Past glories ofBatuGajah
A day trip to the former Kinta district administrative centre turns out to be an eyeopener for
The current church building was built in 1928. to become a European enclave complete with a hospital, gaol, police station and offices. High-ranking government officers lived here in their sprawling bungalows. In 1892, a complex of three offices comprising the Land Office, High Court and Survey Office was built in Changkat. Their presence as the first imposing public buildings in the district reaffirmed Batu Gajah’s position as the most important town in the Kinta Valley at that time.
A little further down the road we reach the government office complex. Our presence attracts the attention of the security guard who informs us that, being a Saturday, the complex is closed.
His stern facial expression soon turns into a hint of a smile when we tell him that our only intention is to take photographs of the buildings. The guard even comments that the Jalur Gemilang-covered facade makes the buildings look more attractive than usual. We have come at the correct time. Malaysia Day is less than a week away.
Pointing towards the words “Court House”, Besmond reminds me that Ipoh was just a small, single street village when this impressive administrative centre was built. Gesturing at the ornate Land Office building next door, he tells me that the Kinta Tin Rush saw the arrival of many Chinese immigrants