Wednesday, September 02, 2009

People - Sarikei "No. 1"

For the last few years, you would spot this interesting character in the Sarikei coffeeshops (kopitiam). You won't miss his gaudy outfit with a tie. He is fondly known as Sarikei "No.1" by local denizens. He proclaimed himself as "Tun No. 1" on his hat. He wears a tag with the text "No. 1, Malaysia. Tun Datuk Patinggi Lau Siew Hung". In Chinese, he is known as 刘 "阿凤".

What is his story? Behind every face is a story waiting to be told.


Sarikei "No. 1", 2006
Source: Jimmy Ong


The following story needs to be verified by readers.

He is from Merudu area. In the 1960s, he was peddling lottery tickets. At one stage, he was a real estate agent and tailor. Later he was cheated by people of his hard earned money for functions in an election campaign. He lost in the election and also his election deposit. He tried to enter election a second time but didn't run.

He is a guy with a sense of humour and speaks loudly. He is mentally sound (in case you had judged him from his weird outfit). He can even tell your fortune. He is in his late 70s now and has the good support of his wife and children. His wife works in a timber camp and his children are working outside Sarikei.

His kindness is known to some because he would pay for people's meals in the next table to his without their prior knowledge. He would offer teenagers RM1 every now and then. He would offer tidbits like keropok to passengers sitting next to him on bus journeys.

If he's No. 2 in Sarikei, no one can claim to be No. 1. Would you dare to bare your soul with such an outfit to declare your manifesto?

Update: He passed away at home in January 2015 after only a slight recovery from a serious motorbike accident at the Sarikei Repok Road/ Nyelong Road/ Jalan Masjid Lama traffic light junction. He was treated at Sibu ICU before been transferred back to Sarikei Hospital. His passing brought out huge emotion and support from Sarikeians on facebook.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oooo boy ... this is so Sarikei lah. You forgot to mention about this big badge. If I remember correctly, all the self-apraisel are nicely carved on the plate pin on his shirt. And his classy walking style. Classic man!!

JW

Nelson said...

i love this friendly guy!

Daniel Yiek said...

In the USA and European countries like Italy, it's common to have non-politically connected laymen run for elections. Those laymen has to standout from the crowd with their value proposition, manifesto, humour, antics or outfit.

Anyone can run for election if you don't mind losing your deposit.

JW,
The badge is the the tag that I mentioned in the blog post. The badge reads" the text "No. 1, Malaysia (in red colour). Tun Datuk Patinggi Lau Siew Hung (in black colour)"

Can someone have a chat with him and verify his life story? He's known to be friendly and will pose for pics with you.

Anonymous said...

If anyone disturb him... he will surely chase u around n scold u.

Kanga said...

I saw him once when I went back to Sarikei and was bemused by his presence in town. I asked my friend about this guy but only draw a smile and a laugh from my friend. It does add a bit of 'colour' to the town.

Daniel Yiek said...

I read on someone's facebook that shared this article that he has also appeared in Sibu.

Anonymous said...

Hi Daniel and dear Sarikeian!!!

Glad and proud to get know of this blog as i can learn so much from this blog..

Salute to u Mr Daniel!!!

Thanks for the sharing!!!

Ricky

sarikeikia said...

I believe this isn't the guy who lost his election deposite, I doubt he enter the election in the 1st place. You might be refering to another Mr Chieng who in the early 70's enter as an Independent candidate under the touch light symbol. His piece of land next to St Anne was mortgaged to Heng Chiong to start his political aspiration which ended in dismay.
He never ended up like Mr Lau but only to walk the street playing his harmonica.

Anonymous said...

Ops. I might have over-read that line. Maybe tag is an understatement. His tag is BIG! Anyway, thanks for the update. At least I know we have a "Tun" in Sarikei now. LOL.

JW

Kong said...

No worries. No stress. No concern. No dream-in-the-sky ambition. Be happy.

This man is probably the happiest person in this blog. And if aim in life is to be happy, then he indeed is No.1.

Anonymous said...

I know he was a tailor and also sold lottery during his younger days. ASt that time I was just a kid and he used to walk pass our shop.

Rollt said...

I think he looks aged since he 1st made his appearence in Skei. Well, loud in his fashion and speech is fine since he's not a nuisance to anyone in Skei. Happy Raya everyone!

Kenny Oh Ngu said...

Thanks for sharing. i tot he was crazy guy when i still at sarikei.

Related Posts with Thumbnails