Archive for May, 2008

The sound you are about to hear is the traditional music of my tribe, the Kimaragang. It’s called the Pinakang, which is one of the tribes’ traditional musics. The other is called Pomilukan, but I don’t have the sound bite.

Here it is — Pinakang

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is on a visit to Sabah, the Malaysian state on Borneo island, has announced a series of goodies for the state today.

The following are the goodies’ highlights:

  • The Sabah Federal Development Department (JPPS), set up when Sabah was under the then opposition Parti Bersatu Sabah is abolished with immediate effect;
  • Following the abolishment of the JPPS, a new agency called the Sabah State Development Office is set up to handle the Prime Minister’s special allocations and monitor implementation and progress of federal government projects;
  • A cabinet committee on illegal immigrants is formed, to be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and will comprise several Sabah leaders;
  • A total of RM1 billion allocation from the prime minister’s special allocation to be distributed according to development requirements in Sabah;
  • Sabah-born Professor Datuk Kamaruzaman Ampong is appointed the new vice-chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah effective June 18;
  • Another Sabah-born Yusuf Saringgit is named the new Sabah Federal Financial Officer effective tomorrow. Mr Saringgit is indeed well-named for the task;
  • A Petronas downstream petro-chemical plant to be set up in Sabah;
  • A 300MW gas fuelled power plant will also be set up to improve the state’s power supply; and
  • An additional RM400,000 allocation for each state constituency. [Source: Bernama, The Star]

So, there’s no more danger of Sabah MPs crossing over to the opposition?

Here’s another perspective from Reuters, which reported that:

“Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, fighting for political survival, made some concessions on Saturday to a politically important state whose leaders could decide whether he stays in office.

“During a visit to the resource-rich but otherwise largely poor eastern state of Sabah on Borneo island, Abdullah pledged to tackle the problem of illegal immigrants, increase funding for rural development and build a power plant to ease interruptions in energy supply.”

Hmm… Sabah, a “politically important state”. I kinda like that phrase.

Haiyaa… Si Misuari Wants To Claim North Borneo

Written by Jaxon S on Saturday, May 31st, 2008 in Uncategorized.

Here’s an interesting and amusing article from the Philippines’ SunStar:

Arinday: Revival of Sabah claim-Misuari’s last gambit?
By G.H. Arinday Jr.

RENEWED rumblings from an erstwhile dormant problem are making some stirrings on the ground with the reported renewal of claim of oil-rich Sabah as part of the Philippines.

And this time, no less than the former chair of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) — Nur Misuari — is leading the movement for the Sultanate of Sulu, which ceded Sabah to the Philippines during the presidency of Diosdado Macapagal.

Malaysia was reported to be furious about the resurrection of the contentious issues which prompted Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee to call Malaysia’s National Security Council to impose stricter laws on Filipinos or suspend the ferry service between Zamboanga City and Sandakan, aside from the immediate preparedness of the Sabah security committee.


Dear Daniel,

I write in relation to the former government’s undertaking to the Australian Orang-utan Project to provide $200,000 in grant funding to support the work of the orang-utan units in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Unfortunately, there is no funding program available to support this activity.”

– Australia’s Environment Minister Peter Garrett. [Source]

Borneo Poll And Forum

Written by Jaxon S on Sunday, May 25th, 2008 in Borneo Blog.

Just some blogkeeping announcement. I’ve removed the Borneo Polls Series widget, titled “Which of place below is your favourite destination in Sabah?”, from the main page of this blog and republished it as a page.

The reason for that is that the widget had somehow slowed down this blog’s loading time.

This may not be a problem for those with broadband connection but some of my friends who still use the 56kbps dail-up, told me that the widget was slowing down the loading time.

I guess, this blog should load faster now.

The poll can now be accessed via the header navigation. You can still vote by accessing the Poll section of this blog.

As of today, Danum Valley still leads the list of Borneo Blog readers’ favourite destination.

Another thing

I’ve also created a Forum section on this blog and still trying to figure out how to implement it effectively.

I plan to give everyone a full access to the forum so that everybody will have the chance to participate without having to go through the prior registration process.

I will be posting topics on that forum from time to time. You can also suggest topics for discussion.

Borneo People Did Not Migrate From Taiwan - Research

Written by Jaxon S on Saturday, May 24th, 2008 in Borneo Native.

On the contrary, the migration had taken place the other way around, according to the findings of a research team led by the University of Leeds.

The University of Leeds says the research has discovered genetic evidence “that overturns existing theories about human migration into Island Southeast Asia (covering the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysian Borneo) — and takes the timeline back by nearly 10,000 years.”

Prevailing theory suggests that the present-day populations of Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) originate largely from a Neolithic expansion from Taiwan driven by rice agriculture about 4,000 years ago — the so-called “Out of Taiwan” model.

“However, an international research team, led by the UK’s first Professor of Archaeogenetics, Prof Martin Richards, has shown that a substantial fraction of their mitochondrial DNA lineages (inherited down the female line of descent), have been evolving within ISEA for a much longer period, possibly since modern humans arrived some 50,000 years ago,” the university said in a statement.

Prof Richards said: “I think the study results are going to be a big surprise for many archaeologists and linguists on whose studies conventional migration theories are based.”

“These population expansions had nothing to do with agriculture, but were most likely to have been driven by climate change — in particular, global warming and the resulting sea-level rises at the end of the Ice Age between 15,000-7,000 years ago.” [Source]

Borneo To Singapore By Boat?

Written by Jaxon S on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 in Borneo Travel.

The Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree travel forum has a discussion thread about whether it is possible to go from Borneo to Singapore by boat.

The answer is yes, you can go to Singapore from Borneo by boat according to one participant, but not directly as there is no boat service connecting the two islands.

So the key is to find Batam in Indonesia from Borneo. Once there, it’s just a matter of a short one hour of comfortable boat ride to Singapore’s Harbour Front ferry terminal.

Drunkards Of Borneo

Written by Jaxon S on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 in Borneo Miscellaneous Stories.

This is a re-mix of a 1931 black and white movie titled “Drunkards of Borneo”. I’m not sure who did the remix and whether the original movie was really about Borneo. May be it’s just a trailer of the real thing. I wonder where can I get the full-length version.

This Can’t Be True: Orang Utan Used As Sex Slave In Borneo

Written by Jaxon S on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 in Borneo Odds And Ends.

Orang Utan[Picture caption: Pony, before and after]

This can’t be true but strange things have happened in the world.

A group of villagers in an undisclosed location in the Indonesian part of Borneo, captured a female orang utan, shaved her all over and used her as sex slave.


Borneo Blog On Google

Written by Jaxon S on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 in Borneo Blog.

I’ve been working quite hard to get where this blog is now on Google. And it’s finally here on the main page for the keyword “Borneo Blog”.

It used to be tucked away somewhere in the 6th or 7th page. Having reached this spot I should now work even harder to remain on the main page.

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