Friday, January 06, 2012

History: Sarikei 2011 in review - Top 10 news

Another year had gone by. This means another year of review is overdue. Here are the Top 10 newsworthy items in 2011 (of no particular order). The links are embedded if you need details.

1. Tourism finally takes flight?

Request for development of Pala Munsoh park
Source: Sin Chew News, 11 Jan 2011

The authorities brought Deputy Tourism Minister, Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit, to visit the Rumah Nyuka longhouse in Bayong, Ulu Sarikei and Pala Munsoh waterfalls on 12 Jan 2011 and requested for development. Does anyone know the result of the request?

Rumah Nyuka was certified for home stay program on 29 Oct 2011.

Intrepid Travel added Sarikei into its Borneo itinerary for small groups of adventurers.

2. Tanjung Manis - sweet dreams

Bukit Huang on the opposite side of Rejang River
View from behind Sarikei General Hospital
 Source: Lu Huong Chin

Tanjung Manis road got into the state election limelight. The previous ruling party issued this announcement before the election.

- MYR$0.5M for a ferry ramp behind the Sarikei hospital to be completed by Nov 2011
- Another ferry ramp at the opposite side of the river at Bukit Huang. Expected to be of similar cost and was targeted for completion by Dec 2011.
- Next phase of a 15km road connecting Bukit Huang to Tanjung Manis. The budget and time line were not mentioned.

3. State Election - change of guard

 Sarikei State Election. 16 April 2011
Dr Wong Hua Seh (challenger; PR/DAP) and wife
Source: Lu Huong Chin

The BN/SUPP focused on how it can bring in investment to Sarikei. Pre-election project announcements were made: Sarikei to Bukit Huang ferry ramp, two specialists on contract for the Sarikei hospital, a potential "community college", etc.

The PR/DAP focused the alleged corruption in Sarawak, the reasons why Sarawak is way behind in development and why denizens should vote for change.
The people voted for change.

4.  Pineapple Festival - The party of the year

Pesta Nanas Sarikei, 
20th-24th July 2011

The party moved to the end of Central Road in 2011 with 400 stalls and lots of fun activities around town. It was hands down the party worth waiting for.

5. Speed boat on fire at Terminal 1 - Fire on water

Speedboat on fire
8th Aug 2011
Source: Sarikeians

Sarikeians facebook group delivered this piece of breaking news in real time - faster than the traditional media like newspapers. No one was injured but it was a spectacular inferno on the normally placid waters of Rejang Wharf Terminal 1.

6. Sarikei new township - too much of a good thing?

The news of the new township triggered an emotional tsunami of "likes" and debate on the Sarikeians facebook page on the need for progress versus conservation and greenery in a rapidly Disappearing Sarikei.

7. Rejang and Nyelong Esplanade stalls - stalled

Sarikei Rejang Esplanade stalls at Bank Road
Next to bus station. Nov 2011
Source: Sarikeians

Controversy centred on whether the proper approval was obtained to construct the stalls at the Nyelong and Rejang River esplanades. Some locals claimed that these stalls blocked the river view of the esplanades.

8. Pandaw to end Rejang cruise in Mar 2012 - last call

Pandaw cruise: Nov'11 newsletter
Source: Pandaw

Pandaw cruise will move its luxury cruise to a new destination after less than 3 years on the Rejang River. It is a commercial decision. We thank Pandaw for this trail blazing cruise. Please come back soon. The culture, the crafts, the markets, the sights, the history and the tuak (Iban rice wine) will be waiting.

9. Xmas Combined Carolling - We know what you did last Xmas

Combined Xmas Carolling 2011
Source: Sarikeians

All you want for Xmas was a combined church carolling? Sure, checked. You want a plastic-fantastic Xmas tree too? Sure, checked.

10. The Rejang River broke its bank - twice

Sarikei Bank Road
Dec 2011
Source: Sarikeians

The streets of Sarikei were soaked with salty river water in January and then again on Xmas Day - Xmas' flood was worse. Is heavy rain alone to be blamed?

2012 will be an interesting year for Sarikei - The General Election, the construction of the new township, Pesta Nanas, parking fees in down town, more talent leaving for jobs outside Sarikei, Tanjung Manis is still no sweet child of ours ... 

Are you ready for 2012?

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