Thursday, January 1, 2009

Empang Simen (Sluice gate)

Some of us who were born and bred in Lipat Kajang know this Empang Simen (sluice gate) very well. We passed the site every day (well almost) when we went out of the kampong by road (in the old days just track, then unmetalled muddy road and now nice macadamised road) to go to Kerdau (either walking, or by bicycle or now by motorcycle or cars or similar modern transport) to Pekan Sari Kerdau (in the old days), or to catch a train in Kerdau Station (then, before it was closed) and now to go to Pekan Sari in Simpang Empat or to catch a bus (if you have no transport of your own) to go to Temerloh or the other kampongs along that road or to go to Kuala Krau or Jerantut. Its a long story.

Anyway that Empang Simen is actually the life line, the main artery of water to irrigate the vast sawah (or 'paya' as we call them in Lipat Kajang), which was very productive in the old days (say about 45 years ago) but now has been neglected because we rather buy our rice supply from Chinese shops in Town. And when its flood time (monsoon season in Oct. to Dec.), then the road on the bund of that canal which is controlled by the Empang Simen gets drowned and impassible. Lipat Kajang will then be isolated for days, unless you swim across (which is dangerous) or hire a boat to take you across. But if you drive a car, then ......... you yourself may get through but the car will remain on which ever 'bank' you come from.

Now I am told that even in moderate flood one can still get into Lipat Kajang by car by using the Kerdau/Bukit Panchor road, crossing the Sungei Chalang (?) by the rickety (seemingly dangerous unmaintained) wooden bridge.

This is the Empang Simen. During the British time I remember that it was maintained and operated, but after Merdeka it was left alone after some time (am I correct?). Do I observed some construction here?

This is the canal from which water gets in or out of the vast (you have to visit the place to really see how vast it is) sawah land to Sungei Pahang. The big "blood vessel".

In between is the bund with the road (you can see some part of the road in the photo). To the best of my knowledge (I stand corrected) this canal has not been maintained for over 50 years (?) till now? I have a very fond memory of this canal, I used to follow my late grandmother and all relatives and the kampong folks to catch fish in the canal, walking all the way from the entrance of the Empang Simen to near the mouth of Sungei Chalang. We used to catch quite a big amount of fish in those days, we only used small nets and 'tanguk'. It was not so much of getting the fish that we looked forward to, it was more of a 'picnic' like atmosphere.

Will the Empang Simen be used in the future to improve the economy of Lipat Kajang folks? To get them self sufficient in rice?

Lipat Kajang people (or decendents) are encouraged to participate& contribute (Orang Lipat Kajang, atau keturunan, di jemput memberi sumbangan idea)


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  2. in the early 1970's after my nikah i decided to bring my wife to Lipat Kajang Pahang to be meet "my people" and my folks, it was quite a long journey for her, but not for me, until we reach, using a Morris Mini Minor, the flooded road at both ends of the Empang Se'men crossing (i.e. the road into Lipat Kajang crossing the Empang Se'men). Creamy yellow coloured water thick with mud was flowing from the padi fields downward into the stream and into the Pahang River few km away, of course it was monsoon season around late september, and the Mini cannot pass across, my late father came to the rescue, he surveyed the depth of the flood water on the road and decided that we can drive the Mini across without the car getting submerged or pushed down stream by the fast running water,
    with my father's confidence and assurance I drove the Mini across with my wife beside me, she with a frightened look.....
    what an experience, and the next day the Empang Se'men crossing was totally impassable to any kind of vehicle except the sampan (canoe) and for the next few days we had to snug ourselves inside the wife enjoying the flood experience

  3. we always enjoyed the flood experience. we could 'main perahu' in the more inland areas, and we avoided the fast flowing waters of the Sungei Pahang. we never thought that it was dangerous. we kept track of the flood waters coming in, and we knew exactly what to do (so we thought) when the level got higher and higher. fortunately in my time in the kampong then I had never experienced 'bah besar'. in 1970 I was not in the kampong.
    and we kept track of the receding waters when the flood season is over, enjoying the walk through the mud (wet originally but later dried and caking) when we wanted to go to the 'jamban' when we wanted 'to do' and when we wanted to 'mandi'.
    however I would not advice the younger generation to be as brave as we were then when the Sungei Pahang floods now. we lived with the Sungei but the younger generations do not.

  4. Empang Simen is still the focal point. There are construction going on but to ensure the proper flow of water probably for development non agrocultural base i guess.

    Ada jalan lain nak ke Mesjid Lipat Kajang dari simpang rumah cikgu aziz ke rumah Aki Tan malek, if im not mistaken and correct me if im wrong, to Bukit Panchor pass a bridge around tanjung lipat kajang in front of my father's house.

    Kalau air deras susah juga nak pass. Tapi selamat la kat Bukit Panchor kerana tak pernah lagi dengar ia nya dinaiki air walau pun bah besar 71.

  5. bukan cik gu aziz, rumah tu rumah jantan azid.

  6. if 'empang simen' gets inundated every year, just build a bridge across it. makes life easy for Lipat Kajang folks. Money? Ask the Govt., after all you all vote every 5 years.

  7. i have said it and i'll say it again, addressed to no one...

    personal interest gain and greed almost always naturally in human beings supersede everything else, unless one is gratifying enough to acknowledge the fact that he/she is first and foremost a "hamba Allah" and "khalifah Allah" created to responsibly take care and look after the good earth and fellow human beings, not just oneself,

    what's so important about the Empang Simen that a bridge must be built across (who cares about the plight of the folks who want to cross it during the flood).....compared to felling all the good valuable lumber (the big valuable timber trees) along that small river (or stream)flowing down from that Empang Simen and selling it off for big money

    ...get the message

  8. member deme ni semua gila balak! macam orang tak tahu. Allah nampak, di akhirat nanti, jawab lah.