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Showing posts from November, 2013

The Administration of the Law and Justice in Brunei before the British Part IV

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In the Borneo Bulletin 30th November 2013 this 4th article on the Legal History of Brunei written by Professor Hussainmiya.

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On the Travails of writing Brunei’s early history and the Boxer Codex
Posted date: November 30, 2013 In: Features
B A Hussainmiya PhD

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*Continuation of ‘Significance of ‘Boxer Codex’ for legal history of Brunei’, published on Page 16 of the November 23, 2013 edition of the Weekend Bulletin

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AS EXPLAINED last week, the 16th century Spanish manuscript of the Boxer Codex holds great significance for a study of early history of Brunei. But there must be a word of caution here. Historians do not necessarily rely upon a single primary source. They look for corroborative evidence from other sources as well. Unlike the historians of modern times, the historians of ancient and medieval periods face insurmountable challenges. They don’t have the advantages of modern day historians who will have abundant resources at their disposal, and sometimes require sele…

The World Culture Forum, Bali 24 - 27th November 2013

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I was a participant of the inaugural World Culture Forum in Indonesia recently. The WCF's main aim was to be like the Davos World Economic Forum and the RIO International Environment Forum but in culture. It ended on 27th November 2013. The World Culture Forum in Indonesia reported the following news:

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World Culture Forum closes in Indonesia

BALI, Indonesia, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The World Culture Forum ( WCF) was closed on Tuesday afternoon with a joint commitment document that calls for measurable, effective role and integration of culture at all levels in the post-2015 development agenda.


The conclusion of the inaugural WCF event was conducted by Indonesian National Education and Culture Minister Muhammad Nuh at Bali International Convention Center (BICC).

According to the document of Bali Promise, participants promised to seek new modality for the valuing and measuring of culture in sustainable developments, developing accountable ethical framework for evidence-based measures o…

Brunei's Sustainable Development Through Culture

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The Borneo Bulletin on 27th November 2013 reported on the following news about Culture being an important agenda in a nation's sustainable development which was stated by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports at the inaugural World Culture Forum in Bali.

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CULTURE is an important agenda in a nation’s sustainable development as it can address poverty, unemployment and sustainable development.

At the regional and international levels, diverse cultural linkages, understanding and appreciation as well as exchanges can further foster cooperation thus contributing to regional and global peace, stability and sustainable development.

This was highlighted by the Minister Of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah, at the inaugural World Culture Forum, in Bali, a press release stated.

Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Hazair stressed the importance of both hard and soft culture in gearing towards sustaina…

The Historic Kampong Penchalap

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My friend, Haji Mohd Daud Abdul Rahman, a prolific writer about Brunei on Borneo Bulletin wrote this recently about Kampong Penchalap and their renown Tudung Dulang. I did not about Kampong Penchalap until he wrote this article and published it in Borneo Bulletin on 23 November 2013 as follows:

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Historic Kampong Penchalap Renown For Tudung Dulang by Haji Mohd Daud Abdul Rahman

 A ‘TUDUNG dulang’ is a traditional food covering weaved from Nipah leaves. Kampong Penchalap was a village renowned for making tudung dulang. This kampong was located opposite Kg Tamoi and Kg Pengiran Tajuddin Hitam at the site of where Pengiran Muda Mahkota Pengiran Muda Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah Mosque stands today.

According to old stories, residents of Kampong Penchalap were very skilled in weaving Nipah leaves to produce a variety of household items including ‘tudung dulang’ (tudung segi), ‘takong’, ‘telaya’, ‘lakar’ and ‘bayong’. These items were used for daily activities such as making salted fish, stor…

Administration of the Law and Justice in Brunei before the British Part III

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Significance of 'Boxer Codex' for Legal History of Brunei
by BA Hussainmiya, PhD

THE 19th century Brunei may have given the impression to the visiting Westerners as a weak state with a fledgling legal system. But it was not so during Brunei’s halcyon days in the 16th century; the vibrant Sultanate practised a rather sophisticated and model system of justice.

The definitive proof comes from an authentic Spanish manuscript dated 1588 CE  referred to nowadays as the ‘Boxer Codex’ which is by far the best source that portray the workings of Brunei penal system, the courts, the forms of law, and the punishments meted out to various offences including theft, murder, adultery and so on.

The description of the legal situation indicates that the Brunei’s justice system was home grown probably through a multitude of influences.

Firstly, it derived from Hindu-Buddhist, a legacy of its original Majapahit connections having used the Laws of Manu from India, a feature common in most contemp…

Building an Asean identity

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Borneo Bulletin on 21st November 2013 reported the following:

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“THE culture and information sectors in Southeast Asia need to do more to build an Asean identity.”

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos said at the 48th Meeting of the Asean Committee on Culture and Information (COCI), one of the oldest institutions of Asean. The event took place at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Berakas.

“The goal here is to connect our people beyond borders, bridge cultural gaps and articulate the benefits of regional integration as we move towards the establishment of the Asean Community in 2015. Leaders accordingly have tasked all three Asean Community Councils to emphasise their efforts to relevant sectors, people and stakeholders – including through traditional, mainstream and new media. In this respect, they look forward to the early finalisation of the Asean Communication Master Plan,” he said.

The per…

Administration of Law and Justice in Brunei before the British Part II

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Why did Westerners look down upon Brunei's judiciary during 19th century? BA Hussainmiya, Borneo Bulletin 16 November 2013

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Note:
Continuation of ‘Administration of law, justice in Brunei before coming of the British’, published on Page 18 of the November 9, 2013 edition of the Weekend Bulletin


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ANY historical analysis of pre-colonial Brunei laws of must refer to two opposing points of view- the first is an idealistic one favoured by the local experts while the other is a negative one expressed by colonialist administrators.

Several local scholars paint a romanticist yet an uncritical view of Brunei’s laws as being in force in the old Sultanate. Thus there is much emphasis laid on the significance of a legal compendium such as Hukum Kanun Brunei and Syariah laws in addition to Adat laws (customary laws) as sources for resolving disputes of various offences involving civil and criminal cases.

Although, these studies are valuable, needless to say that the idealistic presentation …

Tasek Lama 1960s

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My friend, Haji Mohd Daud Abdul Rahman was remiscing about the Tasek Lama in the 1950s in The Borneo Bulletin 17 November 2013.

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Once serene Tasek Lama now a recreational spot by Haji Mohd Daud Abdul Rahman

TASEK Lama is located about two kilometres from Bandar Seri Begawan’s city centre. Back then, Tasek Lama was not as easily accessible as it is today. People would have to brave the dense jungle to make their way to Tasek Lama. In 1957, people especially youths would go to Tasek Lama in groups.

The trek to Tasek Lama would take 30 minutes and along the way, visitors would face various obstacles such as muddy pathways, thick vegetation and fallen branches. However, once they reach their destination, visitors were rewarded for their efforts with the natural beauty of the surroundings accentuated by the cascading waterfall.




The water was a striking green colour and fell off the top of the waterfall at an impressive rate. Visitors would relax and admire nature’s beauty. The familiar s…

Administration of Law and Justice in Brunei before the British Part I

Administration of Law, Justice in Brunei Darussalam before coming of the Britsh B A Hussainmiya, Borneo Bulletin 9 November 2013

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IN VIEW of my involvement with Brunei historical topics, many people have been asking me to furnish some ideas about the historical antecedents of legal system and practice in Brunei in the ancient and medieval periods. With some trepidation, I have taken courage in this series to fulfil my obligation as a historian to delve into a grey area with the hope that other scholars will be able to add or amend my observations on the implementation of Adat (Customary), Kanun and Syariah laws in Brunei in the olden times. At the outset I must reiterate that fact that I claim no expertise in any aspect of Syariah Law whatsoever, and this paper is not going to focus on the intricacies of Islamic Laws as such. This is going to be an exercise in historical outline to what went on in the area of legal practice in the old kingdom of Brunei since its legendary founding…

Renewable Energy in Brunei

On 3rd November 2013, the Oxford Business Group reported the following news for Brunei:

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Economic Update
Brunei Darussalam sharpens focus on renewable energy
Brunei Darussalam | 3 Nov 2013

While abroad Brunei Darussalam might be best known for its substantial hydrocarbons reserves, at home authorities are turning their attention to more “green” forms of energy, including solar. However, compared to some of its South-east Asian neighbours, the Sultanate has set more modest goals and has been slower to develop alternatives to oil and gas.

Selling power to the national grid

In September, the minister of energy, Pehin Dato Yasmin Umar, announced a plan to introduce a feed-in tariff scheme to promote the use of solar power, which will allow individuals and businesses to sell the electricity they generate back to the national energy firm.

Speaking at the opening of a workshop on policies, feed-in tariff frameworks and best practices for grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects on September 9…