Category: My Hometown

The young ones return home

Oil palm plantations, rubber plantations, orchards and the biggest vegetable farm in norther Johor can be seen along the way when travelling from Bukit Gambir to Sengkang Batu 19.

Like an isolated village, all roads in Sengkang Batu 19 carried Chinese names and they were later transliterated into Bahasa Malaysia.

It was recorded that an altar was placed under a tree in 1903 before a thatched hut was built and later, a proper temple was constructed.

Sengkang Batu 18 was opened by Jiang Chuang Gen from Chaozhou, China. His son Jiang Rui Fa, 77, told Sin Chew Daily that his father was from a rich family. Leading his tribe members, they came from China and settled in Sengkang Batu 18.

SRJK(C) Kok Beng is the only Chinese primary school in Sengkang Batu 19.

Incumbent SRJK(C) Kok Beng board chairman Chen Guang Hui, 65, said that the school was established in 1939.

There was no road sign and house number in early days, and roads were winding and bumpy. Postmen would leave letters at a coffee shop in the main street. Instead of collecting letters from their mail boxes, villagers had to collect them at the coffee shop.

Local coffee shop operator Lin Zhao Cheng, 78, recalled that about 15 years ago, the project of numbering houses and putting up road signs in the village was initiated during the reception of a group of Tunku Abdul Rahman Collage Community Sociology programme participants. House number plates were hung while roads were paved and road signs were added.

After having their own specific addresses, postmen were then able to deliver letters to their homes.

It is worth mentioning that young people have gradually returned to the village. It could be due to soaring prices causing life in urban areas not easy or homesickness, many who have fled to earn living in cities have chosen to return and manage farms and orchards in the village.

Village head Huang Liang Cheng, 40, said that the village covers a total area of 50 acres, with over 200 of population. Although the number of villagers is small, they have maintained close relationships and the sense of human touch is strong here.

He pointed out that villagers are surviving mostly on farming and many young people have returned in recent years and gradually inherited orchards from their fathers. Orchards have been improved and harvests are increased.

He said that villagers have grown various fruits with different harvest periods, including pomelo, guava and durian, and the harvests have increased year by year.
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Category: My Hometown