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Who Are Jalil And Kenny? Douglas Lim Wants To Know, So Here’s What We Found

Who Are Jalil And Kenny? Douglas Lim Wants To Know, So Here’s What We Found

Kenny Hills is neither just the famous bakery nor is it Kenny Rogers of The Gambler fame.

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One of Malaysia’s comedian darlings (yes, we’re not hiding our love for him) Douglas Lim raised a question that has plagued many of us.

Who are Jalil and Kenny? Both have hills named after them but not many of us know who they are.

We asked 14 people if they know who Kenny is without resorting to Google and none of them knew. Four people mentioned Kenny Rogers while another said he knows of Kenny G.

One person guessed that Kenny could have been a British expatriate who spent many years cultivating tea plantations up the hill. (For the record, there are no tea plantations in Kenny Hill).

What we’re trying to say is, Douglas Lim is right to wonder because we don’t know much about both Kenny and Jalil.

In his video, Lim remarked how we know who the Tun is just by mentioning Taman Tun, even without saying Dr Ismail.

He mulled that the same cannot be said for Jalil.

@thedouglaslim Ada siapa boleh tolong solve kan misteri ini? Ha ha ha. If you live in a place with a mysterious name, share in the comments. Enjoys… . #douglaslim #lawakbodoh #aduh #comedy #bukitjalil #misteri ♬ original sound – Douglas Lim

Before we go any further, the mystery of Jalil continues. It is anybody’s guess who Bukit Jalil is named after because even Google will not give you a definite answer.

In a propsocial article, it is said that Jalil is from the Arabic word which means majestic. There was also a Ladang Bukit Jalil where all the development now stands. So the name could have just been carried over from the name of the plantation.

Up until 1992, the area was an estate known as the Bukit Jalil Estate, consisting of a rubber plantation.

However, Kenny is not that much of a mystery. There is a man behind the name but the fact that Kenny Hills was renamed Bukit Tunku is probably why we don’t think of Kenny as much.

Unpacking the mystery of Kenny Hills

Once upon a time, the area was known as Kenny Hills. Kenny is William Kenny, the director of Public Works for the Federated Malay States.

According to an article we found, Kenny was a government engineer who was tasked with developing the area.

Kenny Hills became Bukit Kenny after Merdeka and later became Bukit Tunku, after our first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj.

A quick check on the Jabatan Kerja Raya (Public Works Department) website shed a little more light on Kenny.

Under the history of JKR, W. Eyre-Kenny was listed as a “colonial engineer” from 1920 to 1922 for the federated Malay states. A colonial engineer is the person in charge of the department at the time.

We confirmed that W does stand for William as there was a death announcement in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21 April 1924.

In the announcement, it was said that Kenny had retired a year ago (1923) as director of Public Works Federated Malay States “after 32 years of distinguished service in the East, in Sarawak, the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States.”

He died at the age of 57 after undergoing a serious operation in Australia.

Born in 1867 in New Zealand, Kenny however was laid to rest at the South Head cemetery in New South Wales, Australia.

A history enthusiast who often writes for the New Straits Times, Alan Teh Leam Seng, once mentioned Kenny in a write-up about the Johor Causeway. He wrote that Kenny had suggested for the construction of a rubble causeway across the Johor Straits in 1917.

So there you have it, we solved the not-so-really mysterious history of Kenny Hills or Bukit Tunku.

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