About the project
This is a social innovation project led by Dr. Goh Yi Sheng from the School of Arts, Sunway University
This is a sustainability-focused project that bridges formal research and real-life design implementation. The purposes of this project are to understand the direct and indirect challenges in Kampung Sungai Lima by exploring its environmental, social, and cultural context, and to develop sustainable design solutions to these challenges. This project is expected to contribute to the sustainability of Kampung Sungai Lima by taking action for change via design. By taking one step at a time, the researcher hopes to achieve the sustainable development goals in the long run.
The objectives of the projects are
To identify and understand the direct and indirect challenges faced by the villagers in Kampung Sungai Lima
To understand how the villagers foresee the future of their village and their expectations of an ideal one, and to identify potential discrepancies between the two
To generate potential solutions to challenges
Our mission is to help Kampung Sungai Lima to become a more sustainable village using design as a strategy for village development.
A sustainable village maximizing the benefits of its rich natural and cultural assets, and conserving the natural, social, and cultural uniqueness at the same time.
Introduction of KAMPUNG Sungai Lima
The main industry in the village is catching small shrimps using “Seven Stars” net (thus called “Seven Stars Fishery”) and process them into dried shrimps. Secondary industries are belacan paste (shrimp paste) production and boat building industry. Besides shrimps, the “seven stars” nets also catch jellyfish.
“Seven Stars Fishery”
Dried Shrimp Processing
Tidal work/rest schedule
There is a clear work schedule in the village, depending on the tide:
Spring tide (the week of the 1st and 15th of each lunar month): fishing
Neap tide (the week in between): resting
During spring tide, there is a bigger tidal range between the high and the low tides, and therefore the current is stronger. The strong current brings in the small shrimps and other marine animals into the nets.
During neap tide, the tidal range is smaller and the current weaker, bringing less catch. Thus, it is not worthwhile for the fishermen to go out to fish. Hence, they take the opportunity to rest.
Division of labour
There is a clear division of labour based on gender in Sungai Lima. Specifically, men are in charge of fishing or overseeing workers on the sea and women are in charge of dried shrimp processing at home and supervising workers in the dried shrimp processing.
The villagers in Sungai Lima are very friendly, pure, and sincerely. They are not very money minded and non-materialistic. They are satisfied with their financial status when they deem they have enough to provide for their family. Due to their culture of living by the nature (mainly weather and tide) where a lot of things are not within their control, they have high tolerant about uncertainty. Therefore, they have the “let it be” mindset about the future of the village. Generally, they wish to develop tourism but do not seem optimistic about the future. Most of the villagers own a house in Klang so they don’t perceive the declining of Sungai Lima as a crisis, hence their tidak-apa attitude and having no sense of urgency.
There are around 200 households
in the village
許(Koh or Kho)
purchases are recorded in a book and bills sent out biweekly
There is limited job opportunity in the village. Fishermen do not encourage their children to follow their footsteps because they think fishing is too laborious and dangerous. Furthermore, the government has stopped issuing new fishing permits. Thus, fishermen cannot scale up their businesses. Existing permits are only allowed to be passed down to direct offspring. Hence, selling fishing permits to outsiders is prohibited.
Aging: The village is facing the issue of an aging population. Young people are moving out of the village due to the lack of education and career opportunity, and discouragement from parents to work as fishermen.
Gossip: Another social issue in the village is the gossiping culture which, while being a rapid means of dissemination of “news”, can be a cause of strife or discouragement of some villagers to be innovative or do anything extraordinary to avoid being a source for gossip. Hence, the laissez-faire attitude to life in the village.
Limited boat schedules (only 6 boats per day) make it inconvenient to travel to and from the village
There is no medical facility in the village and medical personnel visit the village once a month, so whenever there is an emergency, the villagers have to charter a speedboat to the mainland.
Trash: Despite the locals perceiving their trash problem as having greatly improved, much effort is still needed to educate them about the environmental impact from littering. Mechanisms also need to be put in place to prevent ocean trash entering the village.
Stray animals: The population of stray dogs needs to be controlled.
UNEP Green Economy Report shows that the growth rate of ecotourism is 6 times faster than the industry-wide growth rate. Bird watching has the potential to be a significant segment in the ecotourism market. Tourism Malaysia estimated that bird watching will generate RM36.8 million in 2019.
Ecotourism in Sungai Lima can focus on:
Various species of mangrove, monkeys, birds, masked palm civets, snakes, fiddler crab, mudskipper
- Bird watching
Various species of resident as well as migratory birds
- Dolphin watching
This will showcase and introduce the history and culture of the village, giving tourists a good prelude to their visit.
Team & Credit
Dr. Goh Yi Sheng (Sunway University)
Dr. Teh Pek Yen (Sunway University)
Ng Wai Pak (Malaysian Nature Society)
Our team works closely with MPKK Sungai Lima which plays the role of project execution. The key figures in MPKK Sungai Lima include Mr. Tan Chuee Cheng (Village Chief) and Mr. Kho Leng Tuan (Secretary). MPKK Sungai Lima provides us with local network and cultural wisdom, through which we generate insights about the local culture and develop project development strategies.
The project is supported by several offices from the Selangor Exco, including the offices of YB Ng Sze Han (Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Tetap Kerajaan Tempatan, Pengangkutan Awam Dan Pembangunan Kampung Baru) and YB Hee Loy Sian (Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Tetap Alam Sekitar, Teknologi Hijau, Sains, Teknologi Dan Inovasi (STI) dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna). They provided us with governmental advice and funding.
Helpers and Contributors :
- Chow Mun Ee – Poster Design
- Choo Mun Yan – Poster Design
- Dr. Simon Yap – Photography
- Koh Siang Chai – Data compilation
- Karen Chang Kai Ling – Interview Transcription
- Su Hong Gick – Interview Transcription