Changlun : Asal-usul Bermula/The Beginning

Changlun adalah sebuah bandar kecil yang terletak kira kira 42 kilometer dari Alor Setar. Ia merupakan wilayah kedua terletak berhampiran sempadan Malaysia - Thailand selepas Bukit Kayu Hitam.

Bermula sebagai perkampungan yang kurang mendapat mendapat kemudahan asas, kini Changlun adalah antara pekan yang semakin rancak dalam proses pembangunannya. Ini adalah disebabkan kedudukannya strategik yang merupakan laluan utama bagi mereka ke Thailand dan Perlis.

Gajah - Kenderaan Pengangkut

Menurut Ahmad Abas, 112, dari Kampung Bendang Tok Leh, perkataan Changlun adalah berasal daripada bahasa Siam yang bermakna chang (gajah) loon (jatuh) dan disatukan menjadi Changlun. Difahamkan pada zaman dahulu gajah merupakan kenderaan pengangkutan yang turut digunakan sekitar daerah itu.

Katanya, gajah itu yang sedang mengangkut barang tiba-tiba terjatuh ketika berada di tepi sungai di Kampung Changhai dan peristiwa itulah menyebabkan Changlun diberi nama hingga kekal pada hari ini.

“Pada mulanya Changlun adalah kawasan yang agak terpinggir kerana ia terletak jauh di utara Kedah, malah kawasan ini turut mengalami perintah berkurung sebanyak dua kali kerana tindakan ganas komunis yang sentiasa mengancam ketenteraman awam.

“Pada masa itu, jam 6 petang, pekan ini menjadi sunyi kerana penduduk takut untuk keluar apatah lagi pada masa itu belum ada lagi bekalan elektrik disediakan. Bagi penoreh yang mahu pergi menoreh pula hanya dibenarkan membawa air kopi sahaja
dan jika bawa minuman selain itu, pasti akan dirampas tentera,” katanya.

Lebuh raya Nadi Kemajuan

Ahmad berkata, pada masa itu penduduk yang tinggal di Changlun hanya bekerja di sawah, ladang getah dan menebang balak. Pada masa itu, penduduk bukan sahaja berhadapan dengan ancaman komunis tetapi juga dari binatang buas hingga menyebabkan penduduk tidak berani keluar pada waktu malam.

“Bagaimanapun pada 1980- an apabila bermulanya pembinaan Lebuhraya Utara Selatan (Plus) melalui pekan itu, ia telah menjadi nadi pembangunan di kawasan tersebut dan berlakunya kepesatan pembangunan sehinggalah ke hari ini.

“Pembinaan lebuh raya dikatakan telah melonjak nilai hartanah di kawasan itu apabila banyak kediaman serta kawasan industri mula wujud hingga menyebabkan pekan baru Changlun turut dibuka bagi memberi kemudahan kepada penduduknya,” katanya yang merupakan antara penduduk tertua di Changlun.

Menurut Ahmad, antara keunikan penduduk di Changlun ini ialah mereka mampu mengusai dua bahasa iaitu bahasa Siam dan Melayu. Kedua-dua bahasa itu dahulunya sering digunakan untuk aktiviti harian masyarakat. Bagaimanapun, pada hari ini generasi sekarang sudah semakin kurang menggunakan bahasa Siam sebagai bualan harian dan mungkin agak malu.

Kini Changlun tidak lagi berada pada zaman hutan belantaranya malah setiap tanah di kawasan itu akan dipenuhi dengan hutan batu akibat proses pembangunan yang pesat hingga beberapa institusi pengajian tinggi turut dibina di situ.

Kepesatan pembangunan di Changlun semakin maju apabila wujudnya pusat pengajian tinggi atau kolej pengajian seperti Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Perlis dan Kolej Matrikulasi yang mempopularkan lagi nama Changlun kepada pelajar luar apabila mereka datang bagi mengikuti pengajian di situ.

English

Changlun : The Beginning

Changlun is a small town approximately about 42 kilometer from Alor Setar, the capital of Kedah state. It is the second region beside Bukit Kayu Hitam which is nearby the boundary of Malaysia - Thailand.

Started from a small village without a proper basic facilities, nowadays Changlun is among the most vibrant develop area because of its strategic position as the main pathway for those who wish to cross border into Thailand or to nearby state of Perlis.

Elephant - The Carrier

According to Ahmad Abas, aged 112 from Bendang Tok Leh village, the word Changlun was originated from the Siam language which mean Chang (elephant) and Loon (fall down) - Changloon (elephant that fall down). It was understood that at that time, elephants were used as the main carrier around the district.

He said that one of the elephant has suddenly felled during the process while at the nearby river in Changhai Village. Based on that event, the area was named as Changloon until to this day with a slightly change in spelling from "loon" to "lun" only.

"From the start, Changlun was a remote area because of its location which is far north of Kedah. Additional to that the area has also under a curfew for two times because of the threat from communist guerilla which constantly intrude the public life".

"At that time, even at 6 o'clock in the evening, the town will became serene from activities because the villagers are afraid to go out plus the lacked of electricity power. For those who wished to do their rubber tapping were only allowed a supply of coffee and other than that, will be seized by the army" he said.

The Highway as the Pulse of Progress

Ahmad also said at that time the Changlun villagers mostly worked in the paddy field, rubber plantation and logging activities. Not only they are facing the threat from the communist guerilla but also from the wild animals which added to the reason why they restraint themselves from coming out at night.

"Anyway during the 1980's when the North-South highway was started and go through the town, it became the pulse of significant development in the area until to this day".

"The construction of the highway has increase the value of real estate in the area when the housing and industries were created. Even a new town was opened to accommodate the overflow of residents" he said.

According to Ahmad which is one of the oldest people in Changlun, among the uniqueness of Changlun people are their ability to dominate two language which is Siam and Malay as both were used regularly in their communication and activities. But nowadays the new generation are lesser and uncomfortable in using Siam language as their daily language".

Nowadays Changlun is not the remote area anymore as every inch of the lands are fulled of concrete because of the rapid development process especially when a few of higher learning institution were also build at the surrounding area.

The higher learning institutions such as Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Perlis and Matriculation College also popularized Changlun as the main source of entertainment, goods supply, transportation hub etc for their students.

Petikan dari/from : Muafakat Kubang Pasu

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