(6 June 2007)
Click on covers above to enlarge.
Clock Towers Series II
Wherever in the world they may be, clock towers
fascinate us and invariably become landmarks within their respective
localities. From the Russian Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower to London's
Big Ben, such towers have added aesthetical value to the landscape
and skylines of cities, towns and villages across the globe.
Malaysia has no shortage of these interesting and functional pieces
of architecture, with many of them spread throughout the country and
each with its own story to tell.
Pos Malaysia takes great pleasure in introducing
more such 'stories' in this second series on Clock Towers.
Many of Malaysia's clock towers are of historical
interest. They were built mainly during the heyday of the nation's
colonial past. many became the most enduring aspects of the colonial
municipal buildings of which they were part. Yet others were
constructed as free-standing structures, often in commemoration of
an important date or event, and usually located along a major
thoroughfare within the town or village concerned. It was also not
unusual for many of these clock towers to be built under the
financial auspices of well-to-do private individuals of the Malayan
The towers served their earlier purpose well, to
tell time to generations of people in an era when wristwatches and
house clocks were not generally the order of the day. Today, they
tell of those times when they were built, when the Malaya then was
dramatically different from what Malaysia has now become.
The Birch Memorial Clock Tower, Ipoh, Perak Darul
This ornately constructed clock tower was built in
1909 in memory of J.W.W. Birch, the first Resident of the British
colonial administration in Perak. He was assassinated in the early
upsurge of Malaysian nationalism that eventually led to the nation's
freedom from colonial governance. The original presentation of the
History of Civilization around the faces of the tower, which also
depicted the Prophet Muhammad, was regarded as controversial and
subsequently altered in the 1970s. In spite of the change, this
clock tower remained as a significant link to the nation's past.
The Atkinson Clock Tower, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Completed in 1905, the Atkinson Clock Tower is one
of the oldest buildings in Kota Kinabalu. As with many such towers
constructed during the era of British Malaya, it was built in
commemoration of an important member of the colonial administration.
In this case, it was in memory of the first Resident of Sabah, a
certain Francis George Atkinson, who unfortunately passed away at
the age of 28 from malaria (called 'Borneo Fever' in those days). It
originally also served as a lighthouse of sorts, giving positional
information to vessels navigating the port of Jesselton, the old
name of Kota Kinabalu.
The Big Clock Tower, Alor Setar, Kedah
This eye-catching clock tower was built in 1912 and
bears distinctive Moorish influences which some say reflects a blend
of Hindu and Islamic motifs. Located along Jalan Putera, near Masjid
Zahir, the town's function and destiny appear closely linked with
that of the mosque, with its various calls to prayer coordinated
with the time as indicated on the clock face. This interesting clock
tower rises aesthetically into the heights and gives the town of
Alor Setar a major landmark which is both historic and visually
Medan Pasar Clock Tower, Kuala Lumpur & Kelantan
State Mosque Clock Tower, Kota Bharu
The Medan Pasar clock tower was erected in 1937 in
commemoration of the coronation of King George IV. The original
memorial plaques were removed some time after Merdeka but the tower
remains steadfast until today, right in the middle of the road, in
this still very commercial and bustling old quarter of Kuala Lumpur.
The sunburst motif at the base of the tower puts it in the mood and
style of European art deco, not very commonly found in other clock
In contrast, the clock tower at the Kelantan State
Mosque is Islamic at heart, with its Moorish domes and arches. The
proportions are formal and strong, lending an official air to the
distinctive structure at the heart of Kota Bharu.
|Date of Issue
||6 June 2007
||30 sen, 50 sen, RM1
||30mm x 50mm