14 October 2019

Kompleks PKNS Shah Alam, a Truly 'Rakyat' Destination

By Johan Ishak
14 October 2019

KOMPLEKS PKNS SHAH ALAM, is the subject matter of my recent Whatsap conversation. Some friends accused me of being high class and up market because they only see me visiting KLCC or Pavilion shopping centres. The truth is, I am not. I would occasionally visit places that shaped my childhood and many of these places provide me with ample nostalgia. These places actually soothe my mood when I am down. The contemporaries of Kompleks PKNS Shah Alam are Pertama Kompleks, Ampang Park, Wisma Yakin, Kota Raya and many more.

So, to amplify this matter, I decided to go down the memory lane specifically to justify why Kompleks PKNS is a truly people's place, i.e. Rakyat's place. The recent (2014) Government's concept of Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) was actually present four decades ago during the early 80's when Kompleks PKNS was erected. Everything was there, literally. As a child following my parents for groceries shopping, I used to wonder why do we have to go all the way to Greatwall in Klang or Jaya Supermarket in Section 14, Petaling Jaya. I kept telling myself, 'they, whoever they are, should open a supermarket in Shah Alam, where we stayed'. Lo and behold, Kompleks PKNS was launched with a new supermarket, also by Jaya Supermarket.

The complex then grew in its offerings as well as visitors. It became the central for Shah Alam. There were Government offices there especially those involving dealings with the citizen: Transport Department, Immigration Department, Registration Department, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Bank Bumiputra, Maybank, Post Office, Land Office, Taxation and many more including an ample bunch of Commissioner for Oaths, Justice of Peace and firms of solicitors. It was, and still is, the grandfather of UTC. All one had to do to settle all administrative matters is to just spend the whole morning there, then have lunch at the famous FC Fried Chicken, and end the day with groceries shopping.

It was the place to go for almost everyhing those days. Name what you want, you will get it: florists, nurseries, Berita Book Centre, McDonalds, KFC, Malay restaurants, Mamak restaurants, Guardian Pharmacy, sports equipment repair shop, hardware shop, wedding accessories shop, tailors, frame shop, Islamic items product (such as clothing for Hajj), barbers, music shop, jewellery shop, Bata, photography shop, toy shop, travel agents, optometry, leather shop, curtain shop, bakery, sundry shop, newsagent, cooperative shop (MOCCIS), driving school, property developers, valuation and real estate firms, audit firms, computer shop, carpet shop, furniture shop and many more. It was like no other shopping centres you could find in the whole of Klang Valley.

The teenager I was, I practically grew up quite closely to the activities that happened there. My first acoustic guitar, a Kapok guitar, was purchased there. Not to mention the numerous musical album cassettes were purchased there too including some really famous 1980's local tastes such as Search, Wings, Lefthanded and Bloodshed. When Nintendo was too damn expensive to be procured, we reverted to playing snooker and bowling that was operating on the top floor of the complex. It had the ambience suitable for dating a girlfriend too (or more). The Shah Alam lake was just across the street. The mini buses came in handy to move within Shah Alam and if need be, the 222 bus that stops there provides you the route to escape to Bus Stand Klang in Kuala Lumpur.

So there you go. My childhood was perfectly fine without Suria KLCC, Megamall Midvalley, One Utama, Pavilion or Paradigm Mall. If I didn't have 80 Sen to pay for the mini bus, I could just walk from my house in Section 2 Shah Alam to Kompleks PKNS as it would only take 30 minutes to 40 minutes. There were green trees everywhere. The sky was blue with no haze to be worried about. Sometimes, a BMX would provide the alternative that speeds up the travelling time to 10 minutes to 15 minutes. We didn't need handphones. A date and time commitment made on a rotary dialer fixed line phone would suffice. Above all, when we are really, really tired to walk back, a 20 Sen call to Mak (Mother) would end with her driving a cute little white German Mini Minor down to Kompleks PKNS Shah Alam, the place where everything can be found.


Post a Comment