| Haji Mohd Daud Abd Rahman |
KAMPONG Ayer has been known for centuries for its beauty and uniqueness since 500 years ago. Beautiful houses were built above water since time immemorial with some having been passed down from one generation to another.
The history of Kampong Ayer is rich in cultural heritage with each village upholding their own specific tradition. Kampong Sungai Kedayan was well known for their goldsmith skills; Kampong Sumbiling Lama was the site of the ‘Istana Lama’; Kampong Ujong Tanjong was famous for their basket-making skills using rattan; and Kampong Bukit Salat was where villagers would go to make wedding dresses.
In the early 2014, notices containing list of villages to be demolished were issued and in within a few months’ time, demolition work began in stages starting from Kampong Sumbiling Lama, Kampong Bukit Salat, Kampong Sungai Kedayan and Kampong Ujong Tanjong.
By the end of 2014, all the houses in the listed villages were gone.
It is now hoped that a heritage centre will be built to prevent our culture from being lost in time as well as to serve as the main visiting place in Brunei for tourists.