S.T. Raja Jan

Personal Memories of Capitol Theater

“Easy to know them, by the way their dressing, by the way their moving, you know there are prostitutes, men know there are prostitute, easy to talk to them, easy to communicate with them.”

S.T. Raja Jan

Interview with the Man who like to hang out on Jalan Bendahara

Hi Uncle Raja, how is Kampung Jawa those day?
Those Kampung Jawa in olden days, they have 2 places, 1 is Coconut Island and Kampung Jawa. 2 places la, the Coconut Island is at the panggung wayang a theater, there was in the capitol was what we called it Coconut Island. Behind the theater there is houses with plank, you know small small houses with planks and all that. That place only for people drinking, enjoy this pondan-pondan all they enjoy, by not doing all the bad things la, enjoying going together, kissing and all that, like that, that place is for that kind of person. Kampung Jawa, yes, it’s for prostitutes. But that place is not a prostitute, there is only called by Coconut Island, but hardly name by this one la, Kampung Jawa also la because it was nearby. So, that place is ok, but the obvious one is Kampung Jawa. Those day Kampung Jawa people like lady, they already divorce, they already run from the husband, not enough of loving, makan not enough, money not enough, so they run there, because that side, those days, 3 dollars is very big. RM 3 is very great, can buy things everything with RM 3. That time like people old or people already divorce, heavy sex and all that they will go to that place ok. I used to pass there, I have some friends that already a prostitute over there. You know during the prostitute time is only come from 7.00pm to 3.00am and 4.00am in the morning. So. They will sit outside, at the corridor, in the dark with no light, in the dark. People want prostitutes they know where to find us. They come only, they show. I want you, I qwant you, I want you. They will follow and go into the room. Say about half an hour or 1 hour they go out. They earn about RM 10 to RM 15 one time, one day. RM 10 to RM 15 already great you know. It’s already considered now day’s RM 150 to RM 200 those days la. But those days police are not rushing there, there’s no rushing, there’s no police come and catch, there’s no Pejabat Agama come you know because at that time, my time is open. Because they don’t know people have gone to this type of places, they don’t know, that place they call it Bunga Raya where they sell clothing, cheap clothes, when before Raya or Chinese New Year, all this will go buy there. So, they know there’s a small small lane they go by the back, they go to side to see prostitute. Day time they have prostitute, but they can’t show that they are in the house, the man’s want to go they will know the way to look for them. They will round by and go by the back way. Sometimes they got house on top, so they earn money by man’s like age 30-40 you know, give them RM 5 and RM 3 to enjoy, but there’s no sickness those days because they never mix people, they will only go for the same person. They will never touch the other people, if it’s you he only goes with you all the time, if she it’s only with she. Never change unless they want to try, they may go. Those days they don’t have the word syphilis and all that. Later part come about few years’ time then they got syphilis because man taking drugs and all that. Why become like that because they take more drugs, then dirty you know. So, this prostitute they know that this sickness will be coming up, so they try to run out from this people. They will see they will ask, if you drinker, you are a smokers will find out from the doctor. How it looks like? If he is this thing. The doctor said if his too heavy drinker, if he has a face that not really healthy, if he seems like weakly, but the urge is a lot but looks very weak you know and the teeth looks a bit dark, and it’s a bit smelly, that people don’t take. Easy to get syphilis. Ya, don’t try to get a man like this you know. So, that time there’s only 1 doctor in Kampung Jawa, there’s one Chinese doctor only cure for syphilis, if any man gets this young boy get this they will go to the doctor. There’s only 1 male doctor only, no other doctor in other places that to do this disease syphilis, they will go to the doctor, saying that when they pees will come out blood, and then come out with the pus you know, they know like that, so that time, Kampung Jawa divide, this part this people, this part this people, if syphilis people will go that place. They know la, syphilis will know they will put a signboard, syphilis will go this side, we don’t want. They will divide la, that time all people like us use skirt, skirt and high heels, and then with the cigarette eat kuaci sitting like that, waiting for men la, we sit like this. But around 12.00 to 1.00am you see a lot of people passing by. They will see you, just wing like that and go in. There’s where the Kampung Jawa was in that like that. Is very famous, famous in the name by not prostitute, by putting word prostitute, name Kampung Jawa but they know it’s prostitute place.

“Kampung Jawa is also famous for its cheap clothes, it doesn’t mean that Kampung Jawa means it’s a prostitute place, but there is a shop where you buy things are cheap, in a way they don't know that, they will go back to just go for the prostitute”

Conversation on
September 24, 2018

Other then that, Kampung Jawa is famous with what?
Kampung Jawa is also famous for its cheap clothes, it doesn’t mean that Kampung Jawa means it’s a prostitute place, but there is a shop where you buy things are cheap, in a way they don’t know that, they will go back to just go for the prostitute, they know you go and buy clothes and all that, so this man all trying to go like that, don’t know that you are going to prostitute, they know that you are going to buy clothes and all that. There is something hidden in Kampung Jawa by selling cheap clothes, school uniforms, school shoes, clothes and all at Kampung Jawa. Until now they going to demolished it, the government already knew it and demolished it. That time, in the early 70’s, there is quit famous only prostitute place, there is only 1 prostitute place in Melaka. No more others. Hotels are not, hotel doesn’t do prostitute.
How about the hotel on top of the tailor shop?
Now only they have prostitute after when they know Kampung Jawa, people have been rushing and police come all like that, they run to hotel. In Bunga Raya there is 3 shops that are prostitute shop, they go by the back door. There is 1 area which is the Lido theater, beside Lido theater there is a shop, sewing shop, tailor shop that part on top. They called it Chin Nam. The word the name Chin Nam. Chin Nam is a prostitute la, Chinese they put Chin Nam, they recognized that as a prostitute place. Cheap hotel la RM 50-RM 30. But that time there are not many people from here, there from other places like Kelantan, Johor, Singapore, Penang la young-young girls in early 30’s age la.
What the reason they do that?
They earn money, they earn earn go back. Mostly are Chinese. Chinese and Malay’s but my time Chinese a lot, Chinese a lot because those days there are very poor, their schooling not that high, once finish schooling they will start to enjoy themselves. If they mix wrong friends means they will go to this kind of place, like this easy can get money. Even though you never do prostitute you will still get money they will give you. But they will hold you la, they called the word Chin Nam. Kampung Jawa, Coconut Island and Chin Nam this three names hardly you can know it’s Chin Nam. People only know its Kampung Jawa and Coconut Island. Chin Nam certain people and certain people don’t know. Chin Nam is a lane, there is a lane, they are not standing outside but standing at the door corridor, if got call you they will go up, that place been paid, by the police. So, every month the police will come and get the money. The boss will pay them, if any people were come to catch, they will get early information, then they will run la. After finish they will come back. But those days, Indian girls a lot, the young girls. About 20’s something, when the parents ask them to take care, has no studies, they will do this work. Easy to know them, by the way their dressing, by the way their moving, you know there are prostitutes, men know there are prostitute, easy to talk to them, easy to communicate with them. But those days lo, they will have people to hold them, in case anything happens, even Kampung Jawa also have. Mostly are robbers, will come and extort, after doing sex then extort, we pay them. But if got any young-young girls they will get her first la, the gangster will get her first la. Offered to him first la before you all get la or other people get he will get first la. In a way that we have to pay him la, we got no money to pay him that’s how we give him lo. That is the story about in Kampung Jawa.
Most of Chinese in Kampung Jawa, what are their professions?
Mostly most of them selling clothing, shoe maker, sandal maker, they make things like from zinc to make a cup, drag tin for selling, that what Chinese man is great in that and goldsmith. Goldsmith also got, the cheap goldsmith you know, like you buy a ring you have the stone you go and make there, they will do that. They got some small small tailor make like kebaya, long kebaya, that place is fully for that kind of profession. That’s in Kampung Jawa not Chin Nam itself. You see like Malays those days are not great with kebaya, only people who used kebaya will go for this tailor, they will just tell the Chinese, only they can do it kebaya, not Malay. The Chinese do the kebaya not the Malay. Lately after the Chinese no more then only the Malay take over. In the first, Chinese make the kebaya and Cheongsam. Those days when people want to get married they will come Kampung Jawa. That one shop, they sell all the marriage equipment, pillow la, pee’s pot la, the shoe la, the red cloth la, they have to go there, that the only shop selling there. If there is Chinese go there means, they get married la. They bought all the things for married la.
Now the shop is still there?
So far no more because the shop more to selling flowers and all that are plastic followers but they still do the tailor.
What kind of the Chinese race there?
Most of the people there, they are Teo Chiew and Hokkien and they are heavy smoker opium. There are a lot of opium smokers.
Are there any fishermen?
No fisherman. That area is only called Tongkang area. Where all the tongkang pass by, they drop by and stay for a while. After that they will go back, that time the place is very big and the river very big. Huge river and you can see all the local boats carrying rice to send to Kampung Jawa, dealer shop a lot. 1 month or 2 months once the tongkang will come to bring rice, liquor, this home things. Those days if you want to buy this go Kampung Jawa la. Rice, sugar, onion, they all go Kampung Jawa and buy la, cheap. They sell by pack no kilo’s and all that. Hardly you can find this kind shop all you know. Lately we have Madam King, this still on. That is where we all call shopping. That’s great about Kampung Jawa.

Thank You Raja Jan