Love your river  

Parit Haji Sidek.

Parit is man made stream or a small river and I think when my great great great grand father with his family and his friends came to open this village more than 100-200 years ago they have an idea that building a stream not only would mark a territory but also good for the plantation of fruits and whatever grown back then. Batu Pahat, the town that I live in is famous for its parits or pt. for short, almost all village has a parit incorporated in front of the village name. I live at Parit Hj Salleh in which taken from the name of my great grand father's name with my family, my mother and my father, a short distance away, a mere 5 minutes drive is my grandfather's house at Parit Haji Sidek.

When I was a child I used to follow my much older cousin for fishing at Pt Hj Sidek and there were an abundance of fish back then, nowadays one rarely see a fish swimming since Batu Pahat from the middle of 1980's has step up to become one of the main industrial town in Malaysia. The parit were hit the hardest that most of the good fish were gone, even now all the scheduled release of factory waste especially from the rubber plant and the textile plant is still being dump into the stream, the worst part is that almost all the factories situated upstream right at where the stream started. You can see that at time the stream is pitch black, another time it is purple and I even see dark yellow and pink the other day.

No more late afternoon swim unless your skin is as tough as a crocodile, even there are no more crocodile, they have migrated elsewhere. I guess the industry is blooming to provide a better community and supposedly a better economy but in return the vegetation is glooming and the river.... much have been said that even the government has launched.. re-launched "Love River Campaign" but it is still the same...

Last week I followed Parit Haji Sidek downstream and the view of the stream was not very good, the smell is intolerable, something should be done to the betterment of our rivers. Luckily when I got to the intersection of the stream to the main river, Sungai Simpang Kanan ( literally translated as the Right Intersection river )one of the two main branch that will flow into the Batu Pahat river in which will flow to the sea, the sight is a little bit better since most of the rubbish, found itself hanging here and there, on pipes, on the vegetation at the banks, a natural filter for rubbish but the colouring still went right through.

Sungai Simpang Kanan.

Standing at the intersection of Parit Haji Sidek and Sungai Simpang Kanan, facing Bindu, my mum used to swim here with her sisters and brothers some 60 years ago. Been wondering what it really look like back in the 50s.

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