Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bigger crowd expected at Bidayuh's Bung Bratak Day this year


KUCHING: May 1 will be a day of merriment and music atop the 1,000-foot Bung Bratak as it is a day for the Bidayuhs of the Jagoi-Bratak group to celebrate their ancestry, heritage and history.

They will be joined by visitors, taking advantage of the Labour Day holiday to walk up the hill and just to experience the occasion. Bung Bratak is located near Tembawang Sauh at Mile 6 Bau-Lundu road near here.

Bung Bratak Heritage Association chairman Dato Peter Minos said this year’s Bung Bratak Day would attract a big crowd of visitors who would want to witness the cultural performances and enjoy the natural scenery.

“Visitors and tourists alike will enjoy Bidayuh cultural music and dances on Bung Bratak Day, as well as the beautiful hill-top scenery, fresh air, plants and jungle setting. The hill-top spring water is said to have curative powers, and there is also waterfall adding to the nature attractions there.

“They will be happy in joining the Bidayuhs of the Jagoi-Bratak group, in remembering and honouring their historical and cultural roots and heritage,” said Minos when met after a dinner on Friday.

The Jagoi-Bratak group comprises about 33,000 people from 33 villages in Bau and Lundu districts, as well as one village in Penrissen and seven villages in West Kalimantan, who all traced their ancestry to the ancient settlement on the hill.

Based on accounts by elders and history, he said the group first settled at Bung Bratak over 750 years ago and during its height, the settlement had seven longhouses and seven baruks (traditional round houses for social and special gatherings).

“For hundreds of years, Bung Bratak was well-noted in Borneo, as mentioned by early Dutch and British writers and historians. Sadly, for no apparent reason, Bung Bratak was raided and razed to the ground on May 1, 1838 and about 1,000 young girls and boys were captured and taken away.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Borneo Marathon to be raced a day earlier


KOTA KINABALU: The 6th Borneo International Marathon, which is supposed to be held on May 5 –the same day as polling for the 13th general election – will start off a day earlier than planned.

Its race director Dr Heng Aik Cheng, in a press statement, said the event would be turned into an inaugural night run for the annual event.

On May 4, the Full Marathon (42km) category will start at 9.30pm; Half Marathon (21.1km) and School category (10KM) will start at 12.00am; and Public category (10km) will start at 12.30am.

It is also expected that the whole event will finish by 4am when the last runner returns.

As the run is conducted at night, runners are also advised to wear reflective material on their running gears to be visible to others.

“For participants’ safety, we also advise them to always follow the route and stick to their respective running lanes,” he said, assuring that there would be adequate manpower from Police, Malaysia People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) and hundreds of other volunteers to ensure the event to be in order.

Participants from outside Sabah, should they be unable to join in this year, are entitled to bring forward their entry fee for next year Borneo International Marathon.

They have to email scanned flight tickets to info@borneomarathon.com by this Sunday (April 28).

To date, there are about 5,000 runners with approximately 2,000 of them who are flying in for the event.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Anzac Day in Sabah - Remembering fallen heroes of WW2


KOTA KINABALU: The mood was sombre as the ‘Last Post’ was sounded and wreaths were laid at the Anzac Monument at Jalan Tugu here yesterday.

At the Anzac Day memorial were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai and the High Commissioner of Australia to Malaysia, Miles Kupa, who led the dignitaries in laying the wreaths.

The commemorative service began with the national and state anthems followed by the ‘Last Post’, a song that symbolizes the end of the valient soldiers’ lives.

The ‘Last Post’ originated in medieval times, about the year 1622 and was known as the

‘Retreat’. It was usually played at 2200 hr to call ‘the soldiers to retire for the night’ at the end of the day.

It then became custom over the years to play ‘The Last Post’ at military funerals and commemorative functions where the closing sounds of the music sounds out the sad farewell to ‘Lights Out, Lights Out’.

The ‘Last Post’ was followed by a minute of silence for the fallen heroes and the wreath-laying ceremony.

Prior to the service was a Lest We Forget run held early in the morning, which was a joint initiative of Athletics Australia and the Returned Services League of Australia to capture the Anzac spirit.

The run reminded the public of the most brutal and senseless slaughter of defenseless men in war.

Over 2,400 British and Australian prisoners of war (POW) were taken from Singapore in 1942 to build an airstrip in Sandakan where they endured the most appalling conditions in the Japanese POW Camp at Mile 8.

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Matta fair Kuching postponed to May 10-12


KUCHING: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) Sarawak Chapter has postponed the fourth Sarawak Matta Travel Fair 2013 to May 10-12.

Initially scheduled for May 3-5, it will still be held at the Boulevard Shopping Mall Phase II main promotion hall.

Organising chairman Samuel Chung said the postponement was due to the election, which will be held on May 5. “Initially, the entrance fee to the fair was priced at RM2 per adult and RM1 for children, but we have decided to give free admission and we expect to see more visitors this time,” he told a press conference yesterday, adding that some 10,000 or more visitors are expected.

The last Sarawak Matta Travel Fair eight years ago attracted around 7,000 visitors.

Chung said the revival of the fair is part of efforts to promote both inbound and outbound tourism in Kuching.

He revealed that Malaysia Airlines, the fair’s offi cial airline, has promised to give special offers. There will also be lucky draws comprising attractive prizes sponsored by the various participating organisations.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Matta fair Kuching postponed to May 10-12
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Kubah Week to hold Bornean Frog Race this weekend


KUCHING: The Bornean Frog Race will be held at Kubah National Park, Matang, this weekend (April 27 & 28), which will include talks on amphibians and their conservation as well as exhibits of sights and sounds.

According to a press statement, the event is open to the public as part of the Kubah Week celebration and is jointly organised by the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).

Activities planned include workshops on amphibian biology and photography, exhibits on amphibians (including frog figurines, stamps, photos, books and calls) and screening of the documentary by Sir David Attenborough entitled Land Invaders from the award-winning BBC television series Life in Cold Blood (with permission from Sir David).

The international speaker for the two-day event is world renowned amphibian specialist Dr Ulmar Grafe, who had previously served as a consultant to Steven Spielberg’s film Jurassic Park.

The highlight of the event, held for the second year running, will be the Bornean Frog Race which is open to the general public especially students and naturalists.

Aimed at creating greater awareness on amphibian conservation in Borneo, this competitive event will see participants going up the main trail to Gunung Serapi, within Kubah National Park for a period of two hours, and returning with digital images of amphibians.

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Orangutan orphan highlights need for protection in Borneo


This is quite a week in Calgary for world conservation efforts. On Monday, we heard Jane Goodall talk about efforts to protect chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. Two days from now, we will be privileged to meet Birute Galdikas who has lived among and studied orangutans in Borneo for decades.

As deforestation continues around the world and habitat is lost to emerging industry, chimps, orangutans and gorillas are facing real risks to their surivival in the wild. The latest arrival at the Orangutan Care Center in Borneo underscores the urgency of Galdikas’s work.

At her urging, two government tourism officials confiscated a young orangutan being kept illegally as a pet.  In this particular area, about 160 kilometres north of Pangkalan Bun, new palm oil plantations are replacing tropical rain forest.  The young primate’s mother was likely killed as the forest was cleared, says Greg Epton, co-chair of the Curious Orange? fundraising events in Calgary Saturday and Sunday. The man who had kept the orangutan as a pet bought him from a palm oil worker for the equivalent of $35.

“It is heartbreaking to think that this was the value placed on  (his) freedom and his mother’s life,” said Epton.

The Care Centre’s veterinarians estimated that Jackat, as he was later named, was less than one year of age.  He was dehydrated, overheated, and had diarrhea. He had wounds on his body and crusts of dark sap, dried blood, and tree gum stuck to his body.

After attention from veterinarians and caregivers, Jackat has started regaining his health, says Epton.  He’s eating, sleeps frequently, and is strong enough to walk about on his own, but he is still a little unco-ordinated.  He sleeps in a basket with blankets, stuffed animals and another, smaller baby orangutan who arrived on the same day. 

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Sandakan Death Marches Link


Wingham’s connections with one of the most horrific and sad war time histories, the Sandakan marches, has motivated Wingham RSL to make a donation for the maintenance of a memorial built in Sabah to commemorate those who died in Borneo.

In 1942, after the fall of Singapore, the Japanese used many of the Australian and British prisoners of war as forced labour.

The sad history of the building of Burma Railway is fairly well known. Lesser known however, is the fate of more than 2400 allied servicemen who were transported to British North Borneo, now Sabah.

In July 1942, Captain Hoshijima Susumi addressed the Australian troops who had survived an 11 day sea voyage in the belly of the ratinfested

Yubi Maru tramp steamer from Singapore, and were standing on parade at the edge of the Borneo jungle at Sandakan.

“You have been brought here to Sandakan to have the honour to build for the Imperial Japanese Forces an aerodrome; you will work, you will build this aerodrome if it takes three years,” he said.

“I tell you I have the powers of life and death over you, and you will build this aerodrome if you stay here until your bones rot under the tropical sun.” ( Jackson report quoted in Paul Ham 2012 “Sandakan” p.p59)

How prophetic were those words because only four men were aliven at the end of the war in 1945.

The camp at Sandakan was eight miles (16km) west of the town of Sandakan and made of squatatap huts.

The men slept on raised platforms made of bamboo.

It was unfortunately built close to a swamp where malarial mosquitoes thrived. It was dominated by a huge tree which had large buttress roots somewhat like the fig trees in Wingham Brush and that tree became a beacon to all in the camp.

With usual Aussie ingenuity an intelligence organisation was established and a radio constructed, parts of which were smuggled into camp by willing locals.

This enabled news of the war to be passed through the camp.

The collection of the required parts and the building required skill and daring.

When the radio receiver was complete the issue of power arose.

The camp had a generator, and with some clever problem solving, the operators were able to tap into the camp’s electricity supply.

However, the voltage was not high enough to work the radio.

It was suggested that the generator operator would organise a power surge to coincide with the time of the nine o’clock news.

On the first night, the operator had difficulty with the setting and the lights flared up and the generator raced and light bulbs almost burst.

However, by judiciously raising the voltage one volt at a time it was barely noticeable.

The extra fuel for the generator was filched from the Japanese vehicles.

Later on the discovery of the radio parts by the Japanese resulted in eight people, including civilians who had assisted them, being condemned to death.

In order to further demoralise the troops, the officers were rounded up and transported to Kuching prison, among them medical officer Hugh Rayson.

This put enormous pressure on non-commissioned officers to maintain discipline.

Illness and tropical diseases such as malaria and cholera were endemic and by January, 1945 only 1900 prisoners were left alive.

Starvation and vitamin deficiency added to the death toll.

The aerodrome had been completed and in January 1945, the Japanese decided to use the fittest 470 prisoners as porters for the Japanese move to Ranau, a nine day 270km walk to the west coast.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: The Sandakan Death Marches Link
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Borneo Jazz Festival 2013




Borneo Jazz Festival 2013 will be taking place on the 10-11th May this year at Miri, Sarawak. This is the eight year that the music festival has taken place here in Sarawak with each year attracting more new acts and a larger fan base.

For the first time, the festival will be introduced to the energetic spicy groovy funk group from Germany, Mo’Blow who are described by Berliner Zeitung as “one of the hottest live bands” around. The other international act confirmed is Hazmat Modine from the East-Coast of the United States. Their song “Bahamut” will be used on the Fox television show “So You Think You Can Dance?.

The other international acts confirmed for the Borneo Jazz this year include, the energetic and toe-tapping music by Jump4Joy from Sweden that is popular energy entertainment group with a strong New Orleans flavor.

A capella jazz group from Canada, The Nylons well known for their slick performance and most heralded vocal groups in the world with seven gold and platinum records.

Represented by members from Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines and Thailand, The Asian Jazz All Stars Power Quarter is the big names of the Asian jazz circle, which consists of the most innovative and exciting drummers to emerge in the Asian jazz scene.

Scott Martin Latin Soul Band from West-Coast of USA has performed all over the world with many artists but best known for his successful tenure winning a Grammy.

Last but not least, the ethno jazz musician and artist from Australia, Lisa Young Quartet the winner of “Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album 2007” and was re-nominated in 2012.

As the Borneo Jazz name suggest, the organizer wish that the Borneo element to be presented by the local talent on this international platform. Deserved to be on stage will be the West Jazz Band from Sarawak who will play the fusion jazz and everything from Swing to Latin to electrifying funk jazz music.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Borneo Jazz Festival 2013
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Borneo Jazz tickets on sale at visitors information centres

KUCHING: Tickets for the upcoming Borneo Jazz in Miri are now on sale at the visitors information centres in Kuching, Sibu and Miri. 

Tickets priced at RM60 for single entry and RM100 for a two-day pass. Children under the age of 12 years will enjoy 50 per cent discount. 

In Kuching, the Visitors Information Centre (VIC) is located at Sarawak Tourism Complex (Old Court House), Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg. VIC Sibu is at Jalan Tukang Besi and VIC Miri is located at Jalan Melayu (opposite Tamu Muhibbah). 

The tickets are also available online at www.ticketcharge.com.my. 

This year’s Borneo Jazz will see seven famous international bands with one local band making their debut appearance onstage. 

Mo’Blow, the energetic spicy groovy funk group from Germany, described by Berliner Zeitung as “one of the hottest live bands” will perform on the first night. 

The other international act confirmed is Hazmat Modine from the East Coast of USA, the energetic and toe-tapping music by Jump4Joy from Sweden, acapella jazz group from Canada The Nylons, representing Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines and Thailand, The Asian Jazz AllStars Power Quartet and Scott Martin Latin Soul Band from the West Coast of USA. 

Last but not least, the ethno jazz musician and artist from Australia, Lisa Young Quartet and Sarawak local band the West Jazz Band from Kuching will also perform.  

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Getting Close to the Wilds of Borneo


Borneo, just the name itself sounds exotic and exciting. Pictures of immense jungles, untamed rivers, wild animals and primitive tribes of headhunters living in longhouses decorated with shrunken human heads flashed through our minds as we left the safety of our quiet suburban house in Melaka, Malaysia and made our way to the bus station to begin our journey to the “wild” part of Malaysia-the island of Borneo.

We said goodbye to the wonderful 67 year old lady who owned the house that we had been living in for the last two weeks. We had spent a good portion of our last 2 days driving around the streets of Melaka with her, eating at her favorite restaurants and enjoying some of the outskirts of town that otherwise would have been out of our reach by foot. She was funny and probably one of the nicest people we had met on our travels throughout the world.

We rented the house from her son, and since he was out of town during our visit she stopped by daily to check on us and make sure we had everything we needed. We generally like to be pretty independent and make our own way, but after walking the sweaty streets of Melaka for a better part of two weeks, it was enjoyable to ride in her air conditioned Prius and visit the quiet Kampungs (villages) and sandy beachside that runs along the Malacca Straits enjoying Coconut shakes from roadside stands and watching families having picnics and flying kites and enjoying the beautiful sunsets over the blue waters.

We enjoyed her stories of her life in Melaka and appreciated her insight into Malaysia from a local point of view that was so much different than how we had imagined it as we walked the streets and visited the museums of the more touristy parts of the downtown area. She had a sense of humor and joy of life that was contagious and made our last couple of days very enjoyable. She was in excellent health and while most of her friends are getting a little older, she spends a good portion of her day driving the streets and giving rides to people who call her on her cell phone. Once while we were driving with her, she was stopped by police for not wearing her seatbelt correctly and with her warm smile and cheery personality she charmed the policeman to the point that he was apologizing for stopping her. She seemed to know everyone we passed on the streets and frequently stopped to chat through the car window or give someone a ride who she saw walking.

We left her at the huge Melaka bus station and caught our bus for the 2 ½ hour ride to the Kuala Lumpur airport. We had plenty of time to catch our 4:30 flight to Kuching and as it turned out we were glad we did. When we bought the express bus ticket to the airport we didn’t realize there were 2 airports in KL, LCCT and KLIA. Naturally we took the bus to the wrong one and after walking around looking for the Malaysia Air counters for 20 minutes were told that they were indeed in another airport. Luckily there was a cheap bus that connected the 2 airports and we easily made the connection with plenty of time to spare.

Our first views of Borneo were quite beautiful. We arrived just before nightfall and enjoyed watching the sun set over the vast jungle laced with countless small rivers. It was quite a spectacular introduction to the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. The Kuching airport is quite small compared to Bangkok or KL and was easy to navigate. We were surprised to have to pass through immigration and get a new visa even though we were still in Malaysia. We caught a taxi to the hostel that will be our home for our 2 week visit to Sarawak.

We spent our first day finding our way around town and getting familiar with our portion of the city. Despite our visions of jungles, Kuching is quite a modern city of 600,000, although it seems much smaller. Many new high rise hotels line the banks of the Sangai Sarawak River that winds its way through the center of town. A new boardwalk follows the riverbank on the more touristy south side of the river where we live. A small Chinatown with older shop houses gives a good reflections of the bygone days of the White Rajah rulers who founded the city long ago.

We visited the Sarawak Museum which had good displays of the wildlife of Sarawak state and told the story of the many tribes that made up the population before the city was founded by the original White Rajah, James Brookes. The town has several old British era buildings surrounded by large trees that give some sense of what things must have been like when Kuching was the trading center for Borneo in the 1800’s.

We have been somewhat happy that the skies have been generally overcast and there have been some scattered thunderstorms during our stay. When the midday sun is at full strength, it is oppressively hot and makes walking aimlessly through the streets quite challenging. Stopping in one of the nice air conditioned restaurants for a leisurely lunch provides a welcomed break from the sun. While we hate to admit it, after living on a diet of almost entirely Malay food in Penang and Melaka, we have enjoyed that Kuching has many fast food outlets and hotels that offer menus that include some western food options. 

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Getting Close to the Wilds of Borneo
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Cyclo-tourists: Traversing Borneo on a bicycle


THEY say to see a country properly, one has to be close to the ground.

And what better way, in this age of environmental consciousness, than to tour a region on a bicycle where one can truly experience the local cultures and see the sights up close and personal.

Two persons who have embraced this method of touring are Singaporean Rahim Resad and American Heather Pritchard.

The two cyclo-tourists are embarking on a trip that will literally take them around Borneo — and they are attempting to circumnavigate the world’s third largest Island on two wheels.

Rahim has extensive background in cyclo-touring, dating back to 2006 when he did a 14-day tour of Western Australia, and as recent as October 2010 when he toured Sumatra for two months.

Pritchard, a sports rehab therapist by training, has been travelling around Southeast Asia for the past several years and three years ago, she decided that the bicycle would be an ideal vehicle to travel round and see the region.

For the past several months, she has been cycling through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam before returning to Thailand to start her journey southwards to peninsular Malaysia.

During the round trip, she stayed in a variety of places, the most basic of which was her tent pitched on the beach in Thailand.

“In the interior part of the trip, I stayed in guest houses and was also fortunate enough to be invited to stay in people’s homes,” said Pritchard who typifies that relaxed yet active California lifestyle, her home state.

“This trip is more adventurous than any I have done. Kalimantan will be a big challenge as we do not have any good maps —- so we don’t really know what to expect.”

She is also wary of the heat they will be encountering.

One person familiar with the challenges they will face in the Malaysian leg is Kuching outdoorsman Francis Ho who in 2011 rode 1,340km solo from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching to raise funds for The Federation of Life Care Society.

“They will have to put up with the heat and the poor conditions of the roads. There were no shades on the sides of the roads when I made the ride in 2011,” Ho recalled.

The genesis for the expedition, undertaken by Rahim and Pritchard, came in 2012 when Rahim met Sabah tourism officials at a presentation.

When his proposal to cyclo-tour Sabah was turned down, he decided to expand his vision.

“After some research, I decided it might be much better if we could do the whole Island of Borneo,” he said.

The groundwork has been on-going for the better part of a year, mostly through the Internet, which is also how Pritchard came to know of the expedition.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Cyclo-tourists: Traversing Borneo on a bicycle
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Brunei-Dutch exhibition on Borneo cultures in Tutong


THE Museums Department of Brunei Darussalam in collaboration with Tropenmuseum, one of Europe's leading ethnographic museums, yesterday launched an exhibition on Borneo cultures.

Photographs, maps and artifacts are on display at the former Tutong District Office building, exploring the ways in which Borneo cultures and people have been represented within Brunei and Dutch collections between 1870 to 1940.

It also examined the partial stories that a collection can tell and what can be achieved by bringing two collections together.

According to a statement, the contact between Brunei and the Netherlands dates back to the 17th century when Dutch merchants visited the Sultanate of Brunei. During the 19th century, Brunei became a British protectorate, losing the attention of most Dutch merchants and scientists.

Among the articles showcased at the collaborative exhibition is a map of Borneo drawn freehand from the Dutch collection.

"What's fascinating is that, although these images date back to hundreds of years ago, some of the artifacts shown are still used in a number of Borneo cultures today, particularly those in rural areas," said Bantong Antaran, director of the Brunei Museums Department.

He hoped that the Brunei-Dutch exhibition on Borneo cultures will also help to draw more visitors to Tutong District.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Brunei-Dutch exhibition on Borneo cultures in Tutong
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

27th Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon 2013 has new routes and new challenges!


I think I am going to participate in this year’s Mount Kinabalu Climbathon. It’s about time for me to realize one of my dream – to run the toughest mountain climb in South East Asia. When I first climb Mount Kinabalu in 2002, I fell in love with the mountain. After 10 years of ‘procrastinating’, it’s about time for me to do it.

I actually have been training for 10km run in Borneo International Marathon this year since February. I run on treadmills in Hyatt Regency Hotel Kota Kinabalu gymnasium twice a week, run a couple of rounds around my neighborhood in Putatan and few half marathon distance from Kompleks Sukan Likas to UMS. I must say that its not easy, its agonizing and its painful, but I like it very much.

I did a fairly good time of under 65 minutes  few times and confident that I can make it better during the event. Borneo International Marathon will be held at night on the 4th of May – just few hours before our nation’s 13th General Election. Well, maybe I will do a separate post for my running experience later.

Back to the climbathon. A friend of me said to few days back that climbathon is not the same as marathon running. It’s a mixture of trail running and paved roads. And don’t forget the elevation – 1500 meters up and 1500 meters down in 23 km distance. So, the training will have to be different because the challenges is different from running on roads. It’s about time for me to look for book/website/blog/youtube for more information on trail running.

This year’s climbathon will offer two new routes for two new categories:

1. Summit Race (will reach the summit of Kinabalu)

The race course will start from Kinabalu Park entrance, to the summit of Mt. Kinabalu (4,095.2 m) then down to Masilau and finishing at Kundasang town. This race course is 33 Km long running on 15 Km of tarmac road and 18 Km of forest trails with the rock face at the summit. These category only accepts 110 elite men and 40 elite women and open to qualified runners with the following qualification:

  • Runners that has completed in any of the past Climbathon within the time starting from year 2008.
  • Completed in their countries official mountain race (with proof of results).
  • Recommended (in writing) by their country’s national mountain race / athletic body or any other organisation that the Climbathon organiser recognises or approves of.

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Sabah Fest - 60pc of tickets sold so far


Kota Kinabalu: Sixty per cent of Sabah Fest tickets have been sold with two weeks to go before its launch, according to Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Permanent Secretary Datuk Michael Emban.

"This is a yearly programme that is listed in the tourism calendar.

So most of the bookings are made by foreign tourists on a much earlier date. In fact, there were bookings made since last year," he said.

Sabah Fest 2013 will be launched by the Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and will feature the best of Sabah's food, handicrafts, culture and performances.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival Returns in 2013


Every year since 2007, the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu and the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah jointly organise the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival.

2013 sees the 7th instalment of the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival set in the picturesque capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu.

The jazz festival was initiated to promote Kota Kinabalu’s to the international music scene.

Judging by how the jazz festival brings together a musical melting pot of talents from around the world, it’s safe to say they are reaching their goal.

From the smallish venue at the Jesselton Point pier in 2007 where the festival was a 1 night affair, the KK Jazz Festival quickly grew to a 2-night festival by it’s 3rd edition in 2009.

Last year over 4,000 people attended the jazz festival.

Aside from added exposure for Kota Kinabalu as an international tourism destination, the festival has been very successful in raising public awareness about jazz as a music genre.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival Returns in 2013
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Miss Photogenic World Harvest Festival photo shoot at Sarawak Cultural Village


KUCHING: Fifteen finalists of the Miss World Harvest Festival 2013 (MWHF 2013) yesterday gathered at the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV)’s Orang Ulu longhouse for a Miss Photogenic World Harvest Festival photo shoot session.

The photo shoot-cum-competition was organised and sponsored by Reborn Photography as one of the subsidiary titles for the pageantry.

In its publicity release to The Borneo Post yesterday, the photo shoot also saw some 100 photographers from around Kuching took part in the competition.

The finalists of MWHF2013 are Noraini Sabu (23), Rosalind Sajah (25), Claudia Panti (20), Syafiqah Mohd. Ahmadi (20), Brenda Sue Changgai (23), Nur Halina (23), Nightangle David (25), Nurfetin Afiqah (23), Shaley Merie (18), Fiolla Redup (21), Fillence Macaitlan (23), Efazira Sabri (18), Cammielye Oliver Rega (25), Cornellia Johnek (22) and Shafreezan Sazali (19).

The winner of Miss Photogenic will receive RM700 cash, a sash and a 16R photo with frame.

Meanwhile, the best photo will also be awarded with cash prize.

All the winners will be announced on the Grand Finale of MWHF 2013 to be held on May 3 at SCV.

According to the release, this photo shoot session aimed to enhance publicity as well as to boost ticket sales for the three-day event.

MWHF 2013 will highlight the Orang Ulu culture where the 15 finalists will be parading in Orang Ulu traditional costumes during the grand finale.

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Labuan Malaysia


The island of Labuan is situated off the northwest coast of Borneo and north of the Brunei Bay which also faces the South China Sea. As mentioned besides the main island of Labuan there are also six smaller islands which includes Pulau Burung, Pulau Papan, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, Pulau Daat, Pulau Kuraman and Pulau Rusukan Besar. The cluster of islands is located at 05 latitude North and 115 longitude East and about 10km southeast off the coast of the East Malaysian state of Sabah.

You can reach Labuan from Menumbok which is a small fishing town in Sabah that is only 8km or a twenty minute boat ride. There are also high speed air-conditioned ferries that operate the routes to Labuan from various departure points that include the state of Sarawak, Sabah and the neighboring country of Brunei. The journey from the capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu will take at least 3 hours while traveling from Brunei will last about an hour. The journey is roughly equidistant of traveling to Jakarta, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Manila. If you plan to fly to Labuan there are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur and also from Brunei.

The island itself is mainly flat and undulating while the highest point on the island is measured at only 85 meters. While more than 70 percent of the island is still underdeveloped and consists mostly of vegetation, the area that is utilized are geared more towards property and industrial use as such there is less agricultural activity in the area. The island’s prime land, waterfront and suburbs are then used for development in terms of tourism and residential use. The shipbuilding, manufacturing and oil and gas industries are located on a sizeable area on the south western side of the island.

Like the other areas in East Malaysia, Labuan also has a tropical climate with two annual monsoon seasons. One is the South West monsoon that occurs from the month of April to June while the other one is the North East monsoon that happens from the month of September to December. Apart from that Labuan is also free from natural disasters such as typhoons and hurricanes while enjoying good climate all year round. With its tropical climate you can expect the temperature of Labuan to average between 28 to 32 degrees Celsius.

Activities

As an island you can expect to find that most of the activities that are found here are water related, so if you are the type of people that fall into this particular category then Pulau Labuan is definitely the place for you.

International Offshore Financial Centre – The island of Labuan is Asia’s newest international offshore financial centre. There are 65 foreign banks that are located in the island that offer sophisticated offshore banking services and numbered accounts facilities to the world’s rich and famous.

World War II Sites – Pulau Labuan is a significant historical destination especially from the time of World War II and there are three major World War II sites located here that attracts both foreign and local visitors which includes the Japanese Surrender Park, the Labuan War Cemetery and the Allied Landing Point. During the month of November, a ‘Remembrance Day’ is held at the Labuan War Cemetery which is to honour the 3,900 recorder graves of the Fallen Heroes of World War II. This particular event is attended by the Malaysian and foreign war veterans as well as their family members of the Allied troops that were killed in action during the war from the year 1942 to 1945.

Wreck Diving – Pulau Labuan has probably the best wreck diving sites in Asia and there are four wreck dives located around the island which are known locally as The Cement Wreck, The American Wreck, The Blue Water Wreck and The Australian Wreck.

Duty-Free Shopping – This may be one of the main draws of Labuan and equipped with modern shopping centers that carry a wide variety of both locally produced products as well as imported goods. The most popular items that are sold here include tobacco, appliances, spirits and textiles. At the end of the year, the entire island hosts a month long shopping carnival with attractive discounts; there are even cultural shows that add the excitement.

World Class Sport Fishing Destination – As you may or may not already know the island of Labuan is surrounded by a cluster of six smaller islands namely Pulau Burung, Pulau Papan, Pulau Rusukan Kecil, Pulau Daat, Pulau Kuraman and Pulau Rusukan Besar. The clear blue water around these idyllic islands is home to one of the world’s richest coral and fishing grounds that will definitely offer you unlimited deep sea tackling as well as coastal table fish catches.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Labuan Malaysia
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Travel Gawker: When I Went to Borneo…


Ok so this week I wanted to do something a little different with my travel feature. We are always talking about the places we would like to visit but this week I wanted to tell you all about a trip I took four years ago with a group of friends that I had met at college.

Some might be surprised to know that I have a degree in animal biology and ecology and it is because of this very trip that decided I wanted to continue with my studies. It all began with a newspaper clipping that my dad had kept for me which included photos of an Orangutan swimming in the river Rungan in Borneo. The feature was detailing the stark reality that tropical rainforests are disappearing at such a rate that many animals are having to find ways to escape the islands they have become marooned on in order to find more food.

The Orangutan has always been my favourite animal so seeing these pictures made me determined to follow my dream of experiencing these animals in their natural habitat. I was lucky that I was in a class with other like minded students, so with the help of our college lecturers we raised enough money for a small group of us to make the trip to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo.

The trip was rather gruelling but worth every minute and every penny. We spent 14 hours on the plane to Kuala Lumpur, with one stopover in Dubai. We then had to take an internal flight from to Kuala Lumpur to Brunei and this is where our journey really began.

We had a couple of hours to spend in Brunei before taking making the journey by bus to Kota Kinabalu so we decided to visit the worlds largest water village, which stretches over 8km and is home to some 30,000 people. Whilst there we learnt how to hail a water taxi, took tea with some locals and visited the water village’s cultural and tourism museum. It was a strange experience seeing so many people living on the water, the children hail these water taxis every morning in order to get to school – can you imagine that? It was a little bit different to hailing a cab let me tell you.

You must also see… the Sultan of Brunei’s palace. To be honest I would be surprised if you missed it, it is quite a landmark in amongst all the smaller wooden huts but it is a sight to behold!

Once in Kota Kinabalu we stayed at the Langkah Syabas Beach Resort situated in the quiet town of Kampung Kinarut Laut (which means village by the sea) in Sabah. Our first trip was to Selingaan island, otherwise known as turtle island, where I felt highly privileged to be one of only a few that will ever get to see the young of the endangered green turtle released into the sea. We had to wait for a female to come ashore before descending down to the beach, this was especially important so as not to scare the turtle into returning to the water without laying her eggs. Later that evening we got news from the ranger that a female had been spotted ashore so we were quietly led down to the beach to watch the giant turtle lay her eggs in her nest. Once she had laid all her eggs, she covered the nest with sand returned to the sea. This experience in itself was breathtaking,  I was totally mesmerized by the peacefulness of the whole experience and the sheer size of the female turtle was not something I had anticipated.

Once the female was gone, the conservationists set to work digging up the nest and carefully collecting all the eggs to take back to the hatchery. Here we were able to take a look at how the rangers monitored the eggs, we were also lucky enough to be able to witness a few of the tiny hatchlings emerging from their eggs and along with the ranger were able to be part in their release back into the open sea. This was just the first of many times that I cried tears of both joy and sadness on that trip. I was elated at being able to watch these tiny creatures being freed into the sea to begin their journeys but I was also afraid for them and what they may encounter in their future.

It is a well known fact that… adult sea turtles will probably never meet their young. Once the eggs are laid the resulting young are left to fend for themselves. This has caused serious problems for the population of many sea turtles including the green sea turtle and Hawksbill. The nests are threatened by both humans and animals alike,  the eggs are in threat of being harvested for sale by poachers or hunted by predators. Habitat loss is also a factor, Selingaan is one of  only a few beaches that is completely protected, meaning it cannot be used for human development and tourists are banned from using the beach except when escorted by a ranger.

The Next highlight of my trip had to be my visit to Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. If I am being honest this was what I had come for and I was not disappointed. The centre was founded in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned Orangutans, today there are around 60 wild orangutans living in the centre which spans 43 sq km of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. There are also around 25 young orphaned orangutans being housed in the nurseries, in addition to those free in the reserve. The centre provides medical care for not just orangutans, but other wildlife including bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional injured elephant to name just a few.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Travel Gawker: When I Went to Borneo…
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Snorkling Trip to East Borneo


Finally, 11 April has come. My 2 friends and i will have our island hoping trip to East Borneo. Actually, we already arrange this trip long time back from early January.

First flight in the morning forced us to reach Airport by 3am. 2.5 hours to reach Tarakan and we spend it by continuing our sleep. Flight arrived earlier than scheduled. Tour leader was stand by and pick us at the departure terminal. He asked us to join with other participants and guess whom i met there and will spend 4 days together?? yep, my ex boyfriend's ex. that's true! it's a small world indeed.

After introducing ourselves to the rest participants, a minibus ready to transfered us to a small resto nearby. only 15 mins away. We had our late breakfast yet early lunch there while waiting another participants depart from Balikpapan. Clock shown 12 pm and finally they came!

Complete team it is and ready to hit Maratua. We mobilize from this resto into the pier. But some problem happened. we can't get into the pier due some custom regulations. but my thought was ahh, paling mereka cmn pengen tambahan duit aja. c'mon this is Indonesia which apa2 UUD --> Ujung2 nya duit..

After a long wishy washy here and there, they allowed to entrance the pier. A small speed boat with capacity for 15 persons is ready to take us to Maratua.

3 hours on the move to Maratua, pantat yg namanya pegel ya. one of my friend sepertinya mabok laut dan sukses muntah. a bit worried since i think i ask a wrong person to join this trip, but never mind half on our way she tried to sleep. Around 3 hours, ABK (anak buah kapal) finally shout out, udah mau sampai!! wowww! we woke up and so excited.

The tour leader was give us the room key to all participants and asked us to leye2 before go to dinner time.  Today we only able to see around the resort since the time to spend from Jakarta to Maratua spend almost 1 day.

Menu for dinner is nice, fresh fish from the sea i guess so tasty. Anyway, we decided to sleep earlier so that we can fully energised for tomorrow island hoping which starting on 8am.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Snorkling Trip to East Borneo
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Sabah Fest to feature North Borneo’s railway engine


KOTA KINABALU: Featuring North Borneo’s railway engine or locally known as ‘injin puput’, this year’s Sabah Fest cultural extravaganza will take its audience through a passage to the heart of Borneo.

Set to be held for two days from May 3 to 4, which had been cut short from three days to give way to the 13th general election, Kompleks JKKN Sabah has once again been chosen as the venue for the musical performance, starting at 8.30pm.

“Injin Puput – Passage to the Heart of Borneo, will bring audience to reminisce the good old days when the North Borneo Railway steam train was still a huge part of Sabah, the only such technology available in this part of the world back then,” said Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Masidi Manjun, at a press conference yesterday.

Telling the story of Aki Guonun, a Murut warrior in love with Mei Ling, a woman from a cultural background alien to his, audience on board the Injin Puput musical performance are bound for a cultural feast as they follow the story of the lovebirds.



“It’s going to be a unique cultural experience as it ‘moves’ from one district to another, along the North Borneo Railway route. The audience will get the chance to learn some of Sabah’s rich cultural heritage, some of which are even bygone,” said Masidi.

The roles of the hero and heroine of the play, which casted about 400 local performers, are set to be played by local artistes, Janrywine and Brenda Londoh.

Masidi also disclosed that four new songs had also been written and composed for the 100 per cent locally-produced musical performance, with another song hoping to be completed before the date of the event.

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Move to raise tourism appeal of Sabah towns


Tourism Malaysia will improve the global perception on Lahad Datu and Semporna by increasing media coverage on these areas, its deputy director-general of planning Datuk Azizan Noordin said.

He said this was to place greater focus on tourism appeal there and quell fears about visiting the areas, which were hit by conflict recently.

“We are also working with various embassies and high commissions here to manage the international perception on Lahad Datu and Semporna, in hopes that they will soon drop their advisories against travel to these areas.

“The situation in those areas is currently under control, and is not expected to see any deterioration,” he told reporters after launching the United Federation of Travel Agents’ Association Global Travel and Tourism conference yesterday.

The conference, which is attended by tourism industry players from various countries, ends on Sunday.

Azizan said the ministry was planning more activities and events for the year to ensure that it reached its target of 26 million tourist arrivals this year.

He said Chinese tourists remained the top international arrivals, with 1.8 million tourists coming in within the past one year.

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Borneo Pygmy Elephants’ death due to ‘toxic poisoning’


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) yesterday confirmed that the death of the 14 Bornean pygmy elephants in Gunung Rara earlier this year was due to toxic poisoning.

However, SWD director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu told reporters present during the press conference at his office that it was still yet unknown what type of toxin was responsible for the deaths.

“It is not known what type of toxin was responsible for the lesions, if it was administered deliberately or accidentally consumed by the elephants,” he said.

He added that the extensive testing carried out both in Malaysia and in Thailand had also failed to provide confirmation on the type of toxins that killed the elephants, due in part to high rate of decomposition of the dead elephants.

Dr Laurentius said the samples were sent to various institutions in Malaysia and to Mahidol University and Ramathibodi Poisons Centre and the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science in Thailand. Samples were also dispatched to the Queensland Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory in Australia.

“We are still waiting for the outcome from tests carried out in Australia. We’re expecting it to be out by the end of this month,” he said.

Dr Laurentius explained that there was a delay of one month in the sending of the samples to Australia due to the country’s strict rule on the matter.

Close to RM500,000 has been spent by SWD and other relevant bodies on the matter.

On allegations that the department was ‘hiding’ the matter from the public, hence its silence, Dr Laurentius stressed: “We are not hiding the matter, but we cannot simply say anything because we need admissible evidence. We cannot speculate on the matter.”

And, without concrete evidence, the department is not able to prosecute anyone, he said.

There are presently about 1,100 elephants within the Gunung Rara forest reserves.

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Orphaned Borneo Pygmy Elephant calf ‘Joe’ is healthy and well


KOTA KINABALU: It was heart-wrenching looking at the picture of an elephant calf forlornly tugging at its dead mother last January at Gunung Rara.

The elephant calf, who has since been given the name ‘Kejora’ (after the plantation where it was found) and nicknamed ‘Joe’ by his caretakers, is healthy and well – all thanks to the love and care of staff and namely one special person, his preferred caretaker, Augustine David.

“Joe is active and naughty, just like any other child,” said Augustine, when visited by a group of reporters keen on seeing how the six-month-old orphaned calf is doing.

When reporters went into ‘his domain’ at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Zoo, the little calf did what many small children would do in the presence of strangers – he clung on to Augustine.

And like a parent, Augustine stroked the calf’s head, possibly trying to assure it that it was alright. Soon, Joe began moving towards everyone, using his trunk to feel a person’s hand, bags, clothing and so on.

“He has gained 50kg since his arrival. He is 150kg now. He is still nursing, and we give him three litres of milk every two hours. He ‘wails’ when he is hungry,” Augustine said of Joe.

He added that Joe was not like that in the initial stage.

“He was quiet, very insecure. Now, he can be naughty and plays a lot,” he said.

It has been three months since SWD’s sad discovery at Gunung Rara where 14 Borneo pygmy elephants were found dead – one of which was Joe’s mother.

Yesterday, reporters were informed that the death was due to ‘caustic intoxicant’, which in layman terms meanS ‘unidentified toxic poisoning’.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Don't Miss Dishes at Gaya Island Resort, Borneo


Quality wining and dining can turn a good holiday into an excellent one. All too often though, meal inclusive packages around Malaysian resorts can be decent tummy filling ventures, but not mind blowing taste sensations. Gaya Island Resort by YTL however, has more than a few dishes capable of exciting the palate and creating a deliciously memorable vacation. Here's The Yum List's pick of:

Don't Miss Dishes at Gaya Island Resort, Borneo

Barbecued Seafood Bajau Laut Style

Seafood, seafood, seafood. It must be eaten en masse when it's this good. A Bajau Laut Beach Barbecue not only delivers a romantic set up, with sand in your toes, the sound of the sea lapping the shore, your own private butler and chef, but... too offers succulent seafood. Cooked the traditional way on skewers over hot coals, fish, prawns, mussels, lobster and a host of supporting meats and vegetables are barbecued according to the seafaring indigenous conventions of the Bajau Laut. Book in advance for this delectable experience.

Line Caught Fish

I have found not one fish on the mainland comparable to the quality of what we ate while in Sabah. There's something about the waters around the island of Borneo that produce incredibly fresh and juicy aquatic creatures. In an attempt to move towards sustainability, Gaya Island Resort by YTL offers the "catch of the day," which are caught by line, not the common net fishing method (which traps all in its path, in an attempt to snare one desired species). Sourced daily, you're assured freshness and simple preparation enhances the natural flavours.

Tuaran Mee

This traditional egg noodle dish was recommended by a number of Sabahans as a 'must try' while in the state. Haling from a small city on the coast to the north of Kota Kinabalu, these springy noodles are usually fried with local vegetables and topped with char siew and egg rolls. Gaya Island Resort proffers their own luxurious version brimming with seafood.

Hinava

Sabahans' version of ceviche marinates the freshest of seafood in lime, chili and ginger. A tangy, fresh and unstoppably more-ish dish is the result. Available at Fisherman's Cove and on the Bajau Laut Beach Barbecue, order this one close to arrival, as its addictive quality will leave you yearning for more.

Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: Don't Miss Dishes at Gaya Island Resort, Borneo
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The hottest club band from Germany on Borneo Jazz stage




KUCHING: Germany is not exactly known as the home of soul and funk, but after you’ve heard Mo’Blow from Berlin you will change your mind.

The quartet, which the ‘Berliner Zeitung’ described as one of the hottest club bands, has the groove in their blood. They are refreshingly new, exciting and unconventional, with that certain something and an international calibre about them.

Mo’Blow is calling their show at Borneo Jazz in Sarawak the “Gimme The Boots” release concert.

Prefer to be known as an energetic spicy groovy funk group, they have a string of awards to their name, among them the Winner of Berliner Jazz & Blues Award 2008, Winner of Future Sounds Award 2011, Winner of “Jazz am see” Award for best concert of 2011 and Winner of Jazz Rock TV Miles Award for Cool and Groovy New Jazz.

The band is led by saxophonist Felix F. Falk, bass player Tobias Fleischer, drummer André Seidel and pianist Matti Klein. They have worked hard to earn their reputation as a first-class live act through tours of Germany, England, Belgium, Russia, Croatia, Austria, Poland, Denmark and France and have appeared at festivals like the Jazz Festival Kaliningrad (Russia), Jazz Festival Liburnia (Croatia) or Jazzopen Hamburg (Germany).

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Exciting activities at World Harvest Festival May 3 to 5


KUCHING: A line-up of exciting programmes will be held at this year’s World Harvest Festival (WHF) at Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) from May 3 to 5.

According to Sarawak Tourism Assistant Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip, the highlights of the three-day annual event are a Sarawak Kitchen Food Festival, Ironmen WHF, ethnic beauty pageant Miss WHF and a play.

“This year’s play entitled ‘The Fish Princess: A Highlander Love Story’ will have a storyline revolving around the heroine, the fish princess who found true love after enduring and overcoming a feat of obstacles,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.

“The heart-warming love story based on an Orang Ulu legend will be held at SCV for two consecutive nights, May 3 and 4.”

On Miss WHF, Talib said 16 finalists will be vying for the title on May 4 in eye-catching traditional Orang Ulu costumes and accessories.

“Ironmen WHF competition will pit 15 finalists as they test their skills and exhibit their strength in tackling traditional activities such as blowpipe shooting, dehusking coconuts, lifting gunny sacks of rice weighing 50kg, climbing Mount Santubong and more,” he said, adding that the finals will be on May 5.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago


Brunei’s culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, a territory which covered the Malay Archipelago. Brunei’s culture is therefore deeply rooted in its Malay origins, which are reflected in the nation’s language, architecture, ceremonies, and customs governing daily life. Though various foreign civilisations have played a role in forming Brunei’s rich history, the traditions of the Old Malay World have left an indelible mark on the culture of modern Brunei.

Today, Bruneians are predominantly Malay, though significant Chinese, Indian and indigenous Bornean populations add to the cultural makeup of Brunei. Brunei’s blend of cultures, customs, beliefs and customs is therefore very similar to that of Malaysia. The nation’s official language is Malay, but English is widely spoken by most of the population, and most signs in the country are written in Roman script.

If Malay traditions are Brunei’s cultural root, then Islam is its heart. The nation’s Malay Islamic Monarchy is a uniquely Bruneian blend combining the best of Malay culture with the teachings of Islam and a mutual respect between ruler and subjects. This national philosophy is aimed at forging a stronger sense of identity as well as fostering unity and stability, and it forms the backbone of Bruneian cultural identity.

The culture is predominantly Malay, with heavy influences from Hinduism and Islam, but is seen as more conservative than Malaysia. The borrowings and derivations of Brunei culture from these two religions are due mainly to the country’s historical links with the Hindu empire in the neighbouring regions of modern-day Indonesia and Malaysia.

One will find that Bruneian fare generally exudes a unique flavour of cultural fusion due to the influence of the various nations that have left their mark on Brunei’s culture. Arab, Indian and Chinese traders, European explorers and, of course, Malay and indigenous Bornean peoples have each introduced their own cooking styles and ingredients, adding to the masterful fusion that makes Brunei’s cuisine memorable.

Brunei is richly endowed with a cultural heritage that the government and the people have worked tirelessly to maintain. The nation‚ Arts and Handicraft Centre, for example, is a living testimony to the preservation and the proliferation of the arts and crafts for which Brunei was once renowned, including boat making, silversmithing, bronze tooling, weaving and basketry. Visitors will also find Malay weaponry, wood carvings, traditional games, traditional musical instruments, silat (the traditional art of self defence) and decorative items for women to be some of Brunei‚ most unique cultural offerings.

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Borneo: Palm Oil Pushes Orangutans to Starvation


The explosion of palm oil plantations in the tropics has pushed people and nature out of the way as corporations seek to cash in.

Indonesia has been hard hit with destruction of its wetland jungles.

In the process species found nowhere else have been pushed to the teetering edge of extinction.

Included in the sacking of the jungles are our close relatives, the orangutans.

International Animal Rescue (IAR) was recently involved in saving a female orangutan and her baby along with a pregnant ape who were slowly starving to death.

They were clinging to the one remaining tree left when land clearing was done to start another palm oil plantation.

An unusual twist in this story is the people responsible for clearing the land contacted the rescue organization.

The more usual course of action has been to simply kill the marooned wildlife.

The badly starved animals have been removed to a rescue centre where they are being cared for.

Coincidentally, a group of about 200 individuals were discovered on Borneo near the Batang Ai National Park.

The park holds approximately 900 orangutans and this is good news for those working to save the species. There are two distinct species, the Borneo and Sumatran. Both are endangered.

Continue reading (Incl. Video) at: Borneo: Palm Oil Pushes Orangutans to Starvation
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