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GEDUNG RAJA ABDULLAH : MUZIUM TIMAH

 

 

 

The Malay term "Gedung" means "Warehouse" and that was what this tin museum used to be. The 150-year old building, located in Klang, is a testament to the town's long trading history and was once used to store tin and other trade products. Built in 1857, it later housed British government offices. Two decades after that, it was converted into a museum.

 

A few hundred yards away lies the Klang River, a most convenient highway to transport this highly valuable raw material. It is, therefore, unfortunate that the building only has a short-lived moment of honour. It is doomed to a tragic fate of suffering many unkind experiences since then. When the Civil War broke out, Gedung Raja Abdullah was abandoned.

 

His landlord deserted him, retreating to Melaka on his paddle steamer. When peace was once again restored, Gedung Raja Abdullah barracked the district Police Headquarters for a hundred years. Worn out and worn down, it was almost scheduled to be demolished when the Heritage of Malaysia Trust stepped in and saved it.

 
 
Events

 

 

 

 

 
 

ARTICLE-1: Gedung Raja Abdullah To Move

One of the country's oldest Malay structures – the Gedung Raja Abdullah – may be dismantled brick by brick and rebuilt near Klang’s Istana Alam Shah, about 1km away. 

The proposal was to give the 150-year-old building from the tin mining era a new lease of life, said Klang Municipal Council president Abdul Bakir Zin. 

Bakir added that Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah made the recommendation during his visit here last week.  

Built by Raja Abdullah in 1856, the two-storey building at Jalan Gedung Raja Abdullah, is now a museum dedicated to the tin industry.  

“Sultan Sharafuddin proposed relocating the building to an area close to Istana Alam Shah because the present site is traffic logged and cannot accommodate tourists,” said Bakir. 

The structure of Gedung Raja Abdullah will be rebuilt according to its original architecture, using the existing materials, which will be taken down piece by piece.  

“It is a simple structure but it has historical value. I have been advised to thoroughly study the proposal and engage professional help from the Malaysian Heritage Trust and the museum authorities,” he said. 

Bakir said the half-brick, half-timber structure with French tiles and four-sided roof, in the style of the Anglo-Indian godowns built by the East India Company in Penang, is a relic of the tin mining period. 

“From history, we understand that Raja Abdullah and his family lived on the first floor, while the lower floor was used for storing tin ore, mining implements and supplies,” he said. 

Raja Abdullah from Lukut, Negri Sembilan, served as Chief of Klang. 

Gedung Raja Abdullah building also once served as the headquarters for the first British Resident, state treasury, as well as survey, land and post office. 

In 1880, Gedung Raja Abdullah was turned into a police station and remained so until 1974. The lock-ups, with heavy iron wrought gates, still exist. 

Bakir said the building was to be demolished in the 1980s to make way for badminton courts but the late Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard, a former Klang district officer, stopped the project. 

Bakir said: “We are also interested in finding the much talked-about tunnel that leads from Gedung Raja Abdullah to Kota Raja Mahadi, a hillock where the council building sits.”  

EDWARD RAJENDRA, Nation, 2006

Last Update: 2 August 2015