Published: Monday April 9, 2012 MYT 6:32:00 PM
Call to document forgotten history of Kuala Lumpur
KUALA LUMPUR: A wealth of history in the capital is forgotten and becoming dissipated unless initiatives are taken by authorities to document the heritage, said a historian.
Sager Ahmad from the Malaya Historical Group said for example, the new generation knew well about the Petronas Twin Towers and the KLCC, but not the history, which used to be a horse racing track and before that, a British military air base.
He said the site of a pitcher plant replica at the Merdeka Square was once where "Restoren Rakyat", which was opened by second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, was located.
"Why not erect notice boards on the history of the sites. An allocation should be given to document the changing landmarks of historical sites in the capital for the benefit of visitors and Malaysians," he told Bernama.
In Bangsar, Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum, which is now dotted with apartments and condominiums, was once a village named after Abdullah Hukum or Abdullah Rukun, a trader from Kerinchi, Sumatra.
"Abdullah Hukum, who played a pivotal role in the Kuala Lumpur's economic growth in 1850s, opened Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum inhabited by about 1,000 people, made up of mostly the Malays as well as Chinese and Indians.
Sager said Abdullah Hukum opened a trail through a forest to Bukit Angkasapuri.
"The trail eventually becomes Jalan Bangsar that we know of today. It was actually Jalan Bangsa (race) to denote that it was built jointly by the Malays, Chinese and Indians.
"At first Abdullah had asked his Chinese friends to name the trail, but they turned it down and asked him to do so. He then asked his Indian friends, they also wanted Abdullah to name it. Eventually, they decided to name it Jalan Bangsa.
“Somehow the name was changed to Jalan Bangsar," said Sager.
He said Bandar Tun Razak was once known as Kampung Congo - a tribute to the Malay Regiment, who served in the Congo Republic under the United Nations' peacekeeping force 60 years ago. - Bernama