Sunday, February 22, 2009

Scenes - Sarikei Old vs New Buildings

Can the old buildings stand the test of time and stand proudly next to the newer architecture? It depends on who you ask.

If you ask older Sarikei folks in their mid 30s and above who are working outside of Sarikei due to a lack of suitable jobs in Sarikei, they would lament the loss of what they grew up with. If you ask people who live in Sarikei, they are in a hurry for progress. This can be observed in pictures of Nyelong River Esplanade proudly shown against the backdrop of the new shops and the tallest building, Wisma Jubli Mutiara.

Sarikei Terminal 1 and Block 1 Bank Road, 2007
View from Merdeka Road

If you ask teenagers, they want to be seen in Sugar Bun or KFC with their notebooks. They want to shop in new department stores like Nam Leong. If you ask old folks living in Sarikei, they want the heritage buildings conserved in line with new buildings that come with affluence.

This picture was shot at the intersection of Bank Road and Merdeka Road. It shows the weather beaten Bank Road block (1946) juxtaposed against the Rejang River Terminal 1 Wharf (2001). It's lovely, isn't it?

Sarikei Jalan Masjid Lama, 2009
View near Sugar Bun

The old Malay kampung (village) with its classic architecture of wooden houses on stilts have gradually moved to Kampung Seberang across the Sarikei River bridge with its new and colourful houses. Those old Malay houses from the 1950-70s are now in bad shape with some on tilted stilts. The crab mounds are still there along the longkang (drains).

This picture shows a lone Malay house standing tall between Sugar Bun and a 2008 building called Wisma CS Kua. That shed in front of the house was a Malay barber stall if my memory serves me right.

Hair today, gone tomorrow.


nelson said...

Eastern Times

Fascinating Bintangor Tumpi and Rojak

By Roger Duyong

SARIKEI: For most people, ‘Bintangor Tumpi’ and ‘Rojak’ sounds unfamiliar, but they are Bintangor’s signature food and very popular among the locals.
Like the Sibu kompiah, kampua mee or Sarikei’s Aik Seng bun, tumpi and rojak are Bintangor food icons.
To find out how unique the delicacies are, Sarawak Tourism Board executive Rudy Anoi went to sample them in Sarikei on a recent fact-finding trip and told Eastern Times of his experience.
“After trying the famed Aik Seng bun, I was convinced that the bun is indeed a special food of Sarikei. There’s no doubt about it and it has always been the bun many people, including the VIPs, look for whenever they are in Bintangor.
“However, I have found out another iconic food coming from here – the Bintangor Tumpi and Rojak - from Sarikei’s neighbour, Bintangor District. Frankly, it was indeed one of the tastiest delicacies I have ever eaten,” he enthused, after making a trip to Bintangor after that.
Tumpi is popular among the Melanau and Malay communities here and it was through an urging of a contact Rudy decided to sample the delicacy.
Made from sago (lemantak) mixed with coconut with a sprinkle of salt and ajinomoto seasoning, Tumpi is fried on special pan for about 10 minutes before it is ready for consumption. It is either served during breakfast or as a brunch. Looking very much like the ‘pizza’, one may call it the local’s pizza, according to Rudy.
No one knows exactly how or where it was derived, but for Haji Abang Saini Abang Bantin, 60s, and members of his family, baking the tumpi started many years ago.
“I started baking tumpi when I was still young. After I got married, I continued baking and selling the delicacies as I had many orders. As the years pass by, I taught members of my family to bake tumpi and decided to do a real business out of it,” he told Rudy.
It was on June 16, 1996 that Abang Saini officially started his tumpi business at No 15, Gerai Majlis Daerah Meradong Julau (MDMJ) in Bintangor. Since then, there was no turning back for him. The business picked up very fast with many of his satisfied customers coming back for more.
He said his loyal customers would often tell their friends in other parts of Sarawak about it and they would come in droves to his shop.
His shop opens from 6 am to 1 pm daily. He sells two varieties of tumpi, regular at RM2 and special at RM3 per piece. He said that the difference between the two lies in the content. The special one would be filled with either prawns or fish.
According to Rudy again, news of the tumpi’s popularity reached even VVIP’s such as his Excellency the Governor of Sarawak and the honorable Chief Minister.
“I was told that he (Abang Saini) is the only one selling tumpi and it was always specially ordered for our top leaders every time they would visit Sarikei,” said Rudy.
“Abang Saini told me that sometimes he was not able to fill all the orders because of the huge demand, especially during government functions in Sarikei,” he added.
After sampling the Bintangor Tumpi, Rudy and his entourage proceeded to try out the rojak, a spicy Malaysian salad of fruits and vegetables.
“It was also a mouth watering experience. It only costs you between RM5 and RM7 per plate, depending on the amount,” he said. He added that rojak could be promoted on a bigger scale to attract tourists into the small town.

Daniel Yiek said...

Thanks Nelson...

Does anyone know what is Aik Seng's bun?

Has anyone tried Julau's tumpi mentioned above?

nelson said...

i had tried their buns and they gave generous amount to margariene and 'kaya' for you to spread. while tumpi is unheard of.

nelson said...

well, it's sad to say that ppl(the youngster) are leaving sarikei for it lacks job opportunities. both the government and private sectors should do sth. perhaps connect a bridge to tanjung manis to get a slice of pie offered there. since it is going to be a food hub and a shipbuilding heaven, lets see if sarikeians will come back and work in their hometown.

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