Upon first stepping foot in the streets of Kuala Kubu Bharu, looking around, sighting the two rows of shophouses sitting in the town’s main street, directly observing and feeling this rustic yet adorable place likened to a colour palette. Most of the beige cement walls were peeling off, intertwined between them are vibrant doors, window frames, and pillars. As an outsider passing through, the stories acquired here could act as a filler for past historical textbooks.
The town of Kuala Kubu Lama, which went through the ordeals of collapsed dam, disastrous floods, to currently wholly submerged, is the precedence of Kuala Kubu Bharu. She used to occupy the most strategic geographic edge, being the traffic hub of three states — besides easy access to Kuala Lumpur, northwards to Perak, and eastwards to Pahang, a compulsory passage to the renowned summer resort, Fraser’s Hill. Between the years 1923 to 1926, when the town of Kuala Kubu Lama faced flood torrents, the British colonial government intended to build the first “Garden City” in Malaysia, which will be properly planned and surrounded by greenery — Kuala Kubu Bharu.
The complete infrastructure of Kuala Kubu Bharu includes a police station, a cinema, a post office, a fire station, there is even an administration centre on the slope. Perhaps due to the frequent flood hazards earlier on, the city planner Charles Reade arranged major buildings such as the hospital, schools, clubs, and churches to be constructed on a zone higher than the river, as a precaution against the unexpected. In 1931, as heavy floods struck once again, Kuala Kubu Lama became permanently wiped out from the map. Hence Kuala Kubu Bharu, the castle upon the river, bears substantial history since its birth It symbolises rebirth and hopes of the Kuala Kubu Lama inhabitants who moved over. Originally located at Kuala Kubu Lama and subjected to the calamity, Khing Ming primary school shifted to Kuala Kubu Bharu as well.
At the present, the small town of Kuala Kubu Bharu dwells 60 kilometres away from the city, at the foot of Fraser’s Hill, an undisturbed safe haven. Adjacent to both hills and waterway, apart from Bukit Kutu and Sungai Chiling waterfalls visited by hiking hobbyists, there is also the magnificent Sungai Selangor river dam, with motorcyclists appreciating the much longed-for scenic views along the way. Returning to the town center, you may find widespread streets, orderly architecture constructions, and converged infrastructure.
Kuala Kubu Bharu, with its serene environment, well maintained colonial buildings stood the test of time and proved their historical trails, composing a tale about diminishment and rebirth since the moment of renaissance.
Text: Shu Yi & Pua Hui Wen
有你 UNI Production
Producer : Mok Yii Chek
Coordinator : Daniel Lim
Cinematographer : Amelia Lim / Evon Pang
Drone : Daniel Lim
Video Editor : Evon Pang
Production Assistant : Michael Lerk
Music : 37.2度雜貨店 Three Seven Two Shop
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