Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sarawak: A week in the news.

 This past week, the people of Sarawak were  rejoicing. They were anticipating a week of public holidays. It is their harvest festival and beauties like Awa and her friend dress up in their finest and welcome guests to their longhouse for eating, drinking, merrymaking and dancing their traditional dance, the Nyajat. (These photos were last year's when I visited the Bintangnor Longhouse organised by John Benet, during the Kai Chung school reunion.)

Disaster struck, in Sarikei, a jetty where the boys can be seen to board the boats,  collapsed. Was it an ominous sign that bigger catastrophe was to come?  

Early one morning, on May 28, a smaller boat than this with a capacity of 67 capsized with about 180 on board. Many were seated on the roof, and miraculously they survived despite the ragging water. Statistics are hard to come by, because there is no statistics. No one knew exactly how many were on board. They fear 20 were drowned in our Rejang river. No wonder, locals term it their mighty river.

Around half a century ago, my siblings and I used to swim in this river 95 miles from the sea. It was our river.

You can see only part of the jetty for this week's meme.


  1. I used to take the hovercraft from Sibu to Kapit when I was working with Astro in the course of my job. Your blog brings back memories of the times when I was in the hovercraft thinking if disaster strike there would be no escape for passengers on board. May the mighty Rejang River be kind from now onwards giving passengers smooth sailing. Happy Gawai to all Sarawakians out there. Thanks for the awesome post !

  2. A very interesting post, Ann.
    Thank you for contributing it to Sunday Bridges.