Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Exploring Bukit Gombak

This is an extract from the comments I made on Lam Chun See's Good Morning Yesterday blog.

I recalled there were lots of durian trees on the slope behind the two 7-storey blocks belonging to the isolated families living on the slope. 
There were 2 paths up to Bukit Gombak (i.e. from Princess Elizabeth Estate). 
One from the left beside Blk 23 and the major one on the right of Blk 24 which connected to Lorong Taluki leading to the kampong beside the railway tracks. (This would be where the Mindef field is now)

There was a catholic Cheng family living 2/3 way up the hillside to Bukit Gombak. 
The mother was my family's washerwomen and she had 2 sons and a few daughters. 
The elder son was called Thomas (In Teochew, "Tomack" who worked at Eveready and rode a Vespa which he used to park in front of my flat for security, we used look after it for him).
She had a daughter named Lucy who became the maid who looked after my younger sister as a baby. 
The mother also washed for the Moss family at 126A, my neighbours above our flat. 
When the Moss family moved to staff quarters at Hume Heights, she continued to wash for them there and used to take me along. That was how I used to play at the Moss' Hume Heights home for a number of years.

I remember their home on the Gombak slope had lots of fruit trees- durian, mangosteen, starfruit and lots of ubi kayu (tapoica) which they planted as fences to their plot of land. They also had a pig sty. We used to climb right to the top of Gombak where the radar was. There were lots of pineapple and buah susu (passionfuit) growing along the fence to the radar station. 

Up on the slope there was also a chinese temple but we feared to enter there as we were catholics and temples seemed so 'pagan' to us! There was a farmer who had a large starfruit plantation beside the temple.

From our estate perspective below, we could only see trees on Bt Gombak but it was a totally different world up on the slope.

The British radar station on the summit of Bukit Gombak.
There was another major path to Bukit Gombak that was Lorong Kemunchup.
This started between the primary school and blk 22. This was a very long track that passed several small farms along the way and also branched towards the granite quarry at what is now the Gombak Stadium (Little Guilin). We seldom went that way because of the numerous fierce dogs that belonged to the farmers along the track.


  1. Baharudin AnwarAugust 07, 2012

    Hi, Back in the 60's, I can see this Radar Station from my double decker bed at Block 23. Mesmerized me. Like a gigantic animal saying yes..yes..yes. Brings back memories.

  2. I used to live at Jalan Remaja since around 1970 and we could see the radar from our house