Wednesday, September 23, 2009
cycling toward the historical clock tower
Another view of Jalan Ibrahim, the main road. This is the first road in Sungei Petani.
The busy Jalan Ibrahim
At the Jalan Petani traffic light junction
Toward the SP town
The pedestrian walking on the bridge crossing the river
Railway bridge across Petani River
River Petani or Sungei Petani
View of the street at Sungei Petani
View of the street
The view near Toll station of Sungei Petani(S)
Sungei Petani (双溪大年)
Sungei Petani, literally means farmer river, because the surrounding are paddy farmers and rubber planters. Petani is farmer, sungei is river in Malay language.
There is also the saying that the name is derived from its geographical position, as it is bound by two parallel rivers, Sungei Petani and Sungei Pasir. The rivers are compete with each other, in Malay it is called bertanding, the place derived its name from “sungei bertanding” or in local dialect it is “sungai pataning”. Eventually it become Sungei Patani. The Petani River (Sungei Petani) cut across the Jalan Kampung Baru, before the entry to the SP old town.
But there are saying that the town is named after Pattani, a city and Province of Thailand, which the river once connected to. Historian suggested that the settlement grew from the trade route from Pattani(Kingdomof Langkasuka)in southern Thailand. The ancient trade route followed the Pattani River, cross the hilly region of Kedah, and follow the Sungai Kuala Ketil toward the Merbok estuary(near Bujang valley). The old spelling of Sungei Petani, was Sungei Pattani until 1980s, without reference to Petani(farmer). But language expert insisted on the correct Malay spelling and changed it to Sungei Petani,without regard to its historical significance.
View Larger Map
Sungei Petani or SP, as it is commonly called by the locals, is the 2nd largest town in the state of Kedah. It has changed from a sleepy one main road town to the fastest growing town.
The early establishment of the system of the lcal government in Sungai Petani started after the enactment of the Local Council Ordinance 1952. Later in 1953, the administration of Sungai Petani Town Board was established.
On 1 August 1975, the Local Government District Council of Kuala Muda (MDKT.KM) was established which comprised of Sungai Lalang, Jeniang, Merbok, Bukit Selambau, Bedong and Gurun.
On 1 February 1978, the District Council of Kuala Muda (MDKD) was formed to replace MDKT. KM due to the enforcement of the Local Government Laws Act 124 (Temporary Enactment) which was enforced according to Section 3, Local Government Act 1976 (Act 171).
This establishment involved the Town Board Local Authority which consist of:
* Sungai Petani Municipal Council.
* Town Board of Kuala Muda, Kota Kuala Muda, Padang Lembu, Semeling, Tanjung Dawai & Tikam Batu.
* Local Council of Sungai Lalang, Jeniang, Merbok, Bukit Selambau, Bedong and Gurun.
The District Council of Kuala Muda (MDKM) was responsible to administer the whole district of Kuala Muda in terms of the planning, building control, health, development projects and licensing. Sungai Petani was again upgraded to the Municipal Council on 2 July 1994 (22 Muharram 1415H) and the declaration was successfully officiated by YAB Tan Seri Dato' Seri Haji Osman bin Haji Aroff, PSM, SSDK, DHMS, JMN, JP who was the ‘Menteri Besar’ of Kedah at that time.
With the upgrading of the status, Sungai Petani Municipal Council (MPSPK) is now fully responsible on the development control, licensing, planning, infrastructures preparation and other related fields to ensure the development of the city and the harmonious life of Kuala Muda in general.
Majlis Perbandaran Sungai Petani(MPSP)or Sungai Petani Municipal Council,which included Daerah Kuala Muda(瓜拉姆达) & Bandar Sungei Petani
The areas covered are:
1. Sungai Petani(双溪大年市)
5. Tikam Batu(知甘巴都)
6. Kota Kuala Muda(哥打瓜拉姆达)
7. Sungai Lalang(双溪拉浪)
9. Padang Lembu
10. Tanjung Dawai
11. Pinang Tunggal(檳榔頓高)
The town is accessible through the Federal Route 1 and also the North-South Expressway. Sungai Petani has two highway exits(167 south & north) while the Federal Route I runs across the city. Apart from that, it also has a train station and an express bus hub that caters to any destination within Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.
SP from 1920s to 1960s, is the backdrop of the rubber industry; but with the decline of the rubber price in 80s, the state government started the industrial hub in Bakar Arang. There is not much activities for tourist in SP. However there are Bujang Valley(布秧河谷), Pantai Merdeka(独立海滨), and Gunong Jelai(日莱蜂), 3993 ft, highest peak in state of Kedah, 15 km from SP near Gurun.
The major landmark of Sungai Petani is a clocktower located on the main street, Jalan Ibrahim. The clock tower was built in 1936. It is 12.1 m in height. It is topped by a dome-shaped and gold coloured structure. The tower was a present from the late Lim Lean Teng(林连登,1870 — 1963) to George V and Queen Mary to commemorate the Silver Jubilee(1910-1935). There is a bronze statue of him in front of Han Chiang High School at Jalan Air Itam, Penang island.
I cannot read it....Sign of vandalism on the historical object and icon of the town. Shameful...
The brass plaque reported that the tower was donated by Lim Lian Teng(林连登,1870 — 1963)in 1936.
2. HSBC building(香港汇丰银行)
The colonial Hong Kong Bank building, located at Jalan Bank. Jalan Bank is between Jalan Ibrahim and Jalan Patani. It was built in 1921.
3. Railway station(双溪大年火车站)
Sungei Petani railway station is right in front of the clock tower, about 50 metres away from the main road, Jalan Ibrahim. Across the railway track is the Jalan Market. One of the railway station along the North-South line of West Coast. From SP, it will continue to Bedong,Gurun, Alor setar, Arau, Padang Besar and cross the Malaysia-Thai border to Hatyai. Southward it will go to Bukit Mertajam and Butterworth, and continue to Ipoh.
The Bukit Mertajam-Alor Star was started in late 1912.It was completed in 1914, start to run in 1915. The railway station at Sungei Petani is constructed in 1920, which is 15 km from Pinang Tunggal and 18 km to Sungei Lalang.
A transits station will be build for Ipoh-Padang Besar double track Railway
The old police station constructed in 1916, is located at the traffic junction(Jalan Pengkalan, Jalan Ibrahim, Jalan Kampong Baru, and Jalan Kuala Ketil), the corner between Jalan Ibrahim and Jalan Kuala Ketil.
1. Sungei Petani food in Chinese:北馬美食桃花源‧一路吃著上,Guang Ming Daily, dated 9-2-2008, http://www.guangming.com.my/node/21337