December 23, 2017

Sibu Tales : Old Government Quarters of Sarawak


In the 50's many Sibu people were envious of those who obtained jobs with the government. The civil service was respected and few people were qualified to join the government. Firstly in the 1950's English was an important qualification and not many could pass the Form Five English as a subject. Then in the 1970;s the Malaysian policies changed and Bahasa Malaysia became a qualification that all Civil Servants must have.

The older civil servants  soon retired and moved out of the government quarters which were by then rather run down. The old Chai Koo/Government servants became a dying breed.

The 1970's were transformational years. As time changed, people started to have different attitudes towards everything, be it material or spiritual.

By the `1980's the Malaysian government started to encourage Civil Servants to own their own houses, and the Age of Technology soon set in by the 1990's. People's lives changed dramatically.

Thus  the beautiful government quarters become derelict. Piece by piece, beam by beam, pole by pole, many of the abandoned houses were cannibalized. Some were even deliberately burnt down,and according to the news, by drug addicts. And the government land became sadly emptied of life.


By the 21st century, most people would look at the government quarters like they are abandon housing waiting for demoliton. Many Sarawakians would not know what they were for too. In a few years' time these wooden quarters would be completely obliterated from the social map of Sarawak.

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The belt fish was one of the cheapest fish available in Sibu in the 60's and 70's and most people would sneeze at it, calling it ...