It was the bomba, telekom, etc…. now the Billboard Building…

Walking along Jalan Rugayah, you can see this distinctly different building that is one of the few left in Batu Pahat. It’s some old government quarters.

Old Building at Jalan Rugayah

Just beside the quarters, you will see a huge billboard covering up an old dilapidated building. Sis and I decided to find out more, and we pretended to be tourist. We went to the few shops opposite the ‘billboard building’ to ask the old uncles and aunties about the history.

They were already in their 60s or 70s and said they are too young to know the whole history. They have seen it all the time, they forgot it is there. haha… They said something about it being a place where rice was distributed or something.

Then after “he ping” (they were talking in a mix of Mandarin and Hokkien, He Ping = Merdeka) It was the ‘Bomba’ and then it was also the ‘Jabatan Telekom’. They said it was in a worse state and it is cleaner nowadays.

Old Building at Jalan Rugayah

Well, current and previous residents of BP, if you or your relatives know more, let’s update or correct each other about the story of this place.

Some close up shots of the arches on top of the building. You can see this part it totally wrapped up by the roots of the trees.

Old Building at Jalan Rugayah

An even more zoom in, you can see interesting words. What can you make out of this?

Old Building at Jalan Rugayah

On another arch, you can see the word Garage on it.

Old Building at Jalan Rugayah

It was a pleasant surprise that these words came out, while I was taking the photos, I did not really see these words until I got home and view it on the PC.

28 thoughts on “It was the bomba, telekom, etc…. now the Billboard Building…

  1. tigersden on

    Philip, when you come back again, why dont u and me go inside this building and buat some ‘siasatan’ maybe can get some general idea. I dont happen to see any keep out sign or authorised personnel only. Just an idea.

    I can see the words Fire Station on the photo above the Garage one.

  2. EG KEE on

    guys.. please arrange a trip into the building and take some more pictures… from the unique design/pattern on the entrance, I believe that there are more interesting things inside…

  3. Jason on

    Hi Phil, I am from BP and currently studying at MMU Cyberjaya. I am a final year student here and currently preparing my final year project. My FYP will be related to BP and might need your help. Is it possible for u to contact me thru email? Hope to hear from u soon. 🙂 – Jason –

  4. True, i didnt really see Fire Station until tigersden point it out. Btw, the jawi writing on the garage – tempat kereta.

  5. EG KEE on

    Dila, you mean the Jawi writing on top of the “GARAGE” word means “TEMPAT KERETA”?

  6. tigersden on

    Yeah its tempat kereta, I just asked my malay colleague to verify it.

  7. tigersden on

    This is just my conclusion, since this building is situated near the port, the rice distribution story must be true somehow, or maybe it used to be a warehouse during Batu Pahat heydays, before the war era.

    And when you see the garage picture, you can see the star above the writings, thats like arab culture (reminds me of star of david). Why do you think they put the english word for garage and then followed by the jawi letters. Maybe the arab community in batu pahat would know something of this, could this be a reference to pre date when the arabs came to batu pahat during the 1900s, when the batu pahat was still a hive of activity back then.

  8. tigersden on

    And u can still a crescent moon covering up the star, so its a religious symbol

  9. bergkamp on

    The crescent and moon could be the symbol of Johore state, just like the one on Johore flag. I remember there is a house near the KFC, is it the same house in picture one? During the 80s, when I went to the then Emporium, I always passed that particular house, looked like it was occupied, and I can see a lot of regalia or pingat-pingat on the wall. Maybe someone can tell us more about these buildings 🙂
    Btw, the word “he ping” mean peace, it may refer to the time after Japanese occupation (or after 1945).

  10. EG KEE on

    yaya… he ping is “peace”

    and merdeka is “du li”

  11. tigersden on

    I asked my parents and my gf grandmother, it seems that building used to be the fire station catering for the town folks especially the boats that ply the port to trade. Since some of the boats are made of wood, its easy for them to catch fire.

    To have the station near to the river is an advantage. Then when the fire station got bigger (more fire trucks), the old building could not sustain it and they shifted to the one beside Ai Chun Primary School. The other reason could be because of the condition of the building, look at the tree growing healthily in the building.

    And recently it has shifted to the new premises near Pesta.

  12. EG KEE on

    Actually, from the pictures, is the Garage next to the Fire Station?

  13. tigersden on

    the garage is next to the fire station. The garage is actually the place where the fire trucks are parked.

  14. EG KEE on

    do you find that the moon seems like its on the opposite side? the arc is suppose facing right hand side and on the left side of the star…

  15. EG KEE on

    May i suggest that, this building to be converted into “TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE” which is similar to Melaka one. This is because:

    1. it is situated at BP towm centre
    2. it is nearby to bus & taxi station where tourist can get public transport easily to get to their destinaions
    3. is it easily accessible to many people due to its strategic location
    4. it is a waste that this building which have its unique decorations/design/pattern which dated back to the 1900s
    5. it is a waste that such beautiful building to be deserted and will faced demolition when it is being rebuild or something

    This is my opinion…


  16. tigersden on

    I wonder who owns the land or the buildings. Its been like this for so long. And one wonders if the goverment is interested to convert this into a tourist information centre.

  17. EG KEE on

    i believe that, the land is owned by the government as the building is FIRE STATION which also part of the government’s dept. So, if it is belongs to an individual, i think there wont be any government building built on top of it…

  18. EG KEE on

    actually, I have been studying at the design of this old fire station and would like to find its origin… is it originated from Britain?

  19. philip on

    EG Kee, it would be great if you can find out, and present us with your findings. 🙂

  20. philip on

    Maybe going to the fire station and ask the more senior people there, maybe they might know something. Maybe their parents might know something. It would be nice to document it down.

  21. philip on

    tigersden, yah.. we should go siasat more buildings around BP!

  22. chano on

    Yeah, get hold of it & convert it into a bristo & tourist info centre. But, reno wud cost a bomb!!

  23. hi! ive juz discovered diz website n i think it’s really informative.actually my father and his whole family used to live in diz building and i will try to find as much information as i could from my dad.till then, chiao!

  24. owin on

    bat van usen….mungkin kamu pernah berjiran dengan ayah saya kan?

  25. cheai on

    My van usen is bin husin. The late postmaster of BP. If betul, I used to live in the custom quarters in 60’s behind this building.

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