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2009 OX YEAR - Harmony Peace Happiness to all of you

In the Middle East, India, Ireland and elsewhere in the world, religion often times are the root causes to human conflict. Why? We have no answer to solve it yet.

Now switch your TV channel to Sarawak/Borneo. Here you see a new Taoist temple built at the other side of Samarahan River at a muslim-malay fishing village. It is the kind of harmony that exists in Sarawak since independence days. We know only this way of life, mixing readily with various races of people without ever discarding each culture or tradition but perhaps blend and tolerate each other for years. You can see a muslim girl with scarf taking a boat ride from the village where the temple also sits. This is the reality of life in the rural areas of Sarawak, many ethnic races of people co-exist. We hope this fine tradition will carry on for many years to come and 2009 is not an election year, so life is going to be peaceful although the crisis will hit everyone from the city to the remote villages.

On that note, may I wish you all peace and harmony and a great start to the new year of the OX for 2009.

About 1 hr drive from Kuching. Boat ride [cost US$0.50] to the other side of a tiny fishing village called Beliong. Funny thing happened a day before, we almost reached halfway to this place when I got a call from a cafe operator who asked me to identify myself, then he asked if I lost my wallet. It killed my mood for the day's shooting, so the next minute we rushed back to the city to collect my wallet full of credit cards, ID papers, cash etc. A chinese schoolboy found it and returned it untouched. I rewarded him with half the cash in the wallet and it made him happy.

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Additional Photos by Bill Laucp (trekks) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2260 W: 172 N: 4300] (14348)
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