SABAK BERNAM: The wooden house with a tall windmill beside it and an orange swing, is a striking sight amidst the lush paddy fields of Sekinchan, a quaint town in Selangor’s Sabak Bernam district.
A bold signboard with the words “Ah Ma House” emblazoned across it greets visitors at the entrance – but what exactly is Ah Ma House?
Quite simply, it’s a house cum museum with a wide array of vintage items on display, providing visitors with a walk down memory lane.
Modelled after the typical kind of kitchens and living rooms found in houses of decades ago, the rooms are also stocked with a variety of snacks, cosmetics and toys that are next to impossible to find these days. And guess what? Many of these items can be purchased.
In the kitchen exhibit, you’ll find a traditional cooking stove, a kerosene lamp, wooden storage cabinets and even a wooden washing board – items you no longer find in modern kitchens. You just might feel like you’ve been transported back into your “popo’s” kitchen!
And in the living room, a completely alien sight to kids these days, is a chunky rotary phone of all things! There is an old-fashioned television set as well as a radio, and even a Singer sewing machine.
Co-owners Ng Joo Leong, 45, and his Kwi Ai Fang, said that they opened Ah Ma House in 2015. The inspiration was his own grandmother’s house.
“Since young, my wife loved collecting old items and that’s how we got an idea to exhibit these items for visitors,” he said. Over the years, they added nostalgic items to be sold which they sourced whenever they travelled.
These include an array of snacks that will make even an adult squeal in delight. Among these are White Rabbit candies, iced gem biscuits, and Choki Choki chocolate. They also sell freshly made cotton candy here.
Other delicious treats include kuih kapit and kuih bahulu, which are made using the couple’s family recipes. If you’re lucky, you may catch some of Ng’s employees making kuih kapit on site.
Ng said that they also manufacture their own coffee, chili sauce and “bedak sejuk”, a popular powder back then which women would apply on their faces.
They even sell bird’s nests which are harvested from a swiftlet house located behind Ah Ma House.
Additionally, there are other locally sourced items for purchase – Sarawak pepper, “hup toh soh” which are Chinese walnut cookies, and tea among others.
If you’ve ever wondered how people passed time in the good old days before mobile phones took over, the toy exhibits at Ah Ma House will give you an idea.
Here you can find yoyos, tops and transparent water games, all fun activities. And yes, these are sold here as well!
If the toys haven’t blown your mind, wait till you see the cosmetics of yesteryears. Does Hazeline Snow face cream, New Elizabeth hair spray, or Holiday on Ice and Cuticura talcum powders ring a bell? What about Sam Fong Hoi Tong Face Powder?
A visit to Ah Ma House is bound to leave many visitors – particularly the adults – exclaiming: “Oh, I remember this!” or “I haven’t seen this in so long!”. And that is precisely what Ng and his wife hope for.
“When visitors tell us that these items remind them of their grandmother or their past, we are very happy,” he said.
More than that, it’s a grand opportunity to show the younger generation glimpses of life decades ago. A word of caution: a visit to Ah Ma House may just leave you missing your “popo”.
Learn more about Ah Ma House on Facebook.
Ah Ma House
Lot 10376, Jalan Tali Air 5
Business hours: 10am-6pm daily
Contact: 014-230 5753