Saturday, January 10, 2009

How safe is Lipat Kajang? (Part 1).

I have always wondered about this.

There are several aspects of safety that come to my mind. The first one is about whether flood can inundate the kampong. The second thing is whether there are thieves and robbers (and other bad hats) in the kampong. But on rare occasions I also thought of whether earth quake can happen or whether typhoon or even strong will invade the kampong.

Probably I have too much imagination. Of flood, well it happened in 1926, the biggest flood on the Pahang River they say. Why it happened? Legend had it that a ‘naga’ (dragon) wanted to go downriver. The ‘naga’ was so big that it had to flood the Pahang River for it to float down (otherwise it might had got stuck in the shallow water of the River). True? I don’t know (every body seemed to have believed it) but nobody saw the ‘naga’. Why? They say that it floated down in the darkness of the night, in the midnight hours where there was no moon. And nobody dared to come out in those hours. Anyway in those days there was electricity of battery operated light, so whatever happened in the middle of the night when the moon was at its darkest, one could hardly see anything. And then nobody was at home (if there was any home left), they were all huddled up on the highest hills/ground of the kampong, in this case (where my grandfather and family was concerned) a place called Bukit Pancor . The hill is still there. How did they all ended there? In those days every household had at least two boats each, for river transport and for fishing. River was the only mean of getting about then. How does Lipat Kajang got involved in all these? Well, there is an oxbow shaped location by a small river in Lipat Kajang where they all believed that the ‘naga stopped to rest, its called Lengkong Naga now, translated I supposed as a depression with rounded bottom, large enough and big enough for a ‘naga’ to rest. To me the location is just a dried up oxbow lake. I am skeptical.

Of this ‘naga’ legend, every one in the State of Pahang belived in it. Ask anyone alive today, or anyone who had their parents or grandparents there during the 1926 flood, they all tell the same story. Where was the ‘naga’ bounded for? Lake Chini they say. Sounds very authentic isn’t it? The flood happened and Lake Chini is there, a favourite tourist place in Pahang today.

The 1926 flood also had its tragedy. My grandmother (late) used to relate stories about that big flood. She said sometime in the dark of the night they could hear people shouting from the middle of the river for help. Nobody attempted to help because they all believed in the ‘hantu air” (water ghost). They believed that the “Help” shout came from the ‘hantu air’. Well I don’t know really, I believe that these shouts were from genuine human being, left floating on the river, they being caught up in the flood waters. To me it was a tragedy.

Well flood is nothing new in Pahang. As a small boy growing up in the banks of Sungei Pahang (Pahang River) I saw a flood almost every year in my younger days. Come Oct. to Dec. each year and there was always a flood, not big but enough to scare you, or good enough to play about with your ‘praus’ (dugout canoes) rowing around in the areas where flood waters reached but not fast flowing. We knew exactly where these places were, we kept watch on the rising waters (marking levels) and we knew when the waters could be dangerous and we knew when the waters started to recede. We grew up with the flood, and we respected the flood waters. There is not much flooding nowadays, and the drama of flood is only played by the radios and TV stations. But children nowadays who have not grown up be the Sungei Pahang like we did can fall victims to rising waters, they know not about flood and they know not about the respect for flood waters.

In 1970, there was another big flood that inundated Lipat Kajang but this time not as big as that of 1926 (so some people said). Enough damage was done though but with modern communication, flood relief in terms of boats and food came. Nothing much to worry about and after the flood the people just returned home to repair the damages to their properties and to salvage what they could. And they continued to live in their old houses (at least most of them).

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


  1. flood in kg lipat kajang pahang, it happens every year, and we are not afraid of it, 'cos we know how to "handle" the floodwater and what difficulties the flood brings to us, as well as the joy it avails to us - enjoying the flood

    i have also heard about this dragon (naga) swimming downriver into tasek chini, but i cannot recall the exact story told

    as for the threats during the emergency days, the CTs (communist terrorists) and later the japanese army were all gone when i came into this world, therefore i only heard stories, about my father having to feed the family with tapioca (ubikayu) and other episodes of hardships and difficulties

    we know what is the meaning and value of peace harmony and tranquility....does the younger generation appreciate all that? and help to preserve it?

  2. jepun dulu, baru datang communists (bila jepun dah pergi).

  3. dah lama tinggalkan subject "tawarikh" (bahasa dulu) atau "sejarah" (history) bahasa sekarang, lupa yang jepun dah berambus dihalau oleh mpaja baru lah timbul CPM (PKM) dan kominis2 pun merayau di LKP dan pahang barat utara selatan, di timur tak ingat pulok ada kominis?

  4. That is what i am afraid, when the young forget about the reality of hardship and difficulties during the Japanese and Communist era.

    They do not "feel" nor "sense" the bitter reality of life without proper food, clothing and shelter.

    Ubi kayu as i was told is the staple food during those times. Rebus and kalau ada gula cicah gula kalau takde buat le gula kabung or neesan lebah.

    Ubi kayu now i prefer them to be fried macam fries(why do they call it french fries), i call it Melayu fries/fritters.

    LKP now is too tranquil and peaceful that folks forget about the hardship not long ago.

    History can repeat itself whether we like it or not.

  5. don't think too much about the jepun time. masaalah orang pahang ialah mereka think too much about jepun time, so they refuse to change. deme tak boleh begerak. when they try to change they will say, "if i change, it will be like the jepun time". so they remain at standstill, static, especially orang tua2, they become very traditional in their thinking and in their action. just observe.

  6. we have to tell them, that so-called "jepun time" has changed 180 darjah, we have long been enjoying jepun innovations and products, we have become "lovers" with the japanese, and if they changed, they are not going to suffer any more but instead they will get to enjoy the benefits of using japanese creations and inventions, change of perception is required, perception must be based on reality, and not make- believe such as those ingrained in their minds, based on not so factual experiences

  7. the challenge is sometime our young people brainwash these old folks and remind them about 'jepun time'. I remember reading the newspapers about 1 week to 10 days ago when it was published in a Malay newspapers that Hussin Onn sisietr talking about how 'takut' she was of kapal jepun. such publication should really be banned.