Saturday, December 16, 2006

a crying shame...

It was an anomaly on Jalan Ampang: a few hundred meters away from the PETRONAS Twin Towers; next door to Bank Simpanan Nasional's HQ; a stone's throw from Zouk; a house no longer suited to be lived in once the surrounding area became more and more commercial. It was a restaurant for the longest time, although a few years ago it shut down completely.

The Bok House / Le Coq D'Or ... BEFORE
[photo taken from mansonion's KL Travel page @]

I'd always heard that there was some will/instruction by the original owner of the building that the house was never to be demolished/ changed in any way, and must always stay in the family... and that of course, the current generation of family members were trying to find loopholes so that they could cash in on the valuable land the house is sitting on.

The Badan Warisan Malaysia [Malaysian Heritage Trust] has been lobbying for the longest time to get the National Heritage Act in place [2005] *and* to get the Bok House gazetted as a heritage site. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain.

The Bok House / Le Coq D'Or ... 15th December 2006
[photo taken from Badan Warisan Malaysia]

I could go on and on about how this is just another symptom of the shallowness and myopia that is Malaysia... but I just don't feel like it,,, because this is just one of so many things that's happened recently in Malaysia that has me wondering if there is any hope for the country to pull itself out of this downward slide...

More reading:
  1. The Day Bok House Died

  2. Demolished - LensaMalaysiaForum [comment #13 gives an excellent essay on the history and heritage of this now non-existent building]

P/S> thanx to these photos, I am now past my 200th image uploaded to flickr. So now I have "... run into one of the limits of a free account. Your free account will only display the most recent 200 photos you've uploaded. All of your photos beyond 200 will remain hidden from view until you either delete newer photos, or upgrade to a Pro account. None of your photos have been deleted, and if you upgrade, they'll all come back unharmed." Gah!!!


  1. I remember going once there when it was a restaurant. But memories are quite blur as it was a long time ago.
    Didn't know about the will or its clauses though. And what is happening is a crying shame. Goes to show how little clout "heritage" has against $$$.
    And that one minister wanted to take away the Coliseum cinema from its legitimate owner to make it into some sort heritage/culture centre. What was wrong with this building?

  2. malapetaka> i didn't want to state it so prominently in the post itself, but i was wondering if let's say it was "Badawi [Malay] House" and not "Bok [Chinese] House", perhaps the house *would* have found its way onto the protected list... in this case I bet it's very much a case of "Alah, Chinese want to sell, good lah, I can get a cut from the sale / the construction of the building that's going to come up, etc etc etc"

    I'd heard mention about the coliseum cinema but no details - heh, as usual, consistency is NOT a description for this Malaysian government, eh?

  3. Neome left a comment about this on another post:

    oo..ok...thnx for d 'pre-demolish' pics... I was reading the paper today in the net n the pics only after they demolished... and I was wondering.which house was this.
    Obviously lah... later .. when u see another tall bulding on tht land you'll know who bought it.. and maybe the house will 'haunt' the bulding..:-P

    Saturday, December 16, 2006 4:00:00 AM

    Neome> hey you comment on the "wrong" post? heeehehehee! Anyways - yeah, kinda scary that people don't immediately know about Bok House / Le Coq D'Or... but that's typical Asian/Malaysian for ya - not so appreciative about the past... even I'm like that, maaaah,,, but still, this building has been in the middle of town since 1929!! :-( We'll see lah what sort of horror gets built on that piece of land, that will contribute to even worse traffic in the area....

  4. :( so bad...

    i hate when come to this..
    like lynne said, if it is badawi home then high chance it is in the protected list..

    wat's wrong nowsaday?

  5. How sad that such a lovely building was destroyed!!

  6. It is a crying shame that there seems to be no room for little beautiful houses in a modern city. Things like that happens all over, even in my tiny village. It breaks my heart!! If i had loved that house like so many others apparently have, I would have cried when i saw these photos.

    So sorry for all you who had a "relationship" with this house!!

    Hugs Monsoon

  7. KL isn't the only city in Asia whose past is losing out to commercialism and dollar signs. Manila has lost a lot of its own historical landmarks to greed and commercialism as well.

    And the usual reason is that the local government lacks the fund to restore and maintain the buildings.

  8. What a gorgeous building! It is a waste to see it go... in the US I think this trend is more common - to knock things down when they are not that old, but I thought it was different in other parts of the world :(

  9. Wow- fascinating pictures..

    Thanks for your visit and comment, wishing you a wonerful day. :)

  10. It's so sad but I saw it coming a long time ago (and I guess so did others) as it was sitting on prime land in the heart of KL. I guess money comes before any else in the country.


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