January 19, 2012

Fire in Sg. Merah (MPB)

Latest news from Sibu especially for my children who grew up here...... One of my favourite bazaars in Sibu is Sg. Merah which is rich in Foochow history. The Methodist Church continues to own some property in the bazaar namely the first lot of this shop block.

I received news of the fire from Sibu and copied this photo from Steve Ling - a journalists with the United Daily News.

What a sad day ..especially when it is just a few days before Chinese New Year.

Sg. Merah becomes a hive of activity during the Chin Ming /tomb festival when the population here swells a thousand times. Some of the best coffee and kampua mee of Sibu are found here also. It was also the birth place of the Methodist Church in Sibu.
Photo courtesy of Steve Ling of Sibu.... 









2011
1950's We used to cycle here to buy biscuits and bread for our grandfather who  lived about 1 km from this bridge.
1930's Methodist Philanthropic Building. Bigger fisher boats could sail up here in those days. during the Japanese Occupation young able bodied men like my father walked across this bridge to built the Sibu Airport. They would start early in the morning in Sibu..most walked barefooted carrying a bungki and a changkul. Those who marched slowly were beaten. Many were so traumatised that they could not say much after this episode of their lives. My father included.





16 comments:

Anonymous said...

About the old Sibu Airport, it was told that the Japanese built it. So who actually built it? Our people or the Japanese people? Or the Japanese but using our slaves

Anonymous said...

Always around Chinese New year, there would be major fires. I remembered a case in front of the old bus station near the Market Road. After burning down the shop houses were left unrepaired for many years.

sarawaklens said...

SM is also famous for its bakery shops making and selling KehNengKo (egg muffins?)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Anonymous1
The Japanese Officers forced our Sibu people to flatten the soil with changkul and finally after slightly more than a year the airport was completed.
Forced labour....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous 2
It is true...always during Chinese New Year...some fires...I think shops then were not repaired or reconstructed because of the Rental Act..or other complications.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Sarawaklens...yes..SM is still famous for Kei neng Ko (the old lady has passed on though)and kompia.

The Observer said...

Ah Sungai Merah. My mother used to take me to a shop there where you can find all kinds of toys. I remember well that it first shop on the left when you exit the cinema there. I remember marbles, fishing lines and stationary but i really wish I could remember the name of the shop. I used to love looking at the things in that store (not stuff like what you see today at toysareus). I still think things then "rock" compared to things today. Memories brought back by this entry mean so much to me.

Bengbeng said...

Every time i pass this place, Mrs BB never forgets to remind me that her grandparents were buried here. :)

Happy Chinese New Year! :)

sarawaklens said...

Have you photos of ships berthed at that small river near Lau King Howe hospital selling Sarikei/Sibu pineapples by the bridge? I believe the river is also by where the old JPJ office used to be, where they held driving tests/exams. I remember buying pineapples there... Is that small river still navigable by ships today? Things have changed so much I can hardly recognize Sibu anymore. Another place of nostalgia is Pulau Babi. :)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Observer
I cannot remember the name of the shop too but it a lovely shop with all sorts of antiquated toys and what we call "traditional and old style" stuff which you cannot actually find in modern supermarkets today!! thanks for dropping by

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Bengbeng

how are you? Thanks for dropping by. When we were young passing by SM meant that we would hide at the floor of the car and ask our father "have we passed the cemetery yet?" because we were even scared of looking at the tomb stones!!

Happy New Year!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Sarawaklens....
I think we might be able to find that particular photo...or photos. I hope to find some more Pulau Babi photos..But I cannot remember the JPJ tests there near the bridge...(That's why it is called Bridge Road...

sarawaklens said...

i think it was motorcycle tests only?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Sarawaklens...I remember the Rumah Sakai and the Sibu Rural District Council...and then opposite these was the Sibu Sports Field (first it was the King George Vl Memorial Ground and then later the Padang...Datuk P. T. Haji Bujang....)May be I have already moved away in 1987...and the driving lessons/training ground was there.

Ann said...

My Grandpa, dad, and Uncles and all the men in the Lanang road area were the "slaves" . They were to be separated from the Foochows because the Foochows and Cantonese still fought a lot.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hahaha...Ann...I have always wondered how these "Foochow men and Cantonese men" fought...My dad spoke good Cantonese and good Mandarin that's how he and your dad were good friends...so I think a shared and common language is paramount in mutual understanding...but again..Most Foochows fight amongst each other these days...sad