‘Humanoid Archway’ erected in Marudi town symbolising mother of all regattas in Sarawak

The 'Humanoid Archway', depicting 13 oarsmen participating in a regatta at the Marudi Waterfront.

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Oct 22: The ‘Humanoid Archway’, a new sculpture depicting a boat with 13 oarsmen has been erected today at Marudi town, as part of the Marudi Waterfront project.

Gracing the event was Marudi assemblyman Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil, who explained that the 13 oarsmen who are painted in the colours of Sarawak’s flag were meant to symbolise that Marudi was the town where the first regatta in Sarawak was held and is thus the mother of all regattas in the State.

“Once upon a time, the Baram Regatta was held as one of the events to reconcile tribal disputes and bring understanding among the various tribes around 1899 under the rule of Rajah Brooke. And that historical significance needs to be recorded and be remembered.

“In line with the planning of the new Marudi Waterfront project, the location of the Humanoid Archway has been placed in a more strategic and suitable location as can be seen today. The sculpture of oarsmen is made of highly resilient material which is made of ‘black steel’ to ensure its durability,” said Penguang.

Penguang (fifth from left) and other local community leaders witnessing the unveiling of the Humanoid Archway today (Oct 22, 2021).

On the Marudi Waterfront project which is still ongoing, he said the first phase of the Marudi Waterfront project costs RM11 million while the second phase would cost RM12 million.

“The Marudi Waterfront project aims to enhance the development of Marudi by turning it into a developed, clean and beautiful town. It will be a landmark for Marudi town which upon completion will be an attraction for domestic and foreign visitors.

“Its strategic location will also provide many benefits and impact to the locals in terms of economic, social and aesthetic aspects. Most important of all, it will provide the infrastructure for recreational activities, especially for the famous Baram Regatta,” Penguang told DayakDaily.

He said the site handover which was carried out in March 20, 2019, was officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The implementation of the first phase of the project would take 18 months and the initial date was set on Sept 20, 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent movement restrictions, the project was delayed.

Further delay was also caused by constant flooding in Marudi town.

“The new completion date for this project is scheduled on Nov 27, 2021,” said Penguang.

The Local Government and Housing Assistant Minister said apart from the Humanoid Archway, there are also gazebos that depict the identities of various tribes such as the Malays, Ibans, Chinese and the Orang Ulu to be built within the Marudi Waterfront project. — DayakDaily