Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Woes of One Man in Sibu-

This is about modern day Sibu my hometown. And for this interesting situation to occur one has to really study it carefully. Perhaps some public opinion from a far away city needs to be aired too.

So just my two sens --

This is worst than a prison cell in terms of size. But How Sing can have his afternoon siesta al fresco.

Dinner time! How Sing eats his meal in his trailer. He has has utensils and crockery all neatly arranged in this mini trailer.

At night the mini trailer is found in a five foot way. May be he needs some mosquito coils to keep the moskies away.

Sarawak has a huge landmass of 4825 sq.miles as compared to Singapore's 120 sq miles. Sarawak has about 3 million people and this means that an average Sarawakian can get about 0.2 sq mile of land .

In India according to the latest Indian government figures, people in its cities have just 5.5 sq m (59 sq ft) per person - the minimum specified for US prisons.

According to the country's 63rd national survey, 55% of the country's urban population live, sleep, cook and wash in a space no bigger 5.5 sq m. The comparable figure for the average American is 83.6 sq m per person.

How Sing here has a nice cosy little self made wooden trailer measuring 2'x3'. It height is about 3.5 feet.

He sleeps and eats in the trailer. In the day time he moves his trailer to the central market place where he does odd jobs and at night he parks his "home" on a five foot way.

It must be uncomfortable for him to say the least. But he seems to be fairly at home and at ease without a care in the world. Or if he is uncomfortable he is not telling.

My blogger friends from Sibu (Steve Ling and Philip Hii have been very gracious in their communication with me. In what ways can we help a man like How Sing?

What is the social responsibility of a government when faced with such an unusual "situation"? Is it a case by case situation for the Social Welfare Department? Or should How Sing be just allowed to have his free will to live as well as he can?

But at least he does not have to worry about Municipal Assessment Rates and Lease Renewal. He can always use the Public toilets and save on water bills. Electricity? The street lamps are better than kerosene lamps.

There may be more than meet the eye.

Photos : Steve Ling and Philip Hii
Statistics Source :

3 memories:

pennylane said...

Very sad to see this. I think there are actually more like this in Sarawak just that poverty is very well concealed.

sarawakiana said...

yes indeed. It is good that many communities have established their own ways of solving poverty. The Social and Welfare Department also play their role well.

But sometimes certain cases like this appear. And eye brows are raised. But our hearts do go out to the urban hardcore poor.

freedomakses said...

I cannot imagine that this scenario is exist in Sarawak... burst in tears


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