To Brunei and Beyond is the fourth book from the pen of a writer known as ‘Pengembara’. It has been eagerly awaited by readers of three previous titles which describe journeys in Brunei Darussalam and the Malaysian Borneo territories of Sabah and Sarawak.
This newest title begins with an exploration of seldom visited islands in Brunei Bay and goes on to describe a variety of destinations in Brunei, as well as Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand – the destinations ‘beyond’.
These writings are the sum of Pengembara’s journeys. Read them and you travel with him, across borders in Borneo from Pengembara’s home in the Malay Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam into the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Malay culture and discourse, written or spoken, sidesteps egocentrism. The first person singular pronoun ‘I’ is not to be found in these writings – only the name Pengembara. For the anonymity of a nama samaran (pen name), has an honourable tradition in the literature of the region. Seldom will readers encounter the past tense either, for Pengembara’s story is told in the present. His is an ongoing journey and one which is timeless. As Pengembara walks he observes — the scenery around him, the villages or towns he is passing through, the people he meets. His mind is at work, internalising, analysing, occasionally philosophising, though not too deeply for comfort. Read on and keep in step with Pengembara. He should prove a congenial travelling companion.
About the author: The name ‘Pengembara’ translates from Malay as ‘Wanderer’ and is apt for one who has traversed the highways and byways of Brunei Darussalam and other Borneo territories. ‘Pengembara’ is the pseudonym of C.H. Gallop who lived in Brunei for almost three decades. The writings which form this compilation first appeared in Brunei Darussalam’s leading daily, the Borneo Bulletin, between 1991 and 1993.
I don’t have enough words to praise Mr. Gallop. What he has written, what he has done, the amount of questions he asked, the places he has been in Brunei are all marks of a classic adventurer. One who is not scared or worried about what he will find out at the other end. But most importantly, he brings that knowledge across to us here in Brunei and in Borneo. This is one publication I am most happy to be involved in and I wish there was more people like Mr. Gallop. Unfortunately there is only one of him. – Hj Mohd Rozan b. Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Brunei Darussalam