A feng shui tour of the Klang Valley #34

In the early days of Kuala Lumpur, Pudu was considered to be one of its boundaries. Jalan Cheras begins at this border and was part of the trunk road to Kajang and further south.

Although some development took place here, as with the northern trunk roads, Jalan Batu and Jalan Ipoh, somehow it did not quite achieve the same heights of success. Many government staff quarters were located here and many remain to this day, around Jalan Cochrane and its vicinity.

For some reason, there is also a heavy concentration of schools here, with no less than seven in the Jalan Peel-Cochrane area! There are SRK Convent Jalan Peel; SMK Convent Jalan Peel; SRJK (T) Cheras; SMK Cochrane; SRK Yaacob Latif; SMK Yaacob Latif and Jalan Peel Special Education Primary School. SMK Cochrane was founded as far back as the year of our nation’s independence! Once sited along Jalan Cochrane, it was moved to the nearby Jalan Shahbandar in 2004.

If that is any indication, it shows that this area is old. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic church was established here in 1960. Many of the features of this tiny pocket of Kuala Lumpur remain unchanged despite rapid development surrounding it. It’s like the land forgotten by time.

Redevelopment efforts along Jalan Peel have so far yielded only Plaza 393, an integrated apartment and shopping mall, with the hypermarket Carrefour as its anchor tenant; and the Queen’s Park concept retail store next door.

Peel Road was named after Sir William Peel, who was a British colonial administrator in Malaya and later became the governor of Hong Kong. He held many “acting” positions during his service here: acting district officer of Nibong Tebal (1898), Bukit Mertajam (1899) and Province Wellesley (now Seberang Perai) (until 1901); acting second magistrate and coroner of Penang (1905); acting auditor (1908); acting secretary to the Resident of Selangor (1909); and the list goes on.

Sir William became the chief secretary to the government in 1926, where he administered the government, and was High Commissioner for the Malay States. In 1930, he was appointed governor of Hong Kong.
Surprisingly, Jalan Peel survived in the street-renaming frenzy that followed independence.

We explained the landform features of this area in our previous article. This area is surrounded by the Ampang River and Pudu’s “tai sui hum” on the north, and Kerayong River down south. These water forms flow in a southwest direction. Therefore, the most ideal orientation for buildings here would be southwest.

This is the common direction for both rivers and poses the fewest impediments to landform energy. Conversely, if a building faces the opposite direction (northeast), its occupants may go through a doubly difficult time.

According to feng shui text and even tajul muluk, buildings should follow the flow of rivers (facing downstream direction). It is like casting a fishing trap in the river: if it faces downstream it will catch fish swimming upstream with the rising tide; if it faces upstream, it is more likely to trap detritus and rubbish that float from upstream.

Simply put, homes or offices that face upstream are likely to collect mental rubbish. The occupants may experience mental problems, a constant sense of unease and may have trouble making good judgements.

Jalan Peel follows a roughly northwest-southeast direction, which is nearly perpendicular to the rivers. Thus, properties on one side of the road face downstream (good) and those on the other side face upstream (not so good).
Based on this observation, Carrefour is likely to do better if its main entrance were moved from its present northeast direction to southeast or south, where the apartments are located.

Queen’s Park located next door along Jalan Peel would also be likely to do better if it follows the flow of the river. In any case, individual outlets within the complex would also fare differently based on where their entrances are located.

Across the road behind the Shell petrol station, is the headquarters of St John Ambulance on Jalan Shelley. The St John Ambulance Association was established in Kuala Lumpur in 1908 by British civil servants and British army medical officers stationed here. It later became the St John Ambulance Brigade in 1938. Over the next two years, the British Administrations in each Malay state set up St John Ambulance Brigade divisions in schools, government establishments and the railways.

The association and brigade were merged in 1971 and St John Ambulance Malaysia was formed. It provides first aid and home nursing training, first aid services at sports events, festivals, parades and other functions. It also provides community services such as haemodialysis centres, ambulance services and home nursing care for the underprivileged.

The main entrance of the headquarters faces southwest, which is very ideal and may be a factor to its lasting success as a charitable organisation. However, it could do better if the building’s energy is reignited as energy tends to deplete over time in a cyclical pattern.

In other streets in this area, we can see the side that faces southwest seems to fare better than the northeast. The occupants of the former appear to prosper and spruce up their homes more than their neighbours across the road.

Sure, we will still find the occasional home or two on the “unconducive” side looking better with extensions and renovations. This could be because they are new occupants who just bought the property and making a new start. The current occupant could have decided to have a makeover to improve his comfort or try and fetch a higher resale price. Or it could be someone trying to implement some geomantic cures.

We are hesitant to say if such cures are valid or whether the advice comes from credible feng shui practitioners. Too many people today are jumping on the feng shui bandwagon ever since it was popularised by some books. Some are amateurs who operate with very superficial knowledge of the principles at work. They are the biggest dangers to themselves: their efforts at mitigation may create unmitigated disasters.

Some pass themselves off as practitioners based on what little they learned. Geomancy can be a very lucrative practice and unregulated. If I had my druthers, I would like to have feng shui practitioners certified by an independent geomancy regulatory body, so that their level of knowledge, competence and experience meet minimum acceptable standards.

During this period of accreditation, they should be made to offer their services for free: if they are sincere and good at this, they will be rewarded at a later time. In the meantime, they should have regular jobs. What a breakthrough this would be for the world of geomancy! It would gain respectability and credibility, and put the charlatans out of business.

Anyway, back to our tour, we would suggest that the many schools here consider the orientation of their main entrances. They should not face northeast as a school would fail in its mission if it produces idiots!

The next best orientation for this area is southeast toward the Kerayong River. Since this is the nearest river, its impact on the vicinity would be greater. Nonetheless, by facing Kerayong, the buildings will have their backs turned to Ampang River. This normally means occupants of buildings here may experience mixed fortunes. There will be good times, interspersed with bad. Sounds like life, or at least what passes for a mediocre life, I suppose.

The only buildings that are immune to less-than-ideal landform feng shui would be houses of worship, such as churches, temples and mosques. These places do not require beneficial energy nor do they fear bad ones because God is the Almighty and creator of all things. Nature bends to His will and not the other way round.

So, even if a house of worship enjoys divine favour and continues to do well, it does not mean its immediate neighbours would do well, especially if its orientation is not ideal.

The Cheras District Police headquarters is located at the intersection of Jalan Peel and Jalan Cheras. It has a roughly southwest facing direction. That is quite a good direction.

As we proceed down Jalan Cheras, we come across Taman Maluri, most notable by its landmark, Jusco Maluri. This is a bustling complex that does fairly good business. This part of town is very near the Kerayong River, which runs between Taman Maluri and Taman Shamelin Perkasa.

The Jusco building has two main entrances: one follows the river flow and the other faces the river. This could be a strong factor in favour of its continued success thus far. The only downsides we can see are the high-tension power cables and LRT line that run along the river.

High-tension cables emit a field of electromagnetism. Their impact on health has been hotly debated for years and the verdict is still out. Some quarters believe that they do cause health

Thankfully, these are quite a distance away and the effects may be lessened somewhat. On the other hand, there could be long-term detrimental effects arising from these. In other words, business could have been better but may hit a barrier; or over time, business may deteriorate. The management should keep a close eye on things and carry out mitigation where necessary.

We will look at more of Taman Maluri next.

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