Madrasah Orang Melayu Islam/Sekolah Rendah Rakyat

Madrasah Orang Melayu Islam/Sekolah Rendah Rakyat

A humble house with an esteemed history, Madrasah Orang Melayu Islam or Sekolah Rendah Rakyat was established as a learning institution for kampung children when an earlier school building was demolished. It later became a public school which served as preliminary education centre for many Malay leaders. This heritage house is now inhabited by Hajah Aminah, the current heir to the property. A humble house with an esteemed history, Madrasah Orang Melayu Islam or Sekolah Rendah Rakyat was established as a learning institution for kampung children when an existing school in the area was demolished.  It later became a public school which served as preliminary education centre for many aspiring leaders. Among some of its esteemed teaching staffs are Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud, Cikgu Midai Zakaria, Cikgu Annuar Abdul Razak and Fatimah Dahari.  This heritage house is now inhabited by Hajah Aminah, the current living heir. The structure of the house is absolutely iconic of the traditional Malay...
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Design Components of Perahu Tambang

Design Components of Perahu Tambang

The perahu tambang are traditionally described as a passenger boat made out of timber with thatch leaf roof (although aluminium are now commonly used) that can carry 8 to 10 passengers at a time (Rahman, 2015; Manan, 2014), and has horizontal seats on both sides of the boat (Mohd Yusoff, 2013). Some are 15 feet (4.6 meters) long and 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) broad, while some are even longer and wider. The size of the perahu tambang may differ and the construction of a perahu tambang in Brooke era did not use any nails unlike in the modern ones (Taboh, 2014), instead they used pasak (timber pegs) system. Nails and steel joints are used today as to strengthen the structure of the boat and ease the construction process. Timber is used as the main material as they are strong. The process require communal works from various people as the process can be complicated. In term of...
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The Operation of Perahu Tambang by Atta Idrawani Zaini

The Operation of Perahu Tambang by Atta Idrawani Zaini

A passenger has to wait at a landing place, or locally known as the pengkalan to board any perahu tambang (Mohd Yusoff, 2013). The perahu tambang operate between these pengkalan along the Sarawak river banks. The method of crossing the river has changed very little, with the more apparent improvement is the use of engines replacing manual plying (Manan, 2014). Initially the perahu tambang would cross the 400-meter-wide river within almost 10 minutes to get from one end to another (Rahman, 2015). The principle of the manoeuvring is based on the tidal current. The pak tambang would stand at the bow facing forward and manoeuvre it with oars which are fixed to two pieces of timber in the gunnel (Mohd Yusoff, 2013). They would get help from the current whereby they will very quickly get into the stream, and where they are forced to move against the current, they will hug the shore for as long as possible (Zainal Abidin...
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The Perahu Tambang Culture by Atta Idrawani Zaini

The Perahu Tambang Culture by Atta Idrawani Zaini

“.. house-boats belonging to Malays, filled with women and children. There were roofed in to shelter their inmates from the rain or sun and were usually propelled by old men sitting in the bows cross-legged.” Margaret Brooke (1913), My Life in Sarawak. Perahu tambang photo taken in 1890s (Source: Malaysia, A Pictorial History 1400-2004) The perahu tambang were reported already in operation since the 1800s, as this is where the trading between the Malay, Dayak and the Chinese took place (Tan, 2009). Chinese settlements can be traced back around that time, when the Chinese immigrants were involved in the trading activities in Kuching, and gold and antimony mining in Bau. An excerpt from an interview conducted by Tan (2009) stated that the local Malays modelled the perahu tambang based on the Chinese boats. However, the origin of the design is not yet concretely confirmed. The Malay kampongs around the fort and Astana have existed even before the first Rajah arrived in Kuching (Awang Pawi,...
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Old Kuching Kampung Heritage: The Perahu Tambang by Atta Idrawani Zaini

Old Kuching Kampung Heritage: The Perahu Tambang by Atta Idrawani Zaini

“Sungai Sarawak penuh keliaran perahu tambang, Hilir mudik mansang berlawan, Menyusur arus bawa penumpang.” An excerpt from Madzhi Johari’s song - ‘Oh Pak Tambang’ (Source: https://sarawaktourism.com/attraction/kuching-waterfront/) The ephemeral purplish orange dawn in Kuching’s sky sets up a scenic backdrop for the Sarawak’s capital city. Indulging in the romantic ambience are people wandering along the Kuching Waterfront overlooking the Sarawak river. Blending in this picturesque scenery are the people who spend most of their time on the river itself, the boatmen who are always busy in giving the river a pulse of life by carrying passengers crossing to the other side. Before there were bridges connecting both sides of the river, they were the only option. These are the boat plyers, or also locally known as pak tambang (or penambang), plying the Kuching’s iconic boats that are known as the perahu tambang (or ‘perauk’ tambang). Their livelihood has been around from at least the 1800s and still survive until today....
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Rumah Warisan Bentara – Darul Maziah, Kpg No. 6

Rumah Warisan Bentara – Darul Maziah, Kpg No. 6

Darul Maziah was built in the late 1880s by Third White Rajah’s Herald, Haji Hassim Arif. It is a 130 years old monument in which the best of Malay architecture are still beautifully preserved. Situated in the serene setting of Kampung Patingan (Kampung No.6), this house is home to various artifacts, photos and memories of significant points in Sarawak’s history. Beautiful and functional architecture suited to the climate and typical for its time may be observed here in form of wide awnings, intricately carved lattices and high windows. This heritage house is now inhabited by the seventh generation, Abang Sahari Jaya or Haji Epem, the seventh son of eleven siblings who are also grandchildren of Datuk Bentara Abang Haji Hassim Arif....
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Rumah Warisan Jalan Masjid/Rumah Warisan Hajah Rapiah

Rumah Warisan Jalan Masjid/Rumah Warisan Hajah Rapiah

Rumah Warisan Jalan Masjid or Rumah Warisan Hajah Rapiah is located at Jalan Ajibah Abol. This house is believed to have been built in 1903. Hajah Rapiah Heritage House embodies the philosophy and values of the time and is a typical example of traditional Malay architecture. Made from precious belian wood, it has 16 windows with elaborate lattices to accommodate air ventilation to cool down the house in the hot tropical climate. The place is also known as a Quranic learning centre for young children around the villages at Jalan Ajibah Abol, in which the teacher, Haji Yaman, was brother to the namesake of the house, Hajah Rapiah....
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Rumah Tan Sri Abang Ahmad Urai

Rumah Tan Sri Abang Ahmad Urai

A beautiful palatial-style home built by veteran Statesman Tan Sri Abang Ahmad Urai, who had served as Senate President in the Parliament during the 80s. This house features ornate Minangkabau inspired roof arches with intricate nature inspired carvings, an open courtyard and large common hall used for public festivities and religious programs. Not to missed is the unique keris-shaped ‘Tunjuk Langit’, a defining feature often found in traditional Malay architecture to reflect the spiritual belief of the people of that time....
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Masjid Besar/Masjid Bahagian Kuching

Masjid Besar/Masjid Bahagian Kuching

Having existed before the arrival of James Brooke in Kuching, Masjid Bandaraya stands proud as the oldest symbol of Islam and Muslim community in Sarawak. Its earliest incarnation was constructed on the banks of the river at the foothills, and made entirely of wood, with the characteristics of traditional Malay house construction of that time. The mosque had gone through several reconstructions and enlargements to keep up with the rising population through the years. Its most current incarnation is Mughal-inspired as evident from the domes and minaret, and yet still infused with Malay tradition and philosophy. It remains as one of the most iconic building in the heart of Kuching City....
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Rumah Darul Kurnia, Jalan Haji Taha

Rumah Darul Kurnia, Jalan Haji Taha

Darul Kurnia is a colonial style mansion built in the 1930s by Datu Patinggi Abang Haji Abdillah. A Sarawakian independence patriot, Datu Patinggi Hj Abdillah was a highly influential leader of his time, most known for spearheading the anti-cession movement. The anti-cession movement is a fight against British Empire’s attempt to govern Sarawak as a crown colony without sufficient consultation with native residents. This house is historically significant as witness to a peaceful protest by hundreds of civil servants, at the risk of losing their job, to demonstrate their unwillingness to be colonized....
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