Monday, 24 August 2015


I am not fond of reviewing books, neither am I good at it. But the book THE QUEEN'S OBLIGATION attracted my attention. It has something to do with the History of Borneo. The book was written by my friend, Zainnal Ajamain who is an economist by profession, graduating with a Master Degree from the University of East Anglia. After reading the book, I think the destiny of North Borneo and Sarawak is very closely link to her former mother country, Great Britain until eternity, like it or not.

The Queen's Obligation by Zainnal Ajamain
There is a lot of controversial dramas when we read about the history of the Borneo states; North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak. After 52 years of independent from Great Britain, the dust of the Empire in Borneo should have settled down into oblivion, but instead like a phoenix, it always rise from the ashes whenever there is a new light surrounding to the mystery of The Malaysian Agreement of 1963.

The two Borneo states was ruled by the British since the mid 1800's. On September 16, 1963 the British grant independence to North Borneo and Sarawak. These two Borneo states, together with Singapore and the Malayan Federation HELP TO FORM MALAYSIA. That was the understanding. According to Zainnal Ajamain, after independent, the facts had been twisted and today North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak had become part of the Malayan Federated States which is totally wrong! He pointed out Sabah and Sarawak should have an equal standing with the Malayan Federation, NOT becoming part of her! He gave example saying Sabah and Sarawak should be equal to Malaya, NOT the same status as any of the 11 Malayan states like what is happening now.

One interesting point Zainnal brought up is that if the people of Sabah and Sarawak is not happy with the Federation, they can bring up their grievances to the Queen of  United Kingdom based on Her Majesty assurances to the natives of Baram who are concern about the British leaving them that is "To Uphold the Sarawak Constitution and the Nine Cardinal Principles of the White Rajah". According to Zainnal this pledge is a universal pledge, without any constrain by time, covering both the people of Sarawak and North Borneo. Thus this becomes the Queen's Obligation.  

To know more about the Malaysian Agreement 1963 as well as the Queen's pledge Zainnal can be contacted at 016-8194556. 

Zainnal (right) giving me a copy of his book. Mike is on my left

The first English romance-thriller from Borneo

Sunday, 16 August 2015

The Forgotten Hill (Part One)

Hello guys! I'm back. Sorry to be "lost" for so long. The reason; so engrossed with helping out my cousin, Chris Lammert on his paragliding activities. I have to admit, it was a fantastic and challenging experience that I have ever encountered. For more about paragliding, please log on to the Facebook CHRIS KOKOL PARAGLIDING

I have never set foot on Kokol Hill for half a century until I got involved in paragliding activities. Since, childhood I could see Kokol Hill very clearly, but never thought of going up here. Kokol Hill is actually part of the Crocker Range, the mountainous backbone of Borneo. It stretches all the way to Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Saint Joseph Church
The most iconic scenery is the Saint Joseph Church, towering over the central highland of Kokol Hill. Overlooking the City of Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu), the view is so majestic and inspiring. I have said this before, this place looks like Tropical Switzerland!

Even though Kokol Hill is close to the city, it is relatively an un-visited destination! How sad! It is only less than 45 minute drive from the city center of Kota Kinabalu, the roads are very good and there is a lot of interesting places to visit around this hill. The highest point of Kokol Hill is the Paragliding Take Off Base which is about 800 meters high (2800 feet above sea level). Not only you can see the whole view of Jesselton and its surrounding islands and sea, but also Mount Kinabalu on the other side.

Jesselton from Take Off Base Kokol Hill
 Kokol Hill is also home to the secondary dipterocarp (tropical rainforest) growing together with fruit and rubber trees planted by the local people. On several occasions, I heard deer barking and through my gliding experience, seeing eagles building their nests in the forest canopies. From above, I could also see so many varieties of wild flowers which make Kokol Hill such a wonderful place to go.

Chris (white t-shirt) explaining to tourists mystery of the Kokol Forest
BUT ALL THESE IS NOT GOING TO LAST LONG! Ignorant local landowners, developers and land speculators are going to destroy these beautiful hills. The natives who owned most of the lands are damaging the environment by their practice of the traditional shifting cultivation, BUT worst still greedy developers and speculators are buying over from these people. AND these buyers come with one thing in mind, to open up the land for rubber or oil palm plantations or simply just to clear the jungle! To them, clearing the vegetation means higher value for their property! And any new plantations will destroy the natural bio-diversity of this area.

Kokol Hill, with its remaining flora and fauna can offer more benefits to the local people if it remain intact compared to their clearing just to give way for other development. Something must be done to save this hill, otherwise it is condemned to destruction.  

The first English romance-thriller from Borneo