Time takes a breather in Kapar
Published: Fri, 06 Jul 2012
Klang town is no longer a mystery or an enigma but there are places under the jurisdiction of the Klang Municipal Council that is worthy of a visit.
The main road that cuts through Kapar town is fairly wide.
One of these is Kapar. Frankly, I couldn’t think of any good reason to pay a courtesy call on the Kapar township except the lame excuse of observing what people in small towns do during the day.
Like many others who may have given Kapar scant attention, it came as a big surprise to learn that the biggest power station in Malaysia is located in this town.
The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz power station was opened in March 1987 and in terms of production capacity, it is reported to be unequalled in terms of energy output.
The Kapar power station has the honour of being the first coal-fired plant in the country. It also fires natural gas and bunker oil.
If you really want detailed answers, you will have to ask an engineer who specialises in bio-fuels and energy sources.
According to the 2010 population census, Klang has 1.1 million people.
From an unprofessional visual survey of town, my personal conservative estimate of Kapar’s population would be about 15,000 people. The total would include those people staying in the outskirts of town.
The Klang Municipal Council which was formed in 1971 put Meru and Kapar under its control. But in 40 years, Kapar has shed its cowboy town image and has added some urban muscle to look like a strapping young lad wishing to join a bigger league.
But it is not totally out of the woods yet because I did spot a couple of cows happily marking some of the town’s side-roads as their territory. It has been a long time since I have seen stray cows in any town
When I was walking aimlessly in Kapar town recently, hunger pangs surfaced with an intensity that could not be ignored.
At first glance, there were hardly any notable Chinese eateries around.
However, I have learned from past experience that the quickest way to solve this problem was to extract information from the locals.
Within five minutes, a shop assistant pointed me in the right direction.
Earlier, I had switched to my ever reliable Penang Hokkien as the best mode of communication because in this part of Klang, Hokkien was the lingua franca.
I found myself walking behind the row of shops facing the main road because most of the Chinese coffeeshops were facing the residential houses.
The unsophisticated township of Kapar that is out-of-sight for many Klang Valley residents.
There were at least five coffeeshops along the row of low profiled commercial buildings.
Shuang Wang restaurant immediately caught my attention because it was bigger than the others and it occupied two shoplots.
At 2pm when coffeeshops and restaurants in KL or PJ are still doing brisk business, Kapar eateries are fast slipping into siesta time.
This particular shop was clearly way past its busiest hour.
In fact, there were hardly any customers. There were five food stalls in the premises and the man operating the “thye chao” wok was chatting with his friends at a nearby table. He got up when I showed interest in some of his displayed dishes.
I opted for a plate of “yin-yeong noodles” for two persons. At RM9, it was an acceptable small town price tag.
Most KL people prefer to go for “hot wok culinary selections” or “thye chao” because these dishes are always fresh and piping hot no matter how late the hour is in the day.
On the day of my visit, it was the celebrated “Chang festival”. Specifically, it was the 5th day of the 5th moon.
Chinese folks mark the occasion by making and eating triangular shaped glutinous rice dumplings.
The Shuang Wang restaurant had a tableful of “bak chang” for sale.
I couldn’t resist buying two and later found out to my delight that it had just the right consistency and taste similar to the ones that came out of my mother’s kitchen.
Kapar’s other claim to fame is its bird sanctuary. This fact is not well publicised but bird watchers and nature lovers are probably well aware of it.
The Kapar bird sanctuary is located about five kilometres from the power generating plants. It is on record that since 1988, more than 60 species of migratory birds have been spotted at the ash ponds.
The ash ponds are the results of usage of coal during production of electricity. The area covers about 300 hectares and hundreds of migratory shore birds have been attracted by these ash ponds.
Experts called this an accidental bird sanctuary. The ash ponds have attracted migratory birds from countries like Siberia and Australia, and some from about 24,000km away.
Researchers and scientists have shown keen interest in the migratory patterns of our feathered friends as a result of these facts.
There are only eight broad migratory bird flyways in the world and Kapar is the only site in Malaysia along the East Asian-Australasan flyway.
For the benefit of bird watchers, some of the species spotted in the Kapar bird sanctuary are sand plovers, curlews, godwits, common shanks, terns, Nordmann’s shank, Asia Dowitcher and Far Eastern curlew.
Intrepid adventurers who wish to explore habitats in the periphery of Kapar, places like Kampung Kapar, Taman Sentosa, Kampung Tok Muda, Taman Sungai Kapar Indah and Kampung Bukit Kapar may just pique your interest.
Personally, my interest was more down-to-earth and it was drawn towards Kopitiam Hoe Peng, Restoran 98, Restoran Su Jin and Come Come Mini Market.
At normal driving speed, it takes 25 minutes from Kuala Selangor to Kapar, 15 minutes from Klang and 10 minutes from Pantai Remis (not the one in Perak, but near Jeram).
If you are not in any hurry to go anywhere, Kapar is definitely the place to be.