Who was Haji Taib?
I couldn't get much information on-line, then I remembered a friend who left a comment in one of my earlier posts saying that he was a decedent of Haji Taib. So I emailed him for information.
Haji Mohamed Taib bin Haji Abdul Samad (1858 - 1925) was a descendant of Raja Mas and Sultan Baginda of Bukit Tinggi in Sumatera Barat, Indonesia.
Haji Taib arrived in KL at the turn of the century (1900s) having eloped with his Dutch bride and having been disinherited for doing so. They arrived with only the clothes on their backs.
His first occupation in KL was that of a street lighter - going out at dusk, adding water to carbide and then lighting the acetylene gas lamps that lined the streets of KL at that time. Later he ended up as a Chief Clerk in the Land Office where he got to know about the best deals and bought them for himself.
His son, Orang Kaya Haji Abdullah, built on this wealth and in the 1920's owned the whole of Malay Street and Rodger Street, a large portion of the Central Market area and loads in Chow Kit and Kg. Baru.