I don't know about you. But I think there is something wrong with the recording of the badok that is being played on the radio for our sungkai everyday. It sounded as something 'pacah' as someone described it. It could be the recording. The best sounding badok belongs to a song. Luckily RTB does not play that song nearer sungkai time, otherwise many Bruneians would be confused.
I was doing some readings about the history of mosques in Brunei and I came across a couple of descriptions about drums and tambour which could be related to the badok. So just how old is our badok and how long has it been used to indicate masuk waktu?
In 1578, a Spanish traveler, Alonso Beltran described the main mosque as one made of “… wood, of five storeys, the roof of straw and the highest posts of a black wood … has large quantities of tambours for their activities …”
Frank Marryatt in his book ‘Borneo and the Indian Archipelago’ described Brunei’s mosque in 1846 “… the Mohamedan mosque, was built of brick and of tolerable dimensions. The interior of the mosque had no other furniture in it except a sort of pulpit painted, which stood in the centre. Outside on a raised platform was a very large tom-tom or drum, upon which a native played from morning to night …”
The tambours and tom-tom known as ‘badok’ in the 16th and 19th century descriptions were used to call Bruneians to prayers. If the badok was already in used in the 16th century, the badok must have been used way before that.