Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily
Located in the district of Kuala Selangor, Sungai Janggut fishing village is about 8.5km from the town of Kapar. Because of its Malay name, many might misunderstand that this is a Malay fishing village while it actually is a traditional Chinese village.
A unique feature of the village is that all the dwellings here do not have door numbers since the village was founded. If the postmen were to deliver letters to the village, they will have to first send all the official or private letters to a coffee shop just outside the village, including utility bills.
So, villagers will go to a corner of the coffee shop whenever they are free in order to take their own letters. However, some of the letters have been left untouched in the coffee shop since the villagers moved away from here.
The village could have been named this way because of a bearded Chinese man by the family name of Khoo who used to live at a house next to the coffee shop. He was believed to have been the earliest resident of the village.
About 90% of the 800 to 1,000 residents of the village are Chinese, mainly Hokkien. According to local fishermen, many of the residents have left the village for better prospects in cities and towns. Many young people are unwilling to take up fishing as profession and it is hard to hire people in this line while those hiring foreign workers may face actions from enforcement officials any time.
They said the heyday of the village was in the 1980s when there were as many as 40 fishing boats operating in the area. Unfortunately, the seafood production has since been in decline and villagers have witnessed dead fish and foam bubbles near the coast.
The village chief told Sin Chew Daily the exact date of founding of the village was hard to determine. There are currently more than a hundred dwelling units in the village and most of the villagers have been living on fishing. Nevertheless, owing to the paltry income, many young residents have decided to move away to bigger towns, resulting in a net loss of population.
The coffee shop's lady owner, meanwhile, said, "I have been married here for more than three decades. I have seven daughters altogether. This coffee shop used to be run by my father-in-law and has been in existence for at least fifty years.
"Many fishermen would come over here for a cup of coffee after their work. The coffee shop opens for business at around 6.30 in the morning until 7.00 in the evening.
"According to the old folks, this coffee shop would open each time there was a high tide. But since I had yet to move into the village back then, I had no idea whether this claim was true," she said.