History in Ipoh

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Ipoh derives its name from the a local tree called "pokok ipoh", whose poisonous sap was once used by the pre-Malay aboriginal population for their hunting darts. It is also known as "San Seng" or "Pa-loh" by the Cantonese, and "Iwoh" by the Fuzhous. Archaeological evidence and local oral history seem to indicate that the area was once under the influence of the ancient Hindu-Malay kingdom of Gangga Negara that collapsed in the 11th century.

Ipoh proper was founded in the late 1800s on the banks of the Kinta River, according to legend, by a Sumatran chief who styled himself Dato' Panglima Kinta . The establishment of British tin mining companies at the turn of the 20th century created a golden economic age as large financial institutions such as The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China Ltd set up shop. The tin rush saw the arrivial of vast numbers of Chinese, rapidly swelling the population in a few short decades.  In the 1930s, a local Chinese Hakka millionaire Yau Tet-Shin, developed the eastern bank of Kinta River into what is colloquially known as New Town, along the lines of modern urban planning concepts of the time.

Ipoh's status as state capital date from World War II, when the Japanese established Ipoh as the administrative center for Perak, using the grand colonial building of St Michael's Institution as their headquarters. In the 1950s, Ipoh established a reputation as being a hedonistic hotspot for entertainment and night life with the proliferation of cabarets, nightclubs and theatre halls.

With the collapse of tin prices in the 1970s, the city went into decline. Various attempts at revitalizing the city has seen the establishment of Greentown Business Center, Medan Ipoh and a theme park, The Lost World of Tambun. The city has also been the shooting location for local and international films such as "Indochine" and "Anna and the King". It also has a vibrant independent music industry, producing many local popular bands.

March 02, 2007 new by lynkster (2 points)

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