Saturday, September 17, 2016

Puzzles in the Malaysia Plan (Malaysia Day article #16)

The Council Negeri meeting in Kuching, Sarawak on Malaysia Day 1963.

Malcolm MacDonald with
Temenggong Koh and Penghulu
(later Tun ) Jugah
 # If SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples Party) had won the 1963 direct election and formed the state government, there is every likelihood that Sarawak would be an independent state today.  The formation of Malaysia is the end of a dream of the CCO (Clandestine Communist Organisation)
# SUPP condemned the Malaysia proposal as unacceptable to the peoples of Sarawak.
#  On 4th September, the newly elected Council Negeri, sitting for the first time, passed a resolution welcoming the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia by 31 votes to 5, all the five 'no' votes came from SUPP.
# The Malaysia Agreement cannot be changed through constitution because this agreement was signed among sovereignties.  The Malaysia Agreement was signed on 9th July,1963 by Britain, Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah in London.
# The Malaysia Agreement stated that Malaysia would be proclaimed on 31st August 1963.  However, due to the turn of events i.e. the Presidents of Indonesia and Philippines wanted if truly the peoples of Sarawak endorse  the Malaysia Plan and wanted the 1962 and 1963 Elections to be verified.  Thus the UN sent a mission.  This delayed the launching of Malaysia till 16 September, 1963.
#  Even Malaya was itself only partly independent in that it relied on Britain for its defense.
#  Although British officials still remain in administrative capacities in Sarawak and Sabah, they did so at the behest of elected governments.
#  One of the reasons that the British government pushed for more self-rule in the last days of colonialism in Sarawak was that they feel unwelcomed by the anti-cessionist movement.  Thus this fact points at the role played by the anti-cessionists in bringing about the formation of Malaysia.
#  The process of decolonisation saw the leaders of the colonial states of North Borneo (Sabah)  and Sarawak to seek ways to achieve independence.  The British appointed Malcolm Mac Donald as High Commissioner to the territories implied that British policy was to coordinate and push for the merger development in Malaya, Singapore, and the three Borneo territories.
#  The Cobbold Commission can be said to have functioned as an important "cover" to legitimate the British decision to withdraw from Sarawak without having first granted self-government, as promised at the time of Cession.
# It would be more appropriate to presume that the British plan for the disposal of the colonies was in accordance to their grand plan.  They suggested, and the Tunku concurred.
Patriotic songs and flags waving on the main stage during the Malaysia Day celebration (National level) held in Bintulu at the Old Airport site. on 16th September,2016.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!(Note: This is Article #16 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)

Friday, September 16, 2016

" Little Indonesia" on Sarawak border (Malaysia Day article #15)


Ethnic designs on textiles
 In Kuching last August I had a little window of opportunity to pay another visit to Serikin where the "Little Indonesia" is.  We  took to the road on a Friday morning  to visit the little border town of Serikin. It is about less than an hour drive from Kuching city center. The road to Serikin is all paved and is very safe to travel even alone in your own car. Serikin is where Indonesians bring and trade their goods to Malaysian tourists and visitors. It would take about a day or less for Indonesians to travel by road to Serikin which sits on the Malaysian side of the Indonesian-Malaysian boundary line. Here trade in Indonesian made products are brisk and keep on expanding yearly. It seems to me that the place thrives due to private sector dynamism. Indonesians provide the goods that are produced at relatively cheap cost and sold to Malaysians in Malaysian currency. Transaction-wise, Malaysians are bound to benefit due to the high value of the ringgit ( Malaysian currency) vis-a -vis the Indonesian rupiah. At the same time Indonesians find a captive market for their products. But the attraction of Serikin lies also in its ample and wide range of products from household items, personal attire and accessories, food, furniture, handicrafts and souvenirs, herbal medicines, toys, etc. Today the sun was pouring its heat and the tiny road that tugs the stall on both sides were shied-away by visitors as they preferred to walk under the sheltered canopy of the stalls. Despite the heat I thronged together with hundreds of other eager Malaysians to savour a little of Indonesia. This place has turned out to be a well-patronised "Little Indonesia" on Malaysian soil.
You can be spoilt for choices of rattan mats.

 The rattan business is the main attraction at Serikin.  In our local Malaysian culture especially among the natives, rattan is very much ingrained into their daily lifestyles. Rattans are used for ties or fasteners for scaffolding and timber building construction, strings for various purposes e.g. rafts, carrying baskets for industrial, domestic and personal uses, cultural artifacts, furniture, handicraft or souvenir items e.g. bangles, handbags, food covers, mats, chairs, fish traps,etc. Such is the versatility, robustness, and usefulness of this climbing palm species from the jungles of Kalimantan (Indonesia) and also Sarawak. You can be spoilt for choices. Rattan mats of varying sizes, patterns and material mixes ( e.g. rattan plus tree bark) catches up with Malaysian tastes and fads. The prevalence of these mats indicate the richness and sustainability of the rattan plants in Indonesia while in Malaysia these plants are a declining and dying species in large part due to conversion of virgin forests to oil palm plantations and acacia plantations for the production of pulp especially in Bintulu area.
A female supplier for rattan mats downloading her motorcycle fully loaded with folded rattan mats.
A plate of krepek
I tried some free samples of chips ( see inset) before I decided to take home a packet of spicy tapioca chips . On the plate were chips from the breadfruit, yam, banana and tapioca. They were all very crispy, tasty ,fried and without any preservatives. In Malaysia now there is a growing interest in the processing of chips as a cottage industry because the rural entrepreneurs produce the basic material plus many of them enjoy some micro -credit assistance from banks and other financing institutions. Many of them are eyeing the export of chips to overseas countries especially Arab nations where consumers are concerned with 'halal' food products and Malaysia is only one of the few Islamic countries that is pursuing 'halal' manufacturing hubs on a global scale. However, for export purposes the products are rigorously manufactured and packaged to meet international standards of quality, safety and longer shelf-life.


The wordings in Indonesian Malay indicate the type of chips available. "Bandung" is tapioca, "Pisang" means banana and "Keladi" is for yam. A packet above costs RM 5 .
Needless to say, today was another  fun outing to a gradually popular destination  for visitors to Kuching city  called "Little Indonesia", but sitting squarely on Malaysian soil.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak! 

Note: This is Article #15 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)
This article is re-adapted from my earlier blog post as in here...>>>http://mysarawak2.blogspot.my/2010/09/serikin-street-scenes.htmlhttp://mysarawak2.blogspot.my/2010/09/serikin-street-scenes.html

Thursday, September 15, 2016

To school by sea (Malaysia Day article #14)

A coastal launch typical of the 60's is seen entering the Miri river mouth.
Picture credit: Ho Ah Chon, "Sarawak in pictures - 1940's - 70's".
Me standing next to the school emblem in 1967.  The school's motto was 'Optimum'.
 I have very fond memories of my student days at Tanjong Lobang School in Miri of the 60's.  Coming from a remote fishing village town of Bintulu, some 200 kilometers away from Miri,was something to be lauded about because as prospective students we were firstly selected to study at that premier institution of learning.  Most of the students were picked from the central and northern areas of Sarawak.  I studied there starting in 1967 when it was still called 'Tanjong Lobang School', but later changed to 'college' after the government of the day decided to accept only students studying for Form Four till Upper Six to fill the classes there. 

Aerial view of Miri town  in the 60's
Picture credit: Ho Ah Chon
 Travelling to Miri when the school term begins and back to my hometown for the term holidays would entail travelling by sea.  In those days, travel by sea evoked mixed feelings of adventure,fear, mission, sea sickness and sacrifice. I had to endure these experiences for four years  to get the best education available during those times which money cannot buy.  
The journey meant a full day and night in small coastal launch in heavy seas or moderate waves.  In daylight we could see the endless green coast and sandy beaches, felt the salty sprays brushing our young faces and watched the waves ahead and past us.  In reflection we were indeed fortunate to have survived the ordeal at sea because in the 60's we had little choice in travelling to school since road travel from Bintulu to Miri was non-existent and air travel was too expensive and largely beyond the means of most parents.
My travelling journey at sea to begin the school term or back for holidays would not have happened safely if not for the expertise of the ship's captain. I now feel greatly indebted to those unsung heroes.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!


(Note: This is Article #14 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)

Aerial view of Bintuulu town in the 60's

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

We were once kids ( Malaysia Day article # 13)

Young boys at Kampung Jepak, Bintulu having fun in the rain
Date taken:  24 Nov'09

Bidayuh girls playing in  a clear stream,
Kuching.
As the year advances the rainy season would appear  more regularly.  In Kuching it rains almost every afternoon while in Bintulu there are more rains in the nights than days.  Come November it would rain heavily, an annual occurrence that makes me wonder how the rhythm of the rains, its appearance and then flight makes me take for granted the passing of time and the sureness of another year. This afternoon, time took me to a rehearsal of the days when I was just like those innocent, energetic and joyously happy kids playing and running on the village football field.  Rain or shine the "We" feeling of comradeship among friends we grew up with are something I always treasure.  Passing the village football field I thought how fortunate I was when I joined my primary and then secondary school soccer teams.  For a young kid, wearing a football jersey and representing the school in a local soccer league is a mountain of achievement.  It happened to me in 1965 when our school won the soccer league.  A black and white photograph that captured the proud moment of achievement is shown below.


Bintulu Government Secondary School team in dark stripes.  I am at the middle of the front row being captain of the soccer team.  This photo is dated 25 January, 1965.
In reflection of the times,  here's a poem I wrote about rains which reads:-


November rain



In pouring rain
come November
we were playful kids
drenched in muddy fields
little friendly faces
kept us in cheerful company
in season of togetherness

We've grown to smile at life's pose
the graciousness of true love
in pouring late November rains
we abide passionately 
its season of endless memories.

MOOD
23 Nov'15
Kambatik Park, Bintulu.



Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!

(Note: This is Article #13 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)

(This article is adapted from an earlier blog post as in here...>>>>http://myussop.blogspot.my/2009/11/we-were-once-kids.html )

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Blooming Malaysia (Malaysia Day article #12

Pink Poui or Tabebuia rosea  flowering well along a coastal road in Kidurong township, Bintulu.

A double flower Hibiscus hybrid
I have a great passion for plants which probably was cultivated in my early childhood days of the early 60's when I often provided a helping hand to my grandpa who used to sweep the garden floor and plant fruit trees at a small garden in the village. I used to help my mother water and weed some of the plants she planted around the government quarters house with flowering shrubs, sun-loving herbs and herbaceous annuals. In school I joined the gardening club which encouraged me in the planting of flowers, grasses and trees to beautify the school compound and their maintenace like pruning, fertilising and watering. At a more matured age I was extremely fortunate to be given the portfolio of landscaping of Bintulu town over many years resulting in planting of landscape trees for golf course, parks, roadsides, and many other civic areas like mosques, children's playgrounds, wildlife parks, mini-botanic gardens, recreational beach areas and roundabouts. When I made landscaping my focus in business I did lots of landscape projects for big corporations and foreign companies' housing in Bintulu. When finally I decided to seriously think about the concept of Malaysian garden I spent many years developing a nature park and an urban garden with my own finances so that the concept of Malaysian garden be better explained and experimented upon. This adventure of my life continues.

Through various blogs I hope enthusiasts and practitioners of the Malaysian garden ( Laman Kambatik) will find a ready, online 24x7 and free source of plant names suitable for the Malaysian garden available at their fingertips. The collection of these photos have brought me places all over Malaysia and the thousands of pageviews on the four editions of the plants list series has been worth the time and expenses. Enjoy the blogs and happy gardening.


Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak.

(Note: This is Article #12 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually) 

A composition of shade-loving plants in Kuala Lumpur

Planting with bougainvilleas at a traffic junction in Kuching, Sarawak.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Bintulu Sunset and my Camellia III (Malaysia Day article #11)


The Bintulu sunset has a special place in my heart.  It is nature's beauty so plain and affordable that has kept me enjoying nature's fleeting beauty, gradations of colours, the greatness of Allah's creation and mercy on us since I was a young boy and now at a ripe old age.  The Bintulu sunset forever inspires me in my creative endeavours whether it be in photography, poetry, painting or video production.  I love to see the Bintulu sunset in relation to rocks, the Ru trees, open sea, clouds, waves,  sand, ships and people.  What better way to express the emotions and feelings of love, hope and forgiveness  than in a song called 'Camellia III'  set in the beauty of the  Bintulu sunset?  I put myself this challenge in 2012 and produced a video which I shared in You Tube. It is a simple production with me singing on the guitar . The link is here ...>>>>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyJ8g3_ldlE .

The Bintulu sunset is a natural resource of great potential for tourism in Bintulu. Glad that I did something enjoyable to portray the Bintulu sunset through this simple video production.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak.


 (Note: This is Article #11 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Once upon a 'Kuala' (Malaysia Day article #10)


View of the 'Kuala' or river mouth of the Kemena river
At left is the Melanau fishing village and at right (partially seen) is the original town of Bintulu
Picture shows Bintulu in the early 1960's
Picture credit : Ho Ah Choon, "Sarawak in Pictures 1940's - 1970's "
View of the 'Kuala' taken in July 2016, taken from Jepak Hill.
Note the development of high rise buildings around the town and the Kuala, especially condomimiums and hotels to capitalise on the beautiful seascape and sunset moments of Bintulu.
 In 1867 an Italian botanist named Odoardo Beccari entered the 'Kuala Bintulu' or the Bintulu river mouth.  He wrote some very valuable information about Bintulu in his book entitled " Wanderings in the Great Forests of Borneo".   It was  a memorable time because in that year too the first Council Negeri meeting was held in Bintulu.  The meeting marked the early beginnings of democratic government in Sarawak.  Later the name of 'Bintulu river' was  changed to 'Kemena River' which name is currently in use.  Why the name change would involve another thesis.  

As a young boy in the 1960's I used to go for afternoon walks from the town to the Kuala to enjoy the sea breeze and sunset with my grandpa. The river mouth played a very important role in Bintulu's history for it was the main gateway for goods and people to reach Bintulu or to go out of Bintulu. For instance, Beccari wrote in 1867 that the Melanaus were fishermen but a great number of them were engaged in sago making.  Beccari noted that the Bintulu sago is one of the finest quality and is in great request even in Sarawak.  Through the Kuala sago was exported together with other main export items of 50's - 70's like belian timber, jelutong and rattan.   The importance of the Kuala diminished with the construction of a federal port deep water port  at Tg. Kidurong some 40 kilo meters north of the Bintulu town  starting in 1979. Today only small coastal boats and ships, tugboats, timber barges and fishing vessels use the Kuala for their importing or exporting of goods or for sports fishing. 


Pic shows the Melanau fishing boat called "Barong" sailing into the river mouth.
At right of the picture can be seen three buildings. The long one is the government boat shed, the  middle building is my classroom when I was at Primary Four, St. Anthony School in 1962.

Taken on 14th June ,1962.  I am at the extreme right, front row.

 I have fond memories of Kuala Kemena because as a young student of St. Anthony School in 1962, one year before Sarawak formed Malaysia, I used to study in a house turned classroom situated by the right bank of the Kemena river going out to sea.  During break time we would chase crabs on the clean sandy beach and threw stones at fishes in the river.  Studying was a breeze because we had the beach frontage.  The picture at the inset shows the boys in the class in a group photo with our teacher,  Hasseri Lias who taught us for a short period as a trainee teacher from Batu Lintang Teacher Training College, Kuching.  At the background is the boat shed and to the left is partly seen the government wharf. 

The Kuala has more meanings in my life than I could briefly recall.  I will cherish all those beautiful  moments when I was there with people who mattered  in my life - moments when we were innocent and needed a hand to discover life and later  for the love of life and the meanings and lessons it bear upon us.

Live life to the fullest like the Kuala that pours its waters to the wide open sea.


Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak.


 (Note: This is Article #10 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)

Friday, September 9, 2016

The ever popular Reservoir Park in Kuching (Malaysia Day article #9)

View of Reservoir Park taken in August 2016.  The park is located a few hundred meters from the bustling Kuching Waterfront area.

There is one particular place in Kuching that keeps on drawing its city dwellers daily for short runs, jogging, casual walks, outdoor recreational activities with children, wedding photo-taking and a cool place for dating among teenagers.  The Kuching Reservoir Park built more than one hundred years ago to store and filter water for the town's population then, continues today as a community-driven urban park.  Visitors to the city especially tourists could be seen jogging around its circuitous running tracks under the shade of tall and spreading native trees like the 'Bintagor Laut', 'Penanga Laut', 'Tembusu' and 'Angsana'. The lush greenery around the lake provides for a peaceful and serene surrounding.  There is a red Japanese bridge that remains iconic of the park.  The green environment has become a magnate for many kinds of wildlife especially birds. Thirty four years ago I  took a day outing with my family to the park and spent a most memorable time doing a painting of the park in mixed media. (See painting below).  What caught my eyes on the 4th of June, 1982 were the colourful water lilies, the red bridge, tall trees and the light rays that shone through the trees and brightened the lake of waterlilies.   In August 2016, I dropped by at the park again and found it well patronised by peoples of all ages, ethnic groups and nationalities.  It is really a popular city park  now.  The park holds a special place in my heart because at least I can tell my children and grand children that "We were here". 

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!

 (Note: This is Article #9 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)




'Kuching Reservoir Park' in mixed media (water colour, felt pen and crayons),  4 June, 1982, 22x29 cm,
 Artist Collection.

A picture of the park taken in 2009, by which time the water lilies were already gone.

A photo rendart done by me in 2013 of the park.
For more samples of photo rendart I did please follow this link ...>>>.http://beingmy3.blogspot.my/2013/12/photo-rendart-by-mood.html

Thursday, September 8, 2016

How many kingfishers are there? (Malaysia Day article #8)

A pair of Collared Kingfisher (Todramphus chloris) at Tanjung Batu beach area, Bintulu.

Photo rendart of Stork-billed
Kingfisher darting over the pond surface
at Pustaka Sarawak, Kuching.
 I like birding for the main reason that it brings me outdoors and into newer areas of the country.  There is much element of surprise, thrill, wonder and discovery when I come across new species of birds which I have not seen or captured with the camera before.  I started birding seriously as to blog about birds since 2014.  One of the bird types that attracts me a lot belongs to the Kingfisher family (Alcedinidae).  Kingfishers are colourful birds with strong bills and can be found in the forests or in more open areas like coastal beaches, rural as well as urban locations where they hunt for fishes, insects  and small reptiles.  Most are seen singly though and at times I do catch sight of them in pairs especially the Collared Kingfisher.  So far I have captured on camera five types of kingfishers.  The Stork-billed Kingfisher  is the largest kingfisher in Sarawak and I saw it for the first time in an urban area in Kuching, within the compounds of the Sarawak State Library or Pustaka Sarawak.    In comparison  the Rufous-backed Kingfisher is a very tiny Kingfisher that has been sighted at the Kambatik Park in Bintulu where it dashes with its peculiar tseeet  tseeet call through the forest under storey almost on daily basis.   Every time it streaked past me uttering its high-pitched call I feel consoled to know that even the tiniest of birds can find a living in an environment consciously preserved by man.  I often ask myself how many kingfishers  have I seen?  Not that many, but I will always look forward to any time when it is opportune for me to travel and camera- handy to shoot the next lifer of a kingfisher.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak.

Note: This is Article #8 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)
Stork-billed Kingfisher (Oelargopsis capensis) seen at Pustaka Sarawak grounds, Kuching.

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) seen at Tg. Batu beach area, Bintulu.

Blue-eared Kingfisher ((Alcedo meniting) seen at Kambatik Park, Bintulu.

Rufous-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca) seen at Kambatik Park, Bintulu,

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

With a little orchid love (Malaysia Day article #7)





Sarawak state flower
Phalaenopsis bellina
Orchids produce flowers that can last for weeks and even for a whole month. For that reason they are being loved the world over. In a tropical climate like Sarawak where there are no distinct seasons, orchids can be grown the whole year round.  The Phalaenopsis bellina orchid is the State Flower of Sarawak, and is sometimes called 'Normah Orchid'. Orchids can be very prolific and vigorous provided the necessary conditions are observed when one indulge in cultivating them for home gardens. How would you display them so that you and friends enjoy its showy, exotic and lasting flowers? Imagination, love and thoughtfulness about their habits and character are essential to have them exhibit  their timeless appeal. 



Orchids have many uses apart from the pure aesthetic pleasure we derive from admiring them.  Orchids are grown for medicinal and culinary reasons. The well -known Vanilla Orchid ( Vanilla planifolia) produces vanillin used to flavour chocolate, ice-cream and cakes. The bulb of Arethusa bulbosa, a Japanese orchid is a good remedy for toothache. In many countries the orchid nurseries and gardens are important places  visited by tourists and orchid enthusiasts who come from far away destinations. Orchids arrangement make delightful table pieces, bouquet, corsage or 'bridal guard'. It is a thing of beauty that always brings us joy. I have created a blog dedicated for the love of orchids and the link is here...>>>>http://4loveoforchids.blogspot.my/
A thing of beauty is a joy forever (John Keats)

Displaying orchids in towns or residential areas require a little bit of understanding on the requirements of these unique plants. Generally, species collected from cool altitudes do not grow well in hot lowland regions. Thus the environment may need to be modified by locating them in shaded or cooler areas of the garden. Some species can be displayed in a rockery.  The Spathoglottis species are terrestrial or ground orchids and growing in limestone hills they are suitable specimens for garden rockeries. The most common of the Spathoglottis species is the Spathoglottis plicata and since they have been in cultivation for quite sometime, they are now available in colours of yellow, pink, purple or mauve and white and also combinations of yellow, orange and purple (see below).
Spathoglottis plicata in various hues - yellow and purple, placed amidst rocks and an artificial stream for its modified environment, a method that can be copied in home gardens.


I am keen, however,  to plant orchids naturally and by that I mean allowing them to cling on to trees especially oil palm trunks that provide ideal conditions for its growth with minimum care. Below are some examples:-


Once caught in the fever and depending on one's interests and willingness to be challenged, orchid growing can be a life-long hobby. Through trial and error, much money and ingenuity one can very slowly become an 'expert' on cultivating them. The interest can blossom into a semi-hobby or semi-commercial pastime because you can sell orchids and perhaps the income can self-sustain the maintenance expenditure and the purchase of more orchid types.


" A thing of beauty is a joy for ever;

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing."


( John Keats)


Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!

Note: This is Article #7 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)










Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Malaysian garden in Kuching (Malaysia Day article #6)

Main garden in August'2015

Coleus corner in  July 2009
 Since 2008 I have developed a Malaysian garden based on the 'Kambatik garden' or 'Laman Kambatik' concept in our own residential lot in Kuching.  Eight years down the road, this moderate-sized urban garden is now at a mature stage especially in its soft landscaping features.   Visitors at the front garden will be greeted by exotic palms, bamboos and colourful climbers.  Inside the main garden area, flowering trees of the Poui tree (Tabebuia rosea) and Golden Penda ( Xanthostemon chrysanthus) provides sufficient shade and coolness to the garden environment especially on hot sunny days. The garden colours are provided by a diverse range of foliage plants like the coleus, crotons, blood bananas and Red Ti.  Palms are everywhere for the exotic tropical look they offer.  There is fragrance in the air as one could smell the scents of the frangipanis, jasmines, spider lilies, roses, white ginger lilies and cempakas (Michelia alba) .  Many fruit trees are planted and the edible landscaping list (Sara landskap) include starfruit, coconut, lemon, mangoes, 'kedondong' (Spondias dulcis) and ciku (Manilkara zapota). Recently the Congea velutina  vines have created a crowning glory and a  cascading curtain of pink to purple flowers against the garden greenery.  Creating the garden has given me tons of pleasure and blogging about it has helped me do much research and sharpen my understanding on the concept of the Malaysian garden.. The Malaysian garden has many benefits which is difficult to arrange in their degree of importance.  Among them are the creation of a cool micro-climate around the house, a sanctuary for wildlife especially birds, butterflies and insects, fresh food and fruits from the garden, herbs, spices, and vegetables, the sense of aesthetics like in the sweet fragrance of flowers and the art of  floral arrangement with flowers, leaves and stems. Finally, having your very own Laman Kambatik  helps make a difference in your lifestyle by providing much needed balance in your living environment with nature around you instead of just concrete jungle.

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!

Note: This is Article #6 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)
Front garden in November, 2014.  Note the various palm trees to provide the tropical exotic feel to the place.

Olive-backed Sunbird builds its nest in the back garden on the Eugenia oleina tree.

Crowning glory and cascading curtain of pink to purple flowers of the Congea velutina at the back side garden. as seen in August 2016.

Back garden in May,2016.
Drunken Sailor or Quisqualis indica flowering heavy at the front porch area, May 2016.