Saturday, October 29, 2011

Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan

The Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan has been recognised as one of the items of interest for visitors who would like to see the country side rather than the big cities of Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang or Johore Bahru. The township is situated at the southern part of the State of Perak, which is the fourth largest state in Malaysia. It is about 250 kilometers to the north of Kuala Lumpur.

Teluk Intan was formally known as Teluk Mak Intan. The name was changed to Teluk Anson in 1882 by the British colonialists. The township is located by the side of the Perak river, thus forming a very strategic location for trading among villagers and the outside world. It boasted a good harbour for ships to download and upload agricultural and other commodities. During the fifties and sixties the river was made as the location for motorboat shows and motorboat racing. Later, these watersport activities was abandoned. The function of Teluk Intan as a trading port also became diminished as the road and railway transportations became more important. Later still, with the development of highways, the railways which connect Teluk Intan to Tapah Road and to the North-South railway system was also abandoned.

As time went on, the township once again changed its name from Teluk Anson, and this time it assumed its original name Teluk Intan with the word "Mak" removed. The word "Mak" means "mother" which is a common title given for elderly Malay women as a means to "respect" for them.

The Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan was originally built to house the water storage tank for the township. However,due to the fact that Teluk Intan lies at a meander of the Perak River, water passage and seepage underneath the township might have an influence on the tilting of the tower.

Besides the tower, historical heritage can also be found in a nearby location of Pasir Salak. This was the place where a once British Resident of Perak, W.W. Birch, was killed. A fierce battle followed, and this was then fought between the local Malay freedom fighters and the British colonialists with the defeat and death of the Malay fighters' leader Dato' Maharaja Lela. With time Datuk Maharaja Lela, who was labelled by the British colonialists as troubel maker, was reinstated by the country as a national hero. To commemorate this occasion, a road in Ipoh city (the Capitol City of Peak State) bearing the name Station Road was changed to Dato' Maharaja Lela Road (Jalan Dato' Maharaja Lela).

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