This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The island called Pulau Chermin

4th August 2010, after visiting a few other places, we stopped at a part besides the Brunei river where lies this elevated walkway.

It seems there are interesting vistas to be enjoyed...

From here one could get a good perspective of the width of the Brunei river and how it extends into the Brunei bay.

But what interests me most is an island called Pulau Chermin.

Walking to one end of the walkway, I tried to have a closer look.

The island has a place in Brunei's history books when one of its rulers moved his capital here only to find he was caught in a ploy to dethrone him leading to years of civil war. Aside from that I could feel a certain mystical aura surrounding Pulau Chermin. Somehow it reminds me of Pulau Besar in Melaka and I believe this island has much more than what is being told.


Radzi Sapiee said...

From Brunei Times...

Civil war wrecks chaos in the country
Rozan Yunos
Sunday, August 24, 2008

ONE of the interesting islands in Brunei Bay is a small island called Pulau Cermin (cermin means mirror in Malay). Pulau Cermin as many Brunei historians know, is the site of the temporary palace of Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin, the 13th Sultan of Brunei and is the site of the only civil war in Brunei History.

Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin stayed there for a while, retreating from Brunei's capital in Kampong Ayer. Another Sultan, Sultan Muhyiddin, took up the throne in Brunei's capital while Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mumin stayed at Pulau Cermin. It was the only time that Brunei had two Sultans.

How did the civil war come about? The civil war between the two Sultans was described vividly in a Brunei Malay novel entitled Mahkota Berdarah (The Bloodied Crown). It was in fact quite a bloody time in Brunei history.

Yura Halim wrote the book in the mid-1960s and the book was quite popular during its hey days and is considered a classic today.

The bloody episode was sparked off by a cock fight between the son of the Sultan, Pengiran Muda Alam, and the son of the Bendahara. The Bendahara was Abdul Hakkul Mubin.

The Bendahara, in the old days, is always the Sultan's right hand man. He can be considered as the Deputy Sultan or in these days, the equivalent of the Prime Minister.

For Brunei, the Bendahara was the most senior of all the viziers (wazir) until the appointment of the Perdana Wazir in 1970.

During the cockfight, the cock belonging to the son of the Bendahara Abdul Hakkul Mubin won. It defeated the cock belonging to the son of the Sultan, Pengiran Muda Alam. Pengiran Muda Alam was so enraged by the loss that he took out his keris and plunged it into the chest of the son of the Bendahara. The son of the Bendahara died from the fatal stabbing.

Bendahara Abdul Hakkul Mubin was said to have loved that son so much that he too was enraged when he was informed of his son's death. He marched to the palace to confront the Sultan. The Sultan at that time was Sultan Muhammad Ali. The Bendahara asked for his son's death to be avenged.

According to some, he was denied by Sultan Muhammad Ali. Though in the book, Mahkota Berdarah, the Sultan allowed him to enter into the palace to search for Pengiran Muda Alam. By the time he went in, Pengiran Muda Alam had escaped from the palace.

The Bendahara was so enraged when he could not find Pengiran Muda Alam. He lost his temper and went amok and started killing people inside the palace including the Sultan's family. The Sultan who waited in the hall was shocked to see the Bendahara on a killing spree. He tried to stop the Bendahara but the Bendahara will no longer listen to reason.

The Bendahara and his men took the Sultan and killed him by garroting him to death. His body was left lying on the grass lawn and up to now he is known as 'Marhum Tumbang Dirumput'. This death was to have taken place in November 1661. The Bendahara took the throne for himself. He crowned himself the Sultan of Brunei as Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin, Brunei's 13th Sultan.

Radzi Sapiee said...


As Sultan, Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin tried to foster peace between him and the followers of Sultan Muhammad Ali by installing the latter's grandson, Pengiran Muhyiddin, as the new Bendahara.

At first there was peace in the country. But underneath the peace, there was still simmering hatred for Sultan Hakul Abdul Mubin. Many of Sultan Muhammad Ali's followers implored to Bendahara Muhyidin to rebel against Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin.

At first Bendahara Muhyiddin felt that it was not the right thing to do. But over time, he agreed and plan for the removal of Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin.

The first thing he and his men did was to create a disturbance at the palace as well as the houses in the area. They did the disturbances by poking their spears into the palace and houses. This was called 'mengarok'.

Since many of these rebels were also working at the palace, it was not difficult for them to carry out the attacks.

When Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin asked for Bendahara Muhyidin's advice, he was duly advised that it would be better if he went off to Pulau Cermin while waiting for the attacks to dissipate. The Sultan immediately ordered for a new palace to be built there and move as soon as it was ready.

Bendahara Muhyiddin in the meantime was installed as the new Sultan in the capital. When Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin's men came ashore to seek out why the Bendahara has not taken up his residence at the island, they were shocked to see that the Bendahara had raised the Sultan's yellow flag for himself.

There was no way that Brunei can have two Sultans. A battle ensued between the two Sultans and at first Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin retreated to Kinarut in Sabah.

While in Kinarut, Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin built a fort about 10 miles away from Kota Kinabalu. From here with the assistance of the local Bajaus and Dusuns he managed to repel attacks from Sultan Muhiyiddin even killing a few of Sultan Muhiyiddin's Cheterias.

The fort was strategically placed on top of a hill with two rivers flowing beside it and a view that can oversee a few small island in the South China Sea. The fort was so good that according to legend, Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin stayed for about 10 years becoming the Sultan in Kinarut where he among others also managed to curtail piracy activities in that area.

There were several attacks carried out by Sultan Muhyddin. In a final attack at Kinarut, Sultan Muhyddin's forces failed to defeat Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin. The two went back to Brunei with Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin going back to Pulau Cermin.

Pulau Cermin itself is fairly unremarkable but what makes it a very strong fortress is that it is in the middle of the entry into the Brunei river. Control the island means you control access to the food supply coming in from the sea. In those days, Bruneians were also fishermen and they could not go out to fish during the civil war.

Sultan Muhyiddin worried that the war was going to drag on and created more difficulties for the citizens of Brunei, called for the assistance of Sultan Suluk to help defeat Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin promising them independence as well as the territory of Sabah to be given to Sultan Suluk.

The Suluks came and took up places at Pulau Keingaran to help bombard the island but according to legends did not do much fighting and only took up the fight towards the very end. While Sultan Muhyiddin's men bombarded Pulau Cermin from Tanjung Kindana before launching a final assault on the island.

During the battle, Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin knew that he was going to be defeated and be killed. Rather than surrender the crown and the throne, Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin shot the crown and other royal regalias from Pulau Chermin across the sea. Though some say that these were all still buried somewhere on the island.

Pulau Cermin is now protected by the Antiquities and Treasure Trove Act and is now inaccessible to visitors unless they have permission to visit the island.