Posts Tagged ‘Miri Sarawak’


August 4, 2013

decor blog (Tony-Wards-MacBook-Pro's conflicted copy 2013-08-05)


decor blognita 3xBEATUM-2NITApale

05 1988
Kluay (Banana)
the author’s daughter, JSW was
born when he was 45. Working and living
in Thailand;  a middle level advertising executive.
She was a big healthy baby. But it was her birth that
set the clock ticking on Family Ward’s return to
Australia 17 months later. ASW was three years
older (04/10/1985) and had survived unlike
his brother, still born in 1984.
To have been so blessed ( it’s the only word)
to have had him, against the biological odds, was
not taken for granted but it was with Kluay’s birth
that AFW realised that he must take the risk out of her
and all their lives to the extent he was able. So seven
years after arriving a bachelor, with a libido and cubic
metre of his old life AFW packed a full container,
a 31 year old wife, a 5 year old son and an
18 month old daughter, and
returned to Ficus.
16 1989



On a whim,
to keep AAZ company
and with the possibility of seeing
Curtin University and catching up with CK –
or just the curiosity of the soon to be unemployed,
the author flew to Miri on July 31 2013. The stay was just
30 hours and included a walk around the older end of town, a trip
to Curtin and a seafood dinner with CK before catching the plane back
to Kuching. AAZ is commuting to Miri one day a week for Semester 2
at Curtin University. It is about the same population as
Swinburne, a designed campus but in the middle of
a flat, uninteresting (to this eye) nowhere,
a 30 ringit highway trip out of town. 


Miri /ˈmɪəriː/ is a city in northern Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. It is the second largest city in Sarawak, with a population of about 350,000, and located close proximity to Brunei. It is the government administrative centre of Miri District inMiri Division. Miri is the birthplace of Sarawak’s and Malaysia’s petroleum industry, which remains the major industry of the city. The city’s other major industries include processed timber, oil palm production, and tourism. Miri is the main tourist gateway for Gunung Mulu National Park, Loagan Bunut National Park, Lambir National Park, and Niah National Park. The world famous Gunung Mulu National Park with its Sarawak Chamber, a half an hour flight from the city, is one of the favourite eco-tourism destinations. Miri has lately become known for its exotic coral reefs.


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If there is one difference that
stands out to this casual visitor to Miri
it is the visible to the author impact of its 40%
indigenous population. This is the fun place to go to for
the population of the forest hinterland, that is now denuded
and replaced with lucrative oil palm. A Mega Shopping Mall.
A big Starbucks. KFC. MacDonalds. 7/11. Money is a magnet.
Oil money the most powerful. There is the usual prevailing
Chinese commerce and culture at the old trading
heart of this city is the same as in Kuching,
with state authorities hitching a ride.A flirtatious
delight in colour and display is in clothes and body
language, that is neither Chinese or Malay, who
are the minority in the 350,000 total is all
about. An oil and timber rich frontier
town’s work in progress, pleasure in
the car, it’s the fine roads and hotels
is everywhere. More SUVs. More 6 cylinder
hoon-mobiles burning rubber. People movers
too forty year old Park Hotel, just 15
minutes from a Kuching look alike
airport, is a very Chinese
caravanserai like the
dozens of small inns and hotels
nearby that once catered to transitory
oil and gas workers from the Peninsula
and the world. The new and elegant
apartment houses, facilities
and grand mansions
to rival Kuching
are being built for
the increasingly wealthy
small population on the road to
Curtin University, and the border
with Brunei a taxi ride away. A small fishing
village thanks to its safe port originally, Miri
today is racing towards it own peak oil crisis
in a big car. Tourism is nothing to do
with Miri really except for a dubious
Oil Museum. It’s a great place
to pass through. But it is
at the centre of the earliest settlement area
of North Borneo and remaining forest reserves
including the Niah Caves. Occupied and used
differently over millennia their first
occupants were neolithic. The caves
were the site of extensive archaeology
by the Britishand are ongoing under the
auspices of the Sarawak Museum, Kuching
and Malaysian Government.  



Originally uploaded by ManButur PHOTOGRAPHY







Raphael Scott Abeng

Of all the paintings
he had seen pass through the
doors of Nelson’s Gallery over the last
year or so few stood out to his jaded perhaps
cynical eye. But works of one artist were indelible in
memory. In technique they were familiar but they resonated
with a sense of the theatre of the ambient majesty of an imaginary
landscape. The landscape the  writer had imagined as Borneo. Bright in 
colour but embedded with the darkness of this place; felt not seen. The
painter until this Sathuday was talked of as a valued source of highly
 desired artefacts for the KL art market. Meeting him that day in the
company of NT was a moment in time that is reverberating. The
painter is Raphael Scott Abeng. Meeting the man at his home
and studio off the road to Bau, was an experience missing
in the writer’s life. RSA’s stillness in his slightly more
 advanced decrepitude than the writer’s own, still
resonated with the weather worn strength of
the massif looming behind the house 
compound and surrounding forest. To be 
majestic is the right of geological phenomena.
Man doesn’t rule the forces of nature that are
surrounding and within him but serves them.
RSA is a mediator of the unspeaking will of
this place through his art. His is a vision of
 the whole of the force of the landscape
still humbly allowing for our small
brilliant recognition of its sublimity and
the awe of its puny watchers and keepers 
of an eternal faith in the power of life.



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