July 21, 2009


Most people in Miri and Brunei have heard of Panaga Club (Shell) which is the social and cultural centre for Shell Senior Employees. The International school there is also called Panaga International School.

Brunei Darulsalam our neighouring country has five beautiful golf courses and one of them is named Panaga Golf Club.

So for sometime I have been wondering if these names come from the humble tree called Panaga Laut also known as Alexandra Laurel or Sea Laurel. Very recently Penang government planted more than 200 of this tree to help bring about a greener Georgetown which was once known as Tanjung Penaga!!

Panaga is the name of a very humble coastal tree which does not necessarily grow very tall. Growing too near the sea the tree may even be washed away by storm waves before it is fully grown. If growing a little inland it may grow to its fullest height of more than 20 feet.

It has a lovely white flower and a fairly big seed. Its leaves are shiny and often sparkles in the midday sun.

My photos were taken in Bungai Beach near Miri where lots of Panaga can be found. You get get a few little saplings and grow them at home if you like. The friendly Kedayans there will tell you which plants are Panaga if you care to ask.

So if you wish to have a closer look at Panaga trees and flowers go for a half day trip to Bungai Beach (Bekenu) or have a slow drive from Kuala Belait to Bandar Brunei.


Fran said...

I enjoyed your blog. Would love to hear what you're writing about Lik Kiu Ding, and trade stories if you like. He was like a son to my father, and he and Lillian were great favorites of mine. Her story is in my book "Dying Unafraid." Sometimes the internet is a really fascinating place!

Greenspot said...

Hi Sarawakiana,

Penaga is called bintagor laut in Sarawak, if I am not mistaken. It is scientifically known as Calophyllum inophyllum. calophyllum means beautiful leaves as you aptly described them. Note the leaves looks silky and the venation are close to each other.

Good writeup!!



Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Fran
I am over the moon to be able to connect with you from across the Pacific.
I hope I will do Lik Kui justice with my article. He was a fascinating personality and I am so proud that Sarawak and the Methodist community have produced someone like him.
Hope we can remain in touch and I hope one day to be able to buy your book!
I feel it is a book I have to read.
Thank you so much for writing and it really means a lot to me.
God bless.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Greenspot.
The Penaga is really a fascinating plant. And I am just so happy that the Kedayans can teach me so much about the plants growing by the sea....The fishermen even taught me which plant to dig for my garden!

But I did not take any...just let them grow by the beach...

Lovely silky leaves
shining in the sun....so poetic!
Hope you can drop by again to give me more info...

What about kelampu? Do you have any photos and local info? I would like to write about it...especially the fruits.


Aussie friend said...

where do you find the time? interesting, amazing how we just take things for granted and it takes someone to show us what is under our eyes. Miri has more to offer than we realise.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Aussie friend
Thanks for visiting!!
It is always a pleasure to put beautiful things on paper and share with friends and family.
Yes Miri has a lot of beauty we just have to scratch a little deeper!!
Do visit again.

Greenspot said...


I think kelampu is known as keranji in West Msia.


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Greenspot
I did consult a Sarawak wild fruit expert before writing the article (not yet published). He said that Kelampu is similar to keranji but it is not the same. Kelampu is powdery like the keranji but it is a nicer and rarer fruit. Very perishable too.

The Reservoir Lake of Brunei has several kelampu trees which are very big and I am waiting for them to flower and hopefully see the fruit. It has taken me quite a long time to take the photos which are indeed "yet to come".

Sometimes it is like waiting for the hornbill.

Greenspot said...


Your friend is most likely right as I am no expert of wild fruits.

Like the rambutan, mango, mangosteen, durian, etc, there are related species of keranji in our forest


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Greenspot
Good news!! Three kelampu trees in Brunei are fruiting (watch out for the posting) and I must apologise...my "friend" said the skin of the fruit is a little powdery and the flesh can range from sour to very sweet and the size from small to fair big (3 inches diameter). It can taste like duku langsat.
It is the natural food of the monkeys.
the keranji is powdery or moist (several different types) and if sour is like som boi...(sour plum).

Hope some experts can help us out too.

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