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Monsoon Brings Giant Prawn Bounty

By Remar Nordin

KOTA TINGGI (Bernama) --Not all fishermen will lose their income during the monsoon season.

The fishermen at Kampung Makam have another source of income to turn to during the season – and it is a lucrative one at that.

The village is located in the middle of the Kota Tinggi town. It is a favourite fishing destination for avid anglers as the Johor River runs by the village.

September is a much-awaited time for fishermen and anglers because it is when the southwest monsoon comes to an end. As the transitional monsoon period draws near, heavy rainfall will ensue, bringing to the river a higher population of giant freshwater prawn.

“Giant river prawns are plentiful at this time and a fisherman can earn up to RM200 a day in sales,” said the chairman of the Kampung Makam fisherman group Abd Rahim Sampir.


'Tanah Akhirku' Borne Out of Campus Unity

By Soon Li Wei

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Every time Lim Mei Fen hears the patriotic song Warisan by the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad, she cannot help but tear up.

The 31-year-old has spent an inordinate amount of time delving into the meaning behind the lyrics of the song. This was because for the last four years, she has made it part of her ‘homework’ to learn the song as well as a few other Malay songs in an effort to improve her mastery of the Malay language.

“I didn’t use to be fluent in Bahasa Malaysia. When I was given the role of Puteri Hang Li Po in the theatre performance “Takhta 3 Ratu’ four years ago, I could only read the script without fully understanding it.

“So I worked at improving my Bahasa Malaysia by speaking and listening to Malay songs. When I finally comprehended the meaning behind Warisan, I could not help but be moved to tears. It made me grateful to be born Malaysian,” she told Bernama.

As a final year student at the National Academy of Arts Culture and Heritage (Aswara)’s Faculty of Theatre, Lim found living among the multiracial campus community has taught her a lot about the meaning of unity.


Relaying News Through 'Wayang Pacak'

Kamaliza Kamaruddin

KEMAMAN (Bernama) -- It happened over 61 years ago, but Yusof Mohd Yatim can still recall the excitement of ‘wayang pacak’ (outdoor movie screening) night.

The 73-year-old former retired teacher said that wayang pacak used to be an important medium for disseminating information to the public, back in the day.

He remembers how it was used to address national concerns in 1957.

“I was only 12 at the time, but I was already aware about the worry of those around me over Malaya’s ability to form a new government once we gain independence from the British,” he said.

Yusof was born in Kampung Kemasik, some 29km away from Chukai, the capital of Kemaman district.

The then Alliance Party leader Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj, who later became the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, managed to allay their fears by using several information dissemination media such as radio, newspapers as well as wayang pacak.


The Men Who Laboured For The Oath Stone

By Mohamad Khairy Abdullah 

KENINGAU  (Bernama) -- John Rikimin Sukah believes that the history of the Keningau Oath Stone needs to be rewritten.

The 77-year-old claims that there are discrepancies in current records about the monument, based on his first-hand knowledge as one of the four Dusun men from Kampung Kukup Senagang involved in preparing the slab of stone that would be used to mark an important event in Malaysian history.

The stone was erected to commemorate the terms in which the former British Crown Colony of North Borneo joined the former colony of Sarawak and the other states of the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia.

John said that the stone was retrieved from Sungai Mosolog Senagang and not Sungai Pegalan, as was currently recorded in history.

“I just want history to record the truth and for people to acknowledge and appreciate the effort that went into the formation of Malaysia,” he said.


Longhouse Keen To Celebrate Malaysia Day

By Sakini Mohd Said

JULAU (Bernama) -- The end of July is usually the busiest time for Michael Jarop, the secretary of Rumah Anthony Bau. The longhouse is located in Sarawak’s interior in Nanga Sugai, Rantau Tapang, Mujok and is home to 128 residents of Iban descent.

The father of four has the important role of decorating the longhouse with ‘patriotic’ decorations in commemoration of the National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations.

Jarop, 45, usually gathers as many youths as possible to help him put up hundreds of flags for the celebration.

“It brings about a very festive atmosphere. Despite our location, we are determined to have a celebration as merry as the one in the city. However, the celebration is being delayed for a while this year as a death has occurred so certain taboos need to be adhered to.

“Otherwise, by the end of July, you would be able to see the Malaysian and Sarawak flag hung all over the walls and ceilings of the ruai,” he told Bernama.


Klang-born Sangari Fluent In 'Jako Iban´

By Noor Bakhtiar Ahmad

BINTULU (Bernama) -- "Aku ka madah, aku ka ngucap Selamat Hari Malaysia enggau Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan ngagai semua rakyat Malaysia. Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban!' (I would like say that I want to wish all Malaysians Selamat Hari Malaysia and Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan. I will keep fighting for as long as there is still a breath left in me!)

That sentence would have sounded perfectly natural for a native-Iban speaker, but it was actually uttered by G. Sangari, an Indian woman born in Klang, Selangor.

The fluency of her Iban surprised this writer, who met the 25-year-old for the first time, recently.

Sangari first set foot in Sarawak five years ago to pursue her degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).


Parang Bajau: Keeping To A Sharp Tradition

By Erda Khursyiah Basir

KOTA BELUD (Bernama) -- Rarely do children grow up with the desire to carry on the work of their ancestors.

Instead, many prefer to migrate to bigger cities and find jobs that they feel is a better fit for themselves.

Said Pawel is, however, an exception. The 35-year-old is more than happy to continue the craft of the generations before him, whose expertise was in handcrafting the parang Bajau (Bajau machete).

“It is not just I who have interest in this craft. My younger brothers, cousins and nearly 90 percent of the youths in Kampung Siasai Jaya, here, are involved in the making of parang Bajau.

“Everyone is keen to carry on with the tradition as the craft has been part of the identity of the Bajau people since long ago,” he told Bernama.