Friday, August 22, 2008

Scenes - Sarikei Hua Tai Residential Area

Sarikei Hua Tai Road, 2007
View from the back of Hua Tai Road
Shops to left of picture. Repok Road in the background.

It was with huge pride when the first phase of the first suburb of Sarikei, Hua Tai Garden, was launched in 1972. This was before Nyelong Park suburb in 1974. It consisted of 2 rows of terrace houses facing each other. Before that, there was Tai Ping Road (coming soon in a future post) and other standalone concrete and wooden houses along Repok Road.

Early Foochow kapitan, Wong Yong Hua, who operated Hua Hin 華興 and Hua Leong 華隆 at No. 7 Repok Road, used to own an old house which was part of the land where Hua Tai Garden now sits. (source: Lidasar) (Updated)

Sarikei Hua Tai Road, 2007
View from the back of Hua Tai Road

On one side are these blocks with 2-3 bedroom units where families crowd together. They share a common kitchen if I don't recall wrongly. In phase 2, the back of Hua Tai was developed with bigger terrace houses, a row of shops and a basketball court. The plan for a cinema was derailed when pirated videos killed the cinema star. In the 1960s, a suburb with shops 2-3mins drive from town was unthinkable.

Sarikei Hua Tai Road and Century Road junction, 2007.
Basketball court

This shady basketball court is next to the a small run down playground. It's occupied every evening with Chinese and Melanau players.

Sarikei Hua Tai Road and Century Road junction, 2007

There are some bigger semi-detached houses at the back of Hua Tai Road where it meets Century Road. This house was rented by the Ignatius family in the late 1970s to early 1980s. I'm sure the older Anthonians have fond memories of our teachers, Mr. & Mrs. Ignatius. Click "Ignatius" label below if you want to refresh your memories.

Sarikei Hua Tai Road - barber shop; 2007

When you plan your next trip back to Sarikei, contribute to the economy and have your haircut in Sarikei. You can get a much better deal in the suburbs. This hair salon in Hua Tai charged RM$4 for an adult haircut and I was pleased with the end result because it made me look 10 years younger.

This Malay (Melanau?) kid was too short for the chair and a plank was used. Some barber shops still use a wooden stool on top of the barber chair for the kids. When the "lawn mower" (hair trimmer) was used, the kid freaked out and had to be held tight. The damage to his dad's pocket was only RM$2 for the haircut.

Sarikei Hua Tai Road - sundry shop; 2007

After your haircut, do some grocery shopping. Check out the "100% discount store" - what do they sell and how do they make money with 100% discount. Go figure.


Daniel Yiek said...

Apologies for the late post. Too much time spent watching the Olympics.


August 13, 2008 17:07 PM

Halal Industry Development Corp To Introduce Halal Inventory Financing By Year-end

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- The Halal Industry Development Corporation Sdn Bhd(HDC), will introduce halal inventory financing to assist industry players.

According to its chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin, the HDC had already finalised the financing structure and it was expected to be launched by the end of the year.

"We are currently working with a leading international Islamic financial institution to provide the funding," he told reporters after the World Halal Forum 2008 sponsors' appreciation lunch, here Wednesday.

"This is to ensure that halal integrity is protected throughout the whole supply chain including financing," he added.

He said that the financial institution would also provide an advisory service on managing funds for the industry players.

Jamil said the HDC is encouraging more halal industry players to opt for Islamic financing as the main source of funding.

Currently, he said less than 10 percent of those in the halal industry in the country, have adopted Islamic financing.

On another development, he confirmed that over 20 foreign companies from countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Australia and Saudi Arabia, have expressed an interest towards investing in the Tanjung Manis Food Halal Park near Sarikei, Sarawak.

He also said that five companies, including those from Australia, Pakistan and United Kingdom may invest in the Port Klang Free Zone Halal Hub.

The HDC was established in 2006 as a private company fully owned by the Ministry of Finance. It was recently given the responsibility of issuing the Malaysian Halal certificate, taking over the function from the Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia(Jakim).

To date, the HDC has issued about 378 halal certifications.


nelson said...

I used to play NBA at Hua tai. whenever the ball fell into the drain, we will bring it to our friend's house nearby to 'mandi'. we also frequented the sundry shops there to buy ice-cream.

I agree with you that we must contribute the economy of sarikei. I will go for a haircut whenever i'm in sarikei.

Chen said...

nostalgic place...

hopefully i can find time to visit this place some day in the future :)

Daniel Yiek said...

Updated this piece of nugget in the blog:

Early Foochow kapitan, Wong Yong Hua, who operated Hua Hin 華 興 and Hua Leong 華 隆 at No.7 Repok Rd, used to own an old house which was part of the land where Hua Tai Garden now sits. (source: Lidasar)

stlau said...

This was my neighbourhood from (roughly) 1972 to 1976. We lived in the downstairs - 4 rooms (long-house style) with a kitchen at the back, followed by a bathroom on one side, and a toilet on another side. After that, there is a place for rearing chicken, and then the fence and the drain. One of the rooms was rented out to a family of 5 and so we had to share the kitchen and toilet. Imagine 1 toilet for 2 families of 14 people. By long-house style, I mean you need to get out (of the room) to the open corridor to get into another room.
One memorable event was that one of the families have a black and white TV and we would hang out in the evening to watch Mohammad Ali (and other TV programs). No chairs, of course, just peeping into the window.
Another memorable event - lots of kids to play with everyday and inevitably fighting occurs all the times. Child fight almost always lead to quarrel between parents. Games include rubber bands and marbles. That's it. Bottom line - this was a pretty shitty place to live and grow up.
The families across the street lived in big houses and were the envy of all of us. One family who lived there was Mr. Ling of St. Anthony. Another sells vegetables and had couple lovely kids. Another sells fish. The owner of Cathay lived in one of the bigger houses near the Repok Road.
At the end of the street, it was muddy jungle with lots of crabs and mosquitoes during high tide. They cleared the land at around 1975.
Glad to be out of that place by 1976. No fond memories.

Daniel Yiek said...

Thanks for the memories!

The Liang family who run the current William's Pharmacy still stay at the same Hua Tai house.

stlau said...

Please refer to Picture 2: Another thing to add is that from one side of the house, you can see all the 8 rooms (4 upstairs and 4 downstairs) of the other house. During my time, there was a woman living in one of the rooms upstairs who is insane (possessed by devil). As kids, we were all very scared when we see her. There was a group of Cantonese students living there - one of them was a famous female athletic (Yeh something - she can run, do shot-put/javelin, and even jump (long jump/high jump)) from St. Anthony. Another group of youth living there occassionally use their room as a darkroom to develop black and white pictures. In another room upstairs, occassionally BB and GB hand out together. This gives you some ideas of the neighbourhood scene back them.

Of course, the positive note is that in the early seventies, those houses were all brand new. They look much better than the current state. In the early seventies, the houses opposite these houses were probably among the best looking houses in Sarikei.

Daniel Yiek said...

The house of the family that operated Cathay cinema (near Repok Rd) is at the next street called Friendship Road.

Mr Lam (who operated the only ambulance in town) and his family used to stay in those type of blocks that you stayed. His kids were brilliant in studies. Now some of his kids own a successful lawyer firm in Miri.

45rpm said...

You mean the Mr Lam whose family lived at the old wooden hospital by Nyelong River before? Mind you Mr Lam's father contributed a piece of land out of their pepper farm to build the SiTok primary school (9 mile) in the late 1940s. The school was build for the 3 villages Sitok, Pantuk & Hinkapan. That was the 1st school around that area and could be reward of good Karma for a good cause and why you saying they have a successful lawyer firm.
Mr Wong Tee Kwee the most successful sports personnel from Sarikei once teach at this school before embarking on his police career.

stlau said...

Daniel, the house in Friendship Road is a recent one. The one is Hua Tai (I think 3rd house on right (coming in from Repok Road)) is the original. In the 70s, on a no. of occassion, foreign/West Malaysian singers show up in Sarikei (at the invitation of Cathay) and they hang out at that house. The neighbours would hang out to get a glimse of them.

Daniel Yiek said...

45 rpm,
Yes, I'm referring to Mr Lam, the ambulance driver. His family used to stay at the old wooden hospital before moving to the Hua Tai block, then to Nyelong Park and now staying at a nice bungalow at Kampung Seberang area, across Sarikei River. Mr Lam had heart surgery a few years ago after a routine health check in Singapore found a problem.

Thanks for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

I know this Mr Lam. Because his daughter Lai Chee was my classmate. A brilliant personality. Any news about her whereabouts?

Daniel Yiek said...

Pls try this email

She's working in her brother's legal firm in Miri.

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