Monday, August 31, 2009

Sabah Art Gallery Site

What is left of a burnt old building in Kota Kinabalu is now taken over by the Sabah Art Gallery.

Committee Meeting Postponed

October 18, 2009 is the new date for the second Committee Meeting of PSM Cawangan Sabah at Star City/Asia City Kota Kinabalu.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Batu Payung Tinagat Tawau - More A Legend

Batu Payung in Tinagat Tawau has served its name as a legend but it has served its purpose as a historical landmark and a landmark that protects ships from the rocky shores or it could be the boundary landmark made by the colonial masters including the Dutch and British or the the rulers in the old days.

Other Historical Landmarks In Tawau

A Bugis Philanthropist Built This Old Tawau Mosque


The man had already passed away but his good deeds remain until today. Stories they told me he carried money in sacks from the rental he collected from the nearby shops.

What Used To Be A Theatre

They do not show any more film in what used to be the Empress Theater in Tawau.The theater had been turned into shops that sell clothes and bags, barber, hand phone shops and internet cafe.

Tawau Central Market Built in 1972

A new and bigger Central Market had been built at the sea-front but the old Central Market is now the Hawkers Center and Food Stalls.

Between Old And New


Sabah Art Gallery has taken over this site where once stand a historical landmark that once housed a Government Ministry but was burnt down in the '80s. Its location is next to HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank. SURIA Hypermall is just in front but can this site survives the age of development?

The Grand Old Post Office Building

The building locates the Sabah Tourism Promotion Corporation,STPC located at Jalan Gaya or Gaya Street in Kota Kinabalu.

There are not many historical landmarks in Kota Kinabalu and whatever we have must be preserved.

Datuk M Y Ahmad

Datuk MY Ahmad is to be remembered as a singer and musician for Asli music. He won the Bintang RTM competition and his voice is unique but nice to hear.

He passed away on August 30,2009 as we prepare for our National Day Celebration on August 31, 2009 and as we undergo the 9th day of fasting in this month of Ramadan. Our condolence to his family members and may his soul rest in peace. Alfatihah

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weaving Industry In Kota Belud, Sabah,Malaysia


No that was not the car number that you have wanted to have and bid more than RM1,000.00 and the number 8 is very much reverred by the Chinese and even the other races. Why is this figure so important then? 1888 was the year North Borneo became a protectorate of Great Britain so was Negara Brunei Darussalam. That was 21 years before North Borneo became an independent state in Malaysia on September 16,1963.

Lest We Forget Our History

In Sembulan, Kota Kinabalu lies a memorial park to remember the past leaders who had perished during an air tragedy including Tun Fuad Stephens and other high profile personalities. May their soul rest in peace. Amin

Remembering The Warriors Of Kalabakan in Tawau

How could one forget the warriors and heros who had fought so well defending the nation from outside forces of a neighboring country during the early years of Independence? Well thank you for your services and protection.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kain Tenunan, Songket & Rattan

The Bajau in Kota Belud, a town north of Kota Kinabalu City are expert weavers, particularly the Iranun community from Kg Rampaian Laut. The Sumatran are also good weavers. We call the cloth they weave as 'Kain Tenunan' and the market had expanded to places like London that fetched a kain tenunan price of about RM1,600 per piece. Kota Belud even has a Handicraft Centre that teaches and markets weaving and their products, particularly songket and batik textiles.They also teaches people the making of baskets and other products from cane or rattan.

CAEXPO In Naning, Guangxi, China

Whoever had been to Naning Guangxi Province in China would notice that the traditional costume is quite similar to the Minangkabau costume especially the head gear that looked like the horn of the cow. Does this mean that the people in Sumatra had originated from Naning, Guangxi? Naning is also one of the 9 provinces in Negeri Sembilan Malaysia.

Naning is the place where there have an expo that showcase ASEAN products and services in China.

Naning is about 1 and half hour by air from Guangzhow Airport which is about 3 hours by air from Kota Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia.

New Memorial Landmark For Our Warriors

Did you notice the new landmark in front of the Kota Kinabalu Library Building and the Wisma Pertanian? It is the new landmark for our warriors, the second one after the old one at Petagas where they always put flower every year. This new landmark is only about slightly more than 10 years old and located along Jalan Penampang in front of the Sabah State Archive. It is in a beautiful garden called UJANA HUTAN TROPIKA owned by the City Hall of Kota Kinabalu. It is a place for the family to do their jogging as well as other activities including coupling. While we celebrate the National Day this coming August 31, 2009, let us not forget our warriors who had defended our nation from unwanted elements that could disrupt the peace and progress of the nation. We say thank you warriors and heroes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Selamat Menyambut Bulan Kemerdekaan

Wishing all Malaysian a month of celebration of the Independence. MERDEKA

Friday, August 21, 2009

What Is Left Of The Tawau Old Maternity Hospital

Tawau History


The history of the second largest town in Sabah, Tawau would depend on where the story came from. The Tidong community said that it came from the fishing hook which they called ‘tawau’ which they left for the fish to be hooked. They mentioned this word when the British came to Tawau River and had asked them the name of the river. As they did not understand the English language they thought that the British had asked what they were doing.

The Bugis community instead claimed that ‘tawau’ means it is their ‘ownership'.

The Cocos Islander Community said it came from the word ‘tawar’ which means no taste or no power as when people entered Tawau their power became useless or ‘tawar’.

The other communities like the Murut may have different meaning to the word ‘tawau’.

Even the herbal leaves that are very bitter is called ‘tawao’ and these leaves are normally taken raw if you have problem with sugar level or diabetic.

It could also have come from the word ‘davao’ after Davao City in the Mindanao Island. To me this is more accurate as there is also a place called Tinagat and in Mindanao Island there is also an Island called Dinagat in the North East of Mindanao, next to a province called Butuan.

The Muruts could also be the oldest residents except that they lived in Serudong, a village about one hour boat ride from Tawau town after Walace Bay. There were some old graves of the Tidong community at a place called Simandalam and some of the graves at fallen into the sea. There is also a new settlement in Balung called Serudong where most of the communities are Murut and Iban.

As we know it today Tawau is a port and transit point before you go to the famous Sipadan Island, which is located off Semporna or before you go to Tabin Wild Life Sanctuary or Danum Valley Rainforest Lodge in Lahad Datu or even the Madai Caves in Kunak. These are just some of the famous landmarks. Of course you can go to Tarakan and Nunukan in Indonesia in a 2-4 hours journey by boat.

The beginning of Tawau started at the Tawau River, about 2 miles away from Town and this place is called Tawau Lama or the Old Tawau, where locates many shophouses, factories and houses including the Tawau Lama Housing Esate developed by LPPB or the state owned agency that develops housing for the people. Tawau Lama or Old Tawau is some 2.5 miles off the Apas Road to Semporna.

There are no landmarks, except for the Kampong called Kampong Ice Box or Kg Titingan, after the name of a local leader Datuk Abu Bakar Titingan, who is from the Tidung Community. There are also some Arab communities living at Mile 2 and these people are called the ‘Habibs’. There is a small mosque at the River Bank in front of the house owned by a local leader, Datuk Abdul Ghafur Salleh, who is an Arab from Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The Tawau River originated from the Tawau Forest Reserve at Gudang 4 or the Warehouse 4 where locates a famous waterfall that people go for picnic or take a dip. You have to pass through the oil palm estates that belong to Golden Hope Plantation Bhd.

Tawau is located in the Tawau Residency which also includes Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu towns in Sabah East Coast.
Most of Bugis community lives in Merotai and Tg Batu to the north of Tawau, the Tidung lives in the area of Balung and Apas, the Bajau in Kinabutan, the Chinese in Sin Onn and Mile 5, also in Kinabutan, the Cocos Islander Community in Balung and the Visayas in Tawau town.

Of course the island that blocks the Tawau town and port is called the Sebatik Island which is owned by Malaysia and Indonesia. Why it is called ‘Si Batik’ could have the meaning that the man who lived there had always wear a Batik sarong and Indonesia especially the island of Java is famous for its Batik, a colorful textile with local motifs and designs. Batik is mainly produced in the province of Solo, Semarang, Cirebon, each having their own design and motifs. So Si Batik could have come from one of these area or a person who had been to these area.

The Cocos Islander Community wedding and dance still wear Batik as part of its costume for the ladies as well as for the men. So you see which direction is it heading now. It is heading to the Cocos Islander Communty who had a famous leader in the name of Alexander Hare who had a kingdom in Maluka, an island off Banjarmasin.

Dont foreget the Japanese. They had some historical landmark too; a place called Kubota which used to be their base and Kuhara as well as the Japanes graveyard in the North Road to BAL Plantations.Who could have given the name to the mountain called Kukusan, located in the North part of Tawau? Half of this hill has been quarried for aggregates.

So Tawau as we know it today is just another town in Sabah which is famous for its cocoa plantation and cocoa factory operated by the Teck Guan Group, as well as the plantation owned by Golden Hope Plantation, formerly BAL Estates. BAL Estates used to plant abaca or the manila hemp at Table Estate. Manila hemp is used to make ropes especially for the ships and boats.

Tawau is also famous for its resettlement schemes. They have so many schemes like Ranggu, Serudong, Gading, Apas, Cocos Islander and the Tidong (Nasib Kita).

The old light house still stands high on the foothill of Tinagat in Apas. Tinagat is where Batu Payung is and Batu Payung is a stone located at the seaside that had story of its own in the Tidong community. This lighthouse was built by the British to facilitate ships coming into the Tawau Port.

Batu Payung The Answer to Tawau History


The story about this stone among the Tidong community is about a Tidong man called Bentawo who had wanted to reach his wife, who was a goddess, but he was unsuccessful to reach her and she went to a place called SiBuku Island in Indonesia. To go to this place you have to take a boat and it takes about 4 hours. He used an axe to cut down the stone but was unsuccessful and she was lost foreaver. You could see some footprints at the place near the Batu Payung area. Buku means book and a religious person could be the one called Sibuku.

Tinagat is also called ‘Tanah Naga’ which means the Land Of The Dragon. Could the goddess be some Chinese princess who became a Chinese goddess later on? It has become part of the history of the Tidong community until this date. Batu Payung is called such as it looked like an umbrella and ‘payung’, a Malay word means an umbrella. Most of the ladies use umbrella until today. So there is a relation here in that there could be a lady living here in the past.

Batu Payung today is lined up with coconut tress and there is beach and many of the communities who lived at Batu Payung are fishermen and small holders.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Tomb Of Sharif Osman Need Conservation

In the forest reserve of Kudat and Kota Marudu lies the tomb of Sharif Osman as well as the other people who had died fighting including the British soldiers. According to the Ketua Kampong of Kg Sharif Osman in Kota Marudu, En Injin, it was not Sharif Osman because Sharif Osman had passed away. It was his son name, Sharif Rom. It started with a misunderstanding with Rajah Brooke, the White Rajah of Sarawak over that of Sharif Rom's wife who is the daughter of the Sultan of Sulu. The British had wanted to take the picture of Sharif Rom's wife who was claimed to have some extraordinary appearance in that when she ate anything you could see the color of the food in her throat. However Sharif Rom disagreed and had only agreed to take the picture of the palm of his hand. So the misunderstanding started and Rajah Brook told Sharif Rom to prepare for a battle and make himself a fort or a stronghold at Marudu. The British Armada fired from Pulau Mantanani, an island off Kota Belud, southwest of Kudat. Sharif Rom was said to be very fierce and cruel and he had instructed his men to hang the testicles of the British soldiers who had died. In the cementry at the forest reserve lies Sharif Rom and his followers as well as the British soldiers who had died. Rajah Brook was called by the Sultan of Brunei to engage with the rebellion from Sharif Dom. Rajah Brook was given the piece of land now called Sarawak for his success in defeating Sharif Dom and his men. So starts the White Rajah dynasty in Sarawak. The Ketua Kampong of Kg Sharif Osman said that they were under the Sultanate of Brunei before the Independence. The Sulu Sultanate came through the marriage of the daughter to Sharif Rom. The tomb and cemetary is not well looked after despite the visits by tourists to the area. You will miss the are if that was your first visit. The place must be preserved for the future generation to inherit as it is part of the history for Sabah. The Sabah Muzium and Historical Department of UMS had visited the area but not much had been done as was seen through the lack of sign-board and information and road signs. Even the road entrance did not mention the Tomb of Sharif Osman but called Jalan Ranau. For those who do not know may think that it is the road to Ranau, a town in the Interior. It is high time that we do something about our very own history. The British could have taken the surname when they mentioned Sharif Osman which could have come from Sharif Rom Osman.Sharif is a name given to people who is knowledgeable is very much revered by the local community.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Visiting Anjung Sejarah In Kuala Lumpur

PSM Sabah Branch President visited the PSM HQ in Kuala Lumpur on August 12, 2009. They call the place Anjung Sejarah.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We Could Still Carry On

Even if we do not have the funds, we could still carry on with the research and documentation of history and this we would do when we go to a particular place to attend other functions. When we have the funds we could improve on the facts and figures and re-write what we have witten.So guys get cracking with the job and come up with some documented history that we could further deliberate at our next meeting.

Courtesy Call To Its Patron And Advisor

PSM Sabah is arranging courtesy calls to its Patron and Advisor as well as Director Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka Sabah, Muzium Sabah, Mayor DBKK and Director Of Education Sabah. PSM Sabah did not get to see the Minister of Information Malaysia when he visited Kota Kinabalu for the 22 National Film Festival and Director of Sabah Foundation.

Keep Proper Records of Members

PSM HQ had advised that PSM Sabah keeps proper records of its members and the Hon. Secretary is doing just that, updating the records from the past Committee.

PSM Cawangan Sabah Now Officially Linked To PSM HQ

The President visited Anjung Sejarah in Jalan Tun Razak Kumpur Lumpur. On hand to receive him was the Hon. Treasurer and the Acting Hon. Secretary General of PSM. The meeting was held on August 12, 2009 and it was raining heavily that day. The courtesy call was to inform the HQ of the change of guards at PSM Sabah and its plans. With this courtesy call PSM Cawangan Sabah is now officially linked to PSM Kuala Lumpur. The revised Constitution will be sent to PSM Sabah after the AGM on August 15, 2009.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meeting With Director Of Economic Planning Unit Sabah

The meeting on August 10,2009 by the President with the Director of EPU Sabah touched on the issue of funds as well as premise for Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Cawangan Sabah. The Director asked that a letter be forwarded to EPU Sabah by PSMCS.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

They Still Smoke 'Kirai' In Sabah

Kirai is the local cigarette popularly smoked by the Bajau and the Dusun community too. It is said to have been introduced by the Chinese when they came to BORNEO. The tobacco is wrapped inside the leaves of a kind of palm tree called nipah. This palm tree grows well along the river banks on a muddy soil.The history of the kirai is as old as the communities themselves and the fact that it still survives until today is a testimony that it has become part and parcel of the local communities and the kirai leaves and tobacco are sold at the weekly tamu or markets.It could be more popular now that the cost of the cigarettes have increased over the years.The kirai leaves are called bungkosan by the local Bajau community.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Big Drum Called Sang Gendang

Its location is at the compound of Kg Darau Laut place of worship. It is believed to have been brought to Sabah some 300 years ago by the Arab traders and missionaries.It is believed to be the biggest drum or "beduk" and perhaps the oldest in Sabah,commonly used by the Muslim community for the call of prayers and the announcement of the new moon to celebrate Hari Raya.

Those Arab traders and missionaries had now been assimilated with the local natives particularly the Dusun tribe of Darau and they are now the Bajau ethnic.

The drum is now a masterpiece and the object of historical and cultural research by many parties.

Bajau Community At Kampong Darau Laut

It is interesting to note that there are many Bajau ethnic groups in Sabah, but one catches my attention, that of the Bajau Community at Kg Darau Laut, Inanam, Kota Kinabalu.

The village is now divided into two; one is the old village and the other the new settlement. It is most heartening to note that the river had been widened and strengthened with concrete.

This community came to the area now known as Kg Darau about some 300 years ago from Johor, southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia. When they first arrived they saw some Dusun rice farmers. The Dusun farmers soon moved fruther inland to the foot of the mountain which is now known as Mandau, in Menggatal, a town closeby to Inanam.

Darau got its name from the Dusun language which means 'slowly' or 'pelan pelan' in Bahasa Malaysia. Some people also said that Darau comes from the word Darul which is similar to Darul Salam which is the neighboring State of Negara Brunei Darul Salam.

The community which originally came from Saudi Arabia could have come to this part of the world to spread the religion of Islam at that time. There were 6 of them including the father which included 3 men and 2 ladies and the one that stayed in Sabah was the lady. This means that the Bajau Community in Darau is of the Arab decent or heritage. They still keep some of the things left by their forefathers including some old religious document, dress and of course an old drum which we call 'beduk'.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Books As Souvenirs

PSMCS will give away books written by its members as souvenirs to VVIPs, VIPs, Guests and Visitors.

SIFE UMS Made History

SIFE UMS became national champion in 2009 after 5 years since they first started in 2005. SIFE UMS always play second fiddle to UiTM but not this time.They will now compete in the world champion in Berlin Germany in the first week of October 2009. You had made us proud.The members who participated will each receive a new pair of suit to go to Berlin. After having watched their presentation, it is no wonder that they had made it to the top and this should go down in history for SIFE UMS. SIFE UMS is the only SIFE organization is Sabah, Malaysia.

Other colleges like Kolej Yayasan Sabah may be interested to follow suit.SIFE means Students In Free Enterprise and it is a franchised program that started in the USA.Among other things it teaches the students and under-graduates leadership, organizing skill, presentation skills, IT skills, business skills as well as other skills like financing and funding.They can also duplicate the business model even after they had left the Universities or Colleges. Once such example is the Turkish Farm Yogurt which is a household product in Sabah.The Yogurt business was started by an undergraduate but he carried on with the business after he graduated and he brought along his parents from Turkey to Sabah and gave 15% of the income to SIFE UMS.So success comes if you desire and put in the effort and heed the advises and comments of other people.Congratulation to SIFE UMS

Finance Committee Meeting

The first Finance Committee meeting has been scheduled on September 27, 2009 at 10 am Star City Complex.Finance Committee is responsible for Fund Raising, Membership Drive, Bulletin/Book Publication and Accounts.The Vice-President presides over this Committee.

Progress We Have Made in August 2009

Progress include the following;

1. First Committee Meeting on August 2, 2009
2. Formation of Committees, Sub-Committees and assignment of functions
3. Disucssion of the plan of activities for the terms 2009-2011 presented by the President which includes fund raising activities
4. Publication of the PSMCS Constituion (courtesy of Hj Manap)
5. Documentation of the history of PSMCS who is now more than 35 years old
6. Appointment of additional committee members
7. Appointment of Advisor and Patron
8. Appointment of Internal Auditors
9. Identificatiion of a premise for office and its application to the relevant bodies
10.Appointments with the various relevant Ministries and Ministers, Agencies, Departments
11. Members Register and recruitment of new members especially life members, students members, institution members
12. Revision of the Statement of Account for the past period of 2 years and its verification and signatures by the Association Auditors
13. Change of Bank and signatories
14. Updating of records and their submission to the PSM HQ in Kuala Lumpur

This will be revised from time to time and act as an indicator of achievement for the current Committee during its tenure from 26 July 2009.

Life Members, Institution Members And Students Members

PSMCS will focus on recruiting life members into the Association, besides institutions and students. Life members pay a membership fee of RM300, institution RM30, students RM10 and Ordinary members RM15. There has got to be a passion of history or else you will be asking what the Association can give you. Ask not what the Association can do fo you but what you can do for the Association.

Fund Raising From Contributions

PSMCS is also looking at other sources for contribution to beef up its funds to enable it to carry on with its many activities during its 2 year term which ends in the year 2011. PSMCS will have to prepare the necessary project papers to ask for the funds and the Fund Raising Sub-Committee is responsible for this assignment.

Fund Raising in Q1 Of 2010

Fund Raising event is scheduled in the first quarter of 2010 and the Fund Raising Sub-Committee is responsible to make this event a success. There is no fun without fund.

Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Cawangan Sabah History To Be Documented

PSMCS or Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia Cawangan Sabah will be documented by the present Committee. The Committee made a decision to do this considering that the Association is already more than 35 years old and merits to be documented. The Sub-Committee for Historical Resources is to undertake this assignment.

Committee Meeting Re-scheduled

The second committee meeting scheduled on October 4 has now been rescheduled to October 11,2009 at Star City beginning at 10 am. This is also a Sunday morning, but some Committee members would not be free on October 4,2009.

Constitution For Free

A Committee member had volunteered to print the PCMSB Constitution which will be given free to all members.

The members shall also receive a copy of the national Constitution which will be purchased or downloaded from the PSM Website at


Most if not all the Committee members will be busy doing their fasting rituals in the month of August 2009 which starts on or about August 19,2009. SELAMAT BERPUASA

After Hari Raya Meeting

The second committe meeting will be held on October 4, 2009 at 10 am at Star City Kota Kinabalu, and the reports from the various sub-committees shall be discussed.

The President takes charge of the Management Committee and Vice-President takes care the Finance Committee.

Management Sub-Committees include the Administration And AGM, Information, Historical Resources and Premise and Finance Sub-Committees include Fund Raising,Membership,Bulletin and Publication, Accounts.


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