Taman Inderawasih in Prai, Malaysia

Taman Inderawasih in Prai, Malaysia

2024
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Taman Inderawasih, Prai, was formerly swamp land. With the Prai River meeting the Straits of Malacca, mangrove trees grew in abundance on the estuary. But with the growth of heavy industries like steel processing, ship building, and other manufacturing facilities in the early 1960s, Prai needed to support the demand for housing for these workers. Chai Leng Park was the first housing estate developed and later, Taman Inderawasih.
I first settled in Taman Inderawasih seventeen years ago when my second child was born. My husband’s company started an ammonia plant and they transferred him from Pasir Gudang, Johor to Prai to work as a production engineer. The company provided housing for him and Taman Inderawasih became our place of residence because of the close proximity to the Prai Industrial Zone.

This housing estate was developed by Island & Peninsular. We have single story, double story houses as well as apartment blocks. Further in, we also have low-cost housing with single story houses and several blocks of flats. There are several parks for the residents and a big multipurpose field for football, basketball, tai chi, line dancing, and a small community centre with an indoor badminton court. Just a few roads away, there are two public schools. One is a primary school and the other is a secondary school. My daughter conveniently walked to school when she attended Sekolah Menengah Taman Inderawasih (Taman Inderawasih Secondary School).
Quite near to the housing estate is Malayan Sugar Manufacturing Co. Bhd. This is a manufacturing facility which refines sugar. It was setup in 1959. To support this manufacturing plant and the workers, shop houses were built. Today, these shop houses are there but in a deplorable condition. The Prai Market is still operating with a few vegetable sellers and fish mongers.

When we first settled here, the place was quiet but soon other developments took place. A business centre was built where many financial institutions like Maybank, Public Bank, RHB Bank, and AEON Credit came and setup offices to cater to the many businesses that operate in the Prai Industrial Zone. Besides the banks, we have Thye Huat, a DIY shop, a post office, Indian Muslim Nasi Kandar food outlets, Ananda Bahwin’s Indian food restaurant, a few coffee shops selling Chinese food, and of course, Giant Supermarket. All in all, Taman Inderawasih is a self-contained housing area.

In 2003, the construction of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) was completed. The entry point starts at Taman Inderawasih. With the new bridge connecting Prai to Butterworth, the journey is shorter than using Chain Ferry Road. The toll fare is RM 1.30 for a motorcar. For motorcyclists, there is no charge for their bikes. On weekends, many cyclists can be seen cycling up the bridge.


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View from the post office, showing pedestrian bridge to Giant Supermarket.

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View from Giant Supermarket towards Taman Inderawasih.

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Butterworth Outer Ring Road: Towards Butterworth
Taman Inderawasih on the right with shop houses.

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Butterworth Outer Ring Road: Toll booths.
Taman Inderawasih on the left with shop houses.

/// Written by Irene Tan, Malaysia