Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kepala Batas(甲拋峇底)

Sungei Dua, on the way to Lunas

A typical Malay house

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Kepala Batas(甲拋峇底)
Kepala Batas is a town in the northern part of Penang, Malaysia, in Seberang Perai Utara(SPU) district. The district capital has moved from Butterworth to Bertam, Kepala Batas on 7-10-1996. This is the largest of the 5 districts for Penang state. The Member of Parliament for Kepala Batas is the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as this is his hometown. In the recent general election held on 8 March 2008, Abdullah won the seat with a majority of 11,232 votes.Under the Parliament , there are 3 state seats, Penaga, Bertam, and Pinang Tunggal.

The town of Kepala Batas was carefully named in 1786 after the two words; Kepala and Batas. The word Kepala is loosely used as a local dialect to describe someone or something important. While the word Batas, is also a local dialect used to describe a road or a junction. That being said, Kepala Batas simply means the Primary Road.

The town was originally made up of only 4 humble stores which was build by a local chatty. The first two businessmen there were Tuan Haji Ismail and Tuan Haji Ishak trading mostly coffee, fruits, vegetables and fish.

With approximately 200 town folks, Kepala Batas started to flourish with the opening of the Bertam estate. The need for workers increased its population dramatically and with the opening of the first school in 1924, the simple town was set to be transformed into one of the main education and business hub.

Syeikh Abdullah Fahim(1870-1961)

Syeikh Abdullah Fahim is a Malaysian nationalist and religious scholar. He was Penang's first mufti after Independence. He is also the paternal grandfather of former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Abdullah Fahim known as “Pak Him” was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 1869. He was a respected Islamic scholar and had set up and ran many religious schools, also known as madrasah or sekolah pondok. He was the mudir or director of Madrasah Idrisiah in Kuala Kangsar. He also started a madrasah in Kepala Batas, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's current hometown. This was around the time he became Penang's first mufti.

He was one of the key people who started Hisbul Muslimin, which later became known as Parti Islam Se-Malaysia or PAS, one of the main opposition parties in Malaysia which fights for an Islamist agenda. He was the first Ketua Dewan Ulama(Head of Ulama Council) of PAS. Ironically both his son and grandson became leaders in UMNO(the main Malay component party of ruling alliance, Barisan National), the sworn enemy of PAS.

Recently, on 12 February 2008, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's newly set-up Islam Hadhari Institute's first Chair, which was named after Abdullah Fahim.

He is the one who established the Sekolah Agama Daeratul Maarif Al- Wataniah (DMW)in Kepala Batas and the locals also refer to him as Tok Ngah Lah.

Abdullah Fahim was the man who decided the Independence date(31-8-1957) for Malaysia

A residential area, Taman Abdullah Fahim,Jalan Maju, Kepala Batas & A Complex, Kompleks Dato Abdullah Fahim, Jalan Bertam, Kepala Batas; were named after him.

Dato Haji Ahmad Badawi Abdullah Fahim(died in 1977)

Father of Tun Abdullah Badawi, he was a prominent religious figure and UMNO member. After settling in Penang in his teens, he went back to the Middle East to pursue religious studies. The MP of Kepala Batas, and state assembly man(Adun) from 1972-1977. He rose to become the most senior Umno member in the Gerakan-led Penang state executive council in the 1970s.He was the Exco in 1972 in charge of Islamic affairs, under Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu's leadership as Chief Minister. He has also being acting Chief Minister when Dr Lim was on leave or abroad. His rank was equivalent to a de facto deputy chief minister.

Dato Haji Ahmad Badawi passed away in 1977

There is a road, Jalan Datuk Hj Ahmad Badawi, Kepala Batas, named after him, located between T junction with Jalan Kampong Baru (Route 1) to P205

SMK Datuk Hj Ahmad Badawi - Kepala Batas was formerly SMK Kepala Batas, but it was renamed after Hj Ahmad Badawi in 1978. It is located at Jalan Datuk Hj Ahmad Badawi. SM Datuk Haji Ahmad Badawi, Kepala Batas also named after him.

Dewan Dato Haji Ahmad Badawi is a community hall of the Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai Seberang Perai Municipal Council). It was named after the late father of the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who declared it open at a ceremony on 31 July, 2007. The multi-purpose hall is located along Jalan Bagan Luar. It faces an open field called Padang Pemuda Merdeka, near the junction with Jalan Heng Choon Thian, Butterworth.

Tun Abdullah Badawi

Tun Abdullah Badawi is the 5th Prime Minister(2003-2009)of Malaysia.

Abdullah Badawi was born in Kampung Perlis, Bayan Lepas, Penang to a prominent religious family. Badawi's paternal grandfather, Syeikh Abdullah Badawi Fahim, was of Arab descent. Syeikh Abdullah was a well-respected religious leader and nationalist, was one of the founding members of Hizbul Muslimin, later known as PAS. After independence, Syeikh Abdullah became the first mufti of Penang.

His father, Ahmad Badawi, was a prominent religious figure and UMNO member, his mother Hajah Khailan binti Hassan . His maternal grandfather, Ha Su-chiang (also known as Hassan), was a Chinese Muslim who came from Sanya in Hainan.

Abdullah Badawi is a former student of Bukit Mertajam High School, and Methodist Boy's School. Badawi obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies from the University of Malaya in 1964. He first joined the civil service, but joined politic after his father passed away in 1977, taking over as Chairman of Kepala Batas division and won the election as MP in Kepala Batas. He was appointed as Ministers, and finally become the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Tun Dato' Seri Utama (Dr.)Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas
His Excellency Tun Dato' Seri Utama (Dr.) Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas, the Governor of Penang was born on Friday 15th April 1938 at Permatang Rambai, Kepala Batas, Penang to a couple named Haji Abbas bin Haji Abdul Rahman and Hajjah Jamilah binti Ubaid.

The Malay village where the house of Abdullah Badawi is located

One of the village road

The gate entrance to the school

The front view of the school; the road lead to the entrance of the residence of Tun Abdullah,which is at the end

Sekolah Menengah Agama Daeratul Maarifil Wataniah, Jalan Perak, Kepala Batas. The religion school was found by the grandfather of Tun Abdullah Badawi, Syeikh Abdullah Fahim.

The entrance of the religion school

The service office of Tun Abdullah as MP of Kapala Batas Parliament seat

The private residence of Tun Abdullah and family

The front view of the UMNO Kepala Batas Division building

The Malaysia national flag is higher up, than the party flags

The UMNO flags

The poster of former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah who was the MP of Kepala Batas

Pusat Khidmat aduan Bertam, located at the UMNO Kepala Batas Division office, Jalan Perak. Directly opposite Majid Al-jamiul Badawi.

Masjid Al-jamiul Badawi, located at Jalan Perak

The street view of Jalan Perak(Perak Road)

The street signage of Jalan Perak

Jalan Perak, background is the mosque

Jalan Butterworth

The corner sundry shop at the entrance of Jalan Kubang Menderung

Jalan Kubang Menderung

Jalan Perak

Street view

The side view and its window. The roof corner is typical Chineses style.

The pillars at the entrance

Palaniandy Villa

The Truth Baptist Church,Kepala Batas

The entrance to the church

The dilapidated building , near Jalan Kompong Baru and Jalan Perak T junction

Welcome sign to Kepala Batas, in front of the Jalan Perak junction

One of the Kampong house with garden

The pre-war colonial shop

The upper floor is wooden

The roof tiles, and the low colonial double storey shops along Jalan Perak

The double storey shops

Street view

The corner shop at the junction

Jalan Perak

The entrance to Kepala Batas from toll

Kuala Muda river and lake

Related articles:

1. Abdullah Fahim: The man who decided the Independence date, by Zuraida Abdul Rahman, Bernama dated 29-7-2007,
2. Robust Development For Penang During Abdullah's Term, by Muna Khalid, Bernama dated 3-4-2009,
3. Abdullah’s boon to Kepala Batas folk, The Star online, dated 3-4-2009,
4. Abdullah from strong `political' lineage, Malay Mail dated 9-3-2004,

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