Saturday, May 28, 2016

Abang Galau and a road to his name

Me and Friends  at the road junction of Abang Galau road in 1975.
Note the typical wooden Malay houses prevalent at that time built along the road as seen in the background  and take note too of the tall palm trees in the background .
View of Jalan Abang Galau or Abang Galau Road from the middle portion ( in front of OKMS i.e. Orang Kaya Mohammed School) ) towards the town center.
Photo credits : Tuah, Adi B., Abon R., Daha S., Buding B., Ahip P. & Ritchie,  J. (  ) Dari Kampung Nelayan ke Industriopolis, Pejabat Pentadbiran Bahagian Bintulu, Bintulu.

There is a road that runs parallel to Jalan Mesjid or Mosque Road in Bintulu that was named after a local chieftan named Abang Galau. The  Abang Galau  Road is slightly less than one kilometer in length.  It starts from the Bintulu town centre traffic light junction ( Kepppel Road/ Pedada Road traffic lights junction) and ends close to the Sebiew River.

Abang Galau prominence as a local chieftan  during the days of the Brunei Sultanate's rule over Bintulu was well received by the Brooke's administration (Charles Brooke)  which subsequently endorsed him as the local dignitary to represent the natives community of Bintulu when the Sultan of Brunei ceded the Bintulu region  to the Brookes in 1861.  According to some reports, he is a descendant from the Punan or Orang Ulu  bloodline from the marriage of Pengiran Panji and Kendoh.

View of Jalan Abang Galau taken on 27 May,2016.
Note the hotel and shophouses at  the left of the picture. These new buildings were built under Phase Two of Kampung Dagang Commercial Centre project developed by Hock Peng Realty Sdn Bhd.  The first phase of the re-development of the Malay/Melanau villages along the Abang Galau Road  was undertaken by Bintulu Realty Estate Sdn Bhd. covering an area of 1.44 hectares involving  36 landowners. 

Jalan Abang Galau, taken on 27 May'16.
Note:  For more information on the development of the Kampung Dagang Commercial Centre, please follow this link...>>>
Abang Galau Road of the 60's.
 This is the section of the road that ends close to the Sebiew River.
In the 60's it was the sight of rubber and fruit tree gardens and Malay/Melanau kampungs or villages.
|The above picture shows Malay/ Melanau men wearing the Malay headress ("Songkok") when attending a wedding reception at a Muslim Melanau's  house beside the Abang Galau Road.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Down town image shows Bintulu entering the Millenial era

View of Bintulu when as a 'sleepy village and town image' in 1955, showing the 'old town' across river from village.
(Photo credit : Ho Ah Choon, " Sarawak in Pictures - 1940's -1970's)

View of Bintulu down town with extensive development in the background, after a succession of four economic booms.
This picture is in cognizance of Bintulu entering the Millenial era i.e 2016 onwards.
The basically Melanau populated fishing village is seen in the foreground of the picture.
( Picture taken on 1 Jan'16 using Samsung Galaxy Note II )
For those not familiar with the developmental history of Bintulu, I would like to recap on the boom years starting 1979 (first boom) which jolted Bintulu from a once sleepy town and village to an industrial 'city' it is today.  The last of the economic boom - the fourth boom (2010 - 2015),  ushered in a new chapter in the growth of Bintulu.  The fourth boom has brought deep and extensive ripple effects in the economic landscape of Bintulu.  Additionally, what the fourth boom has done  too is in the creation and build up of a series of new synergistic interplay of economic renaissance forces on this consistently booming town.  In my periodisation of Bintulu history, I call the period beginning  2016 as the "Millenial era".  The Millenial era can safely be divided further into the Industrial decade (2016 - 2026) and after that or after achieving the official status of an industrial city, Bintulu will be propelled forward into the Post - Industrial era - i.e. 2026 onwards ( and it is to later historians that the timing be worked out).

Friday, December 4, 2015

King George the VI Memorial Ground

The main public space - King George the VI  Memorial Ground as seen in the 1960's
Source : Bintulu Centenary Celebration,1961(booklet)
Teachers from Bintulu Gov't Secondary
School during Teachers Day 1976
standing next to the Memorial Ground
(partly seen at right of picture)
 In the 1960's Bintulu was a small fishing village and town all rolled in one. In the 60's era the public space in the midst of the town was a great meeting place for the towns folk, visitors from the rural areas as well as those newcomers to the town.  In the 1970's the public space more commonly known as the King George Memorial Ground could accomodate many children's playground equipments, two basketball courts and ample lawn for children to run and play.  The Memorial Ground was used for a variety of public or community functions like concerts,Teacher's Day assembly,  'Toto' or Bingo games, public parades and assemblies. In the new millenia the public space was further improved by BDA with a significant iconic image of a fountain in the shape of the local 'Terendak' or sunhat commonly by the Bintulu Melanaus.  Today the public space continues to serve as a meeting place for locals as well as tourists due to its central location, pleasant surroundings and greenery.
The Memorial Ground was popularly used as public parade and assembly area.
The above picture shows the ground used as National Day celebration assembly and parade.
Source : Bintulu - Dari Kampung Nelayan ke Industripolis (Book published by Sarawak State Government)

BDA Basketball team posing with their winning trophies, 1981.
Photo taken on the basketball court at the Memorial Ground
Vaguely seen in the backgound is the Bintulu Recreation Club building.

The iconic fountain in the shape of the local Melanau 'Terendak' or sunhat.  The public space is centrally located and continues to serve as meeting place and tourist attraction with footpath and concrete benches and ample lawn area and greenery.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wildlife Park of Bintulu in 1989

View of the Wildlife Park ( Taman Hidupan Liar) seen in 1989.
Works on the construction of the Wildlife Park or Taman Hidupan Liar in Malay started in 1989 and the park was officially opened to the general public on the 2nd of August,1991.
Picture shows my family members and their cousin, with our car driven right to the top of the hill where later the wordings  "Taman Hidupan Liar" were planted using cover plants approximately where  the car is parked.
View of the park  taken on 9th of March,2015. 
Today, the park is re-named as "Taman Tumbina".
 It was the first and only park of its kind in Sarawak when it was opened in 1991.  Today, the park is called "Taman Tumbina" but when it was first started and opened it was known as Taman Hidupan Liar or Wildlife Park.  It was one of my pet projects while in the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA).  This project brought me places to Singapore and West Malaysia to see similar projects and learn from them.  In the park (as shown in the layout plan below) there were many botanical as well as zoological attractions.  One of the big attractions was the flamingo pond.  Follow this link to know more in-depth story of my role in bringing the flamingoes to Bintulu  here .  In the top picture, the Bintulu coastline is seen in the background.  It is evident that that were no condominiums or high-rise buildings in Bintulu in the 1980's along its coasts.  The condominiums were a thing of the 1990's in Bintulu. 

" Taman Hidupan Liar " or Wildlife Park as seen in the early 1990's

Monday, April 20, 2015

View of Bintulu coastline in 1999 compared to 2015

View of Bintulu coastline as seen from Taman Tumbina's Bougainvillea garden
The tall building at left is the completed Beach Resort Condominium, the first of its kind for Bintulu.  In the far background is the second condominium built along the Bintulu coastline and almost completed in March 2015, but not yet occupied.
Date taken : 10 March,2015

View of Bintulu coastline in the background, from Taman Tumbina's Bougainvillea garden.
In the middle ground is the first condominium project under construction.
Note: The beautiful lady in the picture is my wife.
Date taken : 18 April, 1999, Colour photo.

 Bintulu is one place in Sarawak where sunset viewing is at its best.  Whether its from the mouth of the Kemena River ( the main Bintulu river) or going northwards to Tanjung Batu by following its coastline, the sunset views are spectacular for most of the year.  An elevated point at Tanjung Batu is the Taman Tumbina, a zoological- botanical park developed by BDA (Bintulu Development Authority) starting in 1989 and declared open on 2nd August, 1991.  The picture above shows the well-grown bougainvilleas at the Bougainvillea section of the botanical area of the park.  The Bougainvillea garden was a popular public viewing point to see the development along the Bintulu coastline.
A closer view of the completed condominium  called Beach Resort Condominium and the first of its kind in Bintulu.
View from Bougainvillea garden, Taman Tumbina.
Date taken : 10th April,2015