Lam Looking Bazaar

Lam Looking Bazaar in its glory days. (Source: Arkib Negara Malaysia)

This is a landmark well known to all Ipoh-ites. Lam Looking Bazaar was named after its owner, Lam Look Ing, Kinta tin miner and property magnate, who hailed from Penang. The bazaar is an art deco building built in 1931.

IpohWorld’s World has this description of the bazaar:

“The Celestial Cabaret and hotel upstairs was a favourite haunt of European expatriates. During the war, Japanese military officers patronised the cabaret which was also a Japanese casino (gambling farm) during the Occupation and a grenade target during the Emergency.

“As the Perak Emporium it was a major shopping centre from when it opened in the late 1960’s until it closed in the late 1980’s. It also had retail shops at street level, with smaller lots fronting an oval courtyard. Lot No. 8 was journalist Ahmad Noor Abdul Shukor’s ‘Blue Room’. Fook Seng, at Lot No. 6 retailed gramophones, keronchong songs and Arabic music.”

Lam Looking Bazaar has seen better days and is currently dilapidated following a fire in 2005.

Lam Looking Bazaar, as of 10 December 2009. Photo courtesy of YM Raja Mariam binti Raja Mohamed Iskandar

The back of Lam Looking Bazaar, as of 10 December 2009. Photo courtesy of YM Raja Mariam binti Raja Mohamed Iskandar

Reference:
1. IpohWorld’s World. Lam Looking Bazaar Restoration Seems to Have STOPPED!
2. Images of Ipoh. Lam Looking Bazaar.

3 thoughts on “Lam Looking Bazaar

  1. Thank you for this. Appreciate knowing its history.

    I used to frequent the Perak Emporium during its heyday in the late 80s. I remember it to be very popular. Sad to see its present state.

  2. The back of the bazaar was a lane that had a flea market of sorts in the old days, according to dad. You can find spare parts and old knick-knacks macam tayar, bicycle, et cetera.

    My own experience of the place – I can’t remember it. Although, dad said I was ‘mugged’ as an infant/toddler at the Emporium – had an anklet which the pencuri ragut pakai gunting (assumed so because the skin around my ankle had a little nick and the anklet was gone when my aunts and I got home).😛

    • Hmmm.. as you might have known, I was at that back alley recently to snap all those back view pictures of the Bazaar (so unglamorous to term it as ‘back view’, ‘side view’ … I wish I could use their more glamorous cousins like the ‘west wing’, the ‘north-east wing’ etc). The back lane is now occupied by rows of shops, some looked very old, some new and some barely standing with just their outer framework remaining. I wonder where the site of that flea market could be.

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