Sunday, October 24, 2010

Disappearing Sarikei: Block 5R Repok Road - Demolition Job

Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 2 Oct 2010
Source: Lu Huong Chin


Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 2 Oct 2010
Source: Lu Huong Chin


10 days after the tragic loss of this heritage block of shop houses, the bulldozers had moved to do its demolition work. The denizens couldn't help but felt a sense of loss as can be read from the comments left on the internet.


Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 12 Oct 2010
Source: Desmond Chen


Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 12 Oct 2010
Source: Desmond Chen


Sarikei is in a hurry to modernise but at what cost? When you were young, you wanted to be an adult real fast. When your kids were young, you wanted them to grow up real fast. When your children had left home to build their career, you wanted them back to your empty nest real fast. When you are older, you wish you are young again...real fast.


Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 12 Oct 2010
Source: Desmond Chen


 Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 12 Oct 2010
Source: Desmond Chen


With Sarikeians getting more affluent, we yearn for our origin, identity and heritage. What does it mean to be a Sarikeian? There's nothing much left from the old days in this town to anchor your roots. Our rich history rests on the last remaining blocks of old shop houses.


 Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 12 Oct 2010
Source: Desmond Chen


Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 12 Oct 2010
Source: Desmond Chen


Is there any law to protect these last remaining heritage buildings? Are you proud of what the town has transformed into and what are we going to do about this? Do you want rows and rows of new monolithic and meaningless shops?


Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 12 Oct 2010
Source: Desmond Chen


Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road. 13 Oct 2010
Source: Desmond Chen


Sarikei Block 5R Repok Road.
Just finished construction.
Early 1950s



Everything in this picture is gone (R-L) - Block 5 Right, Bai Sheng cinema and the old Methodist church (spot the cross in the distance). 

Gone too soon. Disappeared. Vanished. Evaporated. Lost without a trace even if you want to anchor your roots and go down memory lane now. All the money in Sarikei can not bring this back.

3 comments:

Daniel Yiek said...

A new 4-storey block will replace this heritage block

Sim Y said...

'Old ones don't go away, new ones don't come in.' If the newly built shophouses are a financial success.
Then more old buildings may be taken down to build new ones, not just after the fire. Which I hope will not be the case.

sarikeikia said...

These properties are not even 99 years leasehold and they don't have the heritage look if you compare with those in Penang, Malacca or Singapore. In Malaysia most shophouses are poorly maintained, is good to note that people are showing interest to invest in old shophouses in Penang and turning them into very classic eating house, hotel and office. I am not sure if it got to do with Penangites' choice of state govt, you Sarawakian can try too.

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