A Market that Reeks of History

By Dennis Ong, William Tham

August 2021 FEATURE
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The fountain at the entrance was likely a drinking fountain being too small for handwashing Drinking water was not easily accessible during the early 20th century so such facilities were introduced for the public seen in places like Singapores 1864 Gemmill Drinking Fountain and even Balik Pulaus 1882 Fountain Roundabout for livestock The nearby keramat is just a few steps away out of sight. Pictures taken by Monty Williams
THE CAMPBELL STREET Market was built on what was once part of a Muslim cemetery, colloquially called “Utan Mayet”1 – the forest of corpses. There are however few signs of this history etched in the heritage brickwork and Victorian neoclassical architecture of this oldest market building of its kind in George Town.2Located deep in the dense urban core, it would henceforth be regulated by the regime of order and sanitation imposed by the colonial authorities. Yet to this day it...

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Dennis Ong

Dennis Ong is a heritage and culture enthusiast with a great fondness for all things KL - his kampung. He enjoys exploring towns and cities with his camera during his free time. Currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Visual Culture, he is also a member of the Museum Volunteers, JMM.

William Tham

His novel, The Last Days, is set in 1981 and covers the continuing legacy of the Malayan Emergency. He is currently an editor-at-large with Wasifiri and also an MA candidate at Universiti Malaya.