Click to enlarge. Click back arrow to come back.
he town's thoroughfare, Repok Road, was busy in the picture. Observe the overhead electricity cables that the swallows came for a swinging good time at night. The old fashioned cars used slanted parking and there were parking lots for motorbikes as well. Find the 1st ever roundabout in Sarikei (partially hidden between block 2 & 3) but now it has been blocked off by decorative palm trees. Find the popular bicycles parked across the small drain in front of the shops.
On the left, find the lorry parked in front of the shops for goods delivery. Illegal parking was an alien concept in those days. The business supply chain was simple. The importers cum wholesalers sold to middlemen like shopkeepers who sold to consumers. Smaller shops in villages also bought from the shops so groceries in small villages ironically were and still are priced higher.
In the old days of bad roads, everything started from the Rejang River, our life line. Block 1 (Right) of Repok Road (counting from Rejang River) is actually the back of the block at Bank Road. Find the original barber shop that was featured before (click label below). At the 1st floor, find the classic design of the balcony which is still around today but not well maintained.
In Block 2 (Right) of Repok Road, find the 1st shop (tailor) who dried his textiles outside the shop! Check out the old wooden windows.
Sarikei Repok Road, 1969. View from Rejang River
Click to enlarge, Click back arrow to come back
Source: A History of the Development of Rajang Basin in Sarawak (Fong Hon Kah)
Block 3 (Right) of Repok Road was burnt down around 1989/1990. From the ashes rose a huge monolithic block. That took away a piece of the puzzle that completes Sarikei's heritage. The new block just does not fit in the architecture of the old town.
On the left, find the goods trolley with huge gunny sacks of rice, the staple food of Sarikei regardless of race. The trolleys were used to pull goods from the shops to the boats on Rejang River which then delivered them to the river villages like Belawai. The back breaking weight of such gunny sacks of rice reflected the diligence and entrepreneurship of the migrants to make a living from the old days to the present ... from the coolies (dock labourers) who hanged around the wharf to get a day's work to the towkays (Chinese buisnessmen) who hanged around their cool abacuses.