In revealing the features of the traditional villages, this book will not only light up nostalgia but will also tell the strength of character of a nation. (excerpt from the Foreword)
The journal Danube Watch has compared the Sungai Perak (Perak River), the second longest in Peninsular Malaysia, with Vienna’s Danube. Both rivers are rich in culture and history, and both are major sources of life-giving water. The Sungai Perak has been a hive of economic activity for centuries, particularly during the zenith of tin-mining. Culturally, it is the seat of Perak Malays and the residency of the Sultan and (until 1988) the Raja Muda. Today, most of the old villages (some 15 in total) dotting the river have been sidelined by state’s development. The migration of youths from these villages have only exacerbated the descent. Famous Villages along the Perak River (Kampung-kampung Tersohor di Sepanjang Sungai Perak), published by the Institut Darul Ridzuan (IDR), hopes to reverse the decline and revive the architecture, tradition and legacy of these once-thriving societies.
Famous Villages is written by Malim Ghozali PK, a Senior Research Fellow at IDR. Generously sized colour photographs adorn every page, accompanied by succinct and accessible narrations in both Malay and English. The book covers topics like the region’s history, economy, culture, places of interest and the origin of village names. Helpful information like maps, coordinates and scant statistics of each village is also provided. The book reminds locals, academics and tourists of these ‘forgotten settlements’ that were, and still are, a crucial part of Perak’s history, and still offer much to those willing to seek them out.