Sg Liang historical research kicks off

National 2 minutes, 15 seconds

BELAIT

THE Brunei History Centre yesterday began a three-day research project in Kg Sg Liang to formully document the history and traditions of one of the country’s oldest settlements.

The research is a collaborative project between the Centre, residents of Kg Sg Liang and Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

Speaking to the media at the Kg Sg Liang Community Hall yesterday, Mohd Faisal Hj Mat Salleh, History Officer at the Brunei History Centre's Department of Research and Documentation, said that the project follows a similar one conducted in Brunei-Muara in 2013 which focused on Kg Mata-Mata in Mukim Gadong.

“We want to collect material of interest to national history to be recorded and documented which, InsyaAllah, will be produced in written form… to establish the historical state and changes observed in the village throughout (recent) history,” said Mohd Faisal.

“Kg Sg Liang was one of the earliest settlements in Belait. Although Kg Sg Liang today is considered as a single village, historically, it was pre-dated by six smaller villages. The progression of these villages to a single entity of Kg Sg Liang will be the focus of researchers.”

A preparatory two-month period saw the Centre working with Kg Sg Liang Village Consultative Councils to screen and identify suitable informants for interviews. These were residents who either previously lived or are still living in the area.

One such candidate was Mohd Jasni Mohd Azman, who told The Brunei Times that he was an informant on specialist areas of infrastructure, communications and transport.

“In the early 1960s, there weren't many cars here. Besides, this main (Liang-Lumut) road was very small as it was only built in 1956, according to my elders.

“In terms of amnenities, we did have electricity but not many were using it other than the mosques and a few homes that could afford it," said Mohd Jasni, who was born in 1960.

“The rivers were also used more often then. Today, they are not very easy to use because they are filled with pollution.

“We also took water from wells then. The river waters used to be clear then but not now.

“In my estimation, it was from the 1990s that you could see the pollution starting. I feel that this was mainly due to our (humans) own doing,” he added.

The project, which continues on February 28 and March 2, will see 62 Brunei History Centre staff and UBD Brunei Studies students conduct interviews with 34 selected informants to collect oral literature on various areas such as economy, social background and infrastructure of the village.

They will also embark on field visits with six guides to verify facts and observe the physical state of known or recorded historical buildings and locations in Kg Sg Liang.

The Brunei Times