Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Sibu Central Police Station

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

British Colonial Era Government Quarters in Kuching

When you are in cities or towns in North America or Europe such as Paris, London, San Francisco, New York, Rome or Perth, the old parts remain the same year after year and decade after decade or even century after century. For instance, at Cambridge and Oxford, buildings at the universities are very well preserved over centuries.

Similarly, in Paris, the Latin Quarters or Le Quartier Latin remain unchanged over centuries which includes the University of Paris. Many rich monuments are also to be found in the area. Tourists often love to stroll through this quaint, historic area; its many caf├ęs, restaurants, theaters, and little bookshops make it a lively and attractive place to visit.

If you take a ride along Maxwell Road or Uplands Raod, Lowlands Road or Midlands Road in Kuching, you will feel like you are in an Australian or British towns or suburbs. These are the colonial quarters of the British era.

Some of the British colonial era bungalows currently still being maintained as government quarters while some have been used by societies such as the Single Mothers' Society, Senior Citizens' Society and Breast Cancer Support Group.

Some of the old quarters are still quite well maintained but a lot have been renovated beyond recognition. There must be law to gazette such buildings as heritage buildings to remind the younger generations of the colourful past. Renovation should also be strictly regulated. The tiled roofs of the old government quarters for instance have been replaced by zinc sheets which seem out of place.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Serabah - the mosquito repellant

When I was a young boy, I remember an elderly Foochow couple next door who used to burn something producing an acrid smell every evening to drive away mosquitoes. It was an alternative to burning mosquito coils and it was actually the bark of the Serabah tree.

Serabah or Goniothalamus andersonii belongs to the Annonaceae (soursop family). Members of the Annonaceae have stringy or fibrous bark including serabah. The serabah tree is found in the peat swamp forest of Borneo and has been used by the people of Borneo as insect repellant. The bark is fibrous and the smoke obtained from the burning of the bark has been used by people in Borneo to drive away mosquitoes as well as bees before the collection of honey comb from trees in the wild.

Goniothalamin has been extracted from serabah and is known to caused apotopsis (programmed cell death) and has attracted the attention of scientists working on treatment for cancer. Besides, research has also been done on its anti-bacterial activities. However, serabah is also known to be an abortifacient.

Bundles of serabah for sale at the Central Market, Sibu.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Panoramic View of Sibu 2009


Day time

Night Time

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Conservation of Buildings in Sibu and Sarawak

The Tudor-style building then......
photo courtesy of

The building now.....