I went to inspect Selambau with another Mafrel member last monday and rode into a thunderstorm which we didn’t anticipate! We rode a bike up to Sg Petani from Butterworth-then turn right to head towards Bukit Selambau. Half way through it started to pour. It never rained-it came down like dogs and cats. Only on the way back did we get a good glimpse of what transpired: road side trees were uprooted; sigboards fell; goods fell off the truck….The approach to Bukit Selambau is surrounded by rubber and oil palm plantations. Often the roads were also used by fully loaded/overly logging trucks! We stopped for a while after the rain started but decided to press on when the rain seems to subside a little ….
I put my cameras in a plastic bag, which I carried in my cloth bag, just in case. What could happen, happened: the rain went from bad to worse. Soon we were all wet, with my handphone also soaked in my pant’s pocket.
As we approached Bukit Selambau in the last ascending stretch the motor went through a stream that cut across the road, then the motor screeched to a stop. No matter how my friend tried the motor never wanted to start-probably the spark plug has conked!
So we pushed the bike along to the top of the hill. At a junction we saw a stall with a couple of local women, probably packing up their stall. They pointed us to the direction to the town, which was downhill from there. So we free wheeled down the hill. The bike stopped just as we entered the town limit. We then pushed the motor bike to look for a mechanic, at around 5.00pm, in the continuing rain.
The first we found was a service station, which sold us a clean spark plug. The motor did sprang to life after some local installed the new plug-but only for once. hen the motor refused to start again. So we were told to locate a mechanic shop before they close shop. So on we go again…
The first political sign was a rusted UMNO signboard. Didn’t see any building around it. May be they are not so active here, at least from a main road view. Then we found a mechanic shop ran by a couple of youngster. They told us that they were about to close becuase there were no electricity! But they were helpful enough to restart the motor for us. As they did their job I noticed there were some PAS flags outside by the road,and a PAS poster on the mechanic shop’s pillar. Only when we left did we realised that the local PAS branch HQ, with a pretty big compound, was next door!
We rode into the 1-street cowboy town that was Selambau. Took some photos -of the dozen or so of Chinese shops, before we made our way out. Impression wise the isolated town is quite like Lunas in all aspects except that it is a lot more isolated. Even the nearest town Sg Petani is almost 1 hour drive away!
Of course there are no hotels, supermarkets or any modern shops here.
But there will be lots of election tourists who will jam up the traffics on the small roads here, as well as the few finite coffee shops here.
On the way back rain still continued-and we were horrified at the destruction we saw on the way!