Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Horse stable that become home

It is the horse stable long time ago, where the riches and colonial high ranking officials were staying in the area. The stable was for the horses and horse keepers.

It is Muntri Street, high concentration of colonial double storey residential houses for the upper class.

Today, all the riches are gone. The horse stable has been the houses for people; who have been staying there for 3 generations.....

It is near to the city

In the early days, they shared a common toilets, they shared a common kitchen....

If you are staying up stairs, there is narrow ladder to go up

There are 12 stalls, which were converted into 12 units of houses.

Some rented 4 units....

Now they have their own toilet, their own kitchen; they have TV, even enjoying private TV channels.

I saw air-conditioners at the "stable house".

It must be a good place to live.

Note on 1-1-2012:

The place has converted into a hotel. Please visit the blog You will see the difference. Anyhow a living heritage lost...but at least better to be a hotel....than demolished...

Stewart Lane(观音亭后)

The official name is Lorong Stewart (or Stewart Lane in English), the Chinese called it kuan-im-teng-au(觀音亭後),which means behind the temple of Kuan Yin. There is a old popular temple at the Pitt Street , with the side of the temple facing Stewart Lane, the temple is in remembrance of Kuan Yin or Goddess of Mercy by local Chinese,so the temple is called Kuan Yin Temple.
It was reported that the Lane was named after a Stewart, called Charles C Stewart (b1880-d1958). I tried to obtain the background of this person, but failed in vain. We do not know who is him, and why the lane was named after him. Stewart is great name in UK, particularly Scotland,there are Stewart Society all over the world, the names related to Scottish royal families. Some of the English and French royalties have some blood connection with the name. Stewart is taken from the word Steward, it become "Stuart" in France.
Anyone know the history of Charles C Stewart ? he lived long until 75 years, what is his relationship with Penang?

Stewart Lane is a short lane between Muntri Street and Pitt Street(now Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling),it is not really a straight road, but from Pitt Street entrance just beside the temple, it lead to the nameless lane,which Chinese called Sampan Hang(or Sampan Lane),it suddenly turn right and go straight to Muntri Street(南華醫院街 )/Love Lane(愛情巷) junction. The area at the entrance is a business area, mainly related to the temple activities; selling religious materials e.g. joss sticks, joss papers (金紙)etc. Other area of Stewart Lane is mainly residential houses, but currently there were some isolated case which have used it as shop.

At the corner near the Sampan Hang, there are few houses which are under dilapidated condition.

Except the one house with blue door, other houses in the row are dilapidated. I once have a friend staying here, but after the abolish of Rent Control Act, they have shifted. The houses are left in unrepair condition; either the owner has no money to restore it as the house dilapidated due to the ages of house, or it was intentionally left in the condition so that an allocation or development approval can be obtained. It is an eye sore for the heritage city, the MPPP should not has allowed the condition to continue. There must be a legal requirement for the owner to maintain the heritage houses,otherwise a statutory fund to take over the building and restore it. It is wise to start early.

This row which after the lane of the red color clanhouse, is the begin of another row of double storey houses, which included 26A,Lorong Stewart, formerly the PHT's office(Penang Heritage Trust),now it has moved to Carnarvon Street.

On the left, there is a off road Chulia Lane, the Chinese called it Tsap-chit-keng(十七間), literally in Hockkian dialect means 17 houses,it refers the prominent 17 houses in the road). The Chulia Lane lead to Chulia Street(牛干冬).

53, Lorong Stewart is a coffee maker, KimGuan Coffee Factory. If you passed the building,you can smell the aroma of coffee. Established in 1988,its owner Mr Ong Kok Weng is 60 years. This is trade on traditional coffee making process, the business is now is considered a living heritage of Penang. The coffee beans are imported from Medan, Indonesia. Coffee beans are cooked in the wok for 45 minutes. They are spun and mixed ,while a huge fan will blow away the detached skin. When the beans turned light brown, it indicated properly cooked, and sesame seeds ,butter or margarine(depend on the grade,butter is better), salt and sugar are added to the required coffee grades. Sugar are added gradually, as excess sugar will affect the quality. The lower the content of the sugar,the higher the quality. The beans are then cooled and later grounded into coffee powder.

Get a bag of coffee powder if you are Penang coffee lover. It is much cheaper than Coffee Bean, and it is Penang's brand.

After the coffee maker, the road cross a side road, Lorong Chulia(or Chulia Lane) on the left.

This is the beginning of the road after the off road of Chulia Lane junction. The 3rd shop is a trishaw repair shop.

The third double storey shop, of the row that start from Chulia Lane , is the shop that make and repair the Penang famous trishaw(三輪車). It is reported to be the only trishaw repair shop left. The shop was closed when I visited. Trishaw is the main mode of public transport in early Penang ,it is still used today and now it become a must and popular ride for the tourists. called beca in Malay language, the trishaw is pedal-powered. In Munich, Germany there are modern version,which is electric powered. It is also called cycle-rickshaw. It replaced human powered rickshaw(人力車),which was popular prior to introduction of bicycle.

A house at 69, Stewart Lane, with advertisement that there are mahjong dice(some called Mahjong tiles) for sale. Is this shop originally from Love Lane? Mahjong (麻将) is a game for 4 players, originated from China. Mahjong is popular among the oversea Chinese, especially the old generation, it was reported that it is good in stimulating the mental activities of the brain.

A green bungalow proudly stand at the middle of Stewart Lane

Tourists walking passed a colonial houses.

The end of the Stewart Lane, end at Love Lane junction, which corner the Hotel, Wan Hai Hotel
-->(环海旅社) ,Love Lane.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wan Hai Hotel(环海旅社), Love Lane

Lorong Stewart(Boat Alley)

It is the only unname street in Georgetown, or even Penang. The Chinese called the lane Sampan Hung(三板巷), literally in Hokkian dialect it means alley for sampan boats.It is now known as the extension of Stewart Lane(Kuan-im-teng-au, 观音亭后 or Lorong Stewart). It is located at a small and narrow lane between the Stewart Lane and Chap Chip Keng (literally means 17 houses), just behind the Godness of Mercy Temple.

The place in the old days is the rest place for the boatmen from Jetty Lee.

The lane is very narrow, car obviously cannot enter the lane; only bicycles or bikes are able to move in; it is even considered narrow for walking folks. Despite that there are two rows of double storey houses opposite each other.

Penang Angsana Trees bidding for World Record

Good news for trees lover....Penang Angsana Trees bidding for the World Record?

It was reported in the Star dated 28-2-2006:-

Penang Municipal Council(MPPP) President Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib said, Forestry Department has proposed that Penang Angsana phenomenon to be listed in the Book of World Records.

Most of Angsana Trees in the Penang city are over 100 years

There are more than 200 Angsana trees located at Jalan Macalister, Jalan Mesjid Negeri, Jalan Residensi on the island

Two years ago, now is 2009, I wonder MPPP has listed the Angsana trees in Book of World the MPPP President is no longer Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib , the new Acting President is Sr Tan Cheng Chui.

Just hope that the MPPP will improve in the future under the new leadership.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The black Pigs

The photo was taken in North Thailand, at the border villages.

The children were so excited, as this is the first time that they saw the black pigs that are allowed to run wild.

This black haired pigs are feed with natural food, not the commercialize feedstuffs. They grow their own maize(or corn). The corn plants are nourish with only natural fertilizers.

They are the main source of protein for hill tribes people.

We are worrying that time will come, where DNA engineering corns, and other animal feedstuffs will be everywhere.....even the hill tribe village in the hills.

Talking about the swine flu, I remembered the outbreak of Nipah virus in Malaysia. The outbreak was first wrongly identified as swine fever when unusual death of pig population, later when human being was affected, it was identified as JE(Japanese Encephalitis). Professor Dr Chua Kaw Bing, a virologist from Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya think otherwise, and despite the disagreement with his Head of department. He did not followed the instruction to destroy the sample, and continue the testing. He later discovered the new Nipah virus that caused the outbreak. Another person to be mentioned is Prof Dr Tan Chong Tin,who has the courage to agree with Professor Chua despite the odds. His support and with the courage of Prof Chua, lead to the discovery of the new virus in 1999, and a stop to the outbreak. These two men are the persons that show us what the highest level of professionalism means. To read on the story of discovery of Nipah virus, please visited the article written by Prof Chua with the title "The discovery of Nipah virus: A personal account" , and an article dated 22-11-2008 with the title "Spotlight: Virus mystery unlocked" on the website How wild bats can caused health problem to human, when their habitat is affected.

Prof Dr Tan Chong Tin was chosen as one of the recipient of Merdeka Award for Health, Science and Technology. As Head of research team for Nipah virus.

Swine influenza or swine flu refers to influenza caused by any virus that is endemic to pig population.

(source: credited to Mikael Häggström on 27-4-2009)

Don't blame the pigs for the swine flu from Mexico. Blame the human being who use unnatural means to feed them(the DNA Engineering corn and other artificially created feedstuff), to let them grow(with injection of growing hormones)......they are growing abnormally... and their immunity weaken.....the destruction of the forest, the disturbance of ecology which affect the natural food chains....the misuse of antibiotic....the Garden of Eden has changed , not as original planned by God. Adam will not be able to recognize the natural environment if he walk in today. We ate more apples than the one apple he ate..... apples which are contaminated with chemicals created by mankind.

And the problem was us. It may not be from the swine(pig) Nipah virus.

Salute to all the unnamed fighters from the medical teams in the world, and pray that the swine flu from Mexico will soon be over.