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Tag: punan sama

History of Lovuk Tepeleang : Telawan Tragedy

Sometimes in the middle of 1950s, several inhabitants of Punan longhouse at Telawan known as ‘Punan Tepeleang’ suddenly fell ill, then died. In the span of few weeks, about eight peoples died suffering from unknown illness. Even perplexing was the fact that they were healthy individuals before their sudden death. Anxiety and fear enveloped the longhouse.

“In the morning was the funeral of a relative who died a few days earlier and in the evening, back from the funeral, my father became ill. That evening he too died,” recalled my mother. About a week earlier, the unknown illness took away her beloved mother from the family. My grandparent was still in their early 50s – just passed their prime age.

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By boat along the Rajang river

Express boat (known as ferry in some part of the world) and longboat remains the only viable mode of transportation for getting from point A to B along the Rajang River. The hundred of villages along Rajang and it tributaries have yet to have access to road. Belaga town, the last town along Rajang were linked to Bintulu and the outside world only recently.

The slideshow above featured photos of Rajang river taken in between Belaga and Punan Sama longhouse. A longboat journey to Belaga from Punan Sama took about 2 hours passing through several rough waters (rapids).

Karim Raslan You Should Visit Punan Sama and Biau Longhouses

Karim Raslan, to really understand and experience the hardship of living in Belaga District, you should visit my longhouse at Punan Sama, Belaga (5 hours express boat ride from Sibu) which has total population of nearly 600 people, but now almost deserted as people moving to towns for greener pasture.

The road to Punan Sama Belaga. Slippery, muddy and treacherous particularly during the monsoon season.