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Wednesday, April 30, 2014


FLOM - First Lady of Malaysia.

Steatopygia (tonggek in Malay) common amongst Bushman females and Andaman islanders. It has something to do with genetics, selection and preference (sexually), and functionality.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Somewhere during the early stage of post-MH370 tragedy, the Doppler Effect was mentioned in the papers but I could not recall how it was specifically associated with the plane.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Barack Obama's middle name is Hussein. Barack is a short version of the Arabic word barakah. Remember Mubarak, Egypt?

In the above light, to call him Barack, the first name instead of Obama may bring barakah (berkat). He said no hoodooh for Malaysia. That is what he meant to be fair to the other races.

He also said that Myanmar should be fair to the Muslims. Has Najib, a moderate Muslim as he call himself ever dare to say that?

Is Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim, at least at heart? Extract from Barack's book 'Dreams from My Father' in which he acknowledged being a Muslim at that point of time.

Left: Hussein, Barack's father sitting on his mother's lap. Barack's is father died from a motor accident in hometown Africa, the former did not get to meet him.

Right: Barack's mother with her father.

Just wishful thinking. May be Barack is not a Muslim at all. He cannot claim being one for he would be labelled as a terrorist at the least if not killed. Wonder if that was the case with Michael Jackson?

Walla hu a'lam.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Do the Chams share a common ancestry with the Malays for they look like Malays. Their original homes are in Kampochea and southeast Vietnam. I have met several Chams at Ho Chi Minh City and visited their mosque at the outskirt of the city.

The Chams had faced turbulent times since early history. Later they faced French rule, US hegemony during the Vietnam war, genocide during Pol Pot regime. The Chams are likely reduced in number, poverty stricken, much dispersed to escape the ravages of war and eke a living.

They serve their food plates arranged on dulangs like the Malays do in the kampongs not too long ago.

They may use cows or buffaloes to cultivate their padi fields. Their hats resemble terendak.

Sri Amar Diraja, pejuang asal Campa
Panglima pemberani dan murni hati
Meski anak buah tak seberapa
Demi tampak musuh menerjanglah kaki
Ia perajurit teladan besar nyali
Di mana-mana namanya bergema
Asal ada Bugis dan Belanda Nasrani
Tak tertahan amarahnya

(Sajak orang Makasar ditujukan kapada pejuang Campa yang membantu semasa perang menentang Belanda di Sulawesi Selatan, 1660. Rujukan: Abdul Rahman Al-Ahmadi. 1995. Campa dalam kesusteraan Melayu. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm235-43)

Abdul Halim Bashah (ABHAR). 1994. Raja Campa dan Dinasti Jembal dalam Pantai Besar. Pustaka Reka, Kelantan

Abdul Rahman al-Ahmadi. 1988. Sejarah dan Kebudayaan Campa. Kementerian Kebudayaan dan Pelnacongan Malaysia K Lumpur: Ecole Francaise D’estreme-Orient
o1995. Campa dalam kesusteraan Melayu. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm235-43

Aymonier E. 1889. Grammaire de la language chame (Grammar of the Cham language). Excursions et Reconnaissances XIV(31):5-92
1890. Legendes historiques des Chams (Historical legends of the Chams). Excursions et Reconnaissances XIV(32):145-206

Benedict, Paul K. 1941. A Cham colony on the island of Hainan. Harvard J Asiatic Studies VI:129-34

Bergaignes A. 1888. L’ancien royaume de Champa dans l’Indo-Chine, d’apres les inscriptions. J Asiatique XI:5-105

Blagden, C.O.1894. Indo-Chinese influence in the Malay Peninsula. J.S.B.R.A.S. XXVII
_____ and Edwards ED. 1940-2. A Chinese vocabulary of Cham words. Bul Scholl Oriental and African Studies 10:53-91

Boisselier, Jean. 1963. La statuaire de Champa (The statuary of Champa). PEFEO, LIV (Paris)

Boxer CR. 1970. A Spanish description of the Chams in 1595. Readings on Asian Topics, Mongraph 1 pp35-44 (Scandinavian Inst Asian Studies, Lund)

Brandes JLA. 1886. Note sur la datation de l’inscription tombale de la Putri Cempa (Note on the dating of the tomb inscription of the Putri Chempa). NBG XXIV

Briggs, Lawrence Palmer. 1951. The Ancient Khmer Empire. The American Philosophical Sco, Philadelphia

Cabaton, Antoine. 1906. Notes sur I’Islam dans I’Indo-Chine Francaise. Revue du Monde Musulman, Noc 1906
1907. Les Chams Musulmans de I’Indo-Chine Francaise (The Muslim Chams in French Indochina). Revue du Monde Musulman, Apr 1907
1988. Orang Cam Islam di Indochina Perancis. Dlm Sejarah Kebudayaan Campa. Kementerian Kebudayaan & Pelancongan, K Lumpur (Malay trans)

oChambert-Loir. 1995. Catatan hubungan sejarah dan sastera antara Campa dengan dunia Melayu. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (ed) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm217-34

Claeys JY. 1931. Simhapura, la grande capitale Chame (VI-VIIIe s. A.D.) (Site de Tra-kieu, Quang Anam, Annam). Revue des Arts Asiatiques VII:93-104

Coedes, George. 1939. La plus ancienne inscription en langue Chame. Eastern and Indian Studies in Honour of FW Thomas. New Indian Antiquary, extra ser 1:46-9
1964. Les Etats Hindouises d’Indochine et d’Indonesie. De Boccard, Paris
1981. Sejarah Campa dari awal sampai tahun 1471. Dlm Kerajaan Campa. Balai Pustaka, Jakarta hlm31-70 (terjemahan Coedes, 1964)
1988. Sejarah Campa dari awal sampai tahun 1471. Dlm Sejarah Kebudayaan Campa. Kementerian Kebudayaan & Pelancongan, K Lumpur

oCrystal E. 1995. Campa dan kajian tentang Asia Tenggara. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm137-48

Durand EM. 1903. Les Chams Bani (The Cham Bani). BEFEO III:54-62
1907. Notes sur les Chams. Bull de l’Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient VII:31355

Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient. 1981. Kerajaan Campa. Balai Pustaka, Jakarta no 2988

 Finot L. 1903. Panduranga. In Melangues Kern. Leiden pp381-9

 Gronoveldt. 1877. Miscellaneous Papers Relating to Indo-China

 Hall DGE. 1976. A History of Southeast Asia. Macmillan Press London pp185-94; 197-202

 oJacq-Hergoualc’h M. 1995. Tentera Campa pada awal abad ke-13. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm169-88

Jaspan, Mervyn A. 1970. Recent developments among the Cham of Indo-China: The revival of Champa. Asian Affairs 57(2):170-6

 Kikuchi, Saburo. 1969. (Is Pu a transliteration of Abu or Mpu? A problem in the ancient history of Champa. Ajia Afurika Gogakuin Kiyo (Bull Asian and African Linguistics) II:103-6

 Lafont P-B. 1977. Catalogue des manuscripts Cam des bibliothigues francaises. EFEO, Paris
1981. Tinjauan sepintas sejarah Bangsa Cam dari abad XVI s.d. abad XX. Dlm Kerajaan Campa. Balai Pustaka, Jakarta hlm71-80
1988. Apereu sur les relations entre le Campa et I’Asie du Sud-Est. In Actes du Seminaire Sir le Campa Organise l’Universite d’Copenhague. Du CHCPI, Paris pp71-81
*1995. Peristiwa-peristiwa penting dalam sejarah Campa. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm149-68
*1995. Hubungan antara Campa dengan Asia Tenggara. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm205-16
_____ and Po Dharma. 1989. Bibliographie: Campa et Cam. 1-Harmattan, Paris

*Lamant P-L. 1995. Orang Melayu di Kemboja menghadapi sistem politik protektorat Perancis. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm123-36

Lombard D. 1981. Campa dipandang dari Selatan. Dlm Kerajaan Campa. Balai Pustaka, Jakarta hlm285-95

Majumdar RC. 1953. Inscriptions of Kambuja. The Asiatic Society,Culcutta

oMak Phoeun. 1995. Masyarakat Cam Islam di Kemboja pada abad ke-15 hingga abad ke-19: penetapan dan penglibatan mereka dalam system politik Khmer. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm100-22

oMarrison, Geoffrey E. 1951. The Chams of Malacca. JMBRAS XXIV(I):90-8
1975. The early Cham language and its relationship to Malay. JMBRAS 48(2):52-9
1985. The Chams and their literature. JMBRAS LVIII(II):45-70
1989. A catalogue of the South-East Asian collection of Professor MA Jaspan in the Brynmor Jones Library, Univ Hull. Centre for South-East Asian Studies, Univ Hull,  Bibliography and Literature Series no 6
1995. A note on Cham studies. In King, Victor and Horton, AVM (eds) From Buckfast to Borneo (Essays Presented to Father Robert Nicoll on the 85th Anniversary of his Birth 27 March 1995). Sarawak Literary Soc pp150-4

Maspero, Georges. 1913. Le Royaume de Campa. In T’oung Pao XIV
1928. Le royaume de Champa. Paris
1951. The Kingdom of Champa. Yale Univ Press, New Haven (transl from French of 1928 work)

Moussay, Gerad. 1971. Dictionaire Cam-Vietnamien-Francais. Centre Cultural Cam, Phanrang
o1995. Akayet Inra Patra: versi Campa daripada Hikayat Melayu Inderaputera. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm244-60

Nakamura, Rie. 2000. The coming of Islam to Champa. JMBRAS LXXIII(1):55-66

Ner, Marcel. 1941. Les Musulmans de I’Indochine Francaise (The Muslims of French Indochina). Bulletin de I’Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient

oNguyen The Anh. 1995. Hubungan Vietnam dengan dunia Melayu hingga pertengahan abad ke-19. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm64-85

Nicholl, Robert (trans). 1985. The Introduction of Islam in Champa; written by Manguin PY. JMBRAS 58(1)1-28

O’Connor SJ. 1975. Tambralinga and the Khmer empire. J Siam Soc 63(1):161-76

Po Dharma. 1978. Les Chroniques Royales du Panduranga. Thesis, EPHE, Multigraphiee
1981a. Complement au Catalogue des bibliotheques Francaises, EFEO, Paris
1981b. Kesusteraan Cam. Dlm Kerajaan Campa. Balai Pustaka, Jakarta hlm179-215 (terj Po Dharma 1982)
1982. Notes sur la literature Cam. Shiroku 15:43-67
1987. Le Panduranga (Campa) 1802-1835. Ses Rapport avec le Vietnam. EFEO, Paris 2vols
1988. Etat des dernieres recherch√© sur la date de l’absorption du Campa par les Vietnamiens (State of the most recent research on the absorption of Champa by the Vietnamese). In Actes du seminaries sur le Campa organize a l’Universite de Copenhague le 23 mai 1987 (Proc Sem on Champa organized by Univ of Copenhagen, 23 May 1987). Travaux du CHCPI, Paris; transl by Hyunh Dinh Te, Proc Sem on Champa, Univ Copenhagen,1994
1989. Les frontieres du Campa (Dernier etat des recherches). In Les Frontiers du Vietnam (Historie de Frontieres de la Peninsule Indochinoise). 1-Harmattan, Paris pp128-35
o1995. Keruntuhan Campa antara abad ke-16 hingga abad ke-19. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm189-204

Quanch-Langlet T. 1988. La geographique de l’ancien Campa. In Actes du Seminaire Sir le Campa Organise l’Universite d’Copenhague. Du CHCPI, Paris

Ravaisse, Paul. 1922. Deux inscriptions coufiques du Campa (Two Kufic inscriptions from Champa). JA XX(2nd Series):247-89

Stein R. 1947. Le Lin-yi, sa location, sa contribution, la formation du Campa et ses liensave la Chine (Le Yin-yi, its geographical position, its contribution to the formation of Champa and its ties with China). Han Hiue II fascicule 1-3, Pekin

Stern, Philippe. 1942. L’art du Champa (ancient Annam) et son evolution. Toulouse

Tasaka Kodo. 1952. Champa Kaikyoshi josetsu: Tonan Ajia Kaikyoshi Josetsu no ichibu toshite (Introduction to the history of Islam in Champa: the introduction of Islam in Southeastern Asia). Tohogaku (Eastern Studies) IV:52-60

oTaylor NA. 1995. Seni ukir Campa dan hubungannya dengan seni Melayu. Dlm Ismail Hussein, P-B Lafont and PO Dharma (peny) Dunia Melayu dan Dunia Indocina. DBP, K Lumpur hlm16-48

Wolters OW. 1958. Tambralinga. Bull School Oriental and African Studies 21:587-607

Zainal Abidin A Wahid. 1984. Kampuchea & keselamatan jiran. Dewan Masyarakat 22(4)

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Amongst the Minangkabau houses in Negeri Sembilan there are pangkins (corrupt of palanquins), kind of wide wooden benches built on each side  in front of the steps leading to the front door where people can sit, relax, talk or even take a nap. During mid-day is cooler than inside the house because they are open with roofing only. My old kampong house had a pair of pangkins.

The term pangkin is seldom heard nowadays.

South Korean royal palanquin.

A Minang would call that pangkin (centre).

An illustration in Linschoten's 'Voyages' showing a wealthy Portuguese nobleman being carried in his palanquin. Two negroes in European dress go before him and some slaves bring up the rear.

Friday, April 25, 2014


Sikhs are Punjabis.

Singing duo, rap Singh style.

Tying the turban.

There were two Sikh headmasters during my time at Tunku Besar Secondary School, Tampin. One was turbanless and the other Joginder Singh Jessy, a famous historian who wrote "The History of Malaya and Southeast Asia" had turban. I could remember the face of the former because he looked fierce.

The latter, however lined us hostelites one morning and whacked everyone on the buttocks with a big cane as punishment for a mischief done. The food served in the previous evening was ikan bilis which we had one too many. Some seniors told us to throw the food on the table and everybody did just that!

I know Dr. Harnam Singh personally, a well known ENT who did tympanoplasty on both my ears in the early 70's just after he retired from General Hospital, KL. With the ear membranes patched up my hearing improved. I am very grateful to him for that.

Next week we have an appointment with Dr. Manmohan Singh, HKL perhaps the finest spinal surgeon in Malaysia, not on spinal matter though.

The last bullock cart owner in Cameron Highlands in the mid 90s was a Sikh who transported sand, bricks and other materials. A bullock cart owner at Batu Gajah is a Sikh. In Tg. Tualang, there used to be large buffalo herds owned by Sikhs. I had some years of running battle with a herder and his keep. The buffaloes broke through the barbed wire fence, swam across lakes into my 10ac farm destroying whatever I planted. Finally, I gave up the land.

Pahul initiation ceremony into the khalsa brotherhood.

Seva or sewa -selfless service to the community.

The first Guru meeting the last Guru.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Laksamana Cheng Ho atas arahan Maharaja Chengzu, dinasti Ming Cina sampai Melaka pada tahun 1405 zaman sultan yang pertama sebelumnya digelar Parameswara. Bila Cheng Ho berada di Melaka sultan sudah memeluk Islam.

Sultan hanya minat Hang Li Po dijadikan isteri (dan buat perigi untuknya?) bukan untuk mengenali teknologi perkapalan Cheng Ho. Padahnya 106 tahun kemudian Melaka musnah.

Selepas peninggalan Cheng Ho kesan sejarahnya sebagai seorang admiral Muslim telah diabaikan oleh sultan2 Melaka dan kaum Melayu.

Pada hari ini Cheng Ho hanya diingat dalam toh peh kong patungnya disembah di Melaka, Terengganu, P. Pinang, Sarawak.

Begitukah orang Melayu mengingati seorang Muslim agung? Di tempat2 Muslim lain pun terjadi begitu - Acheh, Semarang (Jawa).

Sultan membalas lawatan Cheng Ho.

Kubur Cheng Ho sebagai seorang Muslim di Nanjing.

Bapa Cheng Ho bernama Ma Haji dan kuburnya terdapat di Yunnan.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


The 400 over articles in SAVE's blog covers a fairly wide range of topics - biography, anthrophology, agriculture, politics, religion, history ....  We are assessing the manner to publish  a book of selected postings based on the page views. The obnoxious ones will be omitted.

Taking an average of 3 pages per article for 70 articles the book will come to about 220 pages. Because of the many coloured pictures involved the cost could be prohibitive.

The list of 55 titles below is a working draft of possible entries in descending order of page views for the proposed book:

1. Tunku's legacies for the rakyat.    2069*.    7.8.11   (* page views)
2. Muslim blood of Srebrenica: justice is not done yet.    1722.    5.29.11
3. Beraja di Johor jangan di hati.    1711    5.19.11
4. Mengenang bapa kemerdekaan.    1457    6.2.11
5.Nusantara disalibkan.    1023     5.7.11
6. Mother of all bombs - the making.    660    9.16.11
7. Nusantara in the days naked.    640    6.26.11
8. Padang jarak padang terkukur.    634    4.8.11
9. Emas ku cari pasir ku dapat.    624    11.24.11
10. Memorandum to the Minister concerning rice.    547    9.23.09
11. Ganyang Malaysia.    529    11.1.11
12. OWC and Kama Sutra.    517    11.13.11
13. From hell through hell to Pulau Bidong.    511    7.25.11
14. Peluru Tok Janggut ratah Sgt. Hassan.    476    5.14.12
15. Malays of Cocos (Keeling) Islands.    450    10.19.11
16. Bajet 2011 - perlu Malaysia buat bangunan 100 tingkat? OpEd Oct 15 2010.    444    10.27.10
17. Zanzibar, the Sultan had 90 wives.    443    8.7.12
18. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in Hindu scriptures.    408    1.2.12
19. Ku tempayankan dia.    343    7.19.11
20. Cooling off at Cameron Highlands.    337    1.19.12
21. Ode to rubber tappers.    329    10.3.11
22. Tempoe doeloe nasionalisma menggugat.    321    4.26.11
23. Enter the slayer of the Malay dragon.    304    1.27.12
24. Smoked heads and llanuns, Sarawak without Brookes: Part I.    281    4.13.12
25. Talib Harimau, my Pak Itam: Part I.    268    3.22.12
26. Dreams unfinished - Venice, klongs and inland waterway.    275    12.28.11
27. Nak ku kenal Nusantara.    263    4.23.11
28. Ku bersua Za'aba di Perpustakaan Negara.    257    3.7.12
29. Tentera menentang Ganyang.    252    11.5.11
30. Our rice equation, into Malthusian nightmare.    245    7.5.11
31. Inside Turkish delights - the harem.    240    9.1.12
32. Onset of Malay kingdom.    238    9.2.11
33. Plight of the jungle dwellers.    227    6.24.11
34. Kanang, the headhunter.    223    2.25.12
35. The bait taken, let's nuke them.    219    2.20.12
36. Mini minis.    219    8.5.12
37. Following Najib: Vatican.    213    9.8.11
38. To know the Malays, go see Winstedt.    211    2.4.12
39. Keamanan: Menangani demo-rusuhan.    200    8.24.11
40. Thanks but no thanks to Hitler.    198    8.26.12
41. Tronoh panas masa darurat.    197    8.19.11
42. Remembering Alijah Gordon - fi sabil-Allah.    183    11.20.11
43. Memali messacre: whose hands are bloodied?    6.11.12
44. The fascinating world of Monte Zain.    184    7.30.12
45. Library-cum archive-cum museum.    181    5.1.12
46. Mother of all bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.    169    9.19.11
47. Is Noh Omar brave enough?    157    11.17.11
48. Forerunner of DAP, traitor to Malays.    155    4.27.13
49. Intermission: not Anwar's kote mamak.    149    5.22.12
50. Karachi, big brother to Nusantara.    148    7.6.13
51. The rape of Teluk Rubiah?    136    4.30.11
52. Bila FELDA nak robohkan ini?    133    10.5.11
53. Sago grubs, eat them raw.    132    12.16.12
54. Did John Lennon been to Cameron Highlands?    123    6.5.11
55. Ku kunci mulutnya.     123    4.17.11

Saturday, April 19, 2014


The legend of the king of Rock 'n Roll lives. There are hundreds of Elvis impersonators around even here.

Perchance we were in Memphis, Tennessee end of August last. Greg kindly drove us around Memphis and we visited the Sun Studio where Elvis began his singing career.

The Sun Studio is a red brick building, fairly small and located by a corner along a roadside.

Once inside the studio visitors are given a lively and entertaining story of Elvis journey to super stardom. Much of his memorabilia are being displayed - photos of his famous mentors and music friends in his early years.

Microphones and other musical instruments on display.

On the verge of getting famous, signing autographs.

Yeah, the king and his quartet. His unmistakable trademark of singing but later much gyrating.

A souvenir shop and bar selling drinks and snacks at the entrance of the building.

I may listen to his songs but never attempt to sing.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Karpal is dead. Who is going to replace the roar of the tiger?

Anwar. He is a hot potato being Penang born, versatile and fond of dancing to Tamil music. 

He knows what Karpal knew about his sex life and other damaging secrets.

The threat of exposure if not blackmail has gone forever. What a relief. He is free to become the most powerful political figure in PR perhaps.

Why should he fight his wife for the PKR presidency? He should focus on becoming the MP of Bkt. Gelugor in the forthcoming by-election. Take the challenge.

Known for his tiger prowess, he could  become the tiger king of Penang.

The road to Putrajaya will be more open for his aim to be the tiger king of the country.

He is also a master pretender, a chameleon  to be exact. Can he take over the clueless people and goons running amok in the country? 

The country is regressing at many levels. The rakyat are in pain for better governance.
Beware, whoever walks arrogantly on the surface of this earth the punishment is sudden and answerable to the Almighty the Maker.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I first heard of Carey Island during one of the ragging days when just joining Kolej Pertanian Serdang in 1970.

"So you are a Harrison & Crossfield scholar hah?" a tall well built and handsome Chinese third year senior with full sideburns said while looking at my freshie nametag. "You should go to Carey Island for vacation training and try the abelons," he continued.

"Yes, sir," I answered meekly. For one thing I didn't know what abelons really were and thought they were mushroom. Secondly, I could not remember his name. If he found out I was afraid that I would be ragged by doing pumpings or other funny things.

Apparently, Carey Island (Pulau Carey) to the southwest of Kelang got its name from Iskandar Carey, an anthropologist who spent much time among the Mah Meri orang asli there.

Mah Meri craftsman fashioning a sculpture of a spirit from wood.

Mah Meri girls in their traditional dress preparing for a dance.

Carey's work on orang asli:

Carey, Iskandar. 1961a. Tengleq Kui Serok: A Study of the Temiar Language, with an Etnographic Summary. DBP, K Lumpur
1961b. The Orang Asli in Malaya. Seed 2(1)
1968. The Orang Asli and social change. Federated Mus. J. n.s. 8:57-64
1970a. The Orang Asli and social change. Fed Mus J XIII
1970b. The Kensiu Negritos of Baling. JMBRAS 43(2)
1971. Some notes on the Sea Nomads of Johore. Fed Mus J XIV
1976. Orang Asli: The Aboriginal Tribes of Peninsular Malaysia. Oxford Univ Press, Kuala Lumpur
(nd). The Malayan orang asli and their future
(nd). Methods of cultivation among the Kelantan Temiar. In Symp Impact of Man on Humid Tropic Vegetation. Government Printer, Canberra

Monday, April 14, 2014



Mukah, in the heartland of the Melanaus, is a small town along the coast of the South China Sea. It is midway between Kuching and Bintulu. The flight (Sarawakians say naik belon!) by Twin Otter that accomodate 19 passengers (bigger plane now) from Kuching takes slightly more than an hour.

By hinterland road it will take more than 12 hours passing through Sibu and other smaller towns. With better roads and new bridges crossing Btg. Rajang (to Sibu) and Btg. Mukah travelling time is now reduced by at least a couple of hours.

The gerais (red rooftop) along the banks of Btg. Mukah (Btg. for Batang; in Sabah and Peninsular we use sungai) were my favourite eating place when I was new in Mukah. That was more than a decade ago. The hive of activities and decor shown in the picture above took place during the annual Pesta Kaul, 2006.

The Melanaus living the coast are mostly fishermen who brave the open sea. Early in the morning they will land their catch by the jetty and market beside the gerais. Readily available at the fish market is a Melanau delicacy called 'umai' consisting of thin slices of fresh fish sprinkled with crushed groundnuts, salt and limau kasturi.

Also, hemmed in between the main road of the town and and the river is the daily market for vegetables, fruits, dried goods and other produce. Live sago worms, siet in Melanau which are eaten raw or fried are usually sold in the market.

As anywhere else in Malaysia, most of the shops in the town are Chinese-owned.

To leave Mukah heading towards Balingian-Sibu is a ferry service crossing the Btg. Mukah. A new bridge was completed just before I left Mukah in 2006.

The new arched-bridge across Btg. Mukah about to complete.

In the low lying areas and along river banks in the not far from the coast, sago palms (mulong or balau in Melanau) thrive in abundance on peat soil where many crops would not grow. They provide the main source of carbohydrate, income and material culture for the Melanaus.

The sago logs of 3ft long are floated along dithes, canals, and rivers to the mill to extract the starch found in the pith. The Melanaus are highly adapted to living by the water.

Pangeran (right), my friend who brought me to see a special sago palm in a holding owned by Hitler. Yes, that is the name of the Melanau.

A sago mill usually located by a riverbank for easy transport of sago logs and source of water for washing and processing in the mill. All the mills (5) in and around Mukah are run by Chinese.

Manually or mechanically debarked sago logs going up the conveyors for splitting and crushing to extract the juice from the pulp.

After the toils and hardwork, the Melanaus know how to get together and enjoy life during the annual Kaul Festival around mid-April. Majority of the Melanaus are Muslims, some are Christians and others follow traditional beliefs.

Exhibit of some of their material culture made from sago leaves (terendak) and fronds (tikar), rattan, and bamboo.

A Melanau wedding is similar to a Malay ceremony. However, they start quite early in the morning and finish by noon.

The previous CM, Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud of Mukah origin built a well designed mosque with an open concept where people irrespective of religion freely jog or walk around the large and shady compound. The mosque was built some 20 years ago.

Pehin, the new administrative centre for Mukah completed in 2005.

My six years in Mukah has been a memorable experience, meeting people of different ethnics (Ibans, Bidayuh), to learn about sago and life of the Melanaus.