What To Do In Miri, Sarawak

For most people, Miri, in Sarawak, or better known as the Borneo island is well known as the source of Petroleum. In the past, there were many expats in Miri city as they were working for Shell and Petronas.

Well, just in case if you happen to be in Miri, you probably feel very clueless as to where to go and what to do during your stay here. As someone who was born in Miri, I’ll suggest a few activities that you should try to really feel the experience the local culture.

Some of the activities listed may need you to move around, so you will probably need to look for a reliable car rental service like the one provided by Naiee’s Car Rental as you can’t rely on the public transport here for moving to locations beyond the city center.

1. Try the midin fern.
It’s available in most chinese and some malay restaurants. It’s a fern that is only available in Sarawak and you should try it if you’re into organic food as they grow naturally on jungle and forest throughout Sarawak. The next time you’re ordering your dinner, you should get yourself a plate of midin with shrimp paste.

midin-fern

2. Buy some handicraft
You may want to prepare some money to buy some of the beautiful handmade beadworks and wood carvings done by the orang ulu such as the Penans and the locals here. Each of them have unique design for their artwork depending on its ethnic group origin. Some of the most popular weaving from the Ibans is known as the pua kumbu (covering blanket). This weaving is considered sacred and is believed to be able to connect men with the spiritual world.

pua-kumbu

3. Picnic at Piasau Camp beach
Miri has a very long shoreline and for the most part of the beach, it is not commercialized. You can spend a few hours strolling around the beach, or even set up a camp and picnic here if you’re an outdoor person. Piasau camp is a gazetted natural reserve to protect the hornbills and various rare birds and mammals species.

piasau-camp

4. Visit the night market in Saberkas
You should come here and try some of the food sold in the night market. They are open from Wednesday to Saturday and sell varieties of local cuisines and smoked chicken and fish.

main-saberkas-weekend-market

(Updated on 16 November 2015)
5. Visit the Tusan Cliff
This is a relatively new places of Interest in Miri. It was featured in Borneo Post for its “Blue tears” phenomenon. I was there last weekend but unfortunately I didn’t have the right camera to capture the image. You have climb down a small hill to reach the beach.

( Photo by Albert Song)
( Photo by Albert Song)

These are just some of the activities that you can try here to have an actual experience of being in Miri.

Smartphone, Does It Make You Smart?

Image

I am actually quite hesitant to upgrade my phone to the so-called smartphone, because of the following reasons:

  • It uses more power and it may not last more than 12 hours. At least that’s what I am experiencing with the phone that I am using at the moment. I really wish there will be more solution to ensure these phones can stay charged longer instead of forcing us to plug it onto the socket twice a day for a few hours just to make sure it has enough juice to keep it going.
  • You tend to spend too much time on it scrolling through facebook. I’d rather spend that time doing more productive work.

So does a smartphone make you smart? Well, I am not too sure about that. I think it’s just causing a lot of headache to parents to see their kids spend so much time on their phones. And when they spend so much time online or playing games, our future generations will get dumber, not smarter. 

So, think twice before handing your kids a smartphone as a birthday present.

Why is Shisha and ecig Banned in Malaysia?

shisha

The health ministry of Malaysian government has banned the ecig as well as shisha, but it was not a good decision and shows that the ban was imposed without performing duly research. Lately there have been more concerns about the youth indulging into the excessive use of Shisha and e-cigarettes. The Malaysian government has proposed steps to nab the rising trend and this has triggered a debate over the issue.

The alternative smoking methods, which include Shisha and e-cigarettes, are gaining popularity in the Malaysian youth along with the conventional cigarette smoking. The government has planned to put a ban on e-cigarettes yet it is inspecting various legal and health related aspects of the sale for Shisha before it concludes upon its ban.

There have been speculations why government is mulling against the ban of the alternative methods of smoking and ignoring the sales of tobacco cigarettes. Many questions have been raised to this decision. It is understood that smoking is injurious to health , be it in any form and its use must be curbed , then why cannot the government takes any firm decision to ban Tobacco cigarettes too?

Many contemplate that the sale of tobacco is in the interest of the government for it brings greater revenues in the form of tax payments. Also, the tobacco industry has its own contribution in the agriculture and economical sectors, it has been a source of employment for many and thus has a significant contribution in GDP and in providing livelihood to many. This can be the key elements to define the governmental policies.

Another powerful determinant is the pressure from the Perlis Fatwa Committee to announce an edict to forbid the sale and smoking of Shisha in the state. So, the government has more obligation to render to this rising demand to consider the devastating health aspects of Shisha. The government has adapted tougher tax regimes, strict measurement and raised the price for the sales of the cigarettes to discourage the consumers from purchasing them. Still it has been unable to curtail the use to an effective extent. The people debate about the freedom of choice to buy tobacco, which is a legal item for sale. As far as Shisha is concerned, the ministry could take a legal action against the use of flavored tobacco In Shisha, but according to law, it cannot take any action against the sale of the canister/ instrument used in the Shisha as it may not contain nicotine and hence it falls outside the legislature.

I am not against the banning of shisha and ecig, but why not ban all forms of active and passive smoking if the Malaysia government is serious about saving our youths from the harmful and addictive habit of smoking.