Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman is a meticulously-restored Malay house that is the highlight of a trip to Badan Warisan Malaysia (The Heritage Trust) in Kuala Lumpur. The house offers visitors a fascinating look back into the traditional way of life of Malaysians, and the story of the house is interesting in its own right.
Built between 1910 and 1930, this headman's residence was originally located in Kampung Sungai Kechil, which is a small village in Mukim Bagan Samak, Kedah. It was then moved to KL by the Heritage of Malaysia Trust as part of its ongoing efforts in the preservation and conservation of the country’s architectural heritage.
The stilted, wooden house was owned by Penghulu Abu Seman bin Nayan, who was the village headman in the state of Kedah. A series of constructions were conducted from the mid 1920s to the early 1930s and after his passing, his son Ibrahim bin Abu Seman inherited both the title and the ownership of the house. As Penghulu Ibrahim passed on without a successor of his own, the house was eventually left vacant until the Heritage of Malaysia Trust purchased it from Ibrahim's heir. In 1996, Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman was carefully disassembled and relocated to the Badan Warisan Malaysia Heritage Centre in Jalan Stonor.
Elevated by stilts, the all-black exterior stands out against its garden-like surroundings. Inside, the beautiful living quarters seem to be frozen in time as it is adorned with artefacts and furniture from the early 1900s. Within the property’s grounds is the Heritage Garden, which houses a selection of herbs and plants that are indigenous to Malaysia.
While you can wander around Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman at your own pace, there are also guided tours where you can learn more about the history of the house. Available from Mondays to Saturdays at 11:00 and 15:00, the tour is priced at a minimum of RM10 per person, which is used for maintenance and upkeep of the house. Situated within Kuala Lumpur city centre, Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman is accessible within a 15-minute walk from the Bukit Bintang monorail station.
Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman
- Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 16:00
- Address: 2 Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur
- Tel: +603 2144 9273
- Price Range: Tour - RM10