The Post Office commonly located in cities or in towns of significant importance is integral to the delivery machinery in that area. In its early days, services that were available in the Post Office included sending of mail, voter registration, savings and even buying lottery tickets. Teluk Anson as a riverine port was not exclusive to this, and included their very own important Post Office.
Located between the Old Police Station and Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank Corporation, the quaint Post Office of Teluk Intan remains the oldest administrative building erected during the British administration. Built in the 1890s, derived from information primarily based on the article published in the The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser on 5th October 1895 which stated, “They are not many trains a day out of it, and in going to the Post Office for the letters one has to pass the police station; unless a native of the place volunteers the information, one is puzzled to know whether that building is a prison, a church, a mausoleum, a theatre, or a Chinaman’s house”.
Built on a piece of land designated for Postal Services, the building initially had 4 entrances formed under an archway, similar to that of its immediate neighbour, the Old Police Station. With the words ‘Post Office’ formed into the archway, one can see the similarity to that of the word ‘Police Station’ which lines up in the next indicating the period and uniformity of important buildings of that period. In the book entitled “Landmarks of Perak” produced by HRH Raja Nazrin Shah, the Sultan of Perak, the following are some information with regard to the architectural design of the post office:
It’s a pre-World War I building standing in its own compound. The façade design of regularly spaced windows in a 3-3-3 and 3-4-3 rhythm is still intact on the first floor but has been somewhat lost on the ground level. The four original arched entrances, which mirror the nearby Police Station’s singular entrance archway, are obscured by modern postal additions. The building’s robust quality is enhanced by the grooved treatment of the ground floor walls from windowsill to floor cornice line.
Among the notable services from this particular Post Office included a lottery, put up by the Hock Soon Keong Temple in 1952 for a princely sum of $300,000.00 Such was the demand that it was all sold out on the second day of issue, rising to additional lottery tickets being requested from the head office which in turn created more demand which created much displeasure among the hopefuls.
It was also in the 1950s that complaints were made known, such as one which was published in the The Straits Times on 17 March 1952 that read:
“On the morning of March 13, I sent one of my men to pay my phone bill at Teluk Anson Post Office. He was told by the counter clerk to come the next day as the day’s collection was ‘too heavy’. Also, at the Registered Articles counter, one has to wait for almost half an hour at the peak period to have a letter attended to. What sort of service is the Post Office offering? Is the Post Office meant for the public or the public for the Post Office’s convenience? Disgusted Tax Payer. Teluk Anson.”
One other complaint against the Teluk Intan Post Office published in The Straits Times on 25th March 1961 reads:
One other complaint against the Teluk Intan Post Office published in The Straits Times on 25th March 1961 read,
“The postal facilities at Teluk Anson are about the worst in the country. The stamp counter is crowded like the third class window at a cinema hall and people are compelled to wait at least half an hour for attention. This is because the only clerk there has to sell stamps, register letters and sell welfare lottery tickets at the same time. Postal deliveries are the same. A cover sent to me from Penang arrived at Teluk Anson post office on March 13 but it was not until a week later – March 20, that I received it. This is not the first instance of such delays. Lee Jit Cheng. Teluk Anson.”
In the 1980s, the sale of Lottery tickets was stopped altogether and after the privatisation of the Postal Service by the government in 1992, Pos Malaysia Berhad was given the rights to administer the all important Postal Service and the introduction of ‘Pos Laju’ (courier service) was implemented in Teluk Intan.
- HRH Raja Nazrin Shah, “Landmarks of Perak”. RNS Publications Sdn Bhd. 2006. Page 66.
- ON WHEELS THROUGH MALAYA., The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 5 October 1895, Page 3
- TELUK ANSON P.O., The Straits Times, 17 March 1952, Page 6
- Ordeal at a post office, The Straits Times, 25 March 1961, Page 10
- …AND NOW THE BIG RUSH IS ON, The Straits Times, 5 October 1954, Page 5
- SECOND PRIZE, The Straits Times, 20 February 1952, Page 4