Epilogue: A Different Malaysia

Words by Dr Tan Meng Yoe
Photos by Hamza Delbar, Yeo Li-Sha and Tan Meng Yoe

Sabah is many things to those who are not from Sabah, including West Malaysians. Among other things, it is often romanticised as a mysterious and exotic place of mountains and beaches, or in more recent times, reviled on social media by some for its supposed political naivety for keeping the ruling coalition in government. These views are grossly simplistic, and will remain so, unless time is taken to experience the land and its people.

The study trips organised by the School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) at Monash University Malaysia is designed to do just that. Since 2004, the ‘In Search Of’ travel series has provided students with the opportunity to immerse themselves, even for a short time, in the everyday lives of local communities. These interactions, often far away from tourist routes, provide a fresh perspective into the lived realities of the people who inhabit any particular place.

It was no different in our visit to Sabah. The student travellers, through the formal sessions and informal exploration of the Western region of the state, were exposed to issues of land rights, undocumented immigration, river management systems, the role of native courts, corporatisation of agriculture, environmental concerns, impact of tourism, inter-religious and inter-ethnic harmony, revitalisation of indigenous tradition, and more. They experienced a different Malaysia.

Continue reading “Epilogue: A Different Malaysia”

Chief Editor’s Last Words: Reflections For Recollections

Words by Janice Ng
Photos by Janice Ng, Hamza Delbar and Yeo Li-Sha

Travelling: it leaves you speechless; then turns you into a storyteller.

PhotoGrid_1500271550685The three successive ‘In Search Of’ study trips the author has participated in (from top-bottom): In Search of Yangon 2015, In Search of Vientiane and Luang Prabang 2016 and In Search of Sabah 2017

Has it already been three years, three ‘In Search Of’ (ISO) study trips?

Continue reading “Chief Editor’s Last Words: Reflections For Recollections”

*CUE HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER* PART 2 – WE DO THE DARNDEST THINGS [ISO SABAH EDITION]

Words by Hannah Reshma
Photos and Videos by Hannah Reshma, Norman Harsono, Franklin Tan, Hamza Delbar, Jasbir Singh, Aw Yuong Tuck, Chrishandra Sebastiampillai, Yeo Li-Sha & Yeong Hui Min

From eating grubs and trapeze-ing around KK,
up to non-stop nonsense for six whole days,
will Meng Yoe ever forgive us,
For causing such an amount of ruckus?
The Sabah trip may be over,
yet the memories are far from mediocre,
Part 1 details the silly things we say,
All our witty jokes and puns (“touché”)
Now paying homage to all the darn things we do.
Without further ado, here is Part 2:

Continue reading “*CUE HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER* PART 2 – WE DO THE DARNDEST THINGS [ISO SABAH EDITION]”

Isn’t She (Mother Nature) Lovely?

Words by Janice Ng
Photos by Janice Ng

Mother Nature.  There is just something naturally alluring about her in the purest form. Lush greeneries. Vast oceans. Majestic mountains. A myriad array of biodiversity – from the tiniest of critters to the largest of creatures. She makes you awestruck and wonder at a Creator who owns the best box of crayons and paints in every shade of hue imaginable. While most definitely nothing beats than embracing its entirety first-hand, Mother Nature is truly a masterpiece of its own when encapsulated in a single photograph. This is evidently seen in the rise of eco-photography and astro-photography lately. However when scrolling through Instagram or any Internet feed, these aesthetically pleasing photographs are usually captured in a land(s) far, far away.

Continue reading “Isn’t She (Mother Nature) Lovely?”

#butodchallenge

Words by Franklin Tan
Photos by Hamza Delbar

So on our last day we, meaning myself, Hamza, Norman, Mad and Tuck, decided to roam around looking for food that we will not be able to get back in Peninsular Malaysia. In comes Norman, again to the rescue, with the Google search engine and  found a place that claims to have authentic Kadazandusun food that is called D’Place Kinabalu.  Continue reading “#butodchallenge”

To Stroll, To Gather And To Bond Down Memory Lane at Gaya Street Market

Words by Janice Ng
Photos by Janice Ng and Yeo Li-Sha

As many travel aficionados would repeatedly exclaimed, no trip will be wholly complete without a visit to the local market. As for this author, markets personally resonate and reside a dear place deep within. It is as though they exude a certain wanderlust vibe that she simply adores. The general hustle and bustle, encountering the friendly locals. With any other locales, Sabah also has a distinctive marketplace of its own. A highly must-see lying in the commercial district of the city, it is the Tamu Market, also equally renowned as the Gaya Street Market.

Continue reading “To Stroll, To Gather And To Bond Down Memory Lane at Gaya Street Market”

Daily Diary: Day Six

Words by Mohd Fadzrin
Photos by Hamza Delbar

10:15am: Gaya Street Market

The morning was bright and sunny as we walked through Gaya street where there was a Sunday market. We observed many things being sold from fruits, fidget spinners, to even pets that stretches all the way along Gaya Street. What was particularly interesting was that we saw many stalls selling axes, scythes and other farming equipment out in the open. One could imagine how a maniac would simply reach out to one of these and start a rampage, but I guess our fears were dulled by the sight of the machetes locked up in a well secure cage. Shortly after, we ended up in a shop well known for its buns. Continue reading “Daily Diary: Day Six”

A Night to Remember

Words by Yeo Li-Sha
Photos by Hamza Delbar

Date: 1/7/2017

Time: 7 pm – 9 pm

Venue: Chilli Vanilla

Travellers: Dr Tan Meng Yoe, Hong Di-Anne, Chrishandra Sebastiampillai, Jasbir Singh, Li-Sha, Hui Min, Tuck, Janice, Hannah, Fadzrin, Franklin, Norman, Nanna, Hamza

Special Guests: Puan Anne, Andrew, Rojieka, Gordon, Nasiri, Sintiah (PACOS Trust);

Rupert and Carol Augustin (Friends of Dr Tan); Jasmine (Monash Alumni)

Absent: Booze Continue reading “A Night to Remember”

*Cue Hysterical Laughter* – We Say The Darndest Things [ISO Sabah Edition]

Words by Hannah Reshma
Photos by Hannah Reshma and Hong Di-Anne

Though the ISO Sabah trip was short, the camaraderie between travellers was fast-formed and palpable; and the trip was filled with many moments of pure, unfiltered laughter, with (and at) each other. Thus, this article was born, a compilation of the darndest things we say (and text) – a tribute to each of the unique characters on the ISO Sabah study trip.


Meng Yoe: We’re leaving on a jet plane
Meng Yoe: But we do know when we’ll be back again


Hamza: “Omg where’s Norman?”

(Hamza, failing at the buddy system from the get-go: not noticing Norman’s absence from the van until we had already reached the airport)

Continue reading “*Cue Hysterical Laughter* – We Say The Darndest Things [ISO Sabah Edition]”