Our fourth Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was born and raised in Alor Setar. Sekampung dengan cheq na!! Che Det, as he fondly known, received his primary and secondary education also in Alor Setar. His childhood house still stands strongly until today. As an act of preservation and appreciation, Arkib Negara has turned the house into a tourist attraction. Tadaa… I present to all of you Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir Mohamad.
Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir Mohamad is located on Lorong Kilang Ais, Jalan Pegawai, Alor Setar. Its operating hours are 10am - 5pm Tuesday till Sunday (closes on Monday except school holidays and public holidays). The place comprises of 1 nice traditional wooden house (the original house in which Tun was born) and 3 more buildings designed like traditional houses (for example Rumah Limas). One of the buildings is an auditorium and surau. While the other two serve as exhibition areas.
As I stepped into Tun’s house, memories of yesteryear flooded my mind. Things like kukur nyiur, dapur arang and mangkuk tingkat brought smile to my face. Tun’s personal items, photos and favorite things are being displayed in the house. His university days’ paraphernalia, newspaper articles, involvement in politics and historical artifacts are put on view in the other two buildings. Too bad visitors are not allowed to take pictures inside all the buildings so you have to go there to see for yourself.
A souvenir shop (closed when I went there) and an old ice factory can also be found in its compound. The ice factory ceased operation years ago and is also turned into a museum. All the machines used to produce ice are on display. As you walk inside it, you’ll get to see how ice is produced in the good old days. It got an eerie feeling to it like an abandoned building has.
The surrounding area is clean and well kept. There were not many visitors around so we took our own sweet time inside Tun’s house. All in all, we only took about half an hour to finish touring the whole place…with 6 children in tow, mind you.