‘Jemarahan’: Netizens find humour in torturous daily commute

File photo showing traffic congestion.

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By Ashley Sim and Ling Hui

KUCHING, Jan 5: Samarahan has gained the notorious moniker of ‘Jemarahan’ (‘jem’ + ‘Samarahan’) for its dreadful, pain-in-the-neck traffic jams during peak hours due to ongoing traffic light intersection construction.

‘Jemarahan’ will no doubt trend on social media again today as it has for the past week or so as netizens continue to vent frustrations online while being stuck in bottlenecks.

Simply search for #jemarahan on Facebook and hundreds, if not thousands, of search results would leave one very much entertained.

Commuters caught in the glacial traffic flow between Kuching and Kota Samarahan may derive some humour and relief in the numerous online memes ridiculing the sorry state of affairs which has seen trips supposed to only take minutes turn into mind-numbing hours-long afflictions.

A recent meme which went viral shows an edited advertisement purportedly for AirAsia providing flights from Kuching to Kota Samarahan at the cost of RM99.

In another edited photo, people are seen boarding an AirAsia plane parked in front of The Summer Shopping Mall in Kota Samarahan.

A meme edited to show AirAsia purportedly offering direct flights from Kuching to Kota Samarahan.
A meme shows people boarding an AirAsia plane at the The Summer Shopping Mall, Kota Samarahan.

In a Facebook group named ‘Jemarahan Confession – S.O.S.’ which welcomes any posts about ‘Jemarahan’, one netizen shared: “2.30pm in front of Unimas, and 6.30pm in front of Ibraco, for a total of four hours and counting. With this, I can say that I understand how it feels to be stuck in traffic at Samarahan. Because of the traffic, I’m having difficulty resisting the urge to urinate. Waiting for the ‘organiser’ to send us our ‘participation certificate’ and ‘medal’ for taking part in this congestion.”

Another Facebook user wrote: “If you don’t have anything to do, don’t go to Samarahan. If you must go, remember to bring an empty container. Don’t ask me why.”

Meanwhile, a netizen shared a commercial for a portable pet toilet: “Introducing ‘Jambanrahan’. Only one unit left. Reserve price RM1.2K. Any bids?”

The DayakDaily office located at TT3 Plaza is right in the middle of this hooha and our staff have experienced firsthand when travelling to the office or back to Kuching from Samarahan.

The outrage of the people in Kuching and Kota Samarahan is absolutely understandable!

Traffic jam at the roundabout before Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.

Mounting complaints from the public have eventually attracted the attention of relevant authorities for action.

On a site visit to the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway this morning, Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said more police officers would be despatched to manage traffic flow.

Uggah, who is also Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development, said the ongoing traffic light construction project is expected to be completed by end of this year.

Meanwhile, Kuching South City Council (MBKS) traffic wardens were called in to help traffic police with managing the traffic from 6am to 10am and from 4pm to 7pm.

Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak is also expected to announce temporary measures to ease traffic congestion at the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway within this week.

Additionally, Kota Samarahan MP Datuk Rubiah Wang highlighted that a temporary alternative road to Jalan Stutong is expected to be opened tomorrow (Jan 6) to alleviate the situation.

To all Kuching-Samarahan Expressway road users, let’s keep our fingers crossed that the traffic light project can be wrapped up quickly. — DayakDaily