Curse of the White Rajah

Black magic operates most effectively in preconscious, marginal areas. Casual curses are the most effective. William S. Burroughs, American writer and visual artist Sarawak’s Astana and its surroundings is a treasure trove of history going back to the days when it was the bastion of Brunei sovereignty. It was “Raja […]

Saving Ritchie, the Man of the Forest

Last week, I tried to play detective when a gentleman from Samarahan tried to sell me a live porcupine at a very special price. Apparently the Rial “Pasar Tamu” Market is one of the locations where one can purchase exotic wild meat on occasion. During the “negotiation” over the deal, […]

A prized possession

Limbang is place so near and yet so far. Situated on the banks of the Limbang River, this northern Sarawak region covering 3,976.6 square kilometres is sandwiched between the two halves of the Kingdom of Brunei Darussalam. Once a powerful kingdom, it was a country whose fiefdom stretched half way […]

Baram’s Father of Development

A visionary eager for change Sarawak’s last frontier is the massive 30,000 sq km Baram district which is watered by the 400km-long Baram River with its network of fast-flowing tributaries and unnavigable rapids. Baram was one of the locations of the 12 proposed dams which the government had planned to […]

Proud to be Eurasian

Twenty years ago on Sept 2, 1999, a handful of local Eurasians met at the Sarawak Club to talk about the idea of forming the Sarawak Eurasian Association. As a member of Selangor Eurasian Association and friend of the president JP Monteiro, I was armed with the rich history of […]

Flying without wings

In the jet age many have forgotten another type of flying machine whose pilots have braved the hinterland to send politicians, doctors and businessmen to the remotest corners of the interior to carry out special missions. Skippered by brave and experienced pilots, these ‘unsung’ heroes have served Sarawak and its […]

Welcome to our rural countryside

My first visit to Ba Kelalan in 1985 was by Malaysia Airlines’ small Twin Otter aircraft — a small and noisy 16-seater flying machine. I was on a mission to write about a case of strange tongues of bright ethereal lights seen hovering in the sky around the Lun Bawang […]

History of Aviation in Sarawak Part 2

Rural airstrips built by missionaries  In this three-part series, we will look back at the 100-year history of aviation in Sarawak, which started from the Brooke era, through the Colonial and post-Malaysia Era. In 1948, the Borneo Evengelical Mission (BEM) sent in Bruce Morton, a pilot turned missionary, with a […]

Lest we forget!

Sarawakians should count their blessings that the haze is over and must thank Mother Nature as she prepares to send the annual northeast monsoon (landas season locally) our direction starting November. I first arrived in Kuching in December, at the height of the landas, 52 years ago. My younger brother […]

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