Monday, August 24, 2009

Scenes - Sarikei William Pharmacy

Sarikei William Pharmacy 2007
Front view
30 Repok Road.

Got a non recurring sore throat and a husky voice? Where would you go? William Liang, the pharmacist, at No. 30 Repok Road had introduced the western concept of dispensary to Sarikei in the 1990s. Before that, the locals were used to getting their medicine at the doctor (example Dr. Yap) or the public hospital's in house pharmacy after the diagnosis by the doctor. In the western concept, for example in Australia, the doctors write a prescription for the the patients to buy at the retail pharmacists. The doctors do not carry any medicine stock.

Sarikei William Pharmacy 2007
View of the back
30 Repok Road

If you walked deeper into the shop, you could still see the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) cabinet of drawers and big glass jars where herbs were stored. A prominent overhead sign read "Ann Ting Tong 安定堂 Drug Store" which was the name of his father's shop (probably his grandmother's shop).

While his dad wore the usual towkay outfit of untucked shirts during his days, William wears a white pharmacist coat. His dad's shop used free breeze while William has introduced air conditioned comfort. The thing that has not changed is that you can still converse in multiple languages with this new generation towkay.

Can you have both western and traditional Chinese medicine? OK, make that Strepsils lozenges for my sorethroat and luo han kuo for its cooling properties.


Chen said...

Very nice concept. But from what i heard from my Sarikei friend few months back, William had already sold off his pharmacy shop.

Daniel Yiek said...

I just read on facebook that William Liang has migrated to Australia and his friend is in charge of the shop now.

Wow, the news travels fast in the social media.

William Liang, are you reading this? I asked for your permission to take pics in 2007 and I only blogged about it in 2009 and you have migrated...LOL.

长竹 said...


Sarawakiana@2 said...

I always think that TCN will be with us for as long as we recognise ourselves as Chinese. TCM is now practised by blue eyed and yellow haired Caucasians to a very scientific level! They even have regular conventions in the States!
Recently I had a "mystery packet" MI FUN with my 24 Tastes Cooling tea and my sore throat disappeared within 1 hour (as promised) . I thought I was going to come down with HINI! No fever developed after that.

Must go and thank the shopkeeper. (He was not even the sinseh.)

长竹 said...


Daniel Yiek said...

Sarawakiana, Thanks for feedback.

Long Bamboo, Thanks for confirmation that the pharmacy has been sold to a friend of his

Philip said...


Please do the translation from chinese to english. Dont want to miss out some details. Thanks in advance.

Maybe someone should write in foochow...ho moh!

Daniel Yiek said...

Long Bamboo's comments in Chinese basically said she was surprised to see new owners of William Pharmacy when she went into the shop. Later she confirmed that it was sold.


I rec'd another email from a reader who asked readers to confirm his recollections below:

It was William's grandmother who established the Chinese drug store. His grand dad was a licensed dentist in the prewar years who died before the war.

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