Mere Mention

Someone pointed out not too long ago that the Form 2 history textbook in Malaysian schools had only one sentence on Yap Ah Loy ( 葉亞來)(inset). Otherwise known as Yap Tet Loy or Yap Mao Lan, this Hakka man of the Fui Chiu clan had left China for Malaya via Macau for Malaya in 1854. On arriving, he had found the place fascinating and different, what with tall coconut and betel palms and small Malay houses with atap roofs. Yap Ah Loy had a road in the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown named after him and it was no wonder - He was a Chinese Capitan and the headman of the Chinese there. Chinese Capitan was a Portuguese title for the representative of a Chinese enclave. In the 16th century, the Portuguese ruled the Chinese in Malacca indirectly by appointing a capitan and this administrative method was also adopted by the English when they colonised Malaya. Yap Ah Loy was said to have given Kuala Lumpur, the present capital city of Malaysia its name and it was during his tenure as the capitan that he started its development. His contribution had changed Kuala Lumpur from an undeveloped estate into a famous city and for contribution, it was thought that he deserved more than a mere mention. His case of course was more fortunate. There were many more capitans in Kuala Lumpur like Capitan Hiu Siew , Capitan Liu Ngim Kong ,Capitan Yap Ah Shak and Capitan Yap Kwan Seng who would probably be forgotten...

Comments

Liudmila said…
Some persons have so great impact on the society...
footiam said…
And they may not be appreciated.

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