Timothy Tye
Kampung Syed

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Kampung Syed, Penang (22 December, 2012)

Kampung Syed (GPS: 5.42876, 100.31697) is a pocket-size Malay enclave on the outer part of George Town, Penang. This urban village is a remnant of a Malay settlement that has existed in the area since the early part of the 19th century. It is hemmed in to the east by Edgecumbe Road, and to the west by Jones Road and its off-shoots.

Kampung Syed stretches between Burmah Road and Kelawei Road. At the Kelawei end of the village is Masjid Jamek Al-Munauwar, the main place of worship of the Muslims in the area. A single road forms the main linkage for Kampung Syed to Burmah Road.

Arch welcoming visitors to Kampung Syed (22 December, 2012)

The namesake of Kampung Syed is Syed Abdul Rahman bin Tunku Syed Hussein Idid. I am still researching to find out whether he established or purchased the land. In any case, I learned (from the link below) that he later sold it to one Syed Mohamad bin Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshee for 500 Spanish Dollars. The fact that Spanish Dollars was used indicates that the sale was carried out in the 19th century or earlier.

The purchaser, Syed Mohamad Alhabshee, has connections with Kedah royalty, serving as palace official under Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah II (1797-1843). He had two children, one of whom was Habib Noh, the Muslim saint of Singapore.

The Kampung Syed land was endowed by Syed Mohamad Alhabshee's widow, Ku Pahmah, to their son Syed Zain, stating that it be made an endowment land, to be known as Coopee Ammah Wakoff. The name Coopee Ammah is a corruption of Kampung Arab, as Kampung Syed was then called. It was administered by the Mohammedan and Hindu Endowments Ordinance since 1936.

A Malay-style house in Kampung Syed (22 December, 2012)

Location of Kampung Syed on the map


8 January, 2014: According to Syed Imran Syed Ahmad, the Kampung Syed that I mentioned above is located only on the Burmah Road side, and does not extend to Kelawei Road. It is adjacent to Kampung Palembang, which is next to Masjid Al Munauwar. Other neighbouring villages in the area are Kampung Hogan at Edgecumbe Road and Kampung Belah Dua at Jones Road. All the villages are collectively unter Mukim Kelawei, which is headed by a penghulu reporting to the North-East District Office. Syed Imran Syed Ahmad also wrote that in addition to these villages, there are other villages in the mukim, including Kampung Herriot, Kampung Awak, Kampung Siam and Kampung Masjid Lama, all of which having made way for development.

Kampung Syed is on the map of Pulau Tikus


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