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.
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.