Friday, 23 January 2009

Kuching under Siege: By Flood

Aghhhhh...what a mess,what a mess,when i heard in news that Kuching was in flood ithought it was just a regular flsh flood like a year ago..not so high just high as kitten maybe about 15 cm i check and check in the internet to make sure how's Kuching with the flood,and i found out ..oo my God..this Flood is Big,real big.The photo above shows sarawak barrage.The one and only in South east Asia.

waterfront,maybe it not waterfront anymore,the waterfront itself become part of the river huhu...

photos : misc from internet

Flood in Kuching

1.When I heard about flood in Kuching,I never thought it was so serious like this.It was just a normal day for me when I opened KMDC forum and PGX forum when members of the forum posting about his house and Kampung was hit by flood.Its just look normal for me,maybe just a flash flood and from his report its just reach normal level.Untill I read further about the flood in catscity forum and various blog and picture explain everything,this flood hit kuching this time is massive and it’s the worse for Kuchingites especially to those who live by the riverbank.

2.So I called my auntie who lived at Kampung Semarang,across the padungan township.Kampung Semarang is located at Seberang Hilir.Between kampung panglima seman and kampung Pulo.I called her and asked her about the flood,it was 2 day kuching hit by this massive flood.On the first day it started about 6 p.m and the water rise again and again until it reach the window level of my aunty house(about half meter).The water also coming in from the door. And at nearby my uncle house it worse, his house just nearby to small river that connected to Sarawak River.

3.And its not just happened there, elsewhere in other Kampung nearby to Sarawak Riverbank,even far to Kampung Gita and at Padungan,waterfront area,Kuching Old city centre.Just look at these photo.Wah its look like Kuching is under water level ..Its not the first time Kuching hit by flood,in recent years,Kuching hit several times with massive flood it was in 2001 and 2004.I was in Miri on that time working there and I only know it from newspaper cutting and hear it from my aunt. The information we get on that time is not like nowadays,That time people still don’t know how to use blog and digital camera is still expensive hehe,that’s why the flood photo unavailable in the net on that time.

4.Compare now,there is so many flood photo from each part of Kuching,south,north,east,west even the worst part of flood in Bau..Before 2001,it was in 1994, as I remembered and I saw it myself..the flood of Kuching..maybe not so big as recent flood lo... I was in school that time at S.M.K Petra Jaya Kuching.The rain start before dawn and when I reach school about 6.50 a.m,the rain still continue until about 8.00 a.m the water level start rising and the principal giving order that school will closed for that day.My school just located near to a big monsoon drain and surrounded by housing and kampung area.Sungai sarawak is just about 3 km away.

5.The school closed because not of the water level that continue rising but half of the student absent as road to Matang area was closed because of the flood.Car,van even the big vehicle like bus and lorry can’t go through to the flood because of the strong current of the water, there is a report of lorry that wash away by the strong current of water when it want to go pass by the road.( Until today the road is still on that same condiiton except it was repaired for several time: anyway matang Kuching highway is still on progress,maybe they will upgrade the old road after the highway is ready.)

6.All vehicle are stuck either from matang or to matang..and the bus also not moving,so we just walk from our school to town centre.We was in group that time about 20 something.Even the day stop raining , water look still rising, I can see it from the monsoon drain behind my school area.Some crazy kids just jump into the drain and swimming hehe.So we walk until we arrived at Tun Abdul Rahman Bridge which connected the Petra Jaya area to Satok area,we stop by in the middle of the bridge.From there we can see the water current that so strong and move from the upper river.My friend joking telling us that if one of us jump into the river,in a minute we can arrive home.Its not mere a joke for me,if somebody fell down into the river on that time,in a minute he will die..erkk..

7.So we continue walk and walk again until we reach our own destination, as we was wet and have no mood to lepak(loafing) around town,I decided to go back with van sapu at padang pasir area.(van sapu is pirate taxi/van and padang pasir is not a desert even when translate from bahasa melayu to english its meaning desert,actually padang pasir is a place across the divisional mosque.the place was a wet market before)

8.Along the way I go back to my house,I can see some part which was hit by flood on that Jalan Istana,kampung Tupong and RPR Petra Jaya,but at my House(my aunt house at Kampung Semarang) the water level is not reach any flood level..a few days after that I heard from a friend that some area in Kuching Old city centre such as Carpenter street,India Street,and Main Bazzar was hit by the flood too.Thats is my testimonial for the flood happened in 1994 as I can recalled it.

9.Before 1994 I cant recall much but from story told by my parent,during 1980’s.Kuching town always hit by flood especially in my kampung area as on that time the road condition isn’t proper and sarawak river still running wild heheh..i can only remember a litlle bit of the story but when we still young the memory we can get maybe less lah maybe about 178 kb or less hehe.(like compter lah) hehe

10.There is also a local legend, about a great flood happened in Kuching a few decades ago,I don’t remember the exact time and year as this story have been told me narratively through different sources but it still end the same..the big flood hit Kuching area.Some says it happens around end 1800 but some says it happened during 1940’s or 1950’s.But the truth I never found the story in any story book or text book or whatsoever conforming this story really happen or not.

11.The story line is just like this(I make it shorterlah..) tasik Biru located at Bau town known as gold mine a long time ago then it was closed ,because the water look blue,so that’s why the lake named as Tasik Biru( Tasik = Lake ,Biru= Blue) after it was closed it was reopened again, the exact time line and date I forgot, maybe I tell you on the other time. So once when the miner dig deeper and deeper under the lake(that time the lake was drained) they found lot of lot of gold so that’s why they dig it deeper and deeper, assuming that lot of gold under the lake. Suddenly a miner found something extraordinary, a big giant gold tortoise, pure gold and so big. They just wonder why is this gold tortoise buried inside the bau area..The word of founding gold tortoise spread among the miner, and to their boss and other villagers around the area.

12.Some people want to see the gold tortoise and ask the miner to dig out the gold tortoise out of the mine and put it at the nearby Tua Peck Kong(Temple),but some people confront and opposed the idea and want the gold tortoise just put at it own original position,as they afraid the relocation of the gold tortoise only bring misfortune. So quarrel and talk tailoring around and around,if there is internet forum on that day,the talk will be long and will talk for month and month huhuh.So then,one side win and they have power and access to relocated the gold tortoise. When this story passed to me ,I have a different version of the size of the said golden tortoise.It was said the size of it is like a car and some said it was like size of lorry( as now we had so many type of car and lorry I don’t know which size can it be referred to : a kancil or Mercedes or audi or proton waja)

13.Soon just after they removed the golden tortoise,water spread out from the nearby hole where the golden tortoise was.It spread slowly and then then faster and faster and bigger and becoming bigger.And the day so start raining and raining for a several days and just look a bad omen.The water level start rising and rising,the big flood hit bau area then it spread to it was told that that is the biggest flood ever happened to Kuching but it was unrecorded so they was no exact time and date when the big flood happened. As I remembered,the ending of the legend is that the miner just put the golden tortoise to its own original position again and let it just be there.

14.Continuing the story, it’s merely a local legend but I just put a sketch to it,maybe for a few years(around 3 or 4 years) once the golden tortoise moved by something and when it happened Kuching Hit by flood again and again..heheh.

15.Sarawak River actually now is half dead river,the movement of the river itself engineered by human and for this I can say they want to interfere with god job, Did you know why.?? Sarawak River is the only River in south East Asia which the water tide can be controlled fully by human.

16.Few years back I like to loafing at Kampung Boyan,at Pak Lah cafĂ© nearby to the riverbank,sometimes I met tourist from West Malaysia and we chat and chat everything about Sarawak and Kuching.Most of them don’t know that there is a Sarawak Barrage which control the water level in Sarawak River. Hehe not only west Malaysian ,even some Kuchingites and sarawakian doesn’t know about the Sarawak Barrage and the functions.

17.More than ten years ago, the water from the sea flowing to Sarawak River through 2 estuary direction which is from Santubong estuary and another is from Muara Tebas estuary(anyway estuary =muara sungai).Water moved freely from this direction and during that time Sarawak River run wild,some might say the river run wild like mustang..(wild horse lah..) all type of ships can enter Sarawak River, from big cruise,medium tanker ,pukat tunda(fisherman boat) then about middle of 1990’s the project started, the governments start building a causeway (land bridge)on the river(like Malaysian Singapore causeway) they just put soil and rock and make a road connecting Kuching area to Demak Jaya area(close to Bako).It was named as Tambak Bako which have 4 road lane(before that commuter use ferry to go to across to the other area).So the water just stuck there cannot go in or go out,the only way water can go out now is through the other river which ended at Muara Tebas.

18.The Sarawak Barrage project then started and when it near to complete, the government started closed the other river(nearby to Marine Police Base Bintawa).Then Sarawak Barrage formally open.I can recall that is sometimes on 1997.Living by the riverbank, I know what the time the high tide and low tide, but suddenly one day I think the water level is on the same level for a several days. thats the time when I realised the Sarawak Barrage have already in function. During the early day of the barrage,Sarawak River will get the low tide twice a months.which mean once in two weeks.In two weeks,the river become so smelly because the water is not moving enough as before when Sarawak Barrage open,the water can moved to the sea vice versa during high tide and low tide.In recent years I found that ,the Sarawak Barrage released the water regularly.Let say once a week,its because the muddy prt of river nowadays is not moving enough,the river become shallow,so the water become smelly.Unless there is heavy rain and king tide that can wash away the muddy part of the river but again,the muddy part is still there.

19.And we’re not finishing the story that I have been started,the flood..Based on the recent flood,The authorities says that Sarawak Barrage can control the water level and in the same time can avoid flood in Kuching.The three big flood 2001,2004 and 2009 prove it merely wrong.In my theory the government just let the flood hit Kuchingites especially to all Kampung at the Riverbank.Make them think that place is not safely enough for them,make them think that they should move to other place safer like at Telaga Air,Demak or Rampangi( This is all resettlement scheme by Government). As I remembered from Chief Minister speech few years ago,he want to make Kuching a waterfront city,like venice. So venice doesn’t have kampong,there is no use having kampong in a place so called venice,the kampong nearby to Riverbank just disturbing the tourist and eye of minister and rich people,its an eyesore.

20.So let the flood teach them ,maybe they will know that the kampong is not a safe and good place to stay.Just let them go away and then the Venice of east will rise here..That’s only my theory though..But who knows…until then,what is the action should be done..
1.demolished the barrage,
2.demolished the tambak Bako?make a bridge there ? Or make second barrage.
3.Dig the Sarawak river,as now the river become shallow ,dig the river and make it more deeper?
Dig the Sarawak I mention earlier.Sarawak River movement now are engineered and control by human but there is consequences .The water level of Sarawak River now is rising because the sand and the garbage on the riverbank not going anywhere,compare to earlier day,the sand bit by bit move away either to the sea or to the upper river.Even nowadays there is less of sand digging business in the Sarawak River.That make sense showing Sarawak river depth is shallow.

21.In the event of these matters,the
water level of Sarawak River nowadays keep rising and when heavy rain and king tide,the consequences is = flood.Until then something must be done or else Kuching will become city under river level hehe…

Friday, 16 January 2009

Big Tree at padang Merdeka Kuching.

1.This is a very big tree in front of Merdeka Palace Kuching,and from all resources i got,this tree is very old maybe 100 years old.To local this tree is called pokok "Kabu- kabu".First of all i dont know how to translate kabu-kabu to english or in Bahasa Malaysia..but maybe i can explain a bit.Kabu kabu just like cotton,very light,white and people used it to make pillow or mattress( when used it with lot amount)

2.Once a year or twice a year or maybe once in two years,this tree will produce the flower and when it fall ,the white kabu kabu fell from tree,like snow.I cannot tell when is the exact time the kabu kabu snow fell.But i know ot when some people gather under the tree and at Padang Merdeka.Several years back i dont know why that some people gathering under the tree and some part of the Padang Merdeka(Padang = Field).

3.They gathered there and look like collecting something.and then i asked friend what are these people friend answered..they're collecting kabu-kabu flower.. Hmm...thats what they're doing.Actually that's is not interesting for me but maybe for those people.hehe..Anyway if you pass by at Hotel merdeka Palace or Padang Merdeka Kuching,dont forget to took photo beside this tree.this tree already marked and gazette by Sarawak Government as Sarawak national Treasure(maybe because it old age and located at Kuching City Centre.)

4. Few years back,this tree become leaveless and look like dying any moment.And that very moment,sarawak government call some specialist from outside Malaysia to check and make a better treatment(like patient at the hospital Lo) ..and its work,the tree condition back to normal to this day..

5. As far as i can remember to this year my age near tto 32..that tree is just big and big like that..yea maybe during my childhood year,i'll see it through other perspective but ,that tree is already big and tall like that.Even when i ask my uncle about the tree,during his school years at St Thomas on 1970's(behind merdeka palace hotel) that tree also big and tall like today..(mm no photograph evidence though.Just by memory) mmm...

6.Anyway,before Padang Merdeka got the name of the Padang merdeka,it was known as Padang Central by Kuchingites and sarawakian.The name change to Padang merdeka on early 1990' i not wrong maybe 1n 1992.As that time Kuching host the National Day's Parade.Which is also the first having outside of Kuala Lumpur.So Padang Central change to Padang merdeka.Maybe it got influence by Dataran Merdeka In Kuala Lumpur.The green field in the middle of the city.And national parade done there because of that government just give it title "merdeka" . Considered at kuching the field is smaller and less accomodation surround it so it name as Padang not Dataran as in Kuala Lumpur.

7. During 1992 merdeka day parade in Kuching,Merdeka Palace was under construction.Before the merdeka palace there was Aurora Hotel not big as merdeka palace,but not a small hotel..7 or 8 stry high.But of course it was beyond my time and as i want to remember what the hitel look like,its just like looking in the very blur mirror.And finally i only managed to see Merdeka Palace heheh..

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Penambang of Sarawak River

Bor mengebor rak mengerak

bunyi perahu melanggar ombak

Kampunglah gersik,kampung boyan ,kampung semarang

ya sayang

sourabaya ulu,panglima seman

di kampung ulu sinjan,ke kampung Lintang

Dari sinjan ke pengkalan batu

singgah di ceko ke pasar minggu

o ya sayang

o ya sayang

bawa penumpang sepanjang malam.

1.For those who are not sarawakian,this song is dedicated to Pak Tambang of sarawak River that his job carrying passenger across the river from the village across the river to the other side.This song is aired in the radio during middle and end of 1980's.On that i'm still in primary about 9 to 11 years old.So when wake up and want to go to school,almost every morning i can heard this song. Its just an ordinary song telling the Pak Tambang daily life crusing the river from morning to midnight.From which location to which location.I did blogging about pak tambang before,a few months ago.

2.In my previous blog,my blog is relating the proposed bridge that will be build from the new Dewan Undangan Negeri to other side of the river.It maybe useful for tourist or people who lived across the river,but for Pak Tambang..the future hold nothing but confrontation (huhu sound like lyric from song)

3. No one knows about the reality and life of Pak tambang beside the villagers living by the rivers and daily users of this Pak Tambang..( it was me before..)So where should i start,i live at the kampung of sarawak River Shore not exactly near to river but my kampung is near to river..its kampung semarang.nearby to kampung panglima seman and kampung pulo(exactly between).So during the years 1960 and 1970's according tomy fahter,when there is no jambatan Tun Abdul Rahman at Satok,there is no car in our road kampung.

4. So when everybody want to go for working,go to town ,go to school they use Penambang or sampan.So penambang is the main transportation on that what i can recall during my childhood days,early 1980's is when car entered our kampung Road.But still that time people prefer using penambang as it save time and money of course.You see,Kuching is made from several island and lagoon(if usee from google earth) the Kampung and city centre is just opposite each other but it takes times using car to reach for the destination.

5. My father was a marine police and work at Bintawa Marine police base andto save time etc we stay at the police quarters.When we want to return to Kampung semarang,so we use the penambang.The jetty is at Padungan area at jalan Ang Cheng Ho( not far from the elephant Bistro and snooker centre).The jetty shared by Kampung Pulo ulu to..and not far from the jetty there was "Tukang Besi" area which blacksmith working and staying there.And there was Kampung Buah Jetty which used by kampung Buah folks from across the river (Kampung Buah is another name for Kampung Panglima Seman lama..actually buah in malay meaning fruit but until today i cannot relate the fruit and the village)
6. And so on,time change..Tukang Besi Area now become part of Kuching history and Tukang Besi(Blacksmith area) now become Blacksmith Road and now there is condominium there.At present time there is two other bridge build along sarawak river beside Tun Abdul Rahman Bidge at at Demak Jaya and the other one is Jamabatan Tun Salahuddin at Bintawa area.So road access to Kampung area nowadays is easier and much better.But the other side of reality,Penambang become an endangered job.There is few jetty that have not used for several years and demolished like :-

a.Bintawa tengah and Bintawa Ulu jetty(both at kampung and opposite river)-beside old Kuching Port Authority
b.The kampung buah and Tukang besi jetty(now become condominium)
c.Kampung panglima seman Ulu Jetty(in kampung)
d.Kampung Pulo tengah and Hilir

7.Compare to Kampung Upriver(Kampung seberang Ulu) Lot of the jetty still in operation.Or like at Kampung Boyan,pengkalan haji Omar,the jetty is still active with local kampung people and tourist using it.But for those who doesnt know,there is slightly differences sampan use by the upriver kampung and my kampung.I dont have the photo with me but most of the difference is :-
a.the size of the boat
b.the boatmen(pak tambang location) at ulu the pak tambang is in front while in kampung hilir the pak tambang is behind.
c.and usually pak tambang in my kampung area is local fro kuching while the others are from kota samarahan.

8.Yes Kota samarahan,and its far from kuching considered they use their boat to come to Kuching...away from their home..the Pak tambang actually sleep inside their boat,eating,praying and doing other stuff pity of them.They come with shift.ususally for one week a month in Kuching and change their shift with other members.Life nowadays is not like during 1960's,1970's and 1980's.I can say it that this is not their time anymore,people prefer travelling by land than using penambang.penambang is just merely become Kuching iconic symbol..sarawak River with Pak Tambang..thats all..

9. During my school years i always use penambang to go to school ..that was on 1995 and 1996(my form 6 at s.m.b st thomas)During that time school children charge 10 cent ,adult 20 cent,compare to today it rise 10 cent..(what i heard from my father during 70's it cheaper..)..For those school children using the penambang,usually they went to :-

a.smb st thomas
b.smb st mary
c.kuching high school theresa joseph etc etc...

10. that time,i use my uncle bike (yamaha 100) and then park the bike at kampung boyan then use penambang then walk about 5 minutes to school..i remember one incident ,morning times,we were nearly accident as the pak tambang actually customised his boat into something weird,he change the navigator into a car stering..just imagine,its hard to control when the navigator which was simple then customised into car stering..and so a fisherman boat pass infront of us..the wave give a big impact,the pak tambang doesnt have enough time to navigate it and we nearby drown...

perghh that was really scary experience for i dont know how to swim heheh

this story will be continue other time in another blog now pak tambang still exist,but it likely to become extinct soon..huhu

Monday, 5 January 2009

Happy New Year 2009

1.Its not late for me to say Happy New Year 2009...eventhough i'm not a type that celbrating new year ,hehe cos for me every year when come to new year its just number.If we want to change,no need to wait for new year,we can change now if we want to..

2.But here come new year and all people celbrating it huhu,me just lepak at cyber cafe and chatting in ym and doing some updating in my kmdc forum and my kakimoto blog . It just i dont have any good mood celbratting new year even now i'm still in KL.Wahh celebrating new year in KL is very grand,that eveniung(new year eve) i was at bukit Bintang and KLCC..but its still the same like every year and everywhere else..peoples just screaming and dancing..for what hehe 12 midnite..just that..

3.huhu ...