Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tanjung Kidurong point and LNG Terminal

Tg. Kidurong Point as seen in 1960
The Tanjung Kidurong point has a natural bay which was later developed into a deep-water port terminal and berthing location by the Bintulu Port Authority.
The Tanjung Kidurong point was a significant landmark in Bintulu history.  It is located north of Bintulu and in the 1960's it was accessible only by sea.  The natural geography of the area was important in deciding its location as a terminal for LNG export and the development of a regional port due to its natural bay advantage.  This natural bay was later developed into a huge berthing and wharfing facilities by the  Bintulu Port Authority.  During the first boom, the Port had installed a LNG exporting terminal that enabled the loading of the liquified natural gas cargo in safe waters.  The picture below shows two LNG ships berthing at the terminal for loading purposes.
The Tg. Kidurong Point site as seen in the late 1980's'
Shown at the foreground in the picture is the man-made breakwater to enable ships berthing and loading the LNG cargo in safe waters.  In the far background is the Bintulu Port wharfing and berthing facilities for other cargoes for and out of Bintulu like general cargoes, containers etc.,
"Tenaga Satu" - the first LNG ship that brought the first shipment of LNG from Tg. Kidurong LNG terminal  to Tokyo bay.
The picture shows the first LNG ship ready to set sail during the launching ceremony of the first cargo.
Tenaga Satu  set sailed on this maiden trip on the 29 January 1983 and arrived Tokyo on a cold winter morning on 7 February'83.

(Note: Picture credits above : MLNG exhibition booth, 'Pameran Sarawak Gemilang - 50 Tahun Dalam Malaysia, peringkat Bahagian Bintulu' at Dewan Suarah, Bintulu, 26 Oct - 2 Nov'13)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Roundabout Two in mid 1980's

The above roundabout was called Roundabout Two in the 1980's
It was well-landscaped and turfed. The stretch of roadside trees  are Angsana (Pterocarpus indicus)
 In the above picture the white building at the top left corner is the "Dewan Suarah"or civic centre.  The Dewan Suarah was built at the cost of RM 7 million and was opened on 5 July, 1988.

Date taken : 27 September,2013.
In place of the Roundabout Two, the local authority (BDA) introduced the traffic lights junction and was fully operational in early 2012.
When the local authority introduced a traffic lights junction to replace the roundabout, a new dual carriageway was built as alternative route to the Bintulu town ( as seen at the bottom left of the picture).

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bintulu in 1954

Combo picture above shows Bintulu town as seen in 1954 and on 13 October'2013.
There is  certainly a unique appeal in the old Bintulu town.  Despite the expansion of Bintulu to the north in the form of satellite towns of Kidurong and now Similajau, the old town has retained its historical charm.  The town have been re-developed and rejuvenated over a period of more than 30 years due to Bintulu's home-grown economic booms.  As a result of the influx of investment both local and foreign to the town, much physical and infrastructural changes have been enjoyed by the residents, temporary workers and visitors alike.  In 1954, the town consisted of a few blocks of Chinese wooden shophouses, government buildings and quarters and many kampungs or villages occupied by the Malays and Melanaus which are typically located at the edge of the town.
Bintulu town as seen in 1954
Credits : Ho Ah Choon, Sarawak in pictures 1940's - 1970's
 At the right of the picture is shown the first house belonging to the local Melanau people and part of the Kampung Dagang village that starts at the edge of the town going upriver.  There is a series of long jetties from the bank to enable boats and small coastal or riverine vessels to berth during low tide.  The pitched roof wall-less structure at right built on the Kemena river is the fish cum vegetable market.
Bintulu town today, 13 October, 2013.The main highway the runs parallel to the shophouses is the main Bazaar Road.
The tiled open space at the right is part of the Bintulu Espalande area reserved for cultural, events and festivals center.
There is a stark difference between the old town and present Bintulu.  All wooden shophouses have been replaced with permanent concrete ones.  The town has expanded into the previously Malay/Melanau village of Kampung Dagang and the villagers re-settled elsewhere further out of the town vicinity.  There is of course lots of traffic and subsequently air and noise pollution around town.  The existing town retains its appeal as a meeting place for people from the coastal and riverine areas around Bintulu to undertake  business or entrepreneurial activities, obtain weekly provisions, repair machinery and equipments, banking and government matters, social as well as recreational outlets.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tanjung Batu coastal scenic road - 1987

 The Tanjung Batu beach area has been a very popular picnic spot for Bintuluians since the 1960's.  When Bintulu encountered its first boom starting in 1979, many visitors and residents or temporary workforce to the town had the Tanjung Beach as the main outlet for beach recreational activities because it was conveniently located about 4 kilometers from the town center.  When more people settled permanently in the town there was a need to provide better amenities and facilities to the Tanjung Batu beach area.  In 1987 the Tanjung Batu coastal road as it was called then was paved and installed with street lighting.  To start with it was a  2-lane single carriageway.
1987 - Tanjung Batu coastal road -  2-lane single carriageway
Note the turning to the right (in the middle of the picture) which is the entrance to the "Pantai Temasya Bintulu" today'
 One of my responsibilities while working with the BDA (Bintulu Development Authority) in the 1980's was the landscaping of Bintulu.  In the above picture is shown the first batch of "Poui" trees planted along the Tg. Batu coastal road. The main reason for the choice was that Poui trees love the sea sprays and the intense heat of Bintulu for predictable flowering.  The seeds for these trees were sent in a brown envelope in 1985...go here to know further about the history of the Bintulu- Singapore connection regarding these Poui trees....>>>http://myussop.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-pink-and-white-glory.html
Tanjung Batu scenic road, as it is better known today - 11 October'13.
 Today, the Tanjung Batu scenic road has received many improvements.  It has become a dual-carriageway with much improved landscaping and central street lighting.  This scenic road now connects the Pantai Temasya to the Kidurong township and is fast becoming a popular spot to watch the Bintulu sunset.
Tanjung Batu scenic road, as it is better known today - 11 October'13.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

From Tanjung Batu Beach to Pantai Temasya Bintulu

"Pantai Tanjung Batu" (Malay) or Tanjung Batu Beach in 1979
 In 1979 I used to go for picnic and scrambling at the Tanjung Batu Beach.  The above picture shows me riding the scrambler at the beach area.  The site of the scrambling is today's car parking area.  The site was rich with white silica sand. However, for more fun and thrills, we would scramble along the beach and off-road areas further up the coast towards the Agriculture Department's fishery station where the present Bintulu Golf Course is.  Often times I used to bring my school students for picnic and swimming at the beach when a teacher at Bintulu Government Secondary School from 1975 -1976 and when I was the Headmaster of the school in 1979 - 1980.
Pantai Tanjung Batu has been re-named "Pantai Temasya Bintulu"
Date taken : 10 October, 2013.
The present site is one of the many car parking areas provided at the well-patronised and most popular beach spot in Bintulu.  It has been re-named 'Pantai Temasya Bintulu' in Malay to mean 'a beach for recreational, picnic, play and fun'.  In the November 1980 I joined the BDA (Bintulu Development Authority) and during the mid 1980's was greatly involved with re-developing the beach area especially the development of the beach facilities and amenities, landscaping and the Bird's Park (later re-named "Taman Tumbina").

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Law Gek Soon Road in the mid 1980's

Law Gek Soon Road, mid 1980's
 The above pic shows the Law Gek Soon Road in the mid 1980's when Bintulu faced its first economic boom.  Compared to the present day (1 October, 2013) there are very stark differences in terms of the buildings structure(e.g. wooden shophouses), movement of traffic (  2-way versus 1 - way streets) and newer buildings that cropped up to make Bintulu town's image  on par with other major towns of Sarawak.  The blue cone-shaped building in the center background in the picture below  is the Main Market building or "Pasar Utama".  The tall pole in the center has a surveillance  camera attached as a crime preventive measure.  Today there is not a single remnant of wooden shophouses in Bintulu town.
Law Gek Soon Road, taken on 1 October, 2013
Law Gek Soon
First Government Chief Clerk of Bintulu.
Mr Law Gek Soon was born and bred in Bintulu. He was the first Government Chief Clerk of Bintulu.  He died during his service in 1918 at the age of 45.  The Law Gek Soon Road is named after him.

Keppel Road in 1980

Keppel Road in 1980
Credits: Pic from 'The Sarawak Tribune', dated 31 May,1980.
 In 1980 the town roads were gradually tar-sealed but the electric posts still remain at the center of the road.  The roads were mainly two-way street.  In 2013 all roads in town were mostly one way streets which seemed to solve the problem of traffic jams and improved further with traffic light junctions.
Keppel Road , 1 October, 2013.
In 1980 it was estimated that there were about 700 vehicles in Bintulu as compared with 40 in 1970.  In 1960 there was probably only 3 cars in town.  1980 was just the beginnng years of the first boom that brought much physical changes to the town especially the roads and the buildings.  Today, Bintulu is in its 4th economic boom.  The continuous boom that the town experienced since 1979 has made it the prime target of internal migration from other towns and villages in Sarawak for the promise of better paying jobs and business opportunities.