The new building for Pejabat RISDA Jajahan Kelantan Utara can be considered as completed. The last time I passed by it, it was yet to be occupied. Hopefully with this new office, the rubber small holders around Pasir Mas will be better served. More report to follow after its opening ceremony.
Gridlock like this is common when the level crossing is closed for a train to pass especially during the school holidays or the festive seasons.
The above scene will soon cease to happen when a flyover is completed on the other ened of town. The new flyover is being constructed and is expected to be completed in 2009. It is one of the promises made by the present state government during the previous by election in Pengkalan Pasir and also the recently concluded 12th General Election.
On the other side of the railway line this is how the work is going on.
Another major promise is the construction of the new market to replace old one. I will update on the construction of the new market in my future posts.
With the construction of the flyover, the nightmare of being caught in a gridlock in Pasir Mas town will be a thing of the past as motorists will have an alternative route to take when the level crossing is closed. Taking a slightly longer detour is definitely better than being in a car not moving anywhere in the hot afternoon sun.
The railway station is the icon of Pasir Mas. In the sixties most people came to Pasir Mas by the train and will disembark at the old railway station. The railways was built by the British and anything built by them were made to last. The old wooden station building would have lasted for many more years if they had maintained it well and not demolish it. Sad to say progress is tantamount to building new ones which is more functional though foregoing the historic value of the old building.
Most of the people who served in Pasir Mas would want to visit the old railway station whenever they come back to Pasir Mas. Now only the yet to be completed new station will greet their eyes and a heart wrenching nostalgic feeling will be felt by anybody who had some association with the railway in the olden days. Sending away relatives for pilgrimage to Holy Mecca, studying out of states, visiting families or going to work elsewhere was via the railway was the norms until roads become better and flights become affordable and fashionable to travel.
Today when I visited the station, this is how the station looks from the new yet to be completed car park.
I met the Station Master En. Ariffin Che Sulaiman who was kind enough to pose for me and brief me on the station. Hey even a citizen reporter is accorded the same respect as any newspaper reporter.
Pasir Mas is one of the top income earner to KTMB in Kelantan bringing in RM200,000 monthly in normal season to RM250,000 a month during the peak season which is the school holidays or festive seasons. Pasir Mas Railway Station serves 14,000 to 15,000 passengers a month which is the highest in the east coast. Though Pasir Mas serve more than passengers than the station of Wakaf Baru, the later earns higher revenue through the sale of more first class tickets.
There are more facilities now. The platform is very much longer and and it will be further extended in due course. The platform is at a higher level than before so you can just walk into the coaches. Most of it is covered too so the passengers waiting to embark will be sheltered from the weather.
The new station is due to be completed this October 2008 but personally i doubt it, as the final touches usually takes time. Anyway despite being incomplete building, the extended and covered platform is already serviceable.
The accident prone express bus services, improved services by KTMB, the railway has become the choice mode of transport. To avoid disappointment, better purchase your tickets in advance. Tickets for the festive season’s period is often sold out months before the period.
Tickets can be bought online at www.ktmb.com.my
Read my more detailed take on The Railway Station of Pasir Mas on my LAISI soon.
I tried to comply to my ealier promise to do a bilingual post for the benefit of those who are not cofortable with the English langauge but I found it too taxing for me. Please bear with me and try to read it in English till I find the time to do it. Sorry Arejae.
Two days ago(29th Jul 08) I went to the Pejabat Tanah dan Jajahan Pasir Mas (The District and Land Office) for some information. For those who had been away from Pasir Mas for too long, and still want to know how the present Land and District Office looks like, just click on the second pic from the left on the top row.
There are several departments at the district office. From past experience when dealing with such offices, the Bahagian Pembangunan will be the appropriate office for me to call at.
At the entrance I saw all the Senarai Tugas (Function Lists) and Vision and Mission Statements well displayed. How Impressive they are. (third and fourth pic)
Though I didn’t notice any signages of shoes off, I took my sandals off after I saw a pair of shoes outside the door. When I entered the door, true enough this office practices shoes off policy. I gave my salam and it was answered by a lady clerk whom I presumed to be the chief clerk from the position her desk was facing. I told them that I needed some information about the population of Pasir Mas. She told me that they don’t have the latest to which I answered that it would be OK and asked for a few years record so that I can extrapolate to the current year. She asked the other staff who was fiddling around with the computer if front of him to get the information. There were quite a few computers and that gave me the impression that this office is well connected internet wise.
The other staff had no clue where to get the information and finally the chief clerk sort of apologise and asked me to get it from Bahagian Perangkaan (Statistic Department) at the State Secretaries office in Kota Bharu. She asked me where I was from and reluctantly I told her that I am just a blogger trying to promote Pasir Mas.
It was stupid of me in the first place to have gone there seeking informations. In this of Information Technology, information can be at your fingertips when you access the net. That is where I should get my information. They don’t keep population figures for their development planning.
For the first timer to Pasir Mas with a GPS, Pasir Mas is located at: 6 deg 02min 34 sec N and 120 deg 08 min 37 sec E. (See Google earth map in first pic)
That will be at Bangunan Serangkai Mas which I consider to be the heart of the town. Land area of Pasir Mas is 569 Sq. km with a population of 172, 692 as of 2005. The total population of Kelantan is 1.373 million with Kota Bharu being th highest with 425,294 people. Most people in the district are involved in agriculture especially in padi planting and rubber tapping. The padi planters enjoy double cropping as KADA provides the water via it’s network of irrigation canals. Tobacco farming used to be another major agriculture activity but it has since been reduced to the production of tembakau darat. Wait for my take on LAISI as to how tembakau darat is produced.
There is no figures on the breakdown of the population but other than Malays there are some Chinese and Thai that make up the population of Pasir Mas and Indians are very few in numbers.
The District Officer is En. Fauzi Mat.
The name Pasir Mas is probably taken from the golden coloured sand found on the other side of the river which is known as Seberang Pasir Mas though it is part of Kota Bharu. There is no gold to be found there otherwise the people of Pasir Mas would be very rich especially those from Seberang Pasir Mas.
Mamadou a Malaysian working in Mali Africa posed my the most difficult question about whether it is true that Pasir Mas has the most number of beautiful maidens in Malaysia. How do I answer to that? Based on fact only one person has been crownd as Miss Malaysia way back in the early sixties. She is the present consort to Sulatan Mahmud Iskandar, the Sulatan of Johor. No others were crowned as such after that. Only one of my two sons married a fellow Pasir Masian. When The Satr carried an article about the pretty maidens of Pasir Mas, only maidens from two families were featured. Does that two familes represent the whole of Pasir Mas? Pretty maidens are everywhere. Just look around for them. The best are in KL where most jobs are found and a pretty face always help to secure a job. So now make your own conclusion whether Pasir Mas has the most number of pretty maidens or not.
On the way home from the District office I saw the flood level alert at the Dataran Ayer Muleh near the river bank. The notice indicates the following figures: (see fifth pic)
9.00 M – Waspada (Alert)
10.00 M – Amaran (Warning)
10.65 M – Bahaya (Danger)
The bank of the Kelantan River in Pasir Mas is fortified by a concrete wall with metal pilings. The wall keeps the flood water from breaching the river bank into town. You can see the walls in the picture behind the notice. The wall stretches for miles starting from the Fire and Rescue headquarters in Lemal till Jias which is almost near to my house in Mekasar.
I was curious to know the point where the water level is read and so I took a peek over the wall. I was quite surprised to see the marked pole almost covered with tall grasses which we called pokok teberau. I guess since the flood usually occurs in November onwards when the North East Monsoon comes visiting, there is still time to clear up. Who knows maybe they have automatic water level detector whereby siren will be sounded when the water level breaches the warning level? (sixth pic)
It is the durian season in Pasir Mas. All durian lovers had been waiting for the local durian which is preferred over the Thai durians that has been flooding the local market previously. The Thais have been so advanced agriculturally that they could time their durian to ripen earlier than the local durians by the manipulation of the watering system and fertilizer application. It is said that they manage to produce two production seasons a year by such manipulations. When will we ever catch up on them?
The local durians are much sought after due to their taste. Well known local durians such as Kunyit, Daun or the old clone known as D24 are still popular. Our problem is our farmers are still harvesting durians planted by their fore fathers and thus some of them are merely durians that are not good to eat with the flesh barely covering the lage seeds. Thus selecting the best durian becomes an art by smelling the fruit, listening to the sound of the flesh covered seed shaking inside or merely by trusting the sellers. So buying a good durian sometimes totally depends on luck.
The best way to buy durians is to go to the orchards yourself. The orchard owner themselves will know which of their durians are good to eat. Only problem is you will have to beat the middlemen who more often than not have already booked the fruits in advance and will be there the first thing in the morning.
Since I am new to wordpress I will be having some problems adjusting to the format and technique but I guess I should learn up fast from my experience from Blogger.
For starters I am putting up some pictures taken from the core of the town infront of the Jamiah, where the old musalla used to be. It is at the corner where for ages, medicine seller used to ply their trade.