Friday, February 23, 2007

Cruise boats - two of a kin d

Two types of cruise ships spotted off Esplanade (Padang Kota Lama) Penang. Another kind of "ship" missing from the Penang port is the Chinese tongkang or junk. The tongkangs were very common in the days before the free port status was taken away by the federal Government, sadly by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to be given to Langkawi, although the Mahsuri Island was not ready for it.

The tongkangs carried cargo (mostly for barter-trading) from Burma (Myanmar), North Sumatra, Singapore and south China including Hong Kong. The trading agents in Penang were mostly Indian Muslims and thus the term "Mamak Tongkang".

Those were the wonderful days ...


Anonymous said...

Pak Tuan,

Ini pasai Penang (arwah mak saya who was a Jelutown-local gelag Tanjung) la jugak. A few years ago i was treasure hunting in Penang organised by a KL-based NGO to collect fund. One of the questions was "... in a way i am in the middle of this island" and the answer was "Jalan Pemenang". If you could see the word ME right in the middle of Pemenang, hence u put ME in PENANG and u get Pemenang. As for the first clue which is "in a way..." it wanted participants to look for a road, street, lane which also meant in a way. Had u answer with Kelab Pemenang (which you mentioned in earlier posting) u will be wronged because there is no indication of road, street or lane to fit the first clue.
What i am trying to tell you is that historical Penang is in the abundance with countless stories, tales and perhaps even myths. Have anyone bother to tell us (that means in any special write-up(s) about it?" I dont think so. For example Jalan Pemenang is perhaps named after the famous club, yes? I dont think teh authorities will simply named the road for no reason. The same with Jalan Kelawai, Jalan Burmah (wonder why it is with H and not just Burma), Hutton Lane, Macalister Road (perhaps after some Scottich person), Tanjung Bungah (again with H) and Batu Ferringgi (if not mistaken Ferringgi is a Portugese word, yes?), Telok Bahang, Kampung Dodoi (reminds me of Sdra Rozaid Abdul Rahman who was formerly with Utusan Malaysia now with Minister Khaled Nordin) Kampung Seronok, Telok Tempoyak and the list is endless. Maybe there were write-ups earlier in some publications but as an outsider i am with the opinion that illustrating Penang's richness in history is almost a never-ending effort, let alone be completed with just a few write-ups.
Among the famous sites are Chowrasta Market. How in the world the name came about? Line Clear Nasi Kandar we all know the usual story lah but what about Transfer Road? Scotland Road since there is already a similar name (Macalister Road) related to the homeland of Mr James Bond Sean Connery. Masjid Kapitan Keling, Bayan Lepas (was told that a bayan bird (apa nama in english la?)... was terlepas daripada tangan di situ hence the name came about).
There was one human interest 5-take story writted by a Bernama reporter many years (in the late 1980s) back telling about the story behind some of the famous and best-remembered roads, streets and lanes in Penang. I wonder whether the story survives the advent of time or perhaps the same story (with updates) be told once again. Some of the names need no explaination for they are self-explanatory like Jalan Hospital, Jalan Lumba Kuda, Jalan Kebun Bunga, Jalan Chain Ferry, Jalan Masjid Negeri and so forth. But what about Jalan Gurney? Is it because the of the former British Resident Henry Gurney or some other Gurney resided over there sometime back? Esplanade? Why is that and the once-famous Padang is because of Fort Cornwallis? There are so many foreign names being retained in Penang to spice it its diversity in history and i supposed their stories ought to be told to people like me who will always missed this junction or that road or the other back lane in getting around Penang. Actually i can only survive driving around Penang with Komtar as my guiding beacon. No Komtar means i will lose my way and koyak lah... Another name that strikes out like a sore thumb is --Pulau Tikus when it is actually not an island! Another one is Gelugor (is it Tasik Gelugor the Parliamentary constituency?) which is on the island or mainland?.
Pak Tuan being, to me, an authority of everything Penang should pen some of the tales lah to keep people like me informed.
I am familiar with the insides of Penang because of my hobby -- treasure hunting, which takes me back to places of interest. Hopefully the State Government will make a real effort to capitalise on these uniqueness to better position Penang. What better time to start than this year for this is Visit Malaysia Year mah!!
What say you Pak Tuan Syed Imran??

Syed Imran said...

Thank you. Yes, I will try my best to write about those interesting names and places.

As the first British or English trading post east of Suez, most of the names were directly connected to them such as Cornwallis, MaCalister, Farquhar, Light, Leith, Brown, Northam, Hogan and so on.

For your information, there were sizeable Brunei community in Bayan Lepas, Burmese, Siamese, Arab, Eurasian and Boyanese kampungs off Burma Road, Minangkabau settlement at Batu Uban and Achenese settlement at Acheen Street. But sadly, most of the kampungs are gone today due to migration and development.

There is also South-East Asia's one and only Jewish cemetery off Burma Road.

Penang's Orang Asli tribe known as "Semang" does not exist anymore. There is a place near Bukit Mertajam known as Kubang Semang. This must be the last known Semang settlement.

Once again, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Pak Tuan,

Could "Hogan" be a typo error? Probably "Logan"? Logan Road, off Anson Road, named after another colonial General. If there is indeed a Hogan Road, can Pak Tuan tell of its location? Thanks.

Syed Imran said...

Yes, there is Logan Road and yes there was once a Kampung Hogan at Edgecumbe Road. I am not certain wheteher the word Logan was pronounced as Hogan by the local population similar to Padang Berom (Brown), Kampung Hariyat (Harriot) and so on.

As for Gurney Drive (Persiaran Gurney) or Padang Kota Baharu, it was named after Sir Henry Gurney. Padang Kota Lama or Esplanade was named since the padang was next to the old fort or kota lama. Another padang behind City Hall called Renong Ground was sacrificed to make way for the Dewan Sri Pinang.

Most of the colonial names were in honour (by the colonial administration themselves) of their officials such as governors, district officers, surveyors, architects and land administrators.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Kuda

That picture - the yacht looked familiar lah... so fast completed from Cobra King Factory, Batam Island eh...

Inside got many Kentucky or not??? Two-legged plum kentucky are nice to smell and bite ma... served only to the "King-A319"!

We'll never know.


Syed Imran said...

No lah! The Cobra or Kobra from Turkey is much more expensive and luxurious. This cruise ship is nothing compared to that Kobra.

By the way, I was told that this particular "sailing" ship belongs to the Malaysian Navy. It is its training ship.

Wah! I am not Mr Kudalah...but I don't mind because kuda was the favourite mount of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.