HIS Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan an...Read more
DOWN MEMORY LANE WITH BORNEO BULLETIN ARCHIVES
|Compiled by Lance Thoo Sin Lin|
Russian ‘invasion’ starts
KUCHING (February 1, 1975) – The Russians have started invading Sarawak, in their thousands. Russian tourists that is.
More than 2,000 will come to the state this year in what is seen as a tremendous boost for local tourism.
The possibility of an upsurge in the number of Soviet visitors was first indicated when the ship Baikal called at the port at the end of last year bringing 225 visitors.
But the size of the upsurge has startled even those in the tourist trade.
In February alone, five Russian cruises originating from Vladivostok are scheduled for stopovers in Kuching, with some 600 people from all parts of the Soviet Union.
Apart from the Baikal, there have been two other cruises recently, notably the arrival of the vessel Felix Dzerjinsky. She carried 130 tourists, although only half landed to take excursions around the capital and out to see the longhouse of Benuk, 22 miles from Kuching.
Smugglers’ booze blinds border drinkers
FEBRUARY 2, 1985 – Cheap booze smuggled into Sarawak from Indonesia could cause blindness, a prominent Kuching doctor has warned.
Dr Patau Rubis, a former director of medical services, said the booze, which sells for as little as $5 a bottle in border areas, might contain methanol, which affects the brain and eyes.
He said he had come across two people in a border kampong near Bau who had lost their sight because, he believes, of excessive consumption of the spirit.
New car prices not that bad, say dealers
FEBRUARY 20, 1995 – As car companies began preparing to collect their newly arrived vehicles now piled up at Muara Port, they have been busy calculating the extent of the extra burden on their buyers.
And, car agents are now telling their prospective customers: “It’s not as bad as you thought.”
The prices of the lower priced cars will only go up by about $5,000 although the top-end car buyers may have to pay a bigger amount.
Car agents as well as the public have been in a quandary every since the Ministry of Finance announced import tax increases on all passenger cars from the former 20 per cent to some instance, 200 per cent early this month.
“It will take some time for the public to get used to the new prices,” said a leading motor car distributor. “But eventually, perhaps in a few months time, things are bound to get back to normal.” – Ignatius Stephen
Tsunami VCD sales draw mixed reviews
FEBRUARY 7, 2005 – Footage of the December 26, 2004 tsunami disaster that hit 11 nations in Asia and Africa is proving profitable for local VCD traders who are selling copies of news coverage and documentaries.
The bulk of the two-hour assortments – all titled “Bencana Tsunami” (photo below) – are scenes and news clips from local news broadcasts with some selections from BBC World News, Indonesian news channels and amateur videos.
These recordings have been selling like hot cakes for the past month or so, drawing mixed comments from people across the board.
Some thought it was a disgusting act, cashing in on a natural disaster as well as the miseries of victims.
“This is not about a Copyright Act, but it’s plainly about human rights,” said a writer in the Opinion column of the Weekend Bulletin. He added that it was disgusting enough to know that some people were ready to cash in on the misery and misfortune of others.
However, a young man welcomed the VCD, saying that it allowed him to see if there were any additional information that were not broadcasted over the news.
“I was told the extra footage was worth the money spent in purchasing the bootleg copies.
“Call it education for us who have never heard of experienced a tsunami in our lifetime,” said another person.
A trade who did not want to be named said his customers were curious and bought copies of the VCD to answer questions they had about the incident.
Some of the customers had a morbid fascination with the tragedy because it happened so close to home, he added.
Most of the recordings feature the same scenes of bloated bodies, devastated villages and people grieving for missing loved ones. – Rosli Abidin Yahya
© 2013 Borneo Bulletin Online - The Independent Newspaper in Brunei Darussalam, Sabah and Sarawak