Let Them Not Crumble


Seberang Perai’s decaying mansions symbolise the beauty of a glorious, bygone era.

The towns dotting the southern district of Province Wellesley, such as Nibong Tebal, Sungai Bakap and Bukit Tambun, contain within their boundaries an amazing trove of heritage mansions built by Chinese and European entrepreneurs during the colonial period. These still stand imposingly today.

Their aesthetic appeal and extraordinary architecture raise the question: Who were the owners, and why were they built in remote places? To answer this, one should first consider the nineteenth-century geographical and economic landscape of southern Province Wellesley.

Southern Province Wellesley covers an area of 243 sq km, bordered by central Province Wellesley to the north, Kedah to the east and Perak to the south. It is intersected by many waterways, such as Junjung River, Jawi River and Krian River, all flowing from east to west.

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