Sekinchan is a small agriculture and fishing town on the West coast of Peninsular Malaysia. This place is a perfect example of the poverty alleviation program implemented by our forefathers in the 1980s. The Government has built on the successful Muda Irrigation scheme in Kedah and applied it to this area stretching from Sungai Besar, Sekinchan, and Tanjung Karang.
If I remembered correctly, ADB funded this project. It carries a prohibition clause that forbids the conversion of land from rice planting to any other use for 25 years. The 25 years have since passed. There are small plots of land presently converted for tourism and the hospitality industry.
One afternoon, I took my folding bicycle and went to Sekinchan town to cycle around the padi field. It was replanting time when I was there. I met many foreign labour working on the padi fields instead of the locals when I visited this place in the 80s. Perhaps, I can only conclude that most of the children from the old generation of farmers have moved to the bigger cities in search of their future.
I noticed that this town has been slowly transformed from a rice farming and fishing town into a tourism and hospitality industry. More and more lodging houses were built and a few places catering for souvenir shopping.
There was once a picturesque typical Malay house on the rice fields surrounded by coconut trees. I have met the owner. She told me that her husband was working in Singapore and they only came back to this house on their holidays. I purposely cycled there to see if it is still there. Sadly, this house was no longer there.
I will let my pictures do the talking