Monday, November 29, 2010

OKMS School - 1970's

Date taken : May 1976
The Orang Kaya Mohammad School (OKMS) in Bintulu is the first school run on a Malay medium of instruction in Bintulu. The above building showed how the school appeared from the the late 1950's to the 1970's era. I had the opportunity to study in this school for my first year primary school education in 1958. I recall at that time the classroom floor was concrete, the walls were wooden and the roofing was of 'belian' shingles. However I did not complete my primary schooling in OKMS and instead continued my second year schooling up till primary six (1959 -1963) at St. Anthony School which was an English medium primary school.
The name of the school derived from a well-known local Bintulu personality during the times of the Brunei Sultanate by the name of Mohammad bin Sungan. As representative of the Brunei rule in Bintulu he was able to ensure peace and smooth running of governance in Bintulu. As an honour of his abilities to lead the local peoples of Bintulu he was given the title " Orang Kaya Pemancha Mohammad" by the Brunei Sultanate.

Date taken : 29 Nov'10
( Digital by Sony cyber-shot)

A concrete double -storey building has taken up space from the original wooden structure site. This school remains the only school situated within the Bintulu town commercial area. From what was once a school serving the local Malay and Melanau community who lived in villages around the school area, today this school accomodates students from various ethnic groups especially the Ibans who have over the years taken up employment in the shophouses and other commercial outfits owned by the Chinese business community located in the Bintulu town area.