Lest We Forget


Compiled by Chan Chee Khiong

Minister saves wounded deer

Ishan Ibrahim

January 15, 2011 – In a visibly humane act of kindness a senior Cabinet minister yesterday intervened to prevent the suffering of an innocent injured mouse deer, which was caught in a trap.

The incident occurred at the recently opened lake Sarubing in Kampong Belimbing.

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, who saw the animal caught in a trap wounded and in pain, immediately asked it to be released.

The Weekend Bulletin learnt that the trap was set up to ensnare the animal as part of a demonstration for the launching ceremony during which the minister and other distinguished guests toured.

Some of those who witnessed the scene were full of praise for the minister’s action.

According to one of them, the very act of trapping the animal could mar the green image and humane concepts that the nation and people adhere to.

“I had to pull my two children away from the same it was a horrible sight and the mouse deer had its right front leg tightly wound by a piece of thin rope. How could anyone do this is beyond comprehension.” a mother told this reporter.

Minister with the deer. PHOTO: ISHAN IBRAHIM

Green wonders of Bukit Shahbandar


January 9, 2011 – Bukit Shahbandar Forest Recreational Park has always been my favourite place for recreation and exercise. Situated on the coastal highway between Tungku and Jerudong, the park is popular with hikers especially in the early mornings, evenings and at weekends.

More than half the park is man-made, planted with Caribbean Pine and Acacia trees. The rest is natural including kerangas (heath) forest and secondary jungle featuring karamunting, a shrub with purple flowers and various ferns and rattans.

A network of well-maintained and signposted paths criss-crosses the area, and hill peaks and observation towers, have panoramic views towards Muara, across Bandar Seri Begawan and over Jerudong.

Nature lovers will want to keep an eye for some of the more interesting plants along the trail. The park is also home to more than 100 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. With its diversity of life, it provides a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life

On the first day of 2011, I visited the park after a one-month layoff. As usual, I started my trek from the car park at the bottom of the hill. But instead of walking briskly as was my usual style, I decided to slow down and pay close attention to my surroundings.

The lower pitcher of N rafflesiana is squat and robust, with a pair of ‘wings’ at the front. PHOTO: NYL

Though it had been raining heavily in the past month and the trails were muddy, the park was thriving with luxuriant foliage.

Just after the first hill, I spotted a common tree skink, scurrying away from me. Largely ground-dwelling, they are often met scuttling away from sunny places, where they bask by day. Of great interest to me was a species of pitcher plant, nepenthes rafflesiana (n rafflesiana) which I had never seen before.

Pitcher plants or sumboi-sumboi (nepenthes) are climbing plants, growing on poor or water-logged soils.

Among nepenthes, the plant produces two distinct forms of pitcher. The terrestrial, or lower pitcher, is squat and robust, with a pair of ‘wings’ at the front.

As the plant grows and the stem clambers up neighbouring vegetation, it produces upper or aerial pitchers, which are usually slimmer than the lower pitchers. They do not possess ‘wings’, and may produce a strong sickly sweet perfume.

Pitcher plants attract and catch insects and invertebrates seeking nectar.

N rafflesiana kills by luring its prey into its pitchers, whose peristomes secrete a sweet-tasting nectar. Once the insect is inside, it quickly finds the walls of the pitcher too slippery to scale and drowns.

Around-the-clock watch for grave digging

Abdul Rahim Ismail

January 17, 2001 – Residents of Lambak Kanan and Terunjing Baru are standing guard at watch for the new gravesite in Lambak Kanan and Terunjing due to some speculations of unauthorised grave digging by a few black magic believers.

In recent incidents, two male graves were allegedly dug by unknown persons within 24 to 48 hours of the deceased burials.

A number of residents also connected the two incidents to a traditional practice used in collecting Dagu oil, an oil used to attract women

The news of the first incident spread when one of the residents, an uncle to one of the deceased, visited the deceased’s grave two days after the burial ceremony and found out it had been dug.

Meanwhile, the second incident was discovered when the tools for digging the grave were found lying around the site in which digging was done hurriedly.

One resident said that they were now taking turns, watching the burial site as a precaution to avoid any more of the immoral action.

According to the village head of Lambak Kiri ‘A’ Pengiran Haji Tuah bin Pengiran Haji Mohammad he had not received any formal complaint that there had been unauthorised grave digging being performed at the burial sites.

Nevertheless, as he has been informed he has taken the liberty in informing the Akidah Control Unit from the Department of Religious Affairs.

Though the allegations of the unauthorised digging of the grave are absurd, he himself and some officers from Akidah Control Unit have inspected the graves, added the village head.

“What really happens is that the grave is in situ at a hill and due to erosion the soil surface may have moved, especially during the raining season,” said the village head.