As you travelled past Kwang Chien School on Jalan Getah in the old days, you would see a row of familiar wooden houses like the house on stilts which belonged to Madam Ong Poh Ai 王 寶愛 and her hubby, Tan Kim Sing 陳敬 信 (early headmaster of Kwang Chien). They had 4 daughters 4 daughters namely, 陈国英，国芬，国爱 and 国华 (Angela Tan of Wen Wen cafe, I believe). That house had been demolished 2+ years ago.
And do you remember this house below that was next to it? The bulldozers moved in a few months after CNY 2010.
This mega monolithic block belonged to the extended family of Kueh, some of the early Hokkien migrants in Sarikei. Their shop is still operating at No. 12 Wharf Road (新金興 Sin Kim Hin). It specialises in gas supplies now.
The extended Kueh family is big because they have many siblings. The eldest sibling owned a seafood warehouse at Nyelong River behind the old SESCO electricity generators at Fort Road. Another owns the only 3 shops in Belawai downtown.
These classic stairs were made of belian (iron wood). Furniture makers had been calling them to buy the wood for recycling since older wood are "drier".
A lot of the early Hokkiens in Sarikei are related through marriages within the same dialect, a common social trend in the early days of clans and match making. eg. The Chua's of No 3 Wharf Road (金成安 Kim Seng Ang) are related to the Kueh's.
Several families used to live in this house with their own kitchens and shared toilets. Over the years, more families moved out. In CNY 2010, the extended families had their last new year's eve dinner there. The tables lined the entire length of the house.
This extended family of Kueh's have produced much talent for Sarikei - eg. sports persons (in basketball, volleyball and table tennis), engineers and doctors. One of Sarikei's favourite sons, Dr. Yap, was related to this family too.
In the 1970's, epic rivalries between men's basketball teams like 海峽 (Sea Straits) and 東方 (East Side) were eagerly awaited in the annual double knockout competition. This house hosted the team of 海峽 (Sea Straits).
The houses in this area had to go because they were at the tail end of their 60-year-old property lease. Now this area is zoned for commercial buildings so you will likely see new blocks of monolithic high rise buildings with no character unlike those buildings of yore. Every block will look similar like those that have mushroomed in downtown Sarikei.