Monday, March 24, 2008

Victim Of Development





It is indeed sad and heart breaking to see Matu Town dying a slow and painful death. Matu is one of the earliest settlements in the lower Rajang area, having been established more than 120 years ago. Today a few of those old wooden shophouses still stand there, but they are no longer able to maintain the business and keep the people there. When I arrived there recently, the shop owners were so hopelessly desperate. " We are without hope, the town is dying. It is already a ghost town" a middle age lady lamented. A few other shop owners joined her and all of them did not see any hope of a revival of the town's past glory. As narrated by an old resident there, Matu was a bustling town decades ago with the river and wharves congested with cargo and passenger boats and people. "With the completion of the roads linking Matu to Dalat, Kuala Matu, Igan and Mukah, all the people are not coming here again and most of our young people have also left the town to study or work outstations" said the residents. "We are just like inmates of the home for the aged. There is no hope for us ." the shop owners added sadly.

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