Saturday, March 06, 2010

View: Sarikei's Changing Faces

It's heartening to see more effort put in by individuals, the private and public sectors to showcase the old days and heritage of Sarikei. Before the internet crept into our lives, you could hardly see pictures of Sarikei. In the newspapers, the pictures were about mundane things like accidents or official functions which did not have any emotional connection back to the lives of the laymen.

The first postcard of Sarikei with its pineapple statue appeared in the early 1990s at the Anthonian bookstore which is owned by the son of Wong Ing Tuan, the former king of newspapers distribution in Sarikei in the 1970s-1980s.

Sarikei 1905 (L) vs 2009 (R)
Pineapple Town. Old Days. Today.
View from Rejang River
Source: Desmond Chen

Sarikei view c. 2009
View from Rejang River

Source: Desmond Chen

These are pictures of ang pow (red packets) sold at the 2009 Pineapple Festival exhibition at Kwang Chien School. Ang pow collection (the envelope, not the cash) is a popular hobby in Sarikei. These were done by KRT (Kawasan Rukun Tetangga) Industri, Sarikei. Can someone explain what KRT does? Kawasan means area or region. Rukun means pillar or basic principle. Tetangga means neighbour.

Sarikei Repok Road, 1948 (L) vs 2009 (R)
View towards Rejang River

Source: Desmond Chen

The 1905 and 1948 pictures are (by now) familiar pictures of old town Sarikei. Thanks to the digital age and the internet, those pictures are no longer hidden in the archives of the government and associations. No Sarikeian should be deprived of the knowledge of their heritage.

Sarikei Chamber of Commerce, 1940s (L) vs 2009 (R)
View from Market Road

Source: Desmond Chen

The Sarikei Chamber of Commerce was completed in 1911+29 = 1940 as per the inscription on its facade. This is one of the last remaining heritage buildings of Sarikei. There are no laws to protect Sarikei's heritage buildings, correct?

Sarikei 19xx? vs 2006
View from Nyelong River

Source: Desmond Chen

Can someone advise whether the the old picture above is really Sarikei? The big ships on the right seem to indicate the right was Rejang River but the buildings did not jive with old Sarikei (?). The bottom picture was around 2006 because the land for building Nyelong Esplanade had just been cleared.

So folks, protect Sarikei's heritage before it vanishes. You don't want to see just new blocks of meaningless commercial buildings in 50 years' time. Here today, gone tomorrow.


Daniel Yiek said...

Apologies for late posts. Tied up with work.

If you have hunger pangs for Sarikei news and photos, visit the Sarikeian facebook group with 2115 members now. Click on pic on the right sidebar.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi I am sure some of my Miri friends who collect angpow envelopes would love to get their hands on them!!
Very creative and unique....Up Up Sarikei.

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