Proposed 1,480 metres span Batang Sadong Bridge at Kampung Buloh, Sarawak
I've been through the area before. Crossing the Batang Sadong to Kota Samarahan, another river to cross took half a day ...that's very unproductive to residents in both Samarahan and Asajaya for their livelihood. In the Asajaya area lie many kampungs, mostly of Malay farmers and fishermen who virtually (mostly unfairly voted and kept Taib and truant son Sulaiman in Parliament for decades.
People in Asajaya and Sadong actually used to have a language or dialect heritage. I hope they still do though it's probably gone, what with that silly botak Rais Yatem conditioning with RTM Radio and TV. I hear little of it now. It's got a heavy "twang" on the nasal/glottal and half nasal sounds as in the word "orang" the "ng" would twang! :) Some studies have been done on this. James Collins has traced localities and local Malay dialests[#].
Once chatted with a Chinese shopkeeper in his late 30's, apparently disenchanted, because he and family gave up farming ...orange orchards and pineapples. On being asked why, they couldn't face some diseases and pests or blight impropoperly or unprofessionaly
Those pineapples from Asajaya, Nenas Sarikei, used to be the darling of farming there.
These are simple humble folks whose life used to be the land and the sea. Except for some, others have more or less abandoned traditional farming and gravitated to the bright lights of Kuching, where for the young there aren't bountiful jobs. For those who managed to get to University there are PTPTN loans for both parents and children to shoulder.
Once rode a bike from Serian through Simunjan and saw along the way some swathes of land prepared for oil palm plantations.
But with unethical land distribution, the land is no longer their life sustainer. Most might, though without adequate local studies, have been disenfranchised.
They could well build that bridge joining Asajaya and Kota Samarahan. With losses throught corrupt practices just about a lot of other things could be improved. If they won't build that bridge for Asajaya, people might gravitate to Serian where market for agricultural products for smallholders is restricted compared to Kuching.
- MORE at Sarawak Report ...Election Candy?
- James T Collins [#]
- Representation, Identity and Multiculturalism in Sarawak,