Macha 1Malaysia Beguang

Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia Stopover At Beguang

When news that the Angkasawan Malaysia Dr. SMS was going to make plans to visit our longhouse, Rumah Richard Nanga Beguang, I made plans to try out my Nikon D5000 for the event. They were part of a motivational program arranged by the Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia (PNM) as part of their reading campaign "Aram Kitai Macha 1Malaysia" in Kapit. Though the Angkasawan did not show up in the end, the 140 visitors who dropped by at Rumah Richard had a glimpse of Nanga Beguang. It is also hoped that once the Ketua Pengarah of PNM, Ybhg Dato' Raslin Abu Bakar sees what we need at the longhouse we would get the computers that we are requesting for to be placed at our KEMAS Resource Centre.

Getting the tickets for the Kuching to Sibu trip was easy made through the Internet. Gone are the days when one has to queue up at the Malaysia Airlines Office to catch a glimpse of those pretty ladies at the counter. Booking online and printing out the tickets is pretty quick if you do not forget your password or the Internet does not disconnect halfway during the payment process.

The trip on the new MASwing plane (the ATR model)was a refreshing experience. The safety announcement was made with video presentation on a small television screen which automatically open before take off. There are some potentials for in flight movies soon I hope.

I had to get to Rumah Richard before 8:30 am as the Express Boat, Sarawak Boleh, used by the PNM team to travel from Sibu to Kapit was quite a speedster. It can travel to Kapit under three hours from Sibu. Back in the old days it would take about seven hours at least. I took the eraliest flight from Kuching and when I reach Sibu I managed to catch early sunrise at the Sibu Airport.

My transporter from Sibu Airport to Semaram boat stop was Robert Angkah, my ever reliable schoolmate.I trust that his driving skills will get me to Semaram on time. He eventually went with me to Rumah Richard.

However one cannot resist the famous coffee shops in Sibu, and so we made a stopover at Sibu Jaya for a quick kampua mee. I tried out Facebooking in the Sibu Jaya area on my 'new' Dell Inspiron Mini using Digi broadband. The surf speed was acceptable.

Trying out my Dell Inspiron Mini on the longboat - its okay to surf if there is an Internet connection along the river. I guess this is when Celcom Territory plays its role. But carrying a netbook which has a battery life of about 5 - 6 hours brings a whole new meaning to connectivity while on the move. One can say it would be easier to do on a smartphone but one has to consider if heavier work requiring wordprocessors or databases are in the task, a netbook is preferred.

Just before we reached Rumah Richard Nanga Beguang our boat which was using a 15 horsepower outboard motor engine was overtaken by the Sarawak Boleh Express Boat used by the Pustaka Negara Malaysia team. We were certainly no match for the big boat as it cruised past us.

Though we were about 15 minutes behind, I managed to see Ybhg Dato' Raslin walking out of the KEMAS Resource and being led to the longhouse's welcoming arch to perform the tree planting ceremony.

Ybhg Dato' Raslin plants a tree to mark his visit to Rumah Richard, Nanga Beguang.

The welcoming lineup at Rumah Richard had its attractions.

The welcoming ceremony for Ybhg Dato' Raslin begins

Ybhg Dato' Raslin was led along the length of the longhouse as he shook hands with the longhouse folks who greeted him and his team

The official ceremony begins and Ybhg Dato' Raslin was given our longhouse profile for viewing

From their expressions I believe it was some of the visitors' first trip to a longhouse

The welcoming 'miring' ceremony was another attraction as Ybhg Dato' Raslin tries out making the piring (decorate the miring plate) and circling white chicken over it

Then there was the welcoming dance performed by the longhouse folks

Exchange of souveniers ceremony

When the official speeches were over, it was 'eating' time as guests were offered to taste the local fruits and delicacies like bamboo chicken, jack fruits, buah isau, dabai...yum yum yum.

Though it was almost the end of the durian season we had some to offer our honourable guests - seen here En. Japri Bujang from Pustaka Negeri Sarawak enjoying the King of Fruits with Yhbhg Dato' Raslin

Before going to Kapit, Ybhg Dato' Raslin and his PNM team and also Pustaka Negeri Sarawak  took a group photo with the longhouse committee members

Finally it was time for the Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia to proceed on with their journey. The longhouse folks waved goodbye as Sarawak Boleh started its engine with the PNM team and continued its journey downriver to Kapit. It was our hope that the PNM will not forget about our small village at Nanga Beguang and our requests. We hope that the whole trip was fruitful and that we had succeeded in doing our part to showcase Sarawak people's hospitality. Thank you PNM and also Pustaka Negeri Sarawak. Send our regards to Dr. SMS too. Before I rushed back to Kuching with Robert we had a quick round of festivity and lots of food. Christmas comes early to Naga Beguang. Cheers.

Added Video taken by Robert Angkah during the visit - I did not know he was also a part time video man and he had me in picture when I was 'knocked out' by tuak. :)


Wait a minute! I don't care about Dr SMS, but what I do care is...YOU BOUGHT A D5000? Oh Man! I wanted to buy that Camera next year and you overtook me? Oh I am so jealous! Uwaaaa...never mind.... I will go for D90. Semi Pro cam.... Muahahahahhahahaha!!!!!!!!!
Monyet King said…
very interesting. ... i must try to make a similar trip soon.
cyrildason said…
Dr SMS looks kind of ordinary here =P but i think this post shows how far we have gone with technology. Surfing the internet on a long boat is something i've neer heard/seen before, and you are the first bro!!
headsteadi said…
I guess Tuan DJ is the man behind the creation of