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.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jerudong Park (or rather, what's left of it)...

OK. One of the places I've always wanted to visit should I ever come to Brunei is its one and only Jerudong Park, an amusement theme park which is said to be the Disneyland of South-East Asia.

I was excited to learn some more that admission for every ride is free and everyone, Bruneian citizen or not is invited, at least that's what I thought.

So I made a point to come here and the opportunity and time came when me, wife and baby returned from the island of Labuan.

From the Brunei jetty at Muara, the park at Jerudong is not so far away. So I asked the children of our host in Brunei who fetched us at the jetty to bring us there.

However once we got there we were in for a disappointment. Apparently most of the park have been closed for some time leaving sections that look more like a glorified playground rather than a full-fledged amusement theme park.

Actually the children of our host did told us about it. In fact I've been told by others before that Jerudong Park is now a pale shadow of what it once was.

I understand despite the wealth of Brunei this establishment encountered financial problems which made everyone realise giving out free admission is not the way to go. Apart from lack of fund for maintance, free admission has made so many people came for repeat rides which translates into extra burden, wear and tear. It has also made them take things for granted...

I came expecting at least a portion of Sunway Lagoon and the likes but with the operational part of the park significantly reduced I'm afraid I've set my sights too high. Maybe we came at the wrong time. But it was only dusk and at this sort of time I've seen funfairs in Malaysia which looked much more fun and alive. I'd rather not talk more about this sad state of affairs for fear of alienating our Bruneian friends. So let me just copy and paste the current information on Jerudong Park as displayed in Wikipedia ya.

Jerudong Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jerudong Park is an amusement park in Brunei. It is the largest and most expensive amusement park in South East Asia, built and funded by the Bruneian government for $1 billion.

It is notable that during its first few years of operation, Jerudong Park featured no admission fees and free rides. It is currently larger than phase 1 of Hong Kong Disneyland. The public only had to queue up for rides. However, recently the number of visitors and tourists has dropped significantly[1] and the administration has started a one time B$15 admission fee, and allride ticketing system. According to the park's website, many of its rides are for sale.

Currently, the theme park has reduced its footprint to Phase 1 and 2, the original Playground. It has introduced a revised system of ticketing called the ticket card system. The park is once again free entry to the general public, but guests have to buy ticket cards to be able to use the rides and attractions. These tickets come in $8 and $10 price range. The ticket cards have slots which can be punched using a single hole puncher - one punch equals one use of any ride or facility for one person. This system therefore gives the guest the choice to choose which ride he or she would want to use, and how many would be able to use the facility using the ticket card. An $8 ticket card has 4 slots and 1 free slot (effectively allowing one guest to use 5 rides/attractions - or 2 guests to use two rides with one extra). The $10 ticket card has 5 slots plus 3 free slots (which means a guest can use 8 rides attractions and so on). The free entry has seen a marked increase in the number of people going to the park, as shown on weekends where one can observe a large group of families having picnics in the field, or long queues on the remaining rides and attractions.


Jerudong Park first opened in 1994.

The King of Pop Michael Jackson performed a free concert at the Jerudong Park Amphitheatre on 16 July, 1996, attended by 60,000 throughout the park. The concert was in celebration of the 50th birthday of Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei and was attended by the Brunei royal family, though the Sultan himself did not attend. Jackson returned to perform another show on New Year's Eve 1996 as part of his HIStory World Tour.

In August 2006, the company began to implement a revitalization program. It started with the re-launching of the GIGGLES, their in-house entertainment team. The team is composed of 7 entertainers from the Philippines and supervised by Wilhelm Bayona (and subsequently works as the Events and Entertainment Coordinator for the Park). They revitalized a program of visiting schools as an outreach activity, then moved on to accepting bookings for private functions and mall events.

In December, management initiated the weekend special program for December featuring local artists as the main performers. The program received good feedback from the local crowd, attracting more than 6,000 people on a single evening.

In 2007, the Park became the venue for a series of activities called Kids' Day. Although the main target was children, it drew families as well because of the "family" factor - the games involved adults such as moms and dads as well. The Giggles also began appearing regularly during activities at the Mall and at shopping centers in the country.

By the end of 2007, the Giggles had made appearances in schools, public events, and party functions. Although the number of entertainment members have dropped considerably from the previous years, the Giggles show now comprises a solid magic show and a bubble show which is the first of its kind in Brunei.

JPCC also saw an increase in events and bookings for the Playground and Amphitheatre. Notable events included the METLIFE 2008 Conference Dinners in April, and the DST Broadband Roadshow in May, and several corporate functions with Blue Waters, HSBC and local organizers.

In late 2008, JPCC launched its Family Concert Nights (later renamed "Local is Best - Family Entertainment Night) featuring local artists. The program aims to provide local talents with a proper venue for their talent, and to create a niche crowd that will support and patronize these performances. The shows are reviewed by a Censorship Board to ensure that they are family friendly and abide by the cultural and religious norms. To date, the venue has hosted performances by A Band Once, L.One, Karacoma, I Mean the Snakes, Zul F and Maria, and performances from schools such as Expression Music School and Ballet Regina.

Tickets to the Playground have been reduced to B$5 for adults and B$3 for children. Single ride tickets are sold at BN$2 per ride. The Musical Fountain, still one of the best in Asia, plays regularly every Wednesdays to Sundays beginning at 7:00 PM and every hour thereafter. Entrance to the Musical Fountain is only B$2. A new schedule has been introduced for the Musical Fountain. The attraction plays at 8:30 and 9:30 PM. It has also been observed that its features, such as the famous Times Square Garden with the Crystal clock and fountain features has been revived.

On December 12, 2009, JPCC Management introduced a new ticket system. Entrance to the Playground was made free, and guests who wanted to use the attractions had the option to buy an $8 4 plus 1 ride ticket, and a $10 5 plus 3 ride ticket. The move has proven to be a big success as it was observed that more people have come to the Park, with family groups comprising a large number of the guests.

The Park has seen some revitalization with changes to its landscape and garden features. It is now better lit and is cleaner and more presentable. The Management team of Hj Asmalee bin Hj Bujang and Engr Eduardo Malaque, the Playground Daytime Operations Manager and Head of Ride and Facilities Maintenance respectively, under the direction of the General Manager Mr. Russell Finney, has worked hard to make the Playground a beautiful, safe and fun place to visit.


There are several plans for the redevelopment of the park, but nothing official has been made public. Ongoing works to rehabilitate the Playground have been observed, and recently, a new performance venue was opened in December 2008. Referred to as a mini-Amphitheatre for its open air, arena style concept, it is a covered venue with a support of good sound and lighting system. It has been referred to by local artists as a breath of fresh air for the performance groups of Brunei looking for a new place to show their artistic skills. Of late, bands have been observed making the place as a regular gig spot to showcase their talents.

Management has also made public the renovation works of the Carousel Lake surrounding the carousel attraction.

It has managed to successfully reinvent itself as a Family Entertainment Center, catering more now to family groups. At its current state, it has made a major comeback in terms of public opinion on the place, as people have come back to the park and made it a regular weekend habit, as observed with the number of people who keep returning to the park. It is now a busier, fun place to be in, with the clowns observed doing street magic for guests at certain areas in the park aside from their show, and a general atmosphere of clean, safe and wholesome fun generated by its staff.


Musical Fountain show featuring hits by Ricky Martin, Michael Jackson, and several Disney Classics

F1 go-cart attractions - Supakarts.

Kiddie Rides such as:
Carousel, Pedal Boat, The Juniors - Pirate Ship, Skydiver, and Bumper Car and orbiter Family rides/attractions such as the Adult Bumper Car, The Shooting Gallery, Caterpillar.

The Mini Amphitheatre - where the Giggles and mini-performances by local talents are featured located near the Junior Bumper Car and Orbiter attractions

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finally blog with useful informations.