Preserve Sarawak Trishaw Service
Sibu could be the only place in Borneo where trishaws are still used as a form of transport. Ravera Holidays Sdn Bhd’s Products Research and Development manager Melintan Ina, however, noted that the trishaw service is a dying trade. “Modern lifestyles have led to trishaws being gradually replaced by other modes of transport. A recent check with the Sibu Municipal Council showed that there are only 20 trishaws in town,” he told The Borneo Post when guiding Australians Bob Pinkerton and Dr Doughlas Morely to Bukit Lima Forest Reserve here recently.
Melintan, who has been involved in the state’s tourism industry for some time now, said trishaws and longboats were part of the national heritage in the transport sector. They captivated tourists and thus should be capitalised on for in-bound tourism promotion. “Trishaws and longboats should be creatively turned into an integral part in sightseeing tourism.” He said trishaws here need not be decorated as fancifully as those in Malacca and Penang.
“So long as they are road-worthy, give shade and have cushion seats, then they will do wonders. While keeping the heritage alive, it gives the locals an opportunity to pedal for a living,” he said, expressing confidence that there would be many youngsters attracted to the trade if the daily takings were good. “We are not talking about the olden days when the profit is 20 to 30 sen per trip. We are talking about RM20 to RM30 for 20 or 30km. This means an operator may earn up to RM60 nett per day with not a single sen spent on fuel and road tax.”