Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Blooming Malaysia (Malaysia Day article #12)

Pink Poui or Tabebuia rosea  flowering well along a coastal road in Kidurong township, Bintulu.

A double flower Hibiscus hybrid

 I have a great passion for plants which probably was cultivated in my early childhood days of the early 60's when I often provided a helping hand to my grandpa who used to sweep the garden floor and plant fruit trees at a small garden in the village. I used to help my mother water and weed some of the plants she planted around the government quarters house with flowering shrubs, sun-loving herbs and herbaceous annuals. In school I joined the gardening club which encouraged me in the planting of flowers, grasses and trees to beautify the school compound and their maintenace like pruning, fertilising and watering. At a more matured age I was extremely fortunate to be given the portfolio of landscaping of Bintulu town over many years resulting in planting of landscape trees for golf course, parks, roadsides, and many other civic areas like mosques, children's playgrounds, wildlife parks, mini-botanic gardens, recreational beach areas and roundabouts. When I made landscaping my focus in business I did lots of landscape projects for big corporations and foreign companies' housing in Bintulu. When finally I decided to seriously think about the concept of Malaysian garden I spent many years developing a nature park and an urban garden with my own finances so that the concept of Malaysian garden be better explained and experimented upon. This adventure of my life continues.

Through various blogs I hope enthusiasts and practitioners of the Malaysian garden ( Laman Kambatik) will find a ready, online 24x7 and free source of plant names suitable for the Malaysian garden available at their fingertips. The collection of these photos have brought me places all over Malaysia and the thousands of pageviews on the four editions of the plants list series has been worth the time and expenses. Enjoy the blogs and happy gardening.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak.

(Note: This is Article #12 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually) 

A composition of shade-loving plants in Kuala Lumpur


Planting with bougainvilleas at a traffic junction in Kuching, Sarawak.

We were once kids (Malaysia Day article #13)


As the year advances the rainy season would appear  more regularly.  In Kuching it rains almost every afternoon while in Bintulu there are more rains in the nights than days.  Come November it would rain heavily, an annual occurrence that makes me wonder how the rhythm of the rains, its appearance and then flight makes me take for granted the passing of time and the sureness of another year. This afternoon, time took me to a rehearsal of the days when I was just like those innocent, energetic and joyously happy kids playing and running on the village football field.  Rain or shine the "We" feeling of comradeship among friends we grew up with are something I always treasure.  Passing the village football field I thought how fortunate I was when I joined my primary and then secondary school soccer teams.  For a young kid, wearing a football jersey and representing the school in a local soccer league is a mountain of achievement.  It happened to me in 1965 when our school won the soccer league.  A black and white photograph that captured the proud moment of achievement is shown below.
Bintulu Government Secondary School team in dark stripes.  I am at the middle of the front row being captain of the soccer team.  This photo is dated 25 January, 1965

In reflection of the times,  here's a poem I wrote about rains which reads:-

November rain

In pouring rain
come November
we were playful kids
drenched in muddy fields
little friendly faces
kept us in cheerful company
in season of togetherness

We've grown to smile at life's pose
the graciousness of true love
in pouring late November rains
we abide passionately 
its season of endless memories.

23 Nov'15
Kambatik Park, Bintulu.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!

(Note: This is Article #13 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)

This article is adapted from an earlier blog post as in here...>>>> )

To school by sea ( Malaysia Day article #14)

A coastal launch typical of the 60's is seen entering the Miri river mouth.

Picture credit: Ho Ah Chon, "Sarawak in pictures - 1940's - 70's".

  I have very fond memories of my student days at Tanjong Lobang School in Miri of the 60's.  Coming from a remote fishing village town of Bintulu, some 200 kilometers away from Miri,was something to be lauded about because as prospective students we were firstly selected to study at that premier institution of learning.  Most of the students were picked from the central and northern areas of Sarawak.  I studied there starting in 1967 when it was still called 'Tanjong Lobang School', but later changed to 'college' after the government of the day decided to accept only students studying for Form Four till Upper Six to fill the classes there. 

Aerial view of Miri town  in the 60's
Picture credit: Ho Ah Chon
 Travelling to Miri when the school term begins and back to my hometown for the term holidays would entail travelling by sea.  In those days, travel by sea evoked mixed feelings of adventure,fear, mission, sea sickness and sacrifice. I had to endure these experiences for four years  to get the best education available during those times which money cannot buy.  
The journey meant a full day and night in small coastal launch in heavy seas or moderate waves.  In daylight we could see the endless green coast and sandy beaches, felt the salty sprays brushing our young faces and watched the waves ahead and past us.  In reflection we were indeed fortunate to have survived the ordeal at sea because in the 60's we had little choice in travelling to school since road travel from Bintulu to Miri was non-existent and air travel was too expensive and largely beyond the means of most parents.
My travelling journey at sea to begin the school term or back for holidays would not have happened safely if not for the expertise of the ship's captain. I now feel greatly indebted to those unsung heroes.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!

Aerial view of Bintuulu town in the 60's

Note: This is Article #14 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)