Friday, October 10, 2014

Malay kampungs in 1957

Combo picture to show the rustic and peaceful Malay kampungs in 1957 compared to the crammed-up look it is today, devoid of any landscaping or forest environment.  It seemed the people do not learn from history.
Aerial picture of Bintulu town expansion at start of new millenia.

Photo credit : Ho Ah Choon, Sarawak in Pictures, 1940's - 70's.
In 1957 I used to walk from my house which was situated next to the Bintulu town to Kampung  Datok where my grandma lived.  I have fond memories of the walking through a series of small kampungs before reaching Kampung Datok.  The distance was about less than 500 meters.  But for a young kid it was a long walk.  The tiny village road that led to my grandma's house passed through many Malay and Melanau houses that were made of timber and belian roofing shingles.  Over-topping these houses were various types of palm trees and fruit trees.  They constituted a very important aspect of Malay culture and cuisine.  More significantly it was the presence of many birds around the houses feeding on fruiting trees that imprinted in me the love of plants and wildlife at an early age.  The B&W picture above is reminiscent of the forested environment of the Malay kampungs in Bintulu in the 1950's.  In contrast the same Malay kampungs today are devoid of any forest or landscaping environment.  It is a sad story of development.  But I was not to be discouraged by failure.  At the start of the new millenia (sometime in 2003) I began my own project of building a park.  It was my way of living the beautiful greenery  and wildlife-friendly Malay kampung environment I knew as a young kid.  I am pleased that I have the opportunity to re-live those days of discovery, delight and dreams in my own nature park.  I guess I have achieved the dream with the development of the  Kambatik Park in Bintulu.