Parang: the Malay machete

“Take the parang beneath the stairs
Use the whetstone on an edge grown dull.
That faith be kept safe in prayer
Prostrate daily five times in full.”

Gardening in the tropics is a constant battle against the jungle. Being properly armed means carrying a machete. From Brazil to the Congo to the island of Borneo, farmers wield some form of long, sturdy knife for slashing and hacking back the relentless encroaching green. The Malaysian machete is the parang.… More Parang: the Malay machete

Gurindam 12 Fasal 4

The 12 Gurindam of Raja Ali Haji ___________________________ This is the Gurindam of the fourth issue: Ini gurindam pasal yang keempat: The heart over the body rules all; if it oppresses, every part falls. Hati kerajaan di dalam tubuh, jikalau zalim segala anggota pun roboh. Whenever jealousy has been sown, shoot forth a multitude of… More Gurindam 12 Fasal 4

The Raid

I can’t recommend The Raid: Redemption.  It’s an Indonesian action movie that has won some acclaim internationally.  I watched it because I’d seen Merantau, by the same director (Gareth Evans) and starring the same actor (Iko Uwais).  Merantau wasn’t bad if you are a martial arts fan: the production quality was high and the pencak… More The Raid

Datuk Hakim Keramat

By Abu Muhammad English Translation and Photography by Bin Gregory Productions Datuk Hakim Keramat, or the Miraculous Judge, was the title given to a religous scholar of Sarawak well known for his miracles and mystic knowledge. His real name was Abang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Abang Haji Brahim. He was born in Kuching, Sarawak and… More Datuk Hakim Keramat

Masjid Maktab Perguruan

Kota Samarahan, Sarawak Large government institutions will often have suraus or masjids built on their grounds, particularly if the institution has a resident population. The mosque where I most often make my Friday prayers is one such mosque, built on the grounds of a nearby maktab perguruan. It’s a lovely building, a modern rendition of… More Masjid Maktab Perguruan