Friday, January 2, 2009
Formerly named Batu Road, the name was changed in the early 1960's to Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, to honour our first King.
His Majesty the King (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) is elected for a period of 5 years by the 9 hereditary Malay Rulers from among themselves. The first King was from Negeri Sembilan, whose ruler is called Yang di-Pertuan Besar, unlike the other states who are ruled by Sultans. The only other exception being Perlis which has a Raja. The states of Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak are represented by Governors (Yang di-Pertuan Negeri).
Despite the numerous shopping complexes and malls that have sprung up in all parts of Kuala Lumpur, Jalan TAR is still one on the busiest shopping streets earning itself the distintion of being KL's Golden Mile.
While there are multi-storied departmental stores along Jalan TAR, there still remain some traditional ones that cater to the everyday needs of KL's inhabitants.
The first junction off Jalan TAR is Jalan Chow Kit which connects to Jalan Raja Laut. Although Jalan Chow Kit is small as roads go, it lends it's name to the whole area that spans from the monorail station to Jalan Sultan Ismail, North to South, and Jalan Raja Laut to Kampung Baru, from West to East.
Jalan Chow Kit takes it's name from prominent local Chinese tycoon, Loke Chow Kit. Chow Kit & Co. is said to be KL's first department store catering mainly to the Europeans, but it was never located in the Chow Kit area.
Wikipedia notes that Loke Chow Kit's daughter, Miss Sobreen, was the first Malayan teacher hired by the Bukit Nanas Convent (now SMK Convent Bukit Nanas).
There are lots of fruit and drink vendors, and other petty traders operating from some of the alleys and side-walks along Jalan Chow Kit and Jalan TAR.
If you walk along Jalan Chow Kit, don't miss the traditional wooden Malay house there. It was featured in the local papers some years back. Although I've passed this road many, many times over the years, I only noticed the house after that article came out.
Just across the road from the wooden house are stalls that sell Malay and Indonesian delicacies.
I think I'll stop here for a bit of nasi lemak before I continue.