In early March 2007, I was approached by The Brunei Times on the possibility of writing a weekly column for the newspaper. I went over to Wisma Haji Taha and discussed the matter with a consultant and the then Features Editor who was a former Malaysiakini.com editor. We talked about it and agreed that I should contribute a weekly article to be published in a column called Golden Legacy starting from the 24th March 2007 and that a week before that I should submit another article to be published in 'My Take' column, sort of an intro to the Golden Legacy articles.
More than 2 years down the road, I am still writing for that column. The column expanded in size from a two column half page to an entire half page and now shrinking a little bit as that page which used to be mine solely has expanded as well. The column moved from Saturday to Sunday. I underwent around 4 Features Editor since March 2007 so much so that it seemed that I am the permanent staff of BT and the editors are the part time ones.
The subject matter covered has ranged from the stone age to today - all the history that you ever wanted to know about Brunei. From how Bruneians celebrate Hari Raya to how Bruneians fish.
Many asked me why don't I publish the articles in a book form. I have always wanted to. But you have to remember, writing is a part time job and should not detract me from doing my real job. But whatever spare time I have, I will spend it on the articles and the book. And finally, I got the first book published.
This is not the greatest of all books. I don't even know where it stands. All I know is that it contained the 40 articles that I wrote for Brunei Times for the entire 2007. The subjects ranged wildly and so did the chronology. I did not write for a specific time period but I am hoping that you can open a page and read an article for ten minutes. Then you can close the book and open it up another time and read another article.
I am just happy that the book is out there. Hopefully it can contribute in some small ways to the knowledge about Brunei that everyone out there can enjoy.
The details? The book is 238 pages long with lots of old Brunei black and white photographs. There are 40 articles in the book. The cover is laminated, you see, nothing but the best for you readers.
Where can you get one? Best Eastern Bookshops in Athirah Building in Jalan Tutong, in Giant in Rimba, in Hua Ho Mall in Manggis, in The Mall at Gadong and finally in Centrepoint at Gadong all carry the book priced at S12 each.
Any discount? If you are working for MOD or happen to be in MOD Building, you can pop into my secretary's office and she will exchange one of my books for one red piece of paper that you carry in your wallet or in your purse. Smile sweetly and she will ask me to sign the book for you if I am around.
Free books? Yes, if you are a History teacher, I am giving away 30 copies of these books to you. Email me admin(at)bruneiresources(dot)com (replace the (at) with @ and (dot) with a proper full stop and I will give the books on a first come first serve basis or rather in this context on a first email first given basis. The only downside I will have to ask you to come to my office to collect your copy. Please email me your full name and the name fo the school that you teach History in and the classes that you teach. If you want to buy more books from me for your students, I am willing to go even lower than the red piece of paper.
If you are still not convinced, here is what the book says on the back of the book:-