Friday, November 06, 2009

History - Sarikei Boom Town 1935-1940

It had probably dawned on you that there was a boom period in which key buildings sprouted up in Sarikei's history. Just figure this:

  • 1935 - Block 2 Wharf Road (No. 6 -No.11)
  • 1935 - Block 1 Wharf Road (No.1-5) by Wong Koh Chiong (黄可川) of No. 1 Wharf Road (Thong Aik 益)
  • 1935 - Block 2 Left Repok Road (No.1, 3, 5, 7) by Wong Koh Chiong
  • 1937 - Old District Office
  • 1940 - Chinese Chamber of Commerce

But why?

Sarikei Chamber of Commerce 1940s.
In 1950, the right side had another signboard.

Find the 2 persons with hats

Sarikei exported peppercorns to the more affluent countries which used this spice for gourmet food and canned food. Sarikei was also the last port of call for Singapore bound ships sailing down the Rejang River from Sibu and Binatang (Bintangor).
This boom period in Sarikei was what the elders of Sarikei called good times 好境 (景) 時. That's when they brought out their abacus to do their sums on the revenue for Sarikei's economy and do their pepper work, eh, I mean, paper work.


sarikeikia said...

What was the significant of the KMT Kuomintang Nationalist party of China founded by Sun Yet-sen and headed by Chiang Kai Shek to the immigrants in Sarikei those days?

Please take a closer look at the design above the main door of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce building, it signify the KMT emblem, the sun with twelve rays. The Chinese calligraphy on the building front was actually written by a KMT high officer named San Lin 森林 and send to Sarikei for the craftsman to duplicate it on the building. The date crafted in smaller characters also follows the calendar used by KMT created after the 1911 revolution.

Daniel Yiek said...

For those who missed the earlier posts on the Chamber of Commerce:

It was completed in 1940 based on the inscription on its building. It shows Min Kuo 29 民國二九 which is 1911 + 29 = 1940. (The year follows Dr. Sun Yat Seng’s revolution in 1911).

Daniel Yiek said...

To add more:

The migrant Chinese in the 1930s had no country to rely on and hence they looked at kuo min tang of Taiwan.

Yek Suk Kang 葉菽幹 (head of Su Kwong group) was the head of KMT members in Sarikei.

If you put the surname first, the KMT person mentioned by Sarikeikia is Lin Sen 林森

sarikeikia said...

We must not mention Kuomingtang of Taiwan for that era KMT was the legitimate government of mainland China and Taiwan was a Japanese colony. KMT Taiwan was the result of Chiang Kai Shek being defeated by Mao Zedong, and that come into existence after 1949.

Kanga said...

During the 1920-1950 era there was only one China recognised in the world and it was very well supported by the overseas Chinese. The civil war in China after WWII changed the political scene. It also divided the support of overseas Chinese including those in our own Sarikei. Long story.....

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