Total Population:   17,862

Total Mukims:   8

Total Area:  54.98 km sq



A Pulai Tree





  • Kampung Bukit
  • Pengkalan Kunyit
  • Earlier Transportation
  • Shamsul-Maarif Arabic School

Welcome to our site

This website is more about a rural area in Malaysia  -  PULAI CHONDONG  -  in the State of Kelantan.  You will be introduced to the area  -  its community,  economy,  development programs and many more.  But most importantly you will get to know about the its history,  heritage,  culture  and  of course the man responsible for its birth.

TOK PULAI CHONDONG  or  HAJI ABDUL SAMAD bin FAQIH HAJI ABDULLAH is the man we are talking about.  Through this website,  you will get better acquainted with this personality.  You will be introduced to his lifestyle,  his thinking,  his strategies,  his philosophies,  his leadership,  his extra abilities  and  of course his involvement in the spread of the teaching of Islam and his pioneering efforts to bring knowledge and education to his people.

TOK PULAI CHONDONG is a very  special person.  This website is all about him and his role in bringing new life to the people of this rural area in Malaysia.

But first let's take a closer look at PULAI CHONDONG - the area in question.  Let's find out how it originated and how Haji Abdul Samad is given the title TOK PULAI CHONDONG.   All these will be contained in this site  -  THE PULAI TREE.  You may ask why the area is named after a tree,  and what about this tree  -  the Pulai tree.

Stay with us,  and you will find out.   And at the same time we wish you 'WELCOME' to this website.

 THE PULAI TREE  -  An Introduction

From Wikipedia,  the free encyclopedia

Alstonia scholaris (Apocynaceae, commonly called Blackboard tree, Indian devil tree, Ditabark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood and Pulai; syn. Echites scholaris L. Mant., Pala scholaris L. Roberty) is an evergreen, tropical tree native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia

Alstonia scholaris is a small tree that grows up to 40 m tall and is glabrous. The bark is greyish;branchlets are copiously lenticellate.

The upperside of the leaves are glossy, while the underside is greyish. Leaves occur in whorls of 3-10; petioles are 1-3 cm; the leathery leaves are narrowly obovate to very narrowly spathulate, base cuneate, apex usually rounded; lateral veins occur in 25-50 pairs, at 80-90° to midvein. Cymes are dense and pubescent; peduncle is 4-7 cm long. Pedicels are usually as long as or shorter thancalyx. The corolla is white and tube-like, 6-10 mm; lobes are broadly ovate or broadly obovate, 2-4.5 mm, overlapping to the left. The ovaries are distinct and pubescent. The follicles are distinct and linear.

Seeds of A. scholaris are oblong, with ciliated margins, and ends with tufts of hairs 1.5-2 cm. The bark is almost odourless and very bitter, with abundant bitter and milky sap.

Alstonia scholaris is native to the following regions:

§  China: Guangxi (s.w.), Yunnan (s.)

§  Indian subcontinent: India; Nepal; Sri Lanka

§  Southeast Asia: Cambodia; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam, Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea;Philippines

§  Australia: Queensland

It has also been naturalised in several other tropical and subtropical climates.


Pulai Chondong,  a small town located between Kota Bharu and Machang,  had been an active trading centre even before World War II,  and long before other major towns sprouted in Kelantan.

Its location,  just about a kilometre from the river,  was an advantage as most of the travelling during those days was by boat.

Today,  the town consists of just five or six rows of wooden shophouses,  mostly pre-war buildings in dilapidated condition plus some new shophouses located near the market.

A new block of four shophouses had been rebuilt on part of the site of 20 shophouses burnt down last year.  There is a police station,  a post office,  health clinic,  a secondary religious school and a Chinese primary school,  reflecting the presence of a sizeable population of the community there.

The town comes alive every Monday and Thursday when the weekly market brings traders and people from neighbouring villages together.

According to former Pulai Chondong assemblyman Abdullah Mohamad,  77,  the place was founded by his ancestor,  Abdul Samad Abdullah,  or Tok Pulai Chondong,  whose family originated from Pagar Ruyung in Sumatra, Indonesia in the 1820s.

A much respected ulama,  he studied in Pattani and Mecca and started a sekolah pondok with students from Sumatra,  Cambodia,  Pattani and other states in the peninsular.

Abdullah said Pulai Chondong was named after a bent pulai tree (scientific name Alstonia angustiloba) which stood majestically in the area.

He said in the old days,  a dirt road connected Pulai Chondong to the jetty at Pengkalan Kunyit,  a kilometre way,  and it was packed with bullock carts carrying goods to the town.

'New roads connecting Kota Bharu and Kuala Krai made the town busier' he said.

Source:  Excerpt from an article in the New Straits Times.

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