Saturday, November 14, 2015

The historical Mango tree identified in photograph

The yellow arrow indicates the position of the mango tree.
Note: This aerial picture of Bintulu town is valid for the period  late 1950 - early 1960's
I have just come across a photograph that shows the government quarters where we stayed in the early 1960's (Quarters No.4) and next to it the government quarters where the historical Mango tree was planted.  This discovery ends my search for a clear photographic evidence of the tree and its location.  The tree is still standing even at this point of writing.  For more background story of this tree and its importance in relation to the history and development of Bintulu , please follow the links below....



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Photographing Bintulu 2010 - using Sony DCS - W310 digital camera

Note: All the above images taken using DCS - W310 in 2010.

I have a blog dedicated to images I took using the Sony digital camera - DSC -W310 which was at that time my main photography camera.  One of the labels of the blog is 'Bintulu'.  Here is the link to pictures of Bintulu I took in 2010 using the DSC- W310 compact camera....>>>

Monday, November 2, 2015

More pictures of Bintulu taken using N93i camera (2009 - 2010)

Mangosteen, taken by camera N93i, 2009.
River scene near Bintulu town, taken using N93i camera,2010
Philippines Glossy Starling, taken using N93i, 2010
In 2009 to 2010 the camera I used to take digital images of Bintulu was the N931.  This was a beautiful camera and one of my favourite.  Unfortunately I lost it.  However here are more images of Bintulu using the Nokia camera.  For a full list of pictures using the camera, please follow this link ..

Memorable " Images of Bintulu Today" with a Sony Cyber-shot

Malaywedding at Bintulu, 2010 . Taken with Sony Cyber-shot
Bintulu waterfront, view from Kpg Jepak, 2011. Taken by Sony Cyber-shot.
Main Bazaar Road, 2013. Taken by Sony Cyber-shot
"Images of Bintulu Today" is an attempt by me to capture memorable images of Bintulu from 2010 - 2013 using the only available camera to me then - a Sony Cyber-shot.  The images taken were shared in my blog 'my Sarawak (2nd Ed.)".   This digital compact camera was very handy in recording images about happenings around Bintulu, its people and places, food, nature, river scenes, beaches, roadside trees, shophouses, townscapes and many more.  To see the many categories of pictures using the digital compact camera please follow this link.    

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Clicking around Bintulu (2008 -2015)

Since 2008 till today, I have been spreading the Bintulu brand over the internet in the form of Bintulu clicks.  A blog that compiles pictures about the Bintulu story is entitled 'my Bintulu clicks' .  Above are just a handful of pictures that I copied using url from the blog to this blog.  Otherwise it is better to get more photographic memories of Bintulu by just visiting the blog.

The pictures are accompanied by short snippets and write-up to give some additional information to visitors who are not yet familiar to Bintulu.  In this manner the blog is a wealth of information not available in books, and after all there is hardly any book that covers such a fast range of topics like the blog.

Check out the labels.  For unique local names try these labels - azan,balem,umai, satay,tipuk,ong lumok, ketupat,belian,.  The labels tells it all - from places of interest to Nature and man-made structures, try:- roads, streets, tamu, beaches, trees, flowers, mosque, cats, timber, ferry boats, express boats, and the list goes on and on.....Happy visiting Bintulu online! It's just a click away.  The link is here.

(Note: At the point of writing (2 Nov'15) the blog has received 36,639 page views from all over the world)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wildlife Park of Bintulu in 1989

View of the Wildlife Park ( Taman Hidupan Liar) seen in 1989.
Works on the construction of the Wildlife Park or Taman Hidupan Liar in Malay started in 1989 and the park was officially opened to the general public on the 2nd of August,1991.
Picture shows my family members and their cousin, with our car driven right to the top of the hill where later the wordings  "Taman Hidupan Liar" were planted using cover plants approximately where  the car is parked.
View of the park  taken on 9th of March,2015.  
Today, the park is re-named as "Taman Tumbina".
It was the first and only park of its kind in Sarawak when it was opened in 1991.  Today, the park is called "Taman Tumbina" but when it was first started and opened it was known as Taman Hidupan Liar or Wildlife Park.  It was one of my pet projects while in the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA).  This project brought me places to Singapore and West Malaysia to see similar projects and learn from them.  In the park (as shown in the layout plan below) there were many botanical as well as zoological attractions.  One of the big attractions was the flamingo pond.  Follow this link to know more in-depth story of my role in bringing the flamingoes to Bintulu  here .  In the top picture, the Bintulu coastline is seen in the background.  It is evident that that were no condominiums or high-rise buildings in Bintulu in the 1980's along its coasts.  The condominiums were a thing of the 1990's in Bintulu.  

( Note: The above story is a re-posting from my blog ' Images of Bintulu Before and Now' and the link is here.

Birding in Bintulu 2013 - 2015

 Black-winged Kite (Elanus caerulueus) , sighted 2014

Dark-sided Flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica), sighted 2014
 Large-tailed Nightjar , sighted 2013
Black Hornbill, sighted 2015
One of the many things that Bintulu can offer is nature.  In fact, nature tourism is one of the pillars of tourism for Sarawak and is capsulated in the acronymn CAN (Culture, Adventure, Tourism).  Bintulu as part of Sarawak also puts emphasis on nature tourism though at a secondary or low priority level, since Bintulu is promoted as an industrial city by the local development authority (BDA).  This does not mean that attempts to bring back nature to urban living or environment is forgotten.  I tried my own ways to bring this at my Kambatik Park.  Thus from 2013 to 2015 I was effectively photographing and blogging on the birds at the park.  There are of course other birding sites in Bintulu like Bakun dam, Similajau National Park, Tanjung Batu beach areas besides the Kambatik Park.  For a list of birds which got into my camera frame in and around Bintulu between 2013 to 2015 follow the link here and here

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Landscaping of SMDS administrative area

Overall view of SMDS Administrative area (foreground with green roof).  In the background at left are the storage tanks of BCOT ( Bintulu Crude Oil Terminal) and on the right of the picture at the top is partly seen the MLNG Sdn Bhd Office Complex (white buildings) and the LNG plant complex towards right of the picture.  Date taken 22 Dec'14
The Shell SMDS plant located at Bintulu is the first of its kind in the world to convert natural gas into synthetic oil products.  The products include high quality middle distillates such gasoil (diesel) and kerosene, as well as naptha, paraffins and wax.  To undertake this project in Bintulu, a joint-venture company was incorporated in 1989 with the equity structure as follow :- Shell Gas BV (60%), Mitsubishi Corporation (20%), Petronas (10%) and Sarawak State Government (10%).
In 1992 I was involved with the landscaping of the administrative area of the SMDS plant (see inset).  This job was one of the major landscaping works done by my company, Exxoplus Corporation Sdn Bhd. when it started operations in Bintulu in 1992.  I was fortunate to have met Mr. H W Van der Woerdt who was the Construction Manager for the SMDS plant in Bintulu then.  Pleased with my landscaping design proposal he later gave my company the job of actual planting the proposed design, besides just the design consultancy.  This job kept me busy for the first few months since I started the company.  Later in 1993, I did more landscaping jobs for the SMDS company especially in their housing area at Taman Matahari, Kidurong township.  Below are some views of the administrative area taken on 30th July,1992 while on a site visit to the area.

View of SMDS Administrative Area, taken on 30th July. 1992.
View of the landscaping works around the Administrative area, taken on 22nd December,2014

View of the proposed landscaping area, taken on 30.7.1992
The buildings in green roofing belongs to SMDS, while the buildings in red in the background belongs to MLNG Sdn Bhd.
View of the planting, according to design proposal.
Image taken on 22 December,2014.
View of entrance to SMDS plant and office site.  The SMDS car parking area is at right.
Photo taken on 28 July'92 while on site visit to the proposed area for landscaping.

View of entrance to SMDS office and plant site  today, 28 January,2015.
( Note: The above story is a re-posting from my blog 'Images of Bintulu Before and Now' and the link is here.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We were once kids

This afternoon I saw these joyful kids playing at an open space by the village of Kampung Jepak, just across the Bintulu town.  where my worker lives. I took a moment to take a picture of them. I was thinking of the nostalgic days when I was a kid like them spending endless hours playing with my brothers or sisters and friends. What did I do after school hours when I was like them say at the age of 4- 12 years old?
Under the category of 'Helping Out Parents' I did the following:
1) Collect firewood from a nearby sawmill that was located on the opposite side of the river. It required me and my brothers to paddle a small boat . A frightening experience when the boat was loaded and had to navigate the waves from passing ships . Never did our boat collide or sank. Thanks to the Almighty.
2) Sell cakes & ice cream which entailed me to walk for miles around the village or town . Over the years became knowledgeable about Who's Who in the village or town, especially those with spending power.
3) Water plants,sweep garden floor and help burn garden debris - almost on daily basis.That could be how I was indoctrinated into gardening. Green fingers are created young. Did Confucius say that??
4) Shopping for emergency supplies- cigarettes, sugar, milk, flour, fruits, etc
5) AOB - carry out miscellaneous errands like collect clothes from working bachelors who contracted out their laundry washing to my mother. Then send back the clothes cleaned and ironed .
'Just Having Fun ' Category list of activities:
1) Swimming in the river
2) Fishing by the stream or river
3) Bicycling around town or village
4) Play football or badminton and other traditional games e.g. kite flying and marbles,
5) Play hide and seek
6) Shoot birds and mud skippers using catapult
7) Play see-saw and swing at the only public park in town
Reflecting on my childhood days I think I had my share of the fun days as well as the 'hard' days.
More of the former than the latter. I guess -Kids just wanna have fun.
( Note: The above story is a re-posting from my blog ' my Kambatik World' and the link is here. )

About Bintulu Port

Yesterday I took a 25 km drive north of Bintulu town to the bustling industrial heartland of Kidurong, a satellite town of Bintulu. At the very end of the Kidurong highway was this unique building. It's not that the Titanichas landed on Bintulu's shores. Rather it an ultra-modern building belonging to the Bintulu Port Authority, a Federal agency under the Minister of Transport that was set up about 30 years ago to develop the port infrastructures at Kidurong for the export of liquified natural gas. Thus it took a slow momentum to fully develop Kidurong into one of the most successful petro-chemical zone in Malaysia it is today. Within Sarawak soil there's nothing to beat it. Bintulu Port has been a major player in the gradual build-up of the immediate industrial heartland and also the outlying far reaches of Bintulu's rural hinterland.

Bintulu is naturally endowed with vast exploitable forests, minerals, deep sea, beaches and rivers. From these resources a very robust, diversified and profitable economic superstructure has been developed over the last 30 years that transformed it from a sleepy hollow to an industrial showpiece presently. Being a Bintuluian, I am witness to its evolution and at different times a participant to its progress, physical or otherwise. To me 30 years is just like yesterday when there was not even a road link from Bintulu town to Kidurong. But many more things can happen here because Bintulu seems never to sleep from the long slumber it was subjected to before the opening up of Kidurong.

Kidurong Heavy Industrial zone, showing LNG complex -biggest in the world in a single location.
Outside the gazetted Bintulu Port area is a rim of heavy industrial undertakings. From the foreground to the back of the picture is the largest installation of liquified natural gas(LNG) in one locality in the world which is constituted of three huge LNG plants and 6 storage tanks,maze of pipelines and process buildings and tall flares that can be seen from as far as 30 kilometers at night. The inset below shows 6 huge tanks that store the LNG temporarily before they are piped to waiting LNG ships that berth at the Bintulu Port's three LNG jetties. Bintulu Port grew rich due to income from the LNG export terminals where it provides berthing, stevedoring and towage facilities to the many LNG ships. Don't be surprised that the jetty terminals can load two LNG ships per day with each loading taking an average of 12 hours. This being the current trend. Since is operation, the LNG cargoes form close to 60% of the total tonnage handled yearly.
But Bintulu Port is more than LNG export terminals. With the further utilisation of oil and gas resources Bintulu became the centre of crude oil storage and exporting point, the off shore gas that has been processed by Sarawak SHELL are piped to other industrial users. Principally among them are the Asean Bintulu Fertiliser Plant ( that use it to manufacture urea, granular fertiliser etc.,) Sarawak SHELL MDS( Middle Distillate Synthesis) Plant - that process the gas synthetically to manufature downstream products like paraffin wax, diesel fuel, kerosene, aviation fuel etc., using gas-to-liquid(GTL) technology, Petronas Gas Berhad ( that process and bottle the gas for domestic and industrial consumption as burning fuel) and many other smaller refining facilites that uses the natural gas for heating ( e.g. oil palm boilers for the production of cooking oil) and Sarawak Electricity Corporation ( that uses the gas for generating electricity by gas turbines) .
The three LNG jetties that are owned by the Bintulu Port, providing berthing and towage facilities to LNG ships before leaving the port to Taiwan, Tokyo and Korea.
To me there's no stopping the role that Bintulu Port will play in the future growth and development of Bintulu. Besides the petro-chemical industries Bintulu Port also handle bulk cargo and containerisation. The list of bulk cargoes it handles are : crude oil, crude palm oil, plywood, timber mouldings, sawn timber, veneer, medium density fibreboards, raw silica sand for export and a whole list of consumer goods both for export and import. The internationalisation of trade it promotes has currently made Bintulu into a well-known destination for cruise ships that bring visitors from far away destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong and many more other places in future.
The future of Bintulu Port lies very much in the forward thinking of its major shareholders as well as its other stake holders to stimulate and step up the further utilisation and operational infrastructures it can offer.

(Note : The above story is a re-posting from my blog 'my Kambatik World' and the link is here. )

Batik years in retrospective

Two women washing, April'85

Paddling upriver, April'85
Three doves, circa '86
 In my mature years, I  did considerable work in batik.  During the years 1985-1986 I did many batik paintings with culture, native girls and music as the subject matter.  All of these batik pieces shown here were done in Bintulu.  These were done during my free time during normal days and weekends.  It was  a means to earn additional income since batik pieces were greatly demanded due to its Malaysian or local identity and there were no other artist doing batik in Bintulu at that time.  Later in 2002 my creative urges in batik were channeled into nature study especially plant life. These creative urges were associated with my contracting business since 1992 especially those works involved in the landscaping of Bintulu.  I did little work on buildings or architectural subjects.   Two paintings in particular are of interest.  One is done in 1990 showing the Plaza hotel.  This painting was sold to the hotel and given as a gift to the Chief Minister of Sarawak when doing the official opening of the hotel. Another painting was based on a picture from a Venezuelan friend of her hacienda.  Doing batik was a  money making hobby for me because almost all the batiks I produced were sold.
Kelabit girl with flute,uly'86
Kelabit lass, circa '86
Ethnic by design, circa '86
Kelabit dancer and boys on sapeh, circa'86
Feeding hornbill, circa '86
Kelabit girls, circa'86
White water lilies, may'02
Bintulu Plaza Hotel, July'1990
Lily pond, October'02
Nature study, June'02
Plant study, May'02
Traveller's palm,September'02
Venezuelan hacienda - a study, June'02
( Note: The above story is a re-posting from my blog 'Being MY (3rd. Ed.) and the link is here.