liberal diet of rice and salt fish, and "hard labor" is only mild work on the roads. The prisoners, forty-two adult men, were drawn up in a row, and Mr. Syers called the roll, telling the crime of each man, and his conduct in prison; and most of those who had conducted themselves well were to be recommended to the Sultan for remission of part of their sentences. "Flog them if they are lazy," the Resident often said; but Mr. Syers says that he never punishes them except under aggravated circumstances. The prisoners are nearly all Chinamen, and their crimes are mostly murder, gang-robbery, assault, and theft. About half of them were in chains. There is an unusual mortality in the prison, attributed, though possibly not attributable, to the enforced disuse of opium. We went also to the hospital, mainly used by the police, a long airy shed, with a broad shelf on each side. Mr. Klyne, the apothecary, a half-caste, has a good many Malay dispensary patients.
Klang...mengikut perspektif Isabella Lucy Bird, 1879

Itulah kisahnya...Yang di bawah ini pula kisah Klang dan Port Swettenham masa Malaria sedang menggila di sana selepas pembukaan banyak estet.

3. Klang dalam tahun 1901..... dari perspektif  Dr. Malcolm Watson dalam bukunya,
The prevention of malaria in the Federated Malay States : a record of twenty years' progress (1921)

In 1901. — This town, the headquarters of the district of the same name, is situated on the Klang River, some twelve miles from its mouth, and five miles as the crow flies. In 1901 the census of the population showed there were 3576 inhabitants, occupying 293 houses. Since then the town has greatly increased in density of population as well as in area. Within the old town limits of 1901 the number of houses has increased from 293 to 468, which would give an estimated population of 5745. This, I believe, will be found to be less than the actual increase of the population. In all subsequent statistics when comparison is made between the figures of different years it is to be understood that these figures refer only to the population within the town limits of 1901, and not to those of the present town limits. The old town limit was practically the Jalan Raya, except where for three-quarters of a mile this road ran parallel with the river, and the river was the boundary.

The area of the town was in 1901 approximately 290 acres. Of this 22 acres was swamp, 25 acres virgin jungle, 60 acres dense secondary growth in many places 30 to 40 feet high. The distribution of these undesirable portions will be seen from the map. The whole town was permeated with their influence, and it is hardly surprising that malaria was a scourge.

This is a black and white real picture postcard of Port Swettenham (= Klang), Selangor, Malaysia. It shows a beautiful lively view of a Bridge over the Klang River with a lot of people. This postcard was published in the 20s.

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