Kampung Luak which is quite near Miri's Tanjong Lobang is a really old kampung with lots of interesting wooden houses built probably after the Second World War. And then it could be one of the oldest Malay kampongs in Northern Sarawak!! The newer houses are modern and have been built recently thus expanding the kampung beyond its old boundaries. The newer roads have fancy botanical names like Navia 1 or Cattalya
The older roads are just called Kampong Luak 1 or Kampong Luak 2.
Most of the elderly villagers have been fishermen in their younger days although many of them (second generation) are civil servants or business people. There are still hundreds of houses in the kampung. It is therefore not a surprise when you see some of the old type or old fashion fruit trees still standing tall.
One of the kampong trees which caught my attention recently is the Sentul tree that is fruiting gloriously. The golden fruits which look like apples have been beckoning to me for days. Unknown to me Pak Cik has a smaller one behind his house. The bigger tree is at least 150 feet tall. He said that the tree is older than him. He is about 70 years old and is the owner of a fairly large and enviable tract of kampong land. His daughter lives next door in her own house although she is having one new concrete house built in the new settlement area in Lambir where many of the other villagers have moved to.
Sentul is Sandoricum koetjape or wild mangosteen.
According to Pak Cik the fruit is not sold at all in the Miri market and he was surprised I wanted to buy some from him. I told him that I was interested in frying the rind with sambal and make it into an interesting dish. He was surprised that the fruit could be cooked!
The fruit has a thick but soft rind. It is edible and contains a milky juice. The pulp may be sweet or sour and contains inedible brown seeds. The leaves are similar to rambutan leaves ie ribbed leaves. Sentul has pink or yellow-green flowers about 1 centimeter long.
The ripe fruits are harvested by climbing the tree and plucking by hand. Pak Cik used a long stick with a
The Philipinos cook and candie the fruit or make it into marmalade.
The wood of the tree is useful for construction, being plentiful and usually easy to work and polish. It makes a good shade tree. The leaves and bark have been used medicinally as a poultice. Several parts of the plant may have anti-inflammatory effects, and some chemical extracts from sentul stems have shown anti-cancer properties in vitro. Extracts from sentul seeds have insecticidal properties.(Wikipedia)
My friend Prof Dato Haji( who studied in Tanjong Lobang School in the 1960's ) said that Sentul in West Malaysia is named after this fruit.
By the way Tanjong Lobang School now called Kolej TDTH Bujang is just down the road from this kampong. And a former teacher the late Mr. James Foh's house is at the periphery of this kampong.
b) Prof. Emeritus Dato Haji Mohammad
c) my own Luak Bay photos and info from Pak Cik