Driving in Miri 30 years ago was like moving about in a cowboy town, with roads being flanked by oil-drilling machines called “donkeys”, remembers Ahmad bin Dus, 48.
When he first came to Miri from his hometown in Simunjan, southern Sarawak, in 1972, the roads here were bumpy, full of potholes, dusty, winding and narrow.
“Looked like a town in the Old West, with oil-drilling machines lined up along both sides of the roads inside and outside the town.
“Oil exploration and timber operations were booming then and lots of migrants came to Miri every year.
“The pace of business and infrastructure development was hectic. The construction sector was busy all the time. Business boomed and it can clearly be seen how Miri has transformed physically and socially,” said the veteran driver, who is now attached to the Miri Resident's Office.
Ahmad has served in Telekom and shipping companies before as a driver. He is now the main driver for VIPs and VVIPs.
Married with two kids, he is impressed with the fact that Miri's growth is very well balanced.
“While business grew rapidly, educational facilities also grew, along with medical services, banking services and housing and other public facilities like transportation.
“Hopefully, this concept of balanced development will be continued and enhanced after achieving city status,” he said.
He hopes that social problems will not worsen, and that congestion caused by traffic jams can also be effectively dealt with.
More stories from Star Special
Did you find this article insightful?