Ever thought that living in Kampong Lipat Kajang is lucrative or even contented? In those days it was, everyone had padi field, everyone had rubber plantation plot, almost everyone had buffaloes, everyone rear chicken or ducks, many just go fishing in the Pahang River and was able to catch large fish, or even cast net, or whatever means, to catch fresh water fish in their padi fields, vegetable and greens were everywhere, all the young leaves, well mostly, are vegetables. So everyone was contented.
Then the Japanese came, and beat the British, everyone ran into the jungle. Only for a short time and then they came out to lead their normal kampong life. Then the British came back, and life became more difficult because of the Communist thread (so called, and the British called them bandits). The kampong folks were then more fearful to go into the jungle to hunt or in search of jungle products. They feared going out at night in case they got shot at (by the bandits?). They abandoned some of their padi fields because these were now remote. Their fear was not without foundation, because for 40 days before the British took control (after the Japanese left), the ‘Tiga Bintang’ was ‘in power’, and one of the kampong folks was ‘killed’. And at night ( a few months after that) all the males population of the kampong were made to guard the ‘penghulu’s (the kampong headman) house to prevent the penghulu from being taken away by the ‘Communists’. Normal life was disrupted, but yet the kampong life survived.
And the so called Emergency ended and life was never normal again. Pahang River was polluted, (probably logging activities upriver has drastically increased) fish in the river have dwindled away, padi fields are abandoned, and fish in the padi fields are no more breeding, the number of buffaloes in the field have been reduced drastically because not many were then interested in rearing buffaloes (and probably not much more buffaloes grazing grounds are available due to more people fencing up their pieces of land), overall a new way of life had emerged. Children have left the kampong to work out of the kampong, the District and the State, or are sent to town to be educated. And they never came back to settle in the village. Thus the population has also decreased with only the senior (aged) people left behind to manage the kampong.
But there are still people in the kampong who were forward looking and who had the leadership quality. They developed the kampong in a more modern ways. The opened up new (and old unused) land, on a cooperative basis, they planted palm oil and rubber trees. They managed those, with the future generations of the kampong people in their mind. The result? Many of these forward looking ‘leaders’ are now gone but the people in the ‘cooperatives’ are now benefiting from those schemes which the ‘leaders’ had implemented. Many of the kampong people are now living an easier life, getting ‘pension’ from the bonuses and profits made by the sales of rubber and palm oil products the trees/plants of which they had planted together some 10 or so years ago. An average Lipat Kajang person who joined the cooperatives now collects RM1000 / month, which is a big sum when you live in such a rural society. From such sum, some have been to Mekah (maybe many times) and some have built big houses. And many have managed to send their children for further education.
An average Kampong Lipat Kajang person now is again living a contented life.