Welcome to my Kuala Lumpur

This is my way of sharing my discoveries, re-discoveries, memories & experiences

as well as other bits & pieces of information I have of

growing up in Kuala Lumpur.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

KL KrashPad - Chow Kit Kita (Part 1)

Remember in my earlier posting I mentioned that I followed Fahmi Reza and his charges from KL KrashPad on their walk-about on August 7, 2010.  This post is the first of a series about that.
 logo courtesy of Fahmi Reza
Among the aims of the project are to map the people, the culture/religion and the history of the Chow Kit area. This will be undertaken by a group of children between 13 to 15 years old, with some adult supervision/advise provided by Fahmi and gang. 

Why would I be interested?  Chow Kit is famous for all the wrong reasons, yet I grew up in the area 'untouched' by all the vices associated with it.  (Any vices I acquired or display has nothing to do with the area.)  I was aware of the 'goings on' in some nooks and crannies , but the majority there were pretty much normal, decent folks who went about their lives just like anywhere else.  So when someone comes up with a project to dispel the 'dark myth' associated with the area, why should I not be interested?
Anyway, back to KL KrashPad and the Chow Kit Kita project.  About a dozen children, between 13 to 15 years, have been selected as the pilot group.  I was informed that the group was supposed to be multi racial / cultural, but as the visitors to the Pad are predominantly from one ethnic group, they will have to do.  The adults facilitating this group, however, are a mixture of ethnicity, religion, cultures and backgrounds - truly Malaysian.
The session started with an introduction, briefing and some small training to prepare the group for the walk-about.  The session was friendly and informal, and the 'adult' facilitators don't look very much older than the participants.  I was the only 'uncle' there.

It's interesting, when you have a group of children who have only been with their own ethnic/religious/cultural grouping both in school and the community they are from, there is a bias in favor of their own kind; but get them exposed to other ethnic/religious/cultural groups, and what begins as a curiosity is soon replaced by excitement and acceptance when they realize that we actually are not so different, one from another.  Kudos to Fahmi and team.
The children ready and raving to go.  This shot is also to show a little of the ambiance of the KrashPad, catering to the teen crowd.
The walk about commences...
... let by Fahmi.
First stop and first lesson, "do you know what is the name of this street?" Every one got it right, but when asked who it was named after...
 from google images
... every one of the children agreed that it was named after our first Prime Minister.
The Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) and Putrajaya are among places named after the Tunku or his full name Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah.  The Tunku is also known as the 'Father of Independence'. 
from google images 
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is named after our first King.
Colonel Paduka Sri Sir Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhamed was our first Yang di-Pertuan Agong.  Something I didn't know, which I found in Wikipedia, is that he was the 8th Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Seri Menanti and the 2nd Yang di-Pertuan Besar of modern Negeri Sembilan.

The road was re-named after His Majesty in 1963.  Prior to that it was known as Batu Road, possibly because it was the main access road to the tin mines in Batu which I recon was in the area of today's Jalan Ipoh/Selayang/Gombak (think Batu Caves).
The last time I saw a tin dredge in operation in KL was in the 1970s in what is now Taman Danau Kota, off Jalan Genting Kelang. 


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