Memories of Lubuk Mat Anjing, Almarhum Sultan Yusuf, the nobat and the flood

Sungai Perak. Note the Sultan Abdul Jalil bridge in the background. (Personal collection of Raja Yusuf Izzudin)

This is a thread taken from an online photo forum describing Kuala Kangsar:

“(I) Was in Bukit Chandan in 1959 and 1960. Left Clifford School and Bukit Chandan after Form 3 in 1961 to go to the Royal Military College in Sungai Besi. Used to play football on the padang next to the palace. Even played hide and seek in the Istana numerous times. Those days security wasn’t so tight and we kampung boys could simply go into the Istana anytime. I once saw HH the late Sultan Yusuf Izzudin Shah in a sarong and pagoda tee shirt and remember thinking they were ordinary human beings after all… When he died and the Sultan before Sultan Azlan took over, I remember hearing the nobat playing for several nights. Very hauntingly eerie sounds. I also used to regularly swim across the Perak river to Sayong just below Lubuk Mat Anjing after school, and only stopped when my father rotan me because two Malay College boys who were also equally naughty, drowned in Lubuk Mat Anjing. I also remember shooting Malay College boys with my catapult because all the GEGS* girls prefer the Malay College boys over Cliffordians. I remembered I couldn’t go to school for a few days because the Perak River flooded and the water rose to half the height of the Kuala Kangsar Clock Tower.

“Those were good fun days…and it seemed it was only yesterday when I was young….”

[*] GEGS – Government English Girls School, now named Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Raja Perempuan Kelsom.


Editor’s notes on Lubuk Mat Anjing (or Lubuk Mat Anjen, if you like): This infamous part of Sungai Perak in Kuala Kangsar is located about 150 metres downstream from the Royal boat jetty near the Padang Kanak Kanak. Local legend has it that a chap named Mat and his dog drowned at this very site.

Location of the lubuk is marked by boulders, as seen in this hand-drawn map by Raja Chulan Raja Ahmad Tajuddin.

As Engku Chulan described, “… don’t you dare swim there if you can’t beat Mark Spitz (American swimmer who won seven gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics)”. The lubuk is characterised by whirlpool/eddies, which can formed when an obstruction hinders the normal flow of a current. It has been described that drowning victims upriver would end up at Lubuk Mat Anjing, due to the peculiar flow of the current as this point.

A photo of the eddies at the lubuk. (Source: One very brave Raja Mariam Raja Mohamed)

The lubuk is well known among local anglers. Lampams weighing one kilogramme can allegedly be found in this vicinity.

1. Fishing Book – Rahsia Lampam


10 thoughts on “Memories of Lubuk Mat Anjing, Almarhum Sultan Yusuf, the nobat and the flood

    • yes…heard about it. Was told that it was on the same strectch where our grandad’s Packard was total loss!
      (One of his son drove with his “koleq” friends):)

      There’s another spot in Chandan called Bukit Gantung (if not mistaken nearby Lubok Mat Anjen)….ada cerita seram at that site.

  1. I remember a friend of mine, called Pak Tam, who was also a part-time shaman… One day when someone drowned near Lubok Mat Anjin… he actually went there, did some mantera, threw some eggs into the river to locate the body… apparently, the hantu ayor told him that they’ve hidden/kept the body under some roots near the lubok… they (police divers) found it later. The strange thing is that, the body seemed drained of blood, very pale… Eerie… Must be in the 70s…

  2. Dear editors,

    Interesting piece. Thank you.

    Me, brave? Hardly! Its more of a case of ‘ignorance is bliss’. I knew very little about the ‘infamous’ Lubok Mat Anjen when I stood on its steep bank (indicated in Raja Chulan’s map) to snap pictures. But literally overnight, after putting this picture up on facebook, stories came pouring in from those who have firsthand knowledge and experience about the Lubok.

    And now that I’m a bit wiser about the place, I would think twice before venturing that close again. See … not brave at all!!

    But, I think it would be enlightening (to say the least) if the SK editors could compile stories and experiences about the Lubok and publish them here. It would prove very interesting reading, I’m pretty sure.

    Thank you.

  3. Salam dear readers,
    When one speaks of Lubok Mat Anjen we must imagine the Perak River as it was in the sixties. It was quite unlike as it is today. There was no riverside landscape with both sides of the banks covered with wild bushes, reeds and in some places clumps of Bamboo plants. The only ‘safe’ landmark was the boat jetty at the confluence of the Kangsar and Perak river. The river itself was wider than it is today, with current flowing menacingly strong even when we look at it from a distance. It only took a few hours of rain for it to flood and inundate its banks. Try walking along the river bank for just a minute and you will be picking leeches, and worst, ‘Lintah’ from your legs! One can never determine which was the deeper part of the river but by unanimous concensus it was, and I believe, still is: The Lubok Mat Anjen!!!

  4. One fierce river then.

    Story has it that in 1951 a young lady member of the Perak (and Selangor) royal family lost her life at the river – not in Lubuk Mat Anjing but few miles upstream between Bekor and Manong. The boat she was on with several others overturned while on an outing.

    Story also has it that when family members and others could not locate her body, Sultan Yussof Izzuddin Shah was informed and he had then asked Raja Muda Idris Iskandar Shah to help. With his help and dengan kuasa Allah the body suddenly floated precisely at the tragedy spot.

    Al-Fatihah for Raja Zakiah bt Tengku Zainun Rashid Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Ala’uddin Sulaiman Shah of Selangor.

  5. The above tragedy happened at a place called Pulau Semat which is about 3 km away from Manong in Mukim Senggang, Kuala Kangsar. Not many has heard about Pulau Semat which is actually an important place in the history of Perak sultanate. During his reign, Sultan Tajul Ariffin, the 4th sultan of Perak, had his istana built there. Today, I was told, Pulau Semat is a mosquito-infested swamp. But the durians there are great. Sultan Tajul Ariffin died in 1594 and is referred to as Marhum Mangkat Di Tebing.

  6. Salams,

    I’ve heard of the same story. My sister recounted to me about that boating tragedy and how Almarhum Sultan Idris (then Raja Muda as highlighted by Pak Teh) had helped to locate the body, by the will of Allah.

    And the river is stil fierce today. I went back to the Lubok Mat Anjing (felt a little brave) and captured some realy turbulent waters at the Lubok. The turbulence was so strong that it looked as if a submarine would emerge out of the waters!! Just to give a picture about the extent of the turbulence, not that I really expected a submarine lah!

  7. Pingback: Kuala river tales « SembangKuala BLOG

  8. Kat tempat saya, kat jalan nak ke Manong sebelum sampai Ketior ada selekoh namanya Selekoh Yop Umoo. Ada sesape tau?

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