Where money doesn’t talk (not much, anyway)


Cleaning a drain or chopping wood may not be that much fun, but a gotong-royong spirit does help to build a community that’s nicer to live in.

As usual, the key was left in the ignition of the motorcycle parked by the side of a lonely road. We had just arrived at Long Ubau, one of the nine villages collectively known as Ba Kelalan in the mountains of north Sarawak.

We did not plan to stay long, but as things go in the kampong, we do not always have a choice about the time to eat. It is rude to refuse hospitality from people who want to share their lunch with you, and since fried cucumber and sambal are my favourites, I really had no trouble accepting.

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

Jan 2017

Imagined Communities, Real Women

Captivating stories of Malaysian women in history are gradually being told.

Dec 2016

Adapting Art to Tell Stories of Sabah

Artistic minds create surprising ways of moulding traditional elements with trendy streetwear.

Nov 2016

Zero Waste for Quality Living

A greener lifestyle works wonders on the pocket, freeing one to truly enjoy life.

Oct 2016

Malaysia’s Oldest Pipe Organ Is Back In Shape

A community’s efforts and some serendipity have kept the Church of the Assumption’s majestic pipe organ in tip-top shape.