Monday, November 02, 2009

Scenes - Sarikei's Centre of Gravity

The nerve centre of Sarikei had moved from its historic roots at the Siriki village along Sarikei River in the 1840s (the earliest documented year) to the Rejang River kampung in 1860s and shops in the early 1900s.

Wharf Road at Rejang River saw a beehive of activities in the 1930s-1940s post the 1929 Great Depression. Then Wharf Road was the front street and Repok Road was considered the back street.

Sarikei Nyelong River Esplanade, 2007
Source: Cantonese Association 122th Anniversary issue

In the 1950s, the 1952 Cathay cinema brought a new angle to family entertainment at Central Road and the newer shops of Repok Road also did brisk business. The pulse of Sarikei moved to the only roundabout in town then at the junction of Repok Road and Central Road in the 1950s-1980s.

The action moved to the new shops at Jalan Masjid Lama in the late 1980s to 1990s. Sarikei is bounded by three rivers and the only way to expand is to cross a river. Around 1997, the Sarikei River Bridge was completed. New shops, a new hospital, a light industrial area and residential areas mushroomed in Petalit around what is called Jalan Rentap now.

Sarikei Nyelong River Esplanade, 2007
Source: Cantonese Association 122th Anniversary issue

The Nyelong River Bridge was completed in Oct 2008 and wiped out the Nyelong River ferry business. Bintangor (formerly Binatang) has effectively become a satellite town of Sarikei with just 15 minutes drive away.

If there's a Rejang River Bridge linking Tanjung Manis to Sarikei, Tanjung Manis will be the deep sea port and airport of Sarikei (30 minutess away). That's the future of Sarikei. Use your next vote for the party that can bring Sarikei a better future. Sorry, this blog is not for political debate so please do not leave politics related comments.

Sarikei's centre of gravity is a moving target and this is aggravated by the exodus of denizens working and living outside of Sarikei. Where will Sarikei's centre of gravity be next?

The Sarikei new township brochure first surfaced in 2011 and was also featured in that year's Pesta Nanas. All the government quarters from the early 1970s bounded by Jalan Bersatu/Jalan Getah/Siaw Ah Khoon Road and Repok Road would be demolished to make way for a spanking new township with shops, food court and a hotel. That area now has fast food chain like Marrybrown, restaurants and cafes.

The nearby residential area at Jalan Getah also followed suit with their land nearing end of residential lease and was zoned for commercial use. That area now has Garden Hotel, Oriental Evemore Hotel and Doremon supermarket.


nelson said...

sarikei definitely has to be connected to tj manis which is going to be one of the growth nodes of SCORE. While waiting for the bridge or bridges to be built, we should utilize the idle ferries to connect sarikei to tj.manis, kuala rajang, jerijeh and belawai. Tj manis (RH side) is just 10-15km away from Taman Susur Jambu. If the government is to build a bridge, probably we will have to wait for rancangan bencana ke-20). We can connect the 2 places by ourselves, the private companies can extend the developments of rentap road to tj manis (Rimbunan Hijau's side) and then build 2 jetties and utilize the ferries.

Daniel Yiek said...

Agree. Building a high bridge over Rejang River is long shot.

Use the ferries to connect the tail end of Rentap Rd to Tanjung Manis. Build a Terminal 3 there and start a bus service to downtown.

sarikeikia said...

I was told the whole idea of Tanjung Manis is to boost Mukar which is the home turf of the Chief Minister, Sarikei receive the short end of the stick.

I do agree with both that the connectivity to the town will help open up to more opportunities. If the folks in TM want to celebrate I am sure they would prefer to drop by our Ah Kow restaurant rather than going all the way to Mukar and ended up eating fried rice with salted fish?

nelson said...

TM was sort of 'kidnapped from sarikei' and given to mukah. Anyway, we gotta find ways to adapt to it, we have been doing that all this while.

Daniel Yiek said...

For those readers that can not visualize what Nelson is saying, he posted an aerial picture at Sarikeian facebook group under "Photos" some time ago.

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