As promised, depicted below is the full article entitled Keeping Kedayan Heritage Alive as featured in Tech&U Channel of New Straits Times on Monday, March 24, 2008. The Blog Administrator wish to express his sincere gratitude to Cik Rozana Sani, Tech&U Editorial for her effort featuring this article in the country's most esteem print media. Thank you. - Blog Administrator
by Rozana Sani
MANY Malaysians would probably draw a blank look if asked whether they know of the Kedayan, even if they have Kedayan blood in their heritage. This is where freelance consultant Abdul Samat Kasah wants to play a role.
A Kedayan by birth, the 54-year-old who resides in Subang Jaya has made it his cause to share and impart what he knows about his cultural heritage through his blog, Fast Forward.
“I come from a minority ethnic group called Kedayan (pronounced as Kadayan in local dialect). The Borneo Island is the ancestral land of the Kedayan,” he shares.
The Kedayan are largely found in Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan. The majority of the Kedayan in Sabah are found in Sipitang, Labuan, Beaufort and Papar, whereas in Sarawak they are mostly in Lawas, Limbang, Miri (Sibuti and Bekenu) and a small number in Bintulu.
“There is very little information and resources about the Kedayan people in cyberspace. My blog is one of the few resources available specifically designed to focus on the Kedayan cultural heritage written in a different manner and style. It is narrated in such a way shifts the paradigm from the traditional way of writing articles about cultures and traditions as found in most books,” Abdul Samat tells Tech&U.
Abdul Samat Kasah is a true-blooded Kedayan of Sabah origin. He was born in Kampung Mesapol in Sipitang district.
His early education started in 1960 where he attended GPS (Government Primary School) Mesapol. After completing his primary education, he proceeded his secondary education at GJSS (Government Junior Secondary School) Sipitang up to Form 3 and subsequently did Forms 4 and 5 at Sabah College in Kota Kinabalu.
Abdul Samat is an electronic engineering graduate from Brighton Polytechnic (now University of Brighton) in the United Kingdom in 1981. Prior to that, he obtained his Diploma in Communication Engineering from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
He served Jabatan Telekom Malaysia and Telekom Malaysia Berhad as technical assistant and engineer in various fields, including transmission, switching and civil aviation.
He also served in non-engineering fields such as training, human resource and security management.
Abdul Samat is an associate member of Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia.
He can be contacted at email@example.com.
A story to tell
AS Kedayan readers navigate through the articles written in the blog, Abdul Samat says they would probably realise that the contents of the blog are reminiscence of their life story and experience, from their childhood days to wherever they are now.
“For the new Kedayan generation who have not undergone the tough and challenging childhood days experienced by my generation, the articles found in the blog would provide them with interesting reading materials that can be verified through their living parents and elders. In this manner, their parents and elders, particularly those who do not have the opportunity to narrate their life story to their grown-up children would be saved from doing so just by reading the articles in the blog.”
The articles depicted in the blog are written in English. Abdul Samat says this is done so as to encourage the new Kedayan generation in particular and other readers in general to appreciate English as their second language.
ABDUL Samat started Fast Forward on Nov 6 last year, which to-date has recorded over 2,700 hits.
“Inviting traffic to the blog is not a simple task, particularly reaching out to the Kedayan communities or individuals in Sabah, Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia, Brunei and Kedayans living overseas. I used all the available resources and platforms in cyberspace to reach my target audience – community portals, groups, forums, blogs, Web sites, e-mail, etc,” he says.
Abdul Samat finds the response encouraging so far. Fast Forward, he says, must be read together with his other blog entitled
Reaping the Benefits (http://itsurday.blogspot.com). Some of the page elements available in Reaping the Benefits are not repeated in Fast Forward.
“Readers would be able to see that Reaping the Benefits is heavily populated with various features. Page elements such as video clips, Web links and friends’ blogs are not featured in Fast Forward. I have featured 19 page elements in Fast Forward all together, from contact form and playlists for Al-Quran, Kedayan songs and background music to Chatter Box and Counters to record hits, online visitors and live traffic feed,” he elaborates.
The reasons those features are displayed in the blog, he says, are simply to make it more interesting.
Readers can get those features and paste them in their blogs. In other words, the blog is a resource centre for all the needs and requirements of any blogger.
Readers can access the article online by clicking here.