Now, Where On Earth Is Borneo Mekong?

When I was in school, I hated Geography. It’s not because the subject is inherently hate-able, I guess, but rather because of the fact that I had never been able to score good marks for the subject no matter how hard I studied. Geography, to me, is like History. You know basically what it is but the knowledge won’t be able to take you home, so to speak.

So when I read an article mentioning that the third largest rainforest in the world is located in “Borneo Mekong in Indonesia,” I was perplexed. It cannot be, I told myself. I’ve never heard of Borneo Mekong before. But the reference may well be true because not hearing about it doesn’t mean that the place didn’t exist, does it?

Trees reaching out for the sky at Mahua Waterfall, Tambunan, Sabah

But I’m pretty sure there’s no Borneo Mekong in Indonesia, bad geography or not. Mekong is in Indochina and Borneo is in … Borneo, an island shared by three countries — Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Indonesia’s portion of Borneo is called Kalimantan and at the centre of Borneo lies what is dubbed the Heart of Borneo where the island’s pristine jungle is located. This, too, is shared among the three countries.

There’s no Borneo Mekong in Indonesia, please! It should be called Borneo-Mekong rainforest in Southeast Asia!

Tropical trees, also at Mahua Waterfall

Anyway, the Amazon is the world’s biggest rainforest followed by the Congo Basin in Central Africa. The Borneo-Mekong rainforest is the third largest.

Representatives from 35 countries that share the world’s rainforest are meeting in Congo this week in a summit that may pave the way for initiatives to preserve the planet’s remaining forests, according to a report by Reuters.

The Congo Basin is represented by 11 nations, the Amazon in South America by 12 nations and the Mekong-Borneo in Southeast Asia by 12 nations.

Do You Have KFC In Borneo?

Borneo may not be as modern as we want it to be but it is not as backward as having no KFC outlets as some people might imagine. Haha, seriously, I was a little bit offended when a person who had never been to Kota Kinabalu or any part of Borneo, asked me if there was KFC in KK.

Fried rooster anyone?

I told the person, yes we do have KFC in KK; in fact KFCs are everywhere in KK and they are all proper KFCs, very much the same like the KFCs in KL, Hong Kong or in the United States.

Sup ayam togel anyone?

We are not as backward as having our KFCs made from ayam kampung, thank you very much :) .

Going Gaga Over Lady Gaga

Concerned Malaysians in Sabah, the Malaysian state on Borneo Island, have hit back at sensational British US pop singer Lady Gaga for urging young Malaysians to protest the censorship of her lyrics in the song “Born This Way” that encourage acceptance of gays, reports Daily Express.

Lady Gaga was reported to have said that “You must do everything that you can if you want to be liberated by your society. You must call, you must not stop, you must protest peaceably,” after finding that the lyrics “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track, baby” have been replaced with garble while being aired on Malaysian radio stations.

Daily Express quoted Universiti Malaysia Sabah Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Rosnah Ismail, as saying that it was wrong for Lady Gaga to urge young Malaysians to protest the censorship of the lyrics.

An Interesting Study On Head Lice Sampled From Sabah and the United States

While scouring the Internet, I came across an interesting study which compares the susceptibility of head lice, taken from the United States and Sabah, to permethrin.

Permethrin is a chemical substance used to threat lice infection or “peduculosis” in the US. Below is a photo of head lice, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Headlice

The conclusion? The Sabah lice are more susceptible to permethrin than the US lice do. In other words, Sabah’s lice are lousy ;) Here is a link to the study.

Indonesian Criminals Threaten To Invade Sabah, Sarawak

A group of vigilantes is threatening to invade Malaysia by “air, sea and land”, with the Malaysian states on Borneo island — Sabah and Sarawak — being the main targets.

The invasion was supposed to take place yesterday, involving 1,500 men with sharpened bamboo poles, bows and arrows, but had been postponed to today, according to the Malaysian Insider.

They should instead go to Padang and help the earthquake victims there.

Fire-eating Thumbuakar Tribe No More… Singapore Night Safari Suspends Tribal Dance Performance

[Update: According to Elsa, whom I assume has more information about the troupe than me, “Thumbuakar”, is coined by its choreographer back in 2005, meaning “growing roots”. “Akar” is of course “root”. I guess the words comes from the word “tumbuh akar” which mean “growing roots”)

Original entry, with some changes in the paragraph about Thumbuakar:

Singapore’s Night Safari has suspended the crowd pleaser, fire-eating tribal dance performance by a group called the Thumbuakar Tribe comprising dancers from Borneo.

The reason? Ten of the group’s members were suspected to be involved in drugs.

A notice at the Night Safari website says that the show has been suspended until further notice “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

In the meantime, what tribe?

According to Singapore’s The Electric New Paper, the Thumbuakar Tribe group was introduced four years ago to add a cultural dimension to the Night Safari experience.

“It is marketed as tribal dancers hailing from the rainforests of Borneo,” it added. Hmm… as far as I know, there are no fire-eating tribes in Borneo.

Anyone knows the meaning of Thumbuakar?

Well, it is actually seems to be the “Westernised and glamourised” spelling of the humble word “tombuakar”, which is also spelled as “tambuakar”, the name of Sabah’s very own swamp ghost.

Fire and ice

I guess, after eating fire, some of the ghosts decided that they needed “ice” to cool down.

According to newsreports, three members of the tribe who were returning from Malaysia’s southernmost city of Johor Baharu, were arrested in a routine check at the Woodland Checkpoints on Sunday.

Narcotics team found in them 50g of “Ice”, 50g of compressed cannabis and 10g of ketamine.

Their arrests led to the arrests of seven other members of the group as well as three Singaporeans.

Troupe leader Rudolph Mindot said he was disappointed with the incident. “This should not have happened. They have put my innocent colleagues through a very difficult time.”

Besides Bigfoot, Sarawak is Now Home to 30-meter Long Giant Snake

It seems that Sarawak, the other Malaysian state on Borneo Island, is home to a host of mythical creatures.

From the legendary centurion crocodile, Bujang Senang, to Bigfoot and giant snake, the biggest state in Malaysia is abound with myths and legends.

The whole of Sarawak was abuzzed last year following discovery of two giant footprints believed to those of the mythical creature Bigfoot. It turned out to be a hoax.

Now another sighting of no less gigantic proportion is reported, this time a 30-metre long snake swimming along the Baleh River.

snake

Of course, the sighting is no different from the discovery of Bigfoot’s footprints last year — a hoax.

huge-snake

So, How Did They Confuse Borneo And Malaysia?

So, is Borneo part of Malaysia or Malaysia part of Borneo?

In some of the reports I read lately in relation to the launching of the globally anticipated Blackberry Bold (picture, left), it seems that Malaysia is part of Borneo.

Heh heh! Gee… How I wish this was the case.

One of the reports, for instance, stated that:

“Canadians can get the BlackBerry Bold through Rogers Wireless, but AT&T subscribers in the United States are still anxiously awaiting the arrival of the hotly anticipated smartphone. To further add insult to injury, it seems that the good people of Borneo are getting the BlackBerry Bold before Americans.”

“I think most people would agree that Borneo isn’t the biggest of worldwide markets, but Research in Motion knows that there is money to be made there.

“As such, it has been announced that the Bold will launch through Maxis of Borneo (Malaysia) on September 26th.

“Furthermore, 30 lucky individuals in Borneo already received their Bold smartphones last Friday! They had preorders. The sans contract price is RM2,199 ($643).” [Source]

Actually the 30 units of Blackberry Bold were collected from Maxis Centre in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) at a special event on Friday.

Hey, it’s okay. I don’t mind the geographical mix-up. It goes to show how popular Borneo is!

By the way, the Blackberry Bold is beautiful don’t you think so?

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Borneo’s Bigfoot

Having solved the mystery behind The Crystal Skull, word has it that the bullwhip-lashing archaeologist, Dr Indiana Jones, was to be flown to Borneo to resolve once-and-for-all the mysteries behind the discovery of two large footprints in Sarawak, rumoured to be those of the mythical Bigfoot.

Dr Jones all set for Borneo

Dr JonesHe was already fully-geared for the Borneo adventure — the fedora perched on his head, shoulder bag strapped sideways over the tanned safari shirt, his war-time navy officer’s pants all buckled up, with handgun holster — often with the handgun missing — strapped to the hip, not to mention three days’ worth of unshaved beard for good measure.

He was grinning from ear to ear in anticipation of the adventure when he received the news that the footprints were fake. Alas, his grin disappeared (see picture). There goes the greatest Dr Jones adventure, he thought.

It’s man-made and a hoax,” Sarawak Museum anthropologist Dr Charles Leh said, and promptly text-messaged Spielberg, Lucas and Dr Jones not to waste their time chasing after a non-existent primate in Borneo.

Sorry 4 d trouble

Guys, so sori 4 d trouble d nws hav caused. The ftprints were fake. I rpt, d ftprints were fake. To make up 4 d disappoinmt, why dont d 3 of u go 2 d cinema n watch incredble hulk instead. Adios, Dr Leh,” said the text message.

Disclaimer: like the footprint, the information above is part fiction, part real. The print is real, the foot is not. — Jaxon S.

Reactions To Borneo Bigfoot… “A Hoax”

A hoax. That has been the general reaction to the discovery of two large Borneo Bigfoot “footprints” in Daro, Mukah, Sarawak.

Apparently it got not only Malaysians talking but also other Bigfooters around the world as well. And they are skeptical that the footprints were that of the mythical giant primate, Bigfoot.