May 20, 2016
Disappearing Sibu : The Cooperatives
The Sarawak British Colonial Government encouraged the setting up of cooperatives in Sarawak in order to bring about greater economic development. It even recruited a specialist in the name of Peter Goullart who spoke excellent Cantonese and may be even Mandarin to come and help out. He actually arrived in Sarawak in 1952 (Ref: the River of White Lily).
In no time cooperatives were started amongst the Chinese in Sarikei , Bintangor (Tulai), and the Sibu areas.
While the cooperative of Paradom had long been closed down by the Sarawak Government (Malaysian), its store banner remains and is a good memorial to an era which had disappeared in the sands of time.
Foochow in their 50's and 60's and especially 70's still remember the cooperative. Especially those who lived in this area before. Most have moved to Sibu and elsewhere and even overseas due to political, social and economic reasons.