JTC (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Travel Brunei Darussalam Poem - Bandar Seri Begawan

Bandar Seri Begawan weds the old and new -
roads, heritage buildings, museums, mosques, parks,
a market by the river selling jungle produce
and of course the Jerudong Amusement Park
where late Michael Jackson performed for
the Sultan's 50th birthday - - almost 20 years
before the release of his last album, That's It

it is not the town though that revs one's spirit up
but the humble Brunei river that flows by it
the river opens one to the heart of the Sultanate
here you could see the gleaming Sultan's Palace
the oil kingdom's diverse flora and fauna
as well as the way the Sultan's subjects live,

oil fuels the movements here and everywhere
sampans, motored boats go up and down
the waterway
there is even a little oil station on stilts
right in the middle of the river
for the boatman to fill up their boat tanks

the most poignant here are the
smart young generation during sunset hours- -
tudong clad malay schoolgirls
in long white blouse and ocean blue skirt
bleary eyed boys in white shirts, dark green long pants
with rucksacks on their backs get down from their boats
and rush to their wooden houses - home sweet home

a newly wedded couple
in resplendent traditional baju melayu
hold each other, smile and speed
away in their boat to their new nest

cococnut palms sway and
a Sharifah Aini song goes on air
while warm breeze blows
reminding me of a paradise on earth,

the egrets both the orange and black beak species
add grace to the to the picturesque river
the Malays call them banggau

I also have the Brunein luck to spot the
proboscis monkeys- monyet belanda
with their long flabby nose, humanlike faces
the males moving with their harem

at one end of the river the Sultan's Palace
where cutleries are made of gold
and waiters get thousands in tips
glistens over the waters
there also I could visualise the smile of the
man with the songkok on the blue dollar notes
the man who led one of the oldest Malay sultanates
which gave away Sarawak - my beloved state to the
White Rajah

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