Monday, April 27, 2009

Mukah Annual Kaul Festival

A teacher helping her student to wear a colourful hat called Terindak before the cultural parade.

A contingent of Bidayuh participants.

Teenage Melanau girls who called themselves Legend Of Srimona.

An elderly Melanau man who never misses a Kaul Festival.

A big smile from a pretty Melanau girl from the Daro contingent.

An Iban warrior representing the Sarawak Dayak National Union.

A Melanau man wearing a traditional scarf while a lady wearing the traditional sun hat, the Terindak.

Bidayuh lady in traditional costume.

A young member from the contingent of Sri Ritma Borneo Mukah.

All smile....a happy and proud occassion for young and old participants alike.

The highlight of the event was the arrival and thereafter the official launching of the Kaul Festival by Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Chief Minister of Sarawak who himself is a Melanau from Mukah.

Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud enjoying locally made sago biscuit while entertained by the performances presented by the different cultural troupes as shown in the following pictures.

The popular cultural event attracted dozens of local and national Photographers and Journalists as well as some foreign tourists.

The Chief Minister at the official launching of the colourful festival.

Several thousand people from all walks of life thronged the venue of the Kaul Festival at Kaladana Beach (below) which is just 10 minutes from Mukah Town.

The just concluded Kaul Festival held in the coastal town of Mukah has succesfully attracted thousands of visitors to this carnival-like annual event. Traditionally the Kaul was practised by the Liko Melanaus who were pagan fishermen to applease the sea spirits for a bountiful harvest. It is usually held in April at the end of the rainy season.In recent years the festival has been evolved into a big cultural and tourism event while maintaining its original significance. This year a total of 15 troupes representing not only the Melanau community took part in the cultural parade. The local Sri Ritma Borneo Mukah was adjudged the winner and walked away with a cash prize of RM2000.The event was graced by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who also announced the immediate construction of a RM200 million new airport for Mukah. The Chief Minister had earlier officiated the groundbreaking ceremony for a new government office complex which will house the various state government departments,SESCO office and the office of the Regional Corridor Development Authority.

Spectacular Sunrise & Sunset

I travelled to Mukah over the weekend with 4 other members of the Sibu Photographic Society. We stayed at the Kingwood Resort for 2 nights and we were lucky this time to have the opportunity to shoot both the beautiful sunrise at the beach infront of the resort and also the sunset at Kuala Igan fishing village. The 3-day trip was very hectic and full of surprises for us as we covered the annual Kaul Festival on Saturday morning and afternoon then visited Oya and Kuala Igan in the late afternoon and evening. The next day we visited the Mukah Fish Market,Kampung Telian, Balingian Bazaar and Kuala Balingian before returning home. More photos of the trip will be uploaded in the next few days.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Wild Fire" In Sibu

Taken at 13.22.33 at Rajang Park Commercial Centre
Taken at 14.56.45 at Upper Lanang near Rimbunan Hijau's Head Office
Taken at 15.10.34 infront of Rajang Port Authority
Taken at 15.13.11 at the Sibu Town Square, Phase II
Taken at 18.20.11 at Sibu Town Square Phase II
Taken at 19.03.43 (above) and 19.05.36 (below) at Sibu Town Square Phase II
Half the sky above Sibu was heavily polluted by smoke from a big fire across the town at Sungai Bidut. It may be categorized as "wild fire" as a certain big company was burning the land in preparation for planting oil palm. I thought zero open burning is permitted but I learned from a friend in the oil palm industry that one can still apply for permit to burn the land for planting oil palm. Can the authority or some one enlighten me on this issue? I hope the fire will still be burning this Saturday when Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) is launching the "Love Earth Day" at the Town Square. SMC, and the other government departments, how are you going to answer questions regarding this "wild fire" when the press or members of the public query you? To me it is a big sin to start the fire and allow it to burn out of control. How are we going to educate our children not to burn waste paper in the backyard when someone can burn hundreds of acres of land and go unpunished?

Friday, April 17, 2009

First Experience Of Flight Delay

My colleages and I have been flying Airasia almost exclusively for the past 3 years. So often I have heard of passengers complaining about the flight delays, but I consider myself lucky because I didn't experience any delay on all the Airasia flights I previously travelled. That luck evaded me during my most recent date with the airline's flight AK 5263 from Sibu to KL. The flight was delayed for 35 minutes from 1320 to 1355. It was not so bad for the slight delay. The above picture showed flight AK 5263 cruising above the Rajang River shortly after take off.

Flying above the South China Sea, probably over the Indonesian islands of Anambas of which Jemaja Island is one of the larger ones.I visited Jemaja once in 2003, travelling from Tanjung Pinang on the Bintan Island which is south east of Singapore.It took me nearly 7 hours to reach the main jetty at Jemaja by high speed passenger boat and another 3 hours by a small fishing boat to reach the final destination. I just couldn't imagine that these tiny islands which are so close to Pulau Tioman do not belong to Malaysia, but Indonesia. The same goes to the Island of Natuna further north and near to the Island of Labuan.

We touched down at KLIA just minutes ahead of a heavy downpour. The rain was literally chasing after us as every one of us hurried towards the LCCT.We managed to beat the rain, but we did not anticipate to wait 45 minutes for our luggage to come. The delay was probably caused by the heavy rain which lasted not more than 15 minutes.There was no announcement and several enquiries made with the ground staff could'nt help. Every one was frustrated as calls keep coming in from relatives and friends who had been waiting equally impatiently outside the terminal building. When I finally retrieved my luggage it was close to 5 pm. My friend's friend waiting for us was not very happy when we greeted him outside the terminal. He grumbled that the traffic police had been chasing him several times. Well, later in the evening we did make up for the lost time by indulging ourselves in a nice dinner after check in to the hotel.

Visiting The Skybridge @ Petronas Twin Tower

Peter, (left) the guy who missed our recent reunion dinner because he booked a ticket with a wrong itinerary, bought us lunch when Bala, his wife and myself were in KL last week. We dined at Madam kwan on the 4th floor of KLCC.

After lunch, our host, who is an employee with Petronas, guided us to the 42th floor of Petronas Twin Tower where the skybridge is located. It was my first visit to the skybridge since this world's tallest twin tower was completed in 1988. The 2-storey skybridge 170m above the ground is also the world's highest bridge.

Here are some photos taken from the skybridge showing KL City in different directions.

This is the 17-acre KLCC Park with the fountain, wading pools, jogging/walking paths and children playground.