Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Once we have to relax and spend times for ourselves....Holiday

What a holiday...its really tired though, 3 days trips around Kuala Lumpur and Malacca
At Kuching International Airport prior to our journey

Night Life at Bulit Bintang, KL Primier tourist attraction

Nice Hotel where we stay (Capitol Hotel) right at the heart of Bukit Bintang

History (Building Left by the Dutch Colonies) in Malacca

Wanna try the "Beca"....

One of the Famous Portuguese remainder

Right now it is the third highest building in the world

Journey Home at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Family Trip (Holiday) in Kuala Lumpur

Aero Bridge at Petronas Twin Tower Kuala Lumpur
Putra Jaya Lake

Inside the ferry ride around Putra Jaya Lake

Putra Jaya Trade Marks

At View Point KL Tower

My Kids at the National Monument

Monday, August 30, 2010

Some Salako Translations to English

A foreigner meet his local friend in Lundu town, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Traveller : Hello, nice to meet you. ( Halo, repo dapat batamu ngan kau. )
Local     : Sabaya ugak ( Same with you)
Traveller : It's a wonderful place here. ( Bato unang tampat di sia. )
Local     : Auklah, angat kahe. ( Yes it is, but its quite warm here. )
Traveller : Well, it is a tropic country and it is as expected. ( Auk Jamai'a' bah, memang jai'a bah
                  nagari tropika.)
local       : Jama'e gak paja'anan tae? ( How is your journey just now? )
Traveller : Oh. okey. It's take around one hour. ( Oh, ok. Samak sajam. )
Local     : Samadi diri' bakalakar badiri jai'a, jek diri' duduk di kade sambil nyocok aik. ( Rather then us 
                talking here, come lets us find some place in the coffee shop and have some drinks. )
Traveller : It's a good idea. ( Koa buah pikir ang bato.)

In the Coffee shop.

A waiter  : Mia chocokak kitak? ( What drinks are you going order? )
Local      : Aik mia ang maok kau chocokak? ( What drink do you want? )
Traveller  : Give me a cool and refreshing "ice lemon tea". ( Barek aku aik dingin ngan nyaman, "teh ais
                 imo nepes" )
Local      : Ia minta' teh ais imo nepes, aku barek cola ais campuri' garek dikit boh. ( My friends here ask for
                 ice lemon tea, and give me a coke mix with a little bit of salt, okey. )
A waiter  : Dibare'a aislah cola kitak koa? ( Your coke need an ice, sir? )
Local      : Auk.... ( Yes..)
Traveller  : Is there any cheap place to stay here, like a hotel or a chalet? ( Ada kek tampat diamp ang murah
                 di sia, aya hotel ato chalet? )
Local      : Oh, ada, ka tapi pante manyak, tapi di pasar nyian kahe sabuah, ba air-con gaunange. ( Oh, yes
                 there is, especially at the sea side, but in town only one and it is air-condition. )
Local      : Jek nang nyocok, aus nyian. ( Come let have our drinks, I'm thirsty. )
Traveller  : Come,'s nice. ( Auk jek, ummmm ...nyaman. )
Traveller  : I'm going to stay for a few days, maybe around three days. ( Aku maok di sia damp dua ato talu
                 ari, mungkin damp talu ari.)
Local       : Auklah, dapat ugak kau baja'atn-baja'atn nanang tampat di sia. ( Oh, yes that good, and you can
                 walk around to see the places here. )
Traveller  ; I hope I can used what ever time I have here to walks around. ( Aku arap aku dapat makhe
                  masa ang ku ada di sia sak baja'atn-baja'atn nanang utatn. )
Local       ; Ame gobar, dapat sabab tampat kami nyian ana' kaya'. ( Don't worry, you can because our
                  places here is not big. )
Traveller  : How about transport, is it easy to get? ( Jamae ngan pangangkutan, sanang kek? )
Local       : Oh, hal koa ame digobaratn, aku ada. Kalo ngagoak pangangkutan makhe urakng rami di sia
                 susah dikit. Kahe van ang ada, ana' tatap masa'e. ( Oh, about that don't worry, I'll provide it. If
                 you want to find public transport here it's quite difficult. We only a few van and the time is not
                 fixed. )
Traveller   ; Oh, I see. Thank you then. ( Oh, jakoalah. Tarima' kasehlah boh. )

Dears readers, above is some example of a Salako talking with his foriegn friend. Some words in Salako brings two meaning, depend on the situation the words is used. Example:

1. utatn = places, or jungle
I have been in the jungle for two days. ( Aku di damp utatn udah dua ari. )

Beside that, translating English to Salako is not easy, because we have to see the situation how the words is used in the sentences, example:

1. I hope I used what ever time I have here to walks around. ( Aku arap aku dapat makhe masa ang ku
   ada di sia sak baja'atn-baja'atn nanang utatn. )

* around = kaliling , but because the words walks around, so the best expression to translate is  baja'atn-baja'atn nanang utatn.

* Baja'atn = walk
* Baja'atn-baja'atn = walks.
* Nanang utatn = see places

Dear readers, to translate a Salako text or an English text to a Salako text and vice verse, is not easy. If not, the meaning intended for will differ from the original meaning. Any indigenous language that is seldom been used in writing will face similar problem. I hope in near future, lots of Salako will try our best to write some text with our own language so that we won't loose our original language.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My Crazy Idea for Solving Malaysian Crowded School Problem

Malaysia now is a country fast moving forward and most of the basic public amenities are fully stretch until the limits. The like of roads, schools, hospital and etc. School is the one hard hit by this situations. Just imagine in one classroom that have to accommodate up to 40 to 45 pupils and the school populations can reach up to 2000 over. The best school authority can do is divide the school sessions in two, that is the morning and afternoon session because of the limited space to accommodate the whole populations into one session. This situation is getting worst by year because not many schools are build to cater for the increased intake of the pupils. Beside that, the housing development project that is mushrooming also aggravates the situation.
As a naive person, the crazy idea that I think can and will solved this problem is simple. The Malaysian Government should asked all the housing developer to share this responsibilities together. The Government should in some way prepare a plot of land to build schools in any housing project. Rather then getting taxes from the housing projects, the Government should make a priority for the housing project developer to build a school in the housing project vicinity and this responsibilities can be share by a few developers who develop the housing project concern. And so when the area is develop, a school is also ready to cater for the populations for the area concern. Surely a ratio of one class to 25 pupils is achievable. Beside that, any public utilities that is paramount for the people well being, the likes of Government Health Clinic should also be given the priority to be build in the vicinity of the housing projects.
This idea maybe seem crazy and will create a bit of uneasiness among property developers, what's wrong to share a slice of the cake for the benefit of the community as a whole.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Malaysian Road Block?

It is good to have a regular "road block" on our roads, but sometimes road block can create "nuisance" because of a long traffic jams. From what I have experience's today ( 4.7.2010 ), the road block causes a very long traffic jams and I have to skip my Sunday activities because I loose my time to reach my destination.

Why don't the authorities concerns think of a way  to minimise the jams so that the road user doesn't have to loose their precious time to reach their destination. Why should road block be done in such a way where road user have to squeeze into one miserable lane out of two lane. Why don't do both side of the road and a warning sign been put 1km before the real road block is done. At least this will minimize the traffic jams.....

What we learned from this World Cup of 2010?

Talks about football, all over this globe people will know, although every nations will have their own terms of pronouncing it. To some, it is only a game, but in reality of today's version, football is a pride and dignity either to a persons or a country. Football can bring magic to a nation and can turn somebody fortune in their life. Different races and believers will come together and holds hands.....just because of football. The questions is, what do we learned and see in football?

In this year 2010 world cup editions ( which is still going on ), we can learned a lot from it. As we know, South America is a great nation of football. Why so? My point of view is that the people love football as their way of life. Football can change their life. Football is everything to them. But, just can't bring that nations to be a world champion, as we can see Brazil against Holland, and Argentina against the Germans.

To love football and like football is not enough. second to none, discipline is also important. To me, the Koreans and the Japanese is the best example of the well discipline teams. Although their standards of play is not on par with the best team in the world, but their well organize teams bring them to the last 16 team of the best among the best.

To Africa, they have to change. Ghana is a good teams, but most African teams have one weakness, that is their individualistic character of their player. Sometimes, the riches league doesn't guaranteed a good football team for a nation, a good example is England. What make England a popular team because of an image played down by the great media exposure, but where are they now in the world cup? We will wait for Spain...are they able to stands up to be the world best teams?

A teams that worth to be a world champions now, especially in this new millennium's is a teams of having a good working ethic, well organize, a well culture team spirit and top of it is the approach of "sports science". One teams that manage to show this quality is the Germans. They are the class above all. The way they play and their attitude during the game itself. Holland is also a team which has a bit of this approach, especially their hard works in the field.

Well, what we can say about Malaysia football now? In the 70's and early 80's, Malaysia is above the Koreans and the Japanese, but now we are 20 years behind this two teams. Love and like football is not enough. We have to be a well discipline, well organize, a good culture spirit, a deep pride and dignity towards our country and ourselves. Last but not least, a good sports science approach also played a very important role. No matter who we hire or how professional they are, if we ourselves is not ready to change, it is not worth to spend the money for.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I Spoke My Mind Out: Oh Salako, what is happening?

Gawai, Jun 1, is a date with a prolong celebrations among all Salako people. During this Gawai Festival celebrations, there is a lot other celebrations coming too, because of the long mid-term schools holidays. So every Salako is taking advantages of the long school holiday to make  celebrations such as arranging a marriage ceremony, batenek, basunat, bata'ah and so on. Almost everyday, from the day of the first week of gawai festival there will be invitations cards, and also the "pangaap" ( person or persons entrusted to invite from house to house) coming to your house. All I can say its a weeks of free meal, lots of foods and drinks.

Gawai, itself is a festival of celebrations for the end of paddy harvesting seasons. It is celebrated to give thanks to the "Sumangat Padi" because Paddy is the main staple foods of the Dayaks and we can say that paddy is the most respected "Foods" in the Dayaks community.

So, Gawai is a festival and a celebrations, and it is one of the Dayaks identity in Malaysia. From every corner of Malaysia, every Dayaks community is flocking home to celebrate the Gawai Festival. Most major town in Sarawak will be crowed with people returning home, and as to say, a shopping spree is happening too. From the poor  to the wealthy, all will spend to buy foods such as chickens, porks, tid-bits, soft drinks and yeep...surely the beers and liquor.

What make me think about my own people attitude towards modernization in making their celebrations. It is not a traditions of a Salako customary, but it is creeping very fast into our society and it really making a very "scary" and drastic changes towards our people mentality. As to say, during gawai holidays there will lots of other celebrations taking place too, and one of it is the marriage ceremony. During this celebrations, lots of unwanted activities is taking places too. Two major event that never missed are the gambling, especially the "Holo game" and the "fun fair". What a shame all this activities is making it grip towards our small communities.

It is sad to know that our own colourful culture are being left behind because of the so called "Modernization". What will happened to our colourful culture? Why we need to change the source of our pride?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Who cares and What Matter Most

You Live or Die
Who cares
You are Rich or Poor
Who Cares
You are Great or Not
Who Cares
Because by the End When You are Gone
Its Gone Friends

What Matter Most
The Sign that You Had Left
What Matter Most
Your Soul is Fine
What Matter Most
The Legacy that You have Made

Who Cares
When You Cry
Who Cares
What Made You Cry
Who Cares
When You Smile
Who Cares
What had Made You Smile

What Matter Most
Is the feeling That You Feel
What Matter Most
Is the Sincerity that You Give
What Matter Most
Is the Burning Desire that You Had

Dear Friends
If You Have Had Any Friends
If They Really Care for You
If They Really Mean To Be Your Friends
At the End "Who Cares?"

Dear People
If They Really Want to Hear You
If They Really Want to Listen To You
If They Really Want to Accomendate You
At The End "What Matter Most" is You Yourself

Be Youself
If You Want To Be Yourself
If You Want To Be Known
If You Want What Ever You Dreams Of
Just Be Yourself
Because By The End

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why Me and Not Them...

I dream of touching a star
but it is too far away
I dream of flying like a birds
but I have no wings
I dream of walking around the globe
but I can't cross the seven seas with a pair of legs

A dream is only a dream to them
For me a dreams is a sense of virtually a realistic adventure
I can imagine all the impossible is a possible
It can all come alive through my imagination

Why me and not them.....
Maybe I'm powerless and they are powerfull
Or maybe I'm poor and they are mega rich
And maybe I'm unlucky and they are lucky
I'm  proud because I still can dream like them

Why me, not them....
That live with dreams
That live with imagination
That smile empty alone
That see impossible
And yet it can be possible

Why me and not them.....
Born to be what I am
Suffer as what I am
Poor as what I am
Dream as what I am

Why me and not them.....
Seen as a candle
Giving light to darkness
Showing the path and directions
Till they reach the bright end of the tunnel

Why me...
Because I want me to be what I am
And not them....
Because they don't want to be like me
When my time comes
And my entity never ends
There will always be me
Being love, being hated and being seek
That's me....TEACHER

Friday, May 7, 2010

An Inside View: Indigenous Salako Swidden Agriculture Practise and Forest Management in Lundu.

The Salako are one of indigenous Bidayuh community in Sarawak. The Bidayuh were collectively called Land Dayak in the past but were officially named Bidayuh by the Malaysian government in 2002. Salako population in the 2000 census was 14,000 living in almost 22 villages. Our traditional homeland was in the southwestern tip of Sarawak, precisely in Lundu and Sematan District. More recently there has been increasing movement of the young, especially those with vocational or professional skills, to other parts of Malaysia.

Long time ago, the Salako were traditionally longhouse dwellers who made their living by subsistence farming. In recent years many have abandoned longhouses for single houses within villages, but many aspects of their traditional culture and social organization have been retained. Rice farming is still an important part of their culture and economy. The agricultural cycle is marked by important festivals called Gawai. Their way of life is structured by their adat (customary law) and rukun (a way of organizing their life). There is a strong sense of cooperation and communal sharing that goes back to the longhouse culture. Economic development and education have brought many of the Salako into the mainstream of modern Malaysian society, but they have managed to maintain many distinct aspects of their culture.

Traditionally, the Salako were animists with some influence from Hinduism and Buddhism. While they attribute spirits to many things in nature such as birds, animals, and plants, many who hold to the traditional religion today believe in a supreme god who comes to their assistance in the cycle of rice cultivation as well as major events in the cycle of life. About 45% of the Salako have become Christians. Although many Salako have come to sincerely believe in the existence of God Al-Mighty, and do attend church, some remain nominal Christians.

While many of the Salako have experienced the benefits of an improved educational system and the modern economy, the rural Salako in particular are not experiencing the same level of progress. For those in the mainstream of modernization, there is a challenge to maintain their cultural heritage and identity.

Salako Land Usage and Management:

In many parts of the world, forests, trees and their products provide the critical components of household, village, regional and national economies. This view are to see how the dependence of Salako swidden cultivators on forest resources in Lundu base on their historical perspective, detailing how Salako traditional swidden cultivators have adapted to political, economic, cultural and environmental changes. Interactions between the Salako socio-cultural heritage and the profound development in social and environmental are affecting changes access to the forest and changes in traditional management practices and concepts of ownership, as well as the very ability of the Salako people to continue to live as swidden cultivators.

Traditional Salako swidden agriculture dweller systems in Lundu range from wet-field (swamp or irrigated paddy rice) and dry-field production of annual crops, to various agro forestry regimes. The agro forestry practices include planting trees and crops in home gardens, and other forest enrichment planting practices, such as planting fruits trees.

The Salako village people give estimations the size of their land not by acreage, but by the amount of rice cultivated and produced. People know exactly how many baskets of rice they plant each year and how much they produce: to them, the products of the land are more important than the amount of land itself. Their land use are Paya’ (irrigated paddy field), Uma (Hill paddy field), Kabon (annual crops such as pepper), Taya’atn (small plot of land for crops or vegetables), Kompokng ( fruits trees plantation such durian and illipe nuts) and Timawakng ( an old living place where fruits trees are left to grows and manage).

Salako Swidden Agriculture Practice

Through a simple explaination, swidden agriculture is frequently called "shifting" or "slash and burn" agriculture, it is often not shifting at all. On the contrary, the Salako swidden style of cultivation constitutes a single part of a long-term agro forestry system, involving very long and complex rotations of crops and trees on various patches of land. Salako swiddeners do not simply slash and burn forest, moving without pattern or plan from one place to another. Their forest management practices, and the purpose associated with various practices and various products, have been particularly misunderstood. It is important to redress this lack of understanding.

In practical swidden agriculture, all staple foods as understood by the Salako swidden dweller, come from the forest, although the forest's function in the production of rice, maize, vegetables and fruits sometimes appears to be limited to supplying ash for fertilizer.

Salako swiddener’s, after clearing an old growth forest species, they will cultivate that land for one or two years, especially for planting paddy, and then determine its future use. The swidden plot can be left as a relatively unaltered fallow - reserved for future field crop cultivation. Meanwhile, the owner and villagers will use the wild or encouraged succession species that may grow in the fallow such tapioca and wild sour brinjals. Alternatively, the fallow field can be planted with fruit trees (explicitly including durian and/or illipe nut trees) or some kind of cash crop such as rubber, cocoa, illipe nut or pepper.

After swiddening, therefore, they makes important decisions about how a plot of land will be managed. These decisions will not only affect the plot's species composition and the configuration of indigenous rights to the land and resources, but will also affect the decisions that the household makes about its other lands, trees and the forest to which it has access.

The decisions by the Salako swiddener’s not to plant economic trees or not to clear areas do not mean the forest is not managed. Decisions not to clear certain kinds of trees, their habitats, or whole areas of the forest are desired for their forest products, and it is a simple way of managing the forest, and its means of regulating access to specific products within a "low-impact" management area/habitat.

Forest cleared for swidden are eventually returned, through natural or managed succession, to old growth cover over a very long period or swidden fallows are converted permanently to fruit and rubber gardens, mixed with a variety of encouraged "wild", succession species. In essence, it appears that over generations the swidden use of forests is sustainable.

Native Customary Land Right – NCR (Tanah Adat/Pusaka) Tenure

The rights of indigenous Salako people in Malaysia, especially in Lundu to convert or use particular forest territories and products are conveyed in multiple sets of customary access rules called adat (rules). In general there are three main types of property tenure: common property rights (CPRs); descent group common property rights (descent group CPRs); and, private property rights.

Common property rights are held either by the village as a whole or by descent groups. Descent group rights can be likened to "heirloom rights" and are shared among kith and kin. Private land rights for swiddening are recognised by the community for both individuals and families and, when ownership disputes arise, they are arbitrated by the village head or the head of customary law. Both men and women are accorded these rights, as they relate strongly to each individual's input of labour.

Common property rights

The common property in Salako society is the village territory. These territories were established by the ancestors who pioneered settlement and created the traditional geographic boundaries. The government then established formal boundaries which essentially followed these traditional divisions and most of these divisions remain and are recognised by the contemporary Sarawak State.

Formerly, the village proper consisted of one or two longhouses, which in turn contained as many as 10 to 20 doors or apartments located in a settlement area. Today, most village units consist of clusters of single family houses built in a residential section of the village territory. These separate households hold common property rights to the village territory and the forest products (both flora and fauna) within that territory.

Under the traditional laws of resource allocation, the land and forest surrounding the longhouse settlements remain village common property until the conditions for private claim or control are exercised by individuals or groups.

When common resources and products are shared, the group as a whole must usually agree to share the resources and products by community labour, and if any of the fellow community doesn’t participate, his ownership rights are indirectly “forfeited”.

Some forest products are also village common property wherever they grow. Any villager can collect firewood from someone's garden or swidden fallow without asking permission. Besides that, most wild foods, such as mushrooms, greens, ferns and bamboo shoots, all of which grow in the forest, in old swidden fallows or in gardens, are commonly shared.

Certain other products are village CPRs when they are wild but private property when they are planted or protected. For example, wild pandanus growing in the forest is a village CPR, but if it is planted in swidden fallows, it becomes private property.

Descent group rights

In Salako society, descent group common property rights are rights to trees or land held in common by the descendents of tree planters, tree protectors/managers, or forest clearers. The rights most often apply to trees and the fruit of trees. These are the rights retained by the children and grandchildren of the original tree planter or manager.

Rights of transfer for commonly held resources are restricted, and if any of the coheirs wants to cut or sell the tree or, in some cases, sell the land, all the other heirs should be asked permission and should be given a share in the profits or the wood. Failure to do so can result in family censure or in a hearing with village leaders and the payment of a customary fine.

Private rights

Private rights to land and forest products are generally recognized by the Salako communities if one or all of three circumstances prevail: (a) there is an investment of labour in the land or in the product's management; (b) inheritance; or (c) prior claim (finder's rights).

For trees, especially seasonal fruits trees, private rights are recognized when an individual plants, harvests, maintains (manages), and protects the tree. The rights to newly-planted trees are maintained by the planter and his household, while old trees are jointly-owned by the planter's descent group. Generally, men and women inherit rights in fruit trees equally. Finding and marking a tree also constitutes an ownership claim, but often further evidence of some management is required to uphold the claim.

Besides claims based on labour investment and inheritance, private rights may be acquired through gift or purchase.

Customary fines

Community sanctions have protected individual and household claims on both land and trees. Cutting someone's planted or managed trees, wherever they are located (in old swiddens, forest or home gardens), has always been grounds for levying a customary fine. The payment of fines for cutting trees can be compared to the payment of fines for taking someone's life: although the amount for the latter is significantly higher, the process and the justification are basically the same, because both acts deprived another's descendants of a livelihood.

Different types of customary fines must be paid according to the severity of the offence, usually by a system of weighing, which is “tahil”. Besides that, the offender are required to pay the fine which can be paid with cash, or property like trees, swidden fallows or pigs. Fines increase according to the level at which the dispute is finally settled. These fines have been standardised.

Hazards of development in the Salako Swiddeners

Access to modern facilities is not all beneficial. Through the introductions of development, social dysfunctions have also been creeping slowly into the community because of the extensiveness of interactions with the regional market economy and other social changes. Most disturbing are the incidents of increased gambling and drinking, particularly among young people

It is not surprising that many young people do not want to make swiddens or take part in the production of annual crops; this is common in many contemporary Salako villages where young people want to be "modern". The loss of large amounts of money to gambling and drinking however, rather than the investment of any surplus in potentially productive enterprises for the future, worries many of the more responsible village people.

The formalization of traditional rights as so called Native Customary Rights-NCR (though flawed as a concept because it comes after protest by the native’s when the government began to claimed all the commercial timber resources, designated reserves, and divided all land into political land use classifications) has in fact create more opportunities for the Salako swiddeners to pursue further their way of integrating their life into this much anticipated modern farming development. An understanding of the indigenous people's traditional forest managment practices, which have survived several hundred years, will help us in our ability to wisely manage our resources.


1. Nancy Lee Peluso; The Impact of Social and Environmental Change on Forest Management:
 A Case Study from West Kalimantan, Indonesia, The FAO Forestry Department, United Nations.