The Curse Of A 100-Year-Old Coal Town: Batu Arang


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A 100-Year-Old Coal Mining Town In Malaysia?
It was the second largest town in early Malaya , after Kuala Lumpur, with a population of 12,000 residents. It had a coal mining and brick making industry that supplied to England and all over the country. It had an important railway link, an airstrip and a contingent of Gurkha soldiers. To enter this town you must have several identity cards and go through checkpoints. In fact , in the 30's this town was the birthplace of the worker's or trade union movement in Malaya.  When the Japanse invaded Malaya , Batu Arang was one of the first towns they secured as they know of its importance. But sadly, after just 5 years of their occupation the town's coal mining industry collapsed. For over 47 years, coal mining here had a 3-shift operation that involved over 5,000 miners  and extracted 15 million tonnes of coal. 
Today,  all that is lost in the bushes, left behind, unrecorded and because of the immense network of underground air wells there are no buildings higher than 5 storeys and no huge pilling is done or allowed. Listen to an 83-year-old resident of this coal-cursed town in this video that takes you to a derelict site of the air shafts which often attract curious town visitors.
Seni - Arts

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