Sunday, 10 April 2011

Borneo`s Tribal Tattoos

The practice of tattoos in Borneo has a rich tradition going back centuries and still seems to be alive and well. Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is a hostile region with few Westerners venturing in. As a result descriptions of tattoos were rare before the start of the twentieth century. There were many accounts of headhunting amongst the indigenous people which put off a lot of people from getting very far but fortunately since the colonization by the Dutch this practice has been outlawed!

The Kayan tribe are the source of most tattoo designs which spread to other tribes such as the Iban and Kenyah. The Kayan style (which means interior or inland person) of tattoos owes its popularity to its wood-block stamp technique. Tribe members would carve patterns into blocks of wood and then transfer it onto the skin. Tribes such as the Iban would then borrow tattoo motifs from the Kayan and others and adapt to suit their own tribe.

As a result tattoos spread throughout Borneo amongst different tribes as tribal members came back with different tattoo designs as a proof of their ventures much in the same way a passport is stamped when going to different countries. The traditional rosettes are still popular with the older generation with the younger generation going for more modern tattoo designs such as Asian inspired dragons and pin up girls.
Traditional Rosettes of Borneo Tattoos

Of all the tribes in Borneo the Iban tribe is the most heavily tattooed with designs copied from the Kayan Kenyah and Bakatan tribes. The most common tattoo designs were the throat motif called the katak. Wrist tattoos called inkut were also common. They were believed to stop the soul from escaping the body.

Dogs, scorpions and rosettes were especially popular most often collected by members of a tribe during travels and encounters with other tribal members. The rosette was believed to a symbol of a dogs eye by some tribes which revered the dog even though it was not a sacred animal. Other tribes believed the rosette was a depiction of a flower.

Eggplant flower Dayak Tattoo
Tribal throat Tattoo design.

Tattoos in Borneo have become decorative even though in the past they were worn to detail a tribe members status. Tattoos such as dots found between the thumb and index finger can indicate that the person has killed someone and members of the Murut tribe earned tattoos as a reward for perilous journeys which are still commonplace.
 Nowadays this style of tattoos are most often seen on those who have adopted the new tribal style of tattoos.

More on Borneo Tribal Tattoos

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Manga semester by Mr. Iwami Seiji

Mr. Iwami Seiji
Mr. Iwami Seiji a lecture at Osaka University and a veteran cartoonist recently visited Limkokwing University Borneo for a 1day semester on Manga illustration in which i was lucky to attend.

He was born in Japan`s Wakayama Prefecuture in 1960, writes comics for the readers` column of the Sankei Sport Shimbun newpaper and other monthly magazines. Also published his own comic books.

A member of the Japanese Cartoonist Association and Manga Japan, Mr Iwami received the " New Hope Cartoonist Award" in 1982 from the Manga Times, a yon-Koma (four-frame comic strip) magazine, becoming a regular cartoonist for the magazine.

He started a long series comic called Bonchan, which featured in Osaka Shimbun newspaper for 10years up till the publications was suspended.

 He continue to write series of comics and cartoon on several magazine over the years and recently was appointed as the Japan Cultural Exchange Envoy 2010 (duration 1year). Mr. Iwami for being appointed the envoy for Singapore, Malaysia, South Korean and Britain, to promote the culture of Japanese Manga to the rest of the world.

On 28th March 2011, Limkokwing University host Mr. Iwami Seiji as a guest Speaker /lecturer.

Mr. Iwami demonstrating manga sketch
Manga sketch by Mr. Iwami

It was a memorable 2hours of  brainstorming, interesting, and educative interactive lecture by Mr. Seiji.

Mr. Iwami and Student of Limkokwing University
Mr. Iwami Seiji and Me
Autograph by Mr. Iwami
Mr. Iwami signing the Welcome Card.

Mr. Iwami`s published work

Tan Siri Lim kok wing and Mr. Iwami Seiji showing gift exchange.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Wines and Spirits

Winepak Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd and Nam Lee Cheong are amongst Malaysia's oldest and largest leading pioneers in homegrown, importers and distributors of wines and spirits in Malaysia. Distributing chiefly for hotels, hypermarkets, restaurants and other related retail outlets.

Wine exporting country Australia has recently overtaken France as the market leader in the Malaysian wine market. With 5.8 million litres exported annually to Malaysia, the country represents an ideal opportunity for wine producers home and abroad.

Other countries exporting wine to Malaysia include Argentine, Chile, Italy, South Africa, and Spain.

Some of the local alcoholic products manufactured and distribute in Borneo are :

Five Axe Brandy

Borneo Spicy Rum

Ascot Whisky

Hannibal - Borneo pygmy elephant

Copial Tuak


Learn more about Local Wine and Local Liquors

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Limkokwing University Borneo

Borneo is the world's third largest island, with three recognized countries—Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei—claiming a hold on three separate parts of the island. It is also on the proud island of Borneo that you will be able to find one of the oldest rainforests in the world as well as several unique cultures that give a whole new meaning to diversity.

Sarawak is popularly known as the 'Land of the Hornbills' and bears distinction as the largest state in Malaysia. It is in the state's capital of Kuching that you will embark on your journey with Limkokwing.

Limkokwing Borneo is a premier institute of higher learning and its quality education is assured at international standards. In addition, the cost of living in Kuching makes it an ideal venue for higher learning and research.

As a digital innovation hub, Limkokwing Borneo offers Degree and Diploma courses in Design, Architecture, Communications, Business and Information Technology. It also offers ample research opportunities.

For students beyond the region, Limkokwing Borneo offers, distinctive courses and subject areas reflecting the characteristics of the region and with relevance worldwide. The extensive use of advance Information Communication Technology assures quality delivery of programs.

Over the years, Limkokwing Borneo has offered a growing range of programs to suit the global marketplace.

Limkokwing University is an international University with a global presence across 3 continents. With over 30,000 students coming from more than 150 countries, studying in its 12 campuses in Botswana, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lesotho, Malaysia, Swaziland and United Kingdom, the University has established worldwide recognition through its innovative brand of creative education merging the best of east and west education.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Tour Sarawak

Sarawak coat of Arms.
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang ("Land of the Hornbills"), Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East. 

The administrative capital is Kuching, which has a population of 579,900. Major cities and towns include Miri (pop. 263,000), Sibu (pop. 254,000) and Bintulu (pop. 176,800). As of last census (2010), the total state population was 2,420,009.

Map of Sarawak.
Sarawak has more than 40 sub-ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language, culture and lifestyle. Cities and larger towns are populated predominantly by Malays, Melanaus, Chinese, and a smaller percentage of Ibans and Bidayuhs who have migrated from their home-villages for employment reasons. Sarawak is distinctive from the rest of Malaysia in that there is only a small community of Indians living in the state.

Kuching city at night.
The Ibans or famously known as the legendary headhunters of Borneo constitute the biggest ethnic group (29.6 %) in Sarawak. They are originally from Kalimantan, and so their culture and traditions are very similar to the Dayaks in Kalimantan.

Tourism also plays a major part in the state's economy. In 2010, Sarawak was visited by 3,270,655 tourists (international and domestic tourists). Steeped in traditional animistic beliefs and influences of world religions and its rich cultural heritage, the colourful ethnic tribes in this Land of the Hornbill celebrates a potpourri of events and festivals throughout the year. However, a feature common to all festivals in Sarawak is the open house tradition, where friends, relatives and strangers drop by homes and are welcomed with all the special food and drink appropriate to the event. Come discover a rich cultural heritage unlike any other in this festive paradise.
Cultural heritage of the Sawakians

As for 2011, the state is targeting 4 million visitors.Some of the most popular tourist attractions are Kuching city, Gunung Mulu National Park, the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) and many more.
Music fans at the RWMF.

The RWMF is the region's premier "world music" event, attracting more than 20,000 music fans.

Sarawak is also blessed with one of the world's richest and most diverse ecosystems: ancient rainforest.  

The rainforest’s canopies nurture the world's largest flower, the Rafflesia, as well as a multitude of other plant life including numerous types of pitcher plants and orchids.
A canopy walk-through the forest as Batang Al National park.
The natural heritage of the state extends from the jungle wilderness to the pristine underwater world of untouched coral reefs and is appreciated by travelers from all over the world.

Looking for an unforgettable adventure? Start with the Headhunter's Trail. Sarawak's highly acclaimed trail that traces the route of the ancient Kayan tribesmen who traversed valleys, hills and rivers. Make a stop at Camp Five and climb Gunung Api (Fire Mountain) to the pinnacle, which reaches the sky at an amazing 2,377 m. An effort that rewards you with the towering 40 m razor sharp limestone pinnacles and panoramic vistas.

Fairy Caves sound mystical and magical, but wait till you try rock climbing and abseiling from it. Located near the town of Bau just 40 mins from Kuching. A must try for the adventurous.
A view of Fair Cave in kuching

Caving is demanding and requires reasonable mental and physical fitness, but it is great fun! Get wet and wild as you squeeze through rocks and boulders, swim through subterranean streams and get covered in mud! 

For mountain bike enthusiasts, Sarawak is mountain bike haven! Enter the annual mountain bike competitions The Rainforest Cup, held in Kuching at the nearby beach resort of Damai and the Battle of Borneo at Mulu. 

Described as a biker's dream, warm up by blazing the Sikoh Trail near Kuching. The technical single involves a number of water crossings and leads to a small waterfall. Two trails are accessible from Bau, the scenic Bratak Trail and the Kampung Opar trail with fast fire roads and screaming downhill! 

For the adventuresome, just 100 km from Kuching, the Penrissen Highlands, near the Indonesian border is dotted with longhouses and villages, all linked by tracks that are largely unridden.

Looking for a cool trail? Head for Kelabit Highlands, aptly known as Sarawak's “heaven. Bario the main town is 1000 m above sea level, and flanked by Mount Murud (2,454 m) and Batu Lawi (2,043 m) which is more challenging. Treks vary in length; some last up to seven days and cross into Kalimantan (Indonesia). However, the cool air and friendly Kelabit folks make it an irresistible climb.

For more information about Sarawak

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Physical fitness is commonly known as the capacity to carry out the day’s activities without undue fatigue, it comprises of two related concepts: General fitness which a state of health and well-being and Specific fitness a task-oriented definition based on the ability to perform specific aspects of sports or occupations.

As automation increased leisure time, changes in lifestyles following the industrial revolution rendered this definition insufficient. physical fitness is considered a measure of the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist hypokinetic diseases, and to meet emergency situations.

Automotive leisure exercise.
Physical fitness is generally achieved through physical exercise*, correct nutrition and enough rest. It is an important part of life.

A comprehensive fitness program tailored to an individual will probably focus on one or more specific skills, and on age or health-related needs such as bone health. Many sources also cite mental, social and emotional health as an important part of overall fitness while Specific or task-oriented fitness is a person's ability to perform in a specific activity with a reasonable efficiency: for example, sports or military service. Specific training prepares athletes to perform well in their sports.

*Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons. These include strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance and for enjoyment.

Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the "diseases of affluence" such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. It also improves mental health, helps prevent depression, helps to promote or maintain positive self-esteem, and can even augment an individual's sex appeal or body image, which again is also linked with higher levels of self-esteem.

Benefits of Physical Exercise .
Physical exercise is important for maintaining physical fitness and can contribute positively to maintaining a healthy weight, building and maintaining healthy bone density, muscle strength, and joint mobility, promoting physiological well-being, reducing surgical risks, and strengthening the immune system.
Exercise also reduces levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that builds fat in the abdominal region, making weight loss difficult. Cortisol causes many health problems, both physical and mental.

According to the World Health Organization, lack of physical activity contributes to approximately 17% of heart disease and diabetes, 12% of falls in the elderly, and 10% of breast cancer and colon cancer.
Child Obesity.
Childhood obesity is a growing global concern and physical exercise may help decrease the effects of childhood obesity in developed countries.
Child exercise looks fun to them.

Monday, 4 April 2011


Malaysia produces a wide variety of vegetables, of about 50 species are grown commercially. The five most popular are Long beans, Chili, Cucumber, Chinese mustard and Lady`s finger. Although, Onion, Shallot, and Garlic are major vegetables normally consumed.

Long Beans
A long, thin Asian bean that can measure from one to three feet in length, but are best eaten when they are 12 to 20 inches long. It is a bean with a mild taste, similar to a Western string bean, that is grown in varieties identified by color as either light (pale) green or dark green beans.

Unlike the shorter string bean, this bean has a soft texture that is flexible and not as crisp or moist as the Western variety. The lighter green bean has a limp texture that is sweeter tasting than the darker variety when cooked. The lighter colored bean is often used for food dishes that can be quickly prepared and cooked. The dark green bean is more tender than the light green variety and is best used in dishes requiring a firmer texture to be retained for longer cooking times or slow cooking, such as recipes for stir-fried, braised foods or stews.

They are a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.

Stir-fries Chinese long beans is the most preferred Veggie dish in the menu around Sarawak, its easy, nutritious and very tasty !!!

Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans



1 pound Chinese Long Beans, washed and trimmed to 3″ lengths
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce


Heat up your wok, add oil. When shimmering, add minced garlic. Fry just for a few seconds until fragrant. You want to make sure that you don’t wait too long before adding the garlic to the oil, otherwise the oil will be too hot and the garlic will burn.
Add your long beans, fry in wok for 30 seconds, tossing the garlicky oil all over the beans.
Add water, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Cover the wok. Let the beans steam for 5 minutes on medium heat. Check to see if beans are almost tender, but not too soft. If not, re-cover and steam an additional 1 minute. Uncover, let the rest of the liquid evaporate, about an additional minute.

Chili peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BC, Cultivated all across the world and used in both food and medicine.

Chili is the spicy fruit plants in the genus Capsicum, member of the nightshade family. Peppers are commonly broken down into three groupings pending on the color, size and intensity, namely: bell peppers, sweet peppers, and hot peppers. Most popular pepper varieties are seen as falling into one of these categories or as a cross between them.

Red chilis contain high amounts of Carotene (Provitamin A), vitamin B, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and iron.

The  famous spicy dipping sauce can be found in any house-hold or on any restaurant table in Malaysia.  

Spicy Malaysian Dipping Sauce.



1 lb fresh cayenne chili peppers
1 ½ oz belacan
2 oz bird’s eye chilies – optional – use this only if the cayenne chili peppers are not spicy enough
Lime or lemon juice to taste


Cut off the top bit with the stem and slice lengthwise. Remove all the seeds if you want, however, some might prefer it with the seeds as it is spicier. Cut into 1 inch pieces to make blending easier.

is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. The plant is a creeping vine which bears cylindrical edible fruit. There are three main varieties of cucumber: "slicing", "pickling", and "burpless". Within these varities, several different cultivars have emerged.

The cucumber is originally from India, but is now grown in most of the continents. Many different varieties are traded on the global market.

It is being used for different purpose as it can be eaten raw or cooked. With so many health benefits it becomes one of the most important parts of food diet as well as skin diet.

Cucumber can claim to be a water body as it has 90% water. It is known to be a cooling agent due to the water in it. Also contains high amount of Sugar, protein, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Zinc.

Cucumber Cocktail


1 lime
2 tbsp packed mint leaves, chopped, no stems
1 cucumber
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 oz. organic vodka (optional)
Sparkling wine (optional)


Thinly slice 1/2 lime and place in a cocktail shaker. Juice the rest and add juice to cocktail shaker. Add mint leaves. Slice 1/2 cucumber and add, then add sugar. Muddle ingredients. Add vodka. Place in refrigerator to steep 30 minutes or longer.
Cut remaining cucumber into super think rounds.
Shake and strain into a glass. Top with sparkling wine, garnish with a cucumber round, and serve.