Category: My New Village

Kampung Raja villagers live as a big family [老港]

Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily

Pagoh is a simple small town covering Kampung Raja, Pagoh Batu 19, Lenga, Renchong and Bukit Kepong.

Kampung Raja was opened earlier than Pagoh with over a century of history today. It is a simple village located about 2km from Pagoh.

Villagers attach a greater importance to the birthday celebration of the God worshiped in the village compared to even the Chinese New Year, and 90% of villagers earning a living outside the village will return to celebrate it for at least three days.

Kampung Raja has been facing aging problem and it will not be surprising if it gets old and declines one day.

There is only one main street in Kampung Raja and residents are mostly Malays, with only about 30 Chinese households. During its heyday from the 1940s to 1950s, there were more than 60 Chinese households in the village.

Many who stay in the village do not leave as they like the humane and leisure lifestyle here.

According to some veteran villagers, they love the simplicity of the village. All villagers get along very well and they are very united. There were more than a hundred of households in the 1960s and 1970s but only 47 are left today. The aging problem worsens as many young people have left the village.

Houses of all villagers are built on Malay reservation land except for three households and the rents range from RM40 to RM200.

Life in Kampung Raja is simple. In addition to drinking coffee in the coffee shop and beer at corridors while chatting with friends, veteran villagers have no other entertaining activities. Each family in Kampung Raja has at least four children, with the most 13. The high fertility rate in Kampung Raja has responded to the call of some Chinese organisation encouraging Chinese families to have more children.

Former villager Liu Jun Dun, 83, had started to live in Kampung Raja since he was eight years old until he moved to Pagoh when he was 49 in 1978. He said that there were only about 30 Chinese families or 200 Chinese villagers in Kampung Raja and thus, all would be invited whenever there was a wedding or funeral ceremonies. They lived like a one big family.

Although he has moved to Pagoh, Liu still keeps contact with his old neighbours and visits them in the village from time to time.

The village still has two grocery stores, a coffee shop, a Chinese temple and a school with only one classroom.

The village’s name Kampung Raja, literally means “king’s village” is closely related to a few Malacca Sultans. After the fall of Malacca, Sultan Mahmud Shah retreated to Pagoh and the tomb of Alauddin Riayat Shah was built in Kampung Raja.

After living in Kampung Raja for over half a century, Cai Quan Tong was forced to move to Pagoh in 2004 as his house was also built on Malay reservation land.

However, he still visits his old friends in Kampung Raja whenever he is free.

Kampung Raja villagers attach a greater importance to the birthday celebration of the God worshiped in the village compared to even the Chinese New Year.

News source:

Category: My New Village