Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family Ties Of the late Sultan Of Sulu

I came across these names of important and respected people who had supposedly been the direct descendent of the Sultan Of Sulu. Of course there had been many people who had claimed to be the direct descendents. However this one concerns the person by the name of the late Sri Paduka Maulana Sultan Jamalul Alam, as well as that of the late Seri Paduka Maulana Sultan Saidina Abu Bakar Shariful Hashim and their heir Al Marhrum Sultan Jamalul Alam II/III Bin Al Mahrum Sultan Bararuddin Alam.

There had been strong relationship between Brunei and Sulu in the past and we could see this in Paduka Mat Salleh being sent to then North Borneo as 'wajir' by the Sultan Of Sulu as well as through family ties in Shariff Rom Osman and the daughter of Sultan of Sulu named Dayang Sayak.

We should also remember the services of Al Mahrum Sharif Makdum, whose tomb is in Pulau Simunul in the islands of Sulu, Philippines who was reponsible to convert the pagans at Silam Lahad Datu. Many of the Suluk of the Simunul community now lives in Sandakan at Kg Bokhara.

Bajau Darau and Bajau Laut Could Be Twin Brothers


As we go deeper into the history, the connection becomes clearer as to the Bajaulaut and Bajaudarau or Bajaudarat relationship and connection. There seem to be a linkeage of some sort happening here. So the linkeage is between the words and origin of the word Mandau, Bandau, Marudu and Mundu.

As stated in earlier posting, people in the past go more by the sound of the word than the meaning of the word as they did not have formal education then.
What we have been trying to establish is the connection between the Bajaulaut and Bajaudarat and their history. Both communities might have originated from the Arab communities that had first came to this part of the world called BORNEO and Negara Brunei especially when Sultan Shariff Ali became the third Sultan Of Brunei in the years 1424-1432.


The Bajau in Darau could have settled down first in Marudu and then later Darau as their boats had capsized around Mantanani Island, an island off Kota Belud.

A source from Kota Belud claimed that the infamous Paduka Mat Salleh had drifted from Pulau Gaya to an island off Ambong in Kota Belud. Pulau Mantanani and Pulau Gaya are both islands in Sabah’s west coast and not very far away. There was some truth in the story of the boat capsizing in Mantanani, but some source claimed the boat from Brunei capsized in the place that is now called Karambunai where the Karambunai Resort and Golf & Country Club is now located.

So the inhabitants of Kg Darau could have first settled down in Karambunai before finally settling down in Darau, a remote place in the upstream of the river after they had settled down at Suang Parai, a kampung at the river mouth of the river, where now stands the magnificant UMS Mosque.

These are stories of history of the past and the stories are sometimes sketchy and distorted as they are told by word of mouth and such stories may change from person to person and community to community.


Whatever it is, we must not forget the struggle and grit of the people in the past that had tried to defend the state, no matter what. They were high spirited to the extent of dying as a marytr or ‘sabil’.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tombstone Of Historical Value

Kingfisher Residential Houses From Temberas

Ancestorial Tombstone At Temberas

The Landmark Called Temberas

The Bajau Darau community has a landmark called Temberas. It is a hill by the river side and can be very windy on a good shiny day. We used to to to Temberas by boat from the village but you can reach it by road but on a muddy road and it can be very slipery on a rainy day.Temberas came from a tree called Pokok Teras.The Bajau Darau community has history associated with Temberas and this is the place of the tombs of ancestors.Visitors from as far away as Negara Brunei DS had visited this place to gather information on its history to find out the relationship with Negara Brunei.The Bajau Darau community remains reserved on the identities of their ancestors as it is local custom not to disclose their identities to outsiders.They prefer to call them the 'respected ones'. Even their tombs were not named for easy identification.The place is now surrounded by development especially housing,shops and offices.It is tradition against development that you see happening here. Nonetheless the place needs to be preserved no matter what for their historical value and artifacts as there are not much to show on the history of the Bajau Darau other than the Beduk Sang Gendang.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bajau Darau Is Bajau Darat

The word for land is 'Dararo' in the Sama or Bajau language. Therefore Bajau Darau is the meaning for the land Bajau as against the sea Bajau or Bajau Laut.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dungun Also At Kg Darau

When you say Dungun people always associate it with a town in Terengganu, but Kg Darau also has a place called Dungun and it is the place where the old mosque used to be located. The mosque was no more there to make way for the widening of the Darau River. Could there have been some connection between Darau and Terengganu? Perhaps, could the Arab community that came to Darau had stayed or stopped by in Terengganu? You must remember that Terengganu had a history of its own in Batu Bersurat or the Stone of Arabic Writing. As we search deeper the mystery deepens about Kg Darau and the Bajau Darau community.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Welcome To Kg Darau Laut

Its location is about 10 miles along the Kota Kinabalu Tuaran By-pass (new road) and you will see this signboard. Turn left before you reach the small bridge. Its entrance is by the road side.

Their Occupation

Some are still fishermen as did their forefathers, others are civil servants and many others do they own business or work in private companies.

The Faces Of The Bajau Darau Community

These are some of the faces of the Bajau Darau community. Each one of them have their own history to tell. There are about 1,000 people living at Kg Darau.

They Still Smoke 'Kirai'

Kirai is a local cigarette made from the leaves of the Nipah tree, a kind of palm tree. The tobacco is rolled inside the kirai, lit and smoke. This cigarette is sometimes called the Chinese cigarette or Tobako Cina, it could have first been smoked by the Chinese and brought from China. Of course they are very much cheaper than the normal cigarette and they are more natural and original, arent they? The Kirai leaves are locally called Bungkosan and the tobacco is planted and sold or supplied by the Dusun, so they go like brothers and sisters. The Kirai leaves or Bungkosan is sold at RM1 for 10 pcs.UMS has done some research on the Nipah leaves or the Kirai but findings are yet to be published. So Kirai is the cigarette of the Bajau Darau community as well as the other Bajau ethnics.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

They Do Not Have The History (Written)

My father had always told me that we do not have the history.
This is exactly what he said; "Apa Boleh Buat Kita Tidak Ada Sejarah (ditulis)". This could also be the reason for the Bajau Darau community who does not have any written hitory but they keep on compiling materials and doing research and write the hitory. This Blog is one of the first effort to try to write someting from the stories that I got from the fourth generation of the Bajau Darau community and family.

The Place Called Temberas

As you journey your way downriver to the sea, you pass by a hill and a small jetty as well as a place for people to rest and have some picnic. This place is called Temberas and it is quite popular not only among the local Bajau Darau but the other parties as well. This place is the tombs of the ancestors of the the Bajau Darau community as well as the other graves. It is just an historical site for those who knows as well as for those who wants to make some research on the site. This site should also be preserved.

Darau River Needs To Be Preserved

Darau River could provide a good tourist journey by boat to the sea. The scenary of mangrove trees and flora and fauna as well as birds and maybe some alligators as you paddle your way downriver is just fascinating. There could still be some fish in the river but the river is already polluted by rubbish and other spills. It is worth preserving this area although it may not be able to stop the development that is fast approacing its banks.Like many other rivers in Malaysia this river will one day attract environmentalists and other parties to protect and clean it up.This could a challenge for SIFE UMS to make the preservation and cleaning up of the Darau project as one of their projects in the future.


Wishing the Bajau Darau community SELAMAT BERPUASA or Happy Fasting in the coming month of Ramadan.

Lineage With Negara Brunei

There could have been some lineage with Negara Brunei Darul Salam as Sarif Ali, an Arab trader was made the 3rd Sultan of Brunei. Although his tenure was the year 1425-1432, the Arab who came to Darau and Suong Parai, Inanam could have some lineage with the Brunei Sultanate by virtue of the fact that they were from the same Arab community and perhaps family. The family in Darau could have chosen to lead the life of missionary rather than play a political role and were more interested in trading and missionary work than become the Sultan. Sarif Ali became Sultan of Brunei for only 7 years and by vitue of his marriage with the daughter of Sultan Ahmad who had no son and by the wishes of the people of Brunei.

The family in Darau had chosen to be humble and stayed out of the limelight than claim that they had any lineage with the Brunei Sultanate. However their leadership role had shown that they are referred by the Bajau Darau community for many important matters like land and other disputes and even for support by many political parties in Malaysia. This is the true spirit of the Bajau Darau community.

"Biar Mati Anak Jangan Mati Adat"

Bajau ethnic group is normally called the Sea Gypsies, but Bajau Darau ethic lives at the upstream of the river and is now surrounded by new development such as housing projects, shop-houses, schools and is now exposed to the modern living like any other Malaysian. Nonetheless they are able to keep up with their tradition and culture.. They keep to the true saying and meaning of, "Biar Mati Anak Jangan Mati Adat" which means even if you child has to die, culture must not die. They respected their elders and proud to be the Bajau Darau ethnic but as 1-Malaysian. They observe the Muslim festival and rituals as was done by their fore-fathers but in compliance with the Muslim religion as practiced in Malaysia and guided by the Authorities. They are ardent Muslim believers and all practiced the Muslim religion.These are the true qualities of the Bajau Darau community.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where Did It All Begin?

Kg Darau started as a Dusun village where the community planted paddy and when the Arab traders and missionaries arrived the Dusun was already there planting paddy.

Darau came from the Dusun dialect "merarau" which means slowly. The Bajau claimed it came from the word Darul after Darul Salam.

Those Arab traders and missionaries used to settle down at the river mouth of Inanam River in a place called Suong Parai or the River of Rice. as it was a place where they planted hill paddy.

Now a University Campus sits on that place and the place is no more there but what remains are memories and stories told by forefathers to their children and grand children.

Beduk Sang Gandang

You can find the Sang Gandang Beduk or Drum at the Kg Darau Laut Surau or Praying Place. Sang Gandang Drum is said to have been brought from Saudi Arabia some 300 years ago and had been at Kg Darau since then.

The beduk or drum is normally used to call people to prayers or the sighting of the new moon to celebrate the Hari Raya festival for the Muslim community. With the coming of age and modern technology the beduk becomes a masterpiece of heritage and antique.

Oirign Of Bajau Darau

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'.