Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Argyll Road( 鸭加路)

Argyll Road(鸭加路)

Argyll Road((鸭加路)is located between Jalan Larut and Penang Road. The Chinese called it Bang-ka-lí hāng(萬葛里巷), which literally means Bengali (or Sikh) lane. The local Chinese called Sikh people as Bengali, which is misleading as Sikh is a Punjabi who professed Sikh religion. Bengali people are different group of people. Is the road named after Sikh Punjabi or Bengali people?...

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Argyll Road, or Jalan Argyll, had a sizable North Indian community, as did the area surrounding Penang Road, which saw two religious buildings of the North Indians: the Sri Kunj Bihari Temple on Penang Road(檳榔律)and the Bengali Mosque on Leith Street. Argyll Road itself was called Lorong Bengali. The Sri Kunj Bihari temple is built by Bihari Hindu, and Bengali Mosque was built by Bengali Muslim.

The Biharis
The Biharis (Bihari: बिहारी, بِہاری Bihārī) are an ethnic group originating from the state of Bihar Eastern UP and surrounding areas in India with a history going back three millennia. Biharis speak Bihari languages such as Magahi, Bhojpuri, Maithili, amongst other local dialects, as well as Hindi or Urdu. Bihar (Hindi: बिहार, Urdu: بہار ) is a state in eastern India. Bihar is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at 38,202 sq mi (99,200 km²) and 3rd largest by population. Bihar lies mid-way between the humid West Bengal in the east and the sub humid Uttar Pradesh in the west which provides it with a transitional position in respect of climate, economy and culture. It is bounded by the country of Nepal to the north and by Jharkhand to the south. Today, Bihar lags behind the other Indian states in human and economic development terms. Hindu is the main religion with minority Muslim. Bihari Muslims are people originating from the Indian State of Bihar, who practice Islam as their religion. Bihari Muslims mainly practice Sunni Islam of the Hanafi creed, though a small Shia minority exists. The majority of Bihari Muslims formally speak Urdu. During the Partition of the British India Empire in the summer of 1947, anti-Muslim riots broke out all over Bihar, as a result of which many Muslims were targeted and killed. Muslim property was looted. Many Bihari Muslims escaped to both Pakistan and Bangladesh. The majority (approx 3 million) went to Pakistan and settled down in the Province of Sindh, especially in Karachi. Those that went to Bangladesh lived in Dhaka where they remain till now. Bihari Muslims openly supported the Pakistani Army during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. Many Biharis are alleged to have killed Bengalis in active connivance of the Pakistani Army. Many Biharis were in turn killed by Bengalis in retaliation after the Independence of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, Biharis mostly support the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, but many still do not have voting rights and are referred to as "stranded Pakistanis". Most of them are stateless.

The Bengali People
The Bengali people are an ethnic community native to the historic region of Bengal (now divided between Bangladesh and India) in South Asia. They speak Bengali (বাংলা Bangla), which is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. In their native language, they are referred to as বাঙালী (pronounced Bangali). They are an Indo-Aryan people, though they are also descended from Mongolo-Dravidians, closely related to Austro-Asiatic, Dravidian, Assamese, East Indian, Sinhalese, Munda and Tibeto-Burman peoples. As such, Bengalis are a homogeneous but considerably diverse ethnic group with heterogeneous origins.
They are mostly concentrated in Bangladesh and the states of West Bengal and Tripura in India. There are also a number of Bengali communities scattered across North-East India, New Delhi, and the Indian states of Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharastra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. In addition, there are significant Bengali communities beyond South Asia; some of the most well established Bengali communities are in the United Kingdom and United States. Large numbers of Bengalis (mainly from Sylhet) have settled in Britain, mainly living in the East boroughs of London, numbering from around 300,000; in the USA there are about 150,000 living across the country, mainly in New York. There are also millions living across the Gulf States, majority of whom are living as foreign workers. There also many Bengalis in Malaysia, Canada, Australia and many other countries.
Bengalis also played a notable role in the Indian independence movement.

The Partition of Bengal in 1905 by British India was annulled in 1911. In 1919, separate elections were established for Muslims and Hindus. Before this, many members of both communities had advocated national solidarity of all Bengalis. Now, distinctive communities developed, with their own political agendas. Muslims, too, dominated the Legislature, due to their overall numerical strength of roughly twenty eight to twenty two million. Nationally, Hindus and Muslims began to demand the creation of two independent states, one to be formed in majority Hindu (West Bengal)and one in majority Muslim areas(East Bengal) with most Bengali Hindus now supporting partitioning Bengal on this basis. In 1947, Bengal was partitioned for the second time, this time specifically on religious grounds. It became East Pakistan. However, in 1971 East Pakistan became the independent state of Bangladesh after a successful war for liberation with the West Pakistani military regime.

So Bengali people may be from West Bengal, India who is a Hindu or from Bangladesh, who is a Muslim. Bengali is not Punjabi or Punjabi Sikh, as the local Chinese wrongly called. The name of Lorong Bengali, is it refer to Punjabi Sikh or Bengali Muslim or North Indian(Muslim and Hindu)?...

What is the meaning of Argyll?

Argyll was a county of Scotland until 1975, when Scottish counties were abolished. In 1975 the County of Argyll was abolished, with its area being split between Highland and Strathclyde Regions. A local government district called Argyll and Bute was formed in the Strathclyde region, including most of Argyll and the Isle of Bute from former county of the same name. The Ardnamurchan, Ballachulish and Kinlochleven areas of Argyll became part of Lochaber District, in Highland. In 1996 a new unitary council area of Argyll and Bute was created, with a change to boundaries to include part of the former Strathclyde district of Dumbarton.

There was an Argyllshire constituency of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1983 (renamed Argyll in 1950). The Argyll and Bute constituency was created when the Argyll constituency was abolished.

So the name of Argyll is Scottish in nature. Please visit website http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/ & http://www.visitscottishheartlands.com/index.cfm

A British merchant ship called Argyle, which sailed between India and southern China in the early 19th Century. Argyle Street in Hong Kong was named after the ship, but the spelling was Argyle instead of Argyll. But the two are the same, Argyll is archaically Argyle. Can the road named after the ship?

Duke of Argyll is a title, created in the Peerage of Scotland in 1701 and in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1892. The Earls, Marquesses, and Dukes of Argyll were for several centuries among the most powerful, if not the most powerful, noble family in Scotland. As such, they played a major role in Scottish history throughout the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Argyll Street, Glasgow was named after Duke of Argyll. For further detail please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_Argyll.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
The Argyle Regiment was raised in 1794 – with this spelling recorded in regimental history. The Sutherland Highlanders were raised in 1799. This regiment stopped a Russian cavalry charge at Balaclava in the Crimea, earning the nickname ‘The thin red line’. In 1881, in the reorganisation of the British army under the Cardwell Reforms, The Argyle Regiment, then the 91st Foot was joined with The Sutherland Highlanders, then the 93rd Foot to form The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 91st/93rd Foot. The re-raised regiment was spelled newly as ‘Argyll’.

The 2nd Battalion fought the Japanese army in Malaya and Singapore and were all but wiped out by continual deployment to protect other retreating army units – as with the Indian 11th Infantry Division, the Battle of Slim River and the crossing of the Causeway back to Singapore. Their remnants were combined with Royal Marine survivors of the sinking of HMS repulse and HMS Prince of Wales, taking the name ‘The Plymouth Argylls’. This battalion was part of the surrender of Singapore under General Percival in February 1942, with very few POWs surviving the war.

After the war, in 1948, the two regular battalions were amalgamated, forming a single battalion regiment, maintaining the honours and traditions of both original battalions. The amalgamation with the regiment’s 1st Battalion in 1948 has left the 2nd Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders as something of a lost battalion.

For further details of the batalion, please visit http://forargyll.com/2008/09/about-the-argylls-origins-and-development/

Can it be the street is named after a Scottish from Argyll?, or person with title of Duke of Argyll? The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders? or just named after Argyll Street of London, Glasgow, or Hong Kong ...anyhow, the name must related to the place called Argyll in Scotland.

The street
The road is intersected by Clarke Street(between Transfer Road and Penang Road), Lorong Ceylon and Lorong Amoy(between Larut Road and Transfer Road). Actually it is divided by Transfer Road into two halves.The road between Penang Road and Transfer Road is within the Buffer Zone of World Heritage Site of Georgetown, a UNESCO heritage city. The other halves from Transfer Road to Larut Road is outside the heritage zone.

During Japanese occupation, a Japanese barber called Ando-san who had a barbershop in Argyll Road later became the Chief Police Officer for the Japanese Imperial Army during WW2.(http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2005/5/1/features/10767272&sec=features)

There was once a famous tailor, Robert Tailor at the ground floor of at hotel,Kowloon Hotel, located at the corner of Transfer Road and Argyll Road. Other than the schools, the part near Larut Road was also the office of Birth Registry, and applying for Identification Card(IC). The part near Transfer Road was the entertainment hub, with bar, pub, hotel. The part between Penang Road and Transfer Road was the business area, and busiest part of Argyll Road.

Some old buildings have been demolished and new office buildings built at the street. Menara MAA building(No 170) and Bangunan MCIS Zurich. After Lorong Ceylon, the back portion of Island Girls Primary School and Wellesley Primary School was at the side of right end to Larut Road, the schools' frontage are at Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, and Larut Road respectively. The row of old shops at the left.

Accommodation and food
Hotel Mingood , a 2 star hotel in Penang, is located at No.164, Argyll Road, Penang,
Louis Cafe is popular for western food,it is located at 161-C , Argyll Road
Wan Ton Mee @ Tai Wah Coffee Shop, Argyll Road

Clan houses and associations

Foo Chow Hoay Kuan Penang(槟城福州会馆)is located at N0.36, Jalan Argyll,10050 Pulau Pinang
Lam Aun Hoay Kuan(南安会馆)at 167,Jalan Argyll, 10050 Pulau Pinang

Personality from Argyll Road

Haji S.M. Zainul Abidin was born on 3rd October 1898 at 167, Argyll Road (Formally known as Cakela Lane), Penang. He was the fourth son of Puan Tangcima and Tuan A.P. Sultan Mydin.
He had his early education in Chowrasta School, Penang in 1903 and then he continued his education to Penang Free School till he passed the Senior Cambridge at the age of 16, after that he continued his teaching career. SMK Haji Zainal Abidin, a secondary school at Penang was named after him.

Related articles
1. Argyll Guide, http://www.scotland.org.uk/guide/Argyll_Guide
2. Argyll, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyll
3. Argyll Street Area, London; http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41478


  1. I too come from Argyll Road. Our family home is at 167 which now is a Chinese Club. Next to our house was the Sin Tong Ah Hotel andopposite is the London Hotel run by a British who marries a Japanese lady called I believe Tomago. At the end of Argyll where it meets transfer Road is a Chinese coffee shop and in one corner is the best nasi kandar in town. Hj. S.M. Zainul Abidin is my uncle.

  2. Hi,
    I am very interested to know how the London Hotel eventually changed hand. Do you know the story? Thanks.