There is a lovely promontory in the Rejang Valley called Wong Su Lai where more than ten families of Ku Tien descent (another group of Foochows)started pioneering agricultural work in 1903. The soil here is loamy and yellow and very fertile . Suitable for fruits and rubber and even pepper, the agriculturalists reaped rich harvests and prospered in no time.
The name Wong Su Lai came from these Foochows who settled in this area some 18 miles from Sibu in the Rajang Basin. They must have heard of the Ensurai trees which bore reddish fruits, but only edible to the fish. Thus perhaps they turned the name Ensurai to a more fitting Foochow name. Wong Su Lai was also the Chinese transliteration of the word ensurai.
"Wong su Lai" on the other hand in Chinese means "Arrival of Teacher Wong" and thereby one Foochow historian Lau Tze Cheng who came from this area,also said the name could be considered as a commemoration of the arrival of Wong Nai Siong, the pioneering business man who brought the Foochows to this part of the world. In due time people even forgot that the Ibans once were dwellers and food gatherers of this area prior to the arrival of the Foochows.
It became a bustling settlement which later boasted of the largest Foochow Mansion built by the second Kang Chu, Lau Kah Tii, a wealthy Foochow pioneer, who died in 1954. This settlement had a shop operated by him and his relatives and there was a primary school and a cemetery. It was indeed a thriving community also produced a large number of highly educated and rich Foochows.
The Ensurai is important to the ecology of the river banks and rivers. The fruits of the Ensurai is a favourite food of many fish including the tapah and middle valley fish.
Perhaps one day some one will find more ensurai trees growing along the river banks and thus discover fish swimming around.
Source : Sarawak Forestry Department.
Trees up to 40m tall and 200cm diameter. Buttresses up to 3m high. Tree trunks are usually crooked and twisted, almost horizontal at base, leaning over rivers and frequently covered with mosses and epiphytes. Branches arising from low down on the trunk, spreading over the river and tending to be semi-pendant at the ends.
The diagnostic characters are the large stipules that exceed 4cm long, pale green and often tinged pink when mature; leathery, oblong-lanceolate, shiny dark green leaves, 14-18cm by 4-7cm with 16-20 pairs of ridge-like veins.
The fruit has 3 long and 2 short wings, usually reddish. During fruiting season, the reddish fruits with pinkish stipules is a beautiful sight along the river banks.
Habitat: Locally frequent along the fast flowing river banks beyond the tidal reaches, below 600m above sea level.
Distribution: Confined to inland river banks from east of Batang Lupar to Lawas.
Note: It is a totally protected species because it protects the river banks and the fruit is an important source of food for many inland fresh water fish. The tree provides a micro-niche for many epiphytes including orchids, ferns, Rhododendron and Hoya species.