Monday, 19 September 2016

JESSELTON: Our Green Lung

WHERE IS THIS PICTURE TAKEN? Danum valley? Crocker Range National Park? Or some faraway virgin jungle; which takes hours to reach? NO! IT IS SIGNAL HILL! I was amazed to see right in the heart of our city in Jesselton, we still have this intact forest. After shopping at Suria Complex or having lunch at the Little Italy, one could simply walk towards this hill and enjoy the scenery. I did just that; but only reaching the foothill. I could hear the songs of insects and birds chipping just like what we will hear if we go deep into the jungle. If you close your eyes, you will definitely feel your are in the middle of the forest.

I took these pictures from the Menara Jubilee (Jubilee Complex) because it is so difficult to find parking below. This place is actually a public parking bay for cars. From the 3rd floor right up to the 6th floor, the parking lots were filled up. I cursed for having to park right to the top of this complex. But as I came out of the car, I found out I made a mistake cursing. The sight up here is awesome; but because of the wonderful jungle nearby. The second picture above is facing north of the city and the third picture is facing south.

The green lung at Jalan Istana (Palace Street)
According to the, green lung means; an area of parkland within a town or a city, considered in terms of the healthier environment it provide. Wiktionary define green lung as an area of natural parkland within an urban region; supposed to replenish the air with oxygen! Before 1970, within the forest of Jalan Istana, there used to be the nostalgic structures of beautiful colonial houses. Few shacks still can be seen nowadays hidden somewhere deep inside.

Just like the colonial buildings, I am very worried that these green lungs all around Jesselton will also disappear giving ways to concrete jungle. Right as I speak now, huge track of former green lung had been destroyed at Jalan Kolam (Pool Street) giving way for a huge courthouse. The problem is we Asian loves concrete jungle; and hates anything that is green! Unfortunately, our authority also shared this feeling. SO SAD!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

THE EURASIANS: The maiden English novel of Borneo

Novels are very subjective. Some love them; others don't. Many however likes to read popular genres like horror, science-fiction, romance or thriller. When I first submitted my manuscript, I thought it was a historical-family saga. However, after editing, my editor told me it was Romance-Thriller. I was delighted because it falls under one of the important genres.

So obsessed with the historical part, I failed to see that the story was in fact romantic affairs of two important characters; Aaron Johnson and William Stewart. Their romance were the one that triggered tensions and eventually conflict. As we move towards the middle chapters, readers will see this novel is a page-turner. What is going to happen next? Why did he do that? How could she?

The character will be memorable. Some of them you will love; some hate. It started with an English gentleman, a Royal Air Force pilot; Aaron Johnson on a mission to North Borneo because of the Indonesian Confrontation in 1964. Aaron had no intention of staying in this wild and undeveloped country. But he fell in love with an Asian girl from Sandakan, married her and he was stuck here establishing a Eurasian family which started a chain of events. Aaron's destiny will cross-part with another young Eurasian, William Stewart, a mild-mannered young lawyer turned lobbyist. Because of love, their lives were turned upside down.

I strongly believe this is the first English romance-thriller novel written by an author (that's me) from North Borneo and its stories most of the time revolving around Borneo. The landscape of the early chapters are historical; Indonesian Confrontation, British and her allies supporting her former colony and also it touches on the Malaysian Agreement 1963 which is a hotly debated topics nowadays in Borneo. Towards the middle chapters, the backdrop are environmental, political and business, an important issue for Borneo starting from the early 1980's. Indeed environment is one of the pillars of this novel.

I also wish to remind readers that few of the passages are colored with controversies. I had no intention of creating a polemic; I only want to make my story flow. Great stories from famous authors have far more controversial issues than mind. That's what made their novels great. However, I wish to apologize in advance, if indeed those controversies offended you.

For those of you who are interested to buy a copy of my book, THE EURASIANS, you can contact me through my email or call/watsapp me at 012-8214206. I could also be contacted through my twitter @donaldrosli or my Facebook DONALD PETER. The book can also be purchased directly from CLICK HERE