Chapter 5 – TAHUN SATU part 1

This story is set in a fictional / alternate version of Brunei. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Previously on Guardians of Darussalam

After an encounter with a giant magical archer fish, Adam gained super strength abilities like Brunei’s folklore hero, Awang Semaun. Deciding to use his abilities for good, Adam became the superhero known as Kapten Brunei. Meanwhile, the murder of a young girl inspired Ridzuan, son of a wealthy businessman, to become Balau Man, striking fear into the hearts of criminals. They uncovered a trade network of Khayalan-7 – a mysterious and dangerous new drug. What they didn’t know is that they have only scratched the surface….

February 2013

School – late night

A young man, dressed in all black, walks into an empty classroom on the third floor with his flashlight late at night. He was supposed to meet someone but he is nowhere to be seen. He curses under his breath because he now has to wait for that person alone in the dark as he was previous told not to turn on any of the lights – to avoid attracting suspicions.

He sits on the chair alone. His imagination is going wild on things that lurks in the dark. Then suddenly…

Thug 2: BOOO!!

He screams and falls from his chair as his friend leaps from the shadows!

(You scared me, idiot!)

His friend couldn’t stop laughing.

Thug 2: Takut boi? Kau pikir siapa? ‘Balau Man’?
(You scared bro? Who did you think it was? Balau Man?)

Thug 1: Paloi kau ani. Jangan di cabul, bodoh!
(Dude, don’t jinx it!)

Boboi, the leader of the gang, walks in looking pissed off.

Boboi: Bahapa kamu kan? Bising kamu ani. Dealer kan datang. Adang tah kan be-ulah.
(What the hell are you guys doing? Keep it quiet. The dealer will arrive in any minute so you guys better behave)

Dealer: Ada masalah?
(Any problem here?)

An older man – the dealer – calmly stands by the door giving the three a very judgmental look. Stupid kids.

Boboi: Nada masalah bos. Semua nya ok.
(No problem at all, boss. Everything’s fine)

Dealer: Bah, baik tah selesai kan tia business kami ani.
(Good. Let’s settle our business)

The dealer opens his briefcase and there it is – kilos of Khayalan-7 or K-7, the hottest drug in the business. It’s supposedly a mood enhancer, an energy booster and an aphrodisiac. However, there are numerous cases where the user experience extreme mood swings with tendencies for acts of violence.

Meanwhile outside the classroom, several thugs are guarding the school perimeter. The security guard is in cahoots with the gang and have been facilitating their drug deals in the school premise at nights. One of the thugs is hanging out  and smoking with a security guard at his security post.

Security guard: Ramai jua kamu malam ani?
(There’s lots of you guys tonight. What’s up?)

Thug 3: Kapten Brunei punya pasal ni sama si Balau Man.
(It’s all because of Captain Brunei and Balau Man)

Security guard: Takut kamu Kapten Brunei? Jangan tah pecaya ni cerita-cerita ani.
(You guys are scared of Captain Brunei? Come on, don’t believe in those stories)

Thug 3: Banar kali ah. Kawan ku punya cousin masa ari atu kana belasah bah oleh Balau Man.
(It’s true, alright. Last time, my friend’s cousin got beaten up by Balau Man)

In the past 4 months, sightings of masked heroes known as Kapten Brunei and Balau Man busting in drug trades have been reported. The two masked vigilante have become an urban myth among the Bruneians.

Security guard: Inda ku takut. Cuba ya kemari kalau berani si Kapten Brunei ah sama si Balau Man.
(I’m not scared. I dare Captain Brunei and Balau Man to come out here tonight)

Little do they know that hiding behind the trees outside of the school spying at them is Kapten Brunei himself!

Crouching while wearing his cheap custom outfit, Kapten Brunei is trying to figure out how to sneak into the school compound. And he is also beginning to think that his current outfit – the baggy custom made orange coverall with Brunei flag emblem  printed on it – may not be the best idea for stealth mission. I look like a BSP worker than a superhero!

Six months ago, Adam was just an ordinary Bruneian guy until an encounter with a mystical giant fish granted him with the Herculean strength of legendary Brunei folk hero Awang Semaun. After some little convincing from his friends, he adopted the moniker of Kapten Brunei.

Team Kapten’s HQ
Batu Bersurat – Night

Meanwhile, Adam’s girlfriend Aisyah, Ali and his friends (Saiful, Hazwan and Fiqah) are looking through the monitor that transmits live feed from a camera attached to the Captain’s helmet.

They are at Saiful’s art/music room – a space he rents out to any interested parties either for an art gallery exhibit or small music gigs. But on a night like this, the space turns into ‘Team Kaptain HQ’.

Kapten Brunei (heard through the radio): Semakin ketat sekuriti durang skarang ani
(Their security is getting tighter)

Ali: Dorang tahu sudah kau kan datang.
(They know you’re coming that’s why)

Ali is the de-facto  leader of ‘Team Kapten’. Heck, the whole superhero thing was his idea to begin with. Five months ago, Adam rescued him from an exploding car and that heroic act led him to convince Adam that he can be a superhero.

Aisyah: Sudah kau cek sekeliling skulah atu?
(Have you checked the whole school perimeter?)

Kapten Brunei: Sudah. Semua access kana jaga.
(Yeah. All access are guarded)

While remaining supportive of the superhero business, Aisyah is nevertheless worried about the wellbeing of her boyfriend. Even if he has superpowers!

Hazwan: Cemana ni?!
(So what do we do?!)

Hazwan, the team’s resident ‘tech guy’, is panicking in front of the computer monitors and starting to realize this whole superhero thing might not be as fun as he thought. He has always been the optimistic one.

Meanwhile, Saiful remains calm and collected. He likes to claim himself as the ‘mature voice of reason’ of the group but can come across as the pessimistic one.

Saiful: Cuba buat distraction
(Try making a distraction)

Kapten Brunei picks up a rock and throws it far onto the roof. The sound startled the guarding thugs but it wasn’t enough to cause panic.

Fiqah: We need a bigger distraction. Cuba umban barang yang basar lagi
(We need a bigger distraction. Try throwing something bigger)

Fiqah, an aspiring writer, has also been documenting all of Kapten Brunei’s adventures in a journal which she hopes to publish one day.

School – night

Kapten Brunei looks around for something bigger and sees a bunch of motorcycles belonging to the thugs. He takes a few of them and proceeds to throw them onto the school compound.


The thugs and the dealer jumped at the sound of the loud crash! All the thugs guarding the school perimeter go on a panic mode and rush towards the direction of the sound – leaving their respective posts. Amateurs!

Meanwhile, Kapten Brunei uses the distraction to sneak inside the compound. The coast is clear. Suddenly, a thug walks out of the bathroom right in front of Kapten Brunei and they momentarily freeze. Shit!

Kapten Brunei places his finger on his lips. Shooosh. Don’t scream…


Son of a b–! Kapten Brunei knocks him unconscious!

Hazwan (through the earpiece): Oh shit! Shit! Abort, Abort!

Meanwhile in the classroom, the thugs and the dealer hear the scream and scrambles to take whatever they have and leave.


The hair-raising ghoulish laugh stops them on their tracks.

One of the thugs shines his flashlight on the corner of the room. And there it is! BLACK. LONG HAIR. RED EYES. It’s BALAU MAN.

Balau Man quickly knocks down the thugs and grabs the dealer by his shirt. He shoves him against the wall.

Balau Man : Siapa supply dadah ani?!
(Who supplied the drugs?!)

Dealer: d..dd.da..dari supplier
(ffff..ffff..from the supplier)

(Of course from a supplier, you idiot!! I want a name!!)

Dealer: A…Aku inda tahu namanya
(I don’t know his name)

Balau Man drags the dealer outside and pushes him over the railing! But Balau Man quickly catches him by the leg. The dealer is dangling with his head pointing down. It’s three floors from the school courtyard down below. Kalau gugur, confirm pacah kepala nya tu!

Balau Man: Sekali lagi ku tanya kau, siapa nama supplier mu?!
(I’ll ask you one more time, who is your supplier?)

Dealer: Durang panggil iya ‘Si Manis’
(They call him ‘Si Manis’)

Balau Man: Di mana aku boleh jumpa si Manis
(Where can I find Si Manis)

Dealer: Aku inda tahu! Iya selalu betukar-tukar tempat kalau bejumpa. Inda pernah tempat yang sama
(I don’t know! He always change places when we meet him. Never the same places)

Balau Man: Inda berguna kau ani eh! Lebih baik kau mati saja!
(You’re useless! You’re just better off dead!)

Balau Man lets go of his leg.

Dealer: TUNGGU!!

Balau Man quickly grabs the dealer’s ankle

 Dealer: Aku tau ada seorang atu becuping!
( I know one of them wears a mask!)

Balau Man is intrigued.

Dealer: Si Manis punya bodyguard kali. Baju putih, becuping warna putih! Macam Ninja!
(I think it’s Si Manis’ bodyguard. White outfit, wears a white mask! Like a Ninja!)

Balau Man pauses and trying to take it all in.

Dealer: Atu saja ku tahu.
(That’s all I know)

Balau Man lets go of his leg and he falls head first!


*SCHOOOOP* The dealer stops short of hitting the ground mid air. Turns out, Balau Man actually tied a rope to his leg without him noticing it. The dealer is left dangling upside down. At least he is still alive.

Meanwhile at the main school compound, the thugs surrounds Kapten Brunei. One of them bravely – or foolishly – lunges towards Kapten Brunei with a steel pipe. Kapten Brunei catches the steel pipe and bends it easily. Definitely an ‘Oh Shit’ moment.

The thugs are momentarily astonished by the Kapten’s strength but proceeds to attack him anyway thinking that they can overwhelm him with strength in numbers.

Kapten grabs that one foolish thug and swings him towards the mob! Knocking down several thugs like a bowling pins!!

The remaining thugs decide to flee, only to find Balau Man standing in their way. Shit!

With nowhere to go, the thugs start begging for mercy.

Balau Man: Ampun?

Balau Man grabs one of the thug by the neck.

Balau Man: Jangan harap mendapat ampun dari aku.
(Don’t hope to get mercy from me)

Kapten Brunei: Balau Man! Lapas kan iya
(Balau Man! Let go of him)

Kapten Brunei thinks Balau Man is gonna brutalize him.

Balau Man: Jangan kau masuk campur, Kapten Brunei.
(Don’t get involve, Captain Brunei.)

Kapten Brunei grabs Balau Man’s arm THEN Balau Man quickly pulls Kapten Brunei and shoulder throws him!!

That caught Kapten Brunei off guard!

Balau Man: Aku inda main-main.
(I’m not playing around)

Kapten Brunei stands up and walks up to him.

Kapten Brunei: Aku pun inda main-main.
(I’m also not playing around)

Balau Man throws a punch but Kapten Brunei grabs it and PUSHES HIM AWAY! Balau Man flies back!

Suddenly, they all hear the sound of police sirens and the thugs frantically scatter away.

Balau Man tries to climb up to the roof with his parkour skills but slips and falls to the ground. He is still a bit dazed from Kapten Brunei’s super push. FAIL!

Kapten Brunei grabs him and THROWS him to the roof!! WTF? Balau Man is shocked that he can do such feat but doesn’t bother to dwell into it too much because the cops are coming.

Balau Man disappears into the night as Kapten Brunei looks on.

Kapten Brunei: Nampak kamu tadi tu si Balau Man?
(Did you guys see Balau Man?)

Ali (through the earpiece): Awu, ada semua kana record di video tu. Baie usulnya!
(Yeah, it’s all recorded in the video. What a douche!)

Aisyah: Bah karang tah becerita! Baik tah you lari dulu sebelum polis datang.
(We’ll chit chat later! You better make a move before the police arrive.)

The cops arrive and catches all the thugs that are scrambling to escape. Detective Rahman, head of the Major Crimes Division (MCD), finds the dealer dangling upside down by the railing from the third floor.

Rahman: Turun kan ia sebelum ia pengsan. Blood will rush ke kepalanya tu.
(Get him down before he passes out with blood rushing to his head)

Detective Rahman calls his young protege, Detective Akmal.

Rahman: Another hadiah dari kawan kami. Either dari Kapten Brunei atau Balau Man ni.
(Another gift from our friend. It’s either from Captain Brunei or Balau Man)

Akmal: It’s Balau Man. Ani more of his style.

Akmal looks around hoping that Balau Man is still in the area watching them in the shadows. Akmal knows that his good friend Ridzuan has dipped his toes onto some private investigator schtick ever since his return from UK five months ago. The fact that Kapten Brunei and Balau Man appeared not long after Ridzuan’s return can’t be a coincidence. Akmal is almost 100% sure that his friend Ridzuan is Balau Man. Goddamnit Ridzuan, what have you gotten yourself into?!

Part 1

In the span of 4 months, Kapten Brunei and Balau Man have become the talk of the town.

Two guys talking at the coffee shop.

Coffee shop man 1: Aku dangar Kapten Brunei ani bekas askar bah. Iya dulu kana buang sebab iya suka melawan. Tapi walaupun Kapten Brunei ani lurus dan ketuanya salah, kana buang jua iya dari askar. Sekarang ani jadi lone ranger tia iya.
(I heard Captain Brunei was a soldier. He got discharged because he went against orders. His superiors were wrong so he disobeyed them so he got kicked out of the army. Now he’s a lone ranger fighting street gangs.)

Coffee shop Man 2: Tapi ada lagi cerita lain yang ku dangar. Aku dangar iya ani bekas  geng member. Tapi iya kana backstab oleh rakan gengnya. Iatah iya balas dendam arah durang ani.
(But I heard another story. I heard he’s an ex-gang member. But he got betrayed and backstabbed by his fellow gang mates. Now he seeks revenge on them)

Two buddies talking at the gym.

Gym Man 1: I wonder gym mana Captain Brunei aga ah? Ku dangar iya atu kuat brabis. Mun sudah ada cerita iya mengumban motosikal keatas atap ah. Gila, kuat brabis jua sudah tu!
(I wonder which gym Captain Brunei goes to? I heard he’s like super strong. I even heard stories where he threw a bunch of motorcycles in the air. Like WTF, that dude must be a badass!)

Gym Man 2: Dui, balum lagi iya jumpa aku. Tunggu basar badan ku ani, awu…ketahuan ya Kapten Brunei ah! Kacut biji palir nya!
(He hasn’t met me yet. Just wait till my muscles get bigger..Captain Brunei will drop his balls off!)

A mom that’s trying to stop her kids from being noisy.

Mom: Eh! Jangan bising-bising, karang tedangar Balau Man. Iya atu suka menganu anak damit yang gauk tu. Mahu kamu kana lawat oleh Balau Man?
(Hey, stop running around! Don’t be loud because Balau Man might hear you. He likes to prey on naughty kids! You want Balau Man to prey on you?)

A couple in the car

Guy: Aku dangar Balau Man ani bapanya manusia, mama nya urang Bunian.
(I heard Balau Man is half human and half forest spirit)

Girl: Tapi yang ku dangar dari uncle ku, Balau Man ani memuja syaitan dan be-ilmu hitam.
(But I heard from my uncle that Balau Man is satanist and practice black magic)

School girls talking during lunch break.

Teenage girl 1: Kalau sekiranya aku kahwin sama Captain Brunei wah, kira aku jadi Miss Brunei jua tu
(If I marry Captain Brunei, I would be ‘Miss Brunei’)

Teenage girl 2: Eh bukan miss Brunei, ‘Mrs’ Brunei! Kan kahwin sudah iatah ‘Mrs’
(Not Miss Brunei, Mrs Brunei!)

Teenage girl 3: Cemana time bersanding tu ah. Kalau iya pakai costume, mau jua aku pakai costume bendera Brunei.
(I wonder whether I’ll get to wear a Bruneian flag costume during the wedding)

Universiti Brunei Darussalam – Day

Adam arrives to pick up Aisyah from the Universiti of Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

While waiting for Aisyah, Adam is scrolling through a local blog called “Jafar’s Corner” – currently the hottest local blog – where Jafar is writing about the latest incident involving Kapten Brunei. Adam is amused at some of the misinformation being written about the incident.

Aisyah enters the car and notices that Adam is busy looking at his phone.

Aisyah: Eh senyum-senyum ni meliat telipun ah
(Well, look at you. All smiling and giggling at the phone)

Adam hands her his phone while he starts to drive.

Adam: Cuba kau baca ni arah blog Si Jafar ah, pasal Kapten Brunei
(Why don’t you read this. It’s from Jafar’s blog and it’s about Captain Brunei)

Aisyah scrolls down reading the comment section.

Aisyah: Labih-labih jua membual orang comment ani. “Captain Brunei was carrying a sick girl to the hospital in the middle of the night and I helped directed him to the emergency room” Ada kan?
(This guy is just making stuff up. “Captain Brunei was carrying a sick girl to the hospital in the middle of the night and I helped directed him to the emergency room” Did that even happened?) 

Adam laughs.

Aisyah: Siapa kan ni si Jafar ani? Kira the next Rano kah ni?
(Who is this Jafar guy? Is he like the next Rano or something?)

Adam: Cematu lah. Si Ali yang me-passing arah aku blog ani. Nya, blog si Jafar ani yang paling hangat sekarang ani.
(Something like that. Ali was the one who passed me this. He said Jafar’s blog is  the hottest local blog right now)

Aisyah: Ado-ado gala. Jangan tah di pecaya ni cerita-cerita di internet ani. Membual saja pandai nya.
(Don’t believe in these stories over the internet. All they know is making stuff up.) 

Adam: Tapi cali.
(But it’s funny)

Aisyah: Kadang-kadang jahat jua. Me-Fitnah kan urang saja. Kalau sekiranya ada tia urang me-fitnah Kapten Brunei, cemana?
(But they can be mean. All they do is slander people. What if someone tries to make  up some bad stories against Captain Brunei? How would you deal with that?)

Adam: Kalau cematu, tepaksa tah ku becakap arah TV tu.
(Then I’ll just have to appear on TV and set the record straight)

Aisyah: Mau kan kau arah TV? Bukan nya mu Kapten Brunei mesti low profile sikit?
(Do you even want to appear on TV? Didn’t you want Captain Brunei to keep a low profile?)

Adam: Kalau buleh, low profile pulang tapi kalau sekiranya terpaksa, cemana? Mesti jua tunjukkan mua arah TV
(I’ll try to keep as low profile as possible but what if I have no choice? The I have to show my face on TV)

Adam knows that Kapten Brunei cannot operate under the shadows forever. Kapten Brunei need to step out into the public eventually.

The Daily Brunei HQ
Gadong – Day

The door bursts open!

Vivian rushes into her office with her four years old daughter.

She got a text about a meeting and rushed immediately right after her daughter’s school play finishes.

Vivian: You stay here at Mommy’s desk, ok? Will be back shortly. Don’t touch anything.

Vivian shuts the door to her office.

Little Steph sits there alone looking around the room, doesn’t quite know what to do. One minute she was performing in her school play with her friends, next minute she’s in the car with her mom rushing to her office.

Suddenly, the door bursts open again!

Vivian: Sorry, I think mommy should leave the door open for you. So you won’t be scared. Bye! Oh and don’t touch any of Mommy’s stuff. Bye! Love you!

And just like that, Steph sees her mom rush off again. Little Steph is bewildered by her mom’s behaviour.  Silly mom.

Vivian makes her way to the meeting room right across. Vivian is a senior editor at The Daily Brunei, Brunei’s third largest English language newspaper after Borneo Bulletin and Brunei Times. She enters the meeting room to the surprise of her colleagues.

Vivian: Sorry, I’m late. Tried to get here as soon as possible.

Wahab: I thought you were at your daughter’s school today?

Haji Wahab is the Chief Editor of The Daily Brunei. A retired civil servant as well as founder of various social work NGOs, Haji Wahab is a respected man in the community.

Vivian: I was but I went straight here as soon as the school play was over.

Wahab: What about your daughter?

Vivian: Oh, she’s right there in my office.

Vivian points out of the meeting room window and they all see little Steph looking bored behind her desk.

Wahab: You didn’t have to rush because this is just a short meeting…

Vivian: Oh it’s ok. I wasn’t really rushing.

Yet she was clearly out of breath. Wasn’t rushing…sure~

Wahab: Ok. Just to quickly recap for Vivian. I met with Police Commissioner Ghafar at the dinner event last night. And he is a bit…inda jua dikatakan unhappy ah…He used the word ‘apprehensive’ with our coverage of Kapten Brunei ani.

Wirdah: They want us to stop publishing them, don’t they?

Wirdah is a young and bright journalist in The Daily Brunei.

Wahab: No, they did not want us stop publishing stories on Kapten Brunei.

Azim: Not yet.

Azim is another young journalist in the room. Thinks he’s cool with his sarcastic wits.

Wahab: Yes, not YET. But, atu lah, the Commissioner said he is apprehensive about us publishing these Kapten Brunei stories. Takut ada unintended consequences on the community if we keep putting the spotlight on Kapten Brunei.

Wirdah: So what do they want, really?

Wirdah has a bit of a fed up tone in the way she talks.

Wahab: They want us to tone it down a bit. Make sure it doesn’t veer away too much from their press releases.

Azim: We’ll do that once they learn how to make better press releases.

Ooooo~ Haji Wahab chuckles and looks at Vivian  who has a big smile across her face. These young ones.

Wahab:  Commissioner also said that we will also be held responsible if something bad happens due to too much attention to Kapten Brunei.

Wirdah: That is ridiculous! So they are threatening us, huh?

Wahab: Not a threat, more of a warning. I know the Police Commissioner, he is a good friend of mine and we go way back. He just wants us to be careful. He always give me hints on what orang-orang atasan are concerned about. This Kapten Brunei issue is one of them. I just want to share with you all saja so kamu aware of the sensitivity of Kapten Brunei.

The room is silent as they all take in the Police Commissioner’s warning.

Wahab: You have anything to add Vivian? Since you rushed all the way here for this short meeting.

Vivian straightens her posture and clears her throat.

Vivian: Just want to add something that I think is very important. Nowadays we have all these social media and everyone can post anything they like, whether true or not. These media people are often seen as disruptive.

Wirdah: But it is not right to lump us with them.

Wirdah interjects, sitting across Vivian and with her arms folded. She’s clearly not happy with this news. She thinks the press is being ‘bullied’.

Vivian: Doesn’t matter. The authorities stereotype all media this way including us. This is where we come in. Providing some credibility and balanced reporting that the people deserve.  I know it can be difficult to separate facts from fiction in the case of Kapten Brunei but we have try as best as we can to differentiate ourselves from the rumour mongerers and gain the trust of the public.

Fitness Square
Kiulap – Day

Adam and Aisyah pick up Adam’s sister, Amalina from her martial arts lesson in one of the popular fitness centre in the country. They arrive just in time to witness Amalina having a match and  takes down her opponent to the floor!

Everyone claps and Liza announce that Judo class is over for today.

In the last four months, Liza used her social media popularity – as the fitness personality ‘Dayang Dynamite’ and the viral video of her taking down a gang member – to expand on her martial arts classes which have become popular among women in Brunei.

Seeing Amalina being more confident and happy with her friends, Adam couldn’t help feel really proud of her younger sister. Especially after the things she had to go through months ago.

Amalina: Abang nampak Amal lawan tadi?
(Did you see my match?)

Adam: Awu, handal jua Amal atu.
(Yeah and you were awesome)

Aisyah: Dalam setaun ni, Amal buleh jadi sidekick Abang ni.  Jadi ‘Supergirl Brunei’ *wink*
(Give it a year, you’ll probably be your brother’s sidekick. Brunei’s very own Supergirl)

Adam: (laughs) Bukan pulang Amal jadi sidekick tu. Abang kali jadi sidekick nya!
(Actually, it’s most probably the other way around)

Liza: Assalamualaikum. You must be Amal’s brother.

Adam, Aisyah and Amal turns around to see Liza walking towards them with a smile. They are a bit starstruck meeting her. From the way she carried herself with confidence, you would think that in another life she would’ve been an action film star or a police officer. Well, her father is already a cop anyway.

Liza: She always talks about abangnya ani.
(She always talks about her brother)

Adam: Walaikumsalam. Kan ucap terima kasih untuk mengajar si Amal.
(Walaikumsalam. Just want to say thank you for teaching Amal)

Liza: You’re welcome. Amal has been a good student.

Aisyah: Semakin ramai sudah ah murid kita
(I notice that the number of students grew)

Liza: Awu iatah semakin payah jua kan maintain. Tapi Alhamdulilah ada jua urang interested untuk menjadi cigu-cigu. Ada yang bekas askar bini-bini dan ada jua cigu-cigu dari Pilipin dan Indonesia yang baru datang dua minggu lapas.
(Yeah but it’s getting harder to maintain. But thankfully we had people that were interested in teaching. Some of them are ex-soldiers and we have teachers from the Philippines and Indonesia that just came around two weeks ago to help us out)

Adam: Bisai jua ada program cemani ani.
(It’s really good to have a program like this)

Liza: Tapi ada jua orang inda paham apa yang kami buat ani. Durang pikir kami ani kan membuat bini-bini ganas. That is not our aim. Our aim is untuk mengajar bini-bini cemana untuk mejaga diri sendiri dan build confidence. Bukannya kami kan buat superhero bini-bini (laugh) Jangan jadi Kapten Brunei! Kapten Brunei atu urang gila.
(Some people don’t understand what we’re doing. They think we’re making some bunch of aggressive masculine women. That is not our aim. Our aim is to teach these women how to take care of themselves and boost their confidence. We’re not making superwomens here (laughs) Not trying to be Captain Brunei! That guy is a nutjob)

Adam, Aisyah and Amalina give a forceful laugh at that dig on Kapten Brunei.

Amalina: Kapten Brunei ‘rugged’ kali ah!
(But Captain Brunei is cool!)

Liza: Well, kalau sekiranya iya ‘rugged’ kenapa iya tapuk-tapuk dari polis? Yang ku tahu, orang yang suka tapuk-tapuk ani, they have something to hide. Urang bedusa.
(Well, if he is cool then why is he hiding from the police? If I want to guess, he may have something to hide. He might be guilty of something.)

Aisyah tries to defend Kapten Brunei.

Aisyah: I think iya ada reason nya sendiri untuk tapuk-tapuk.
(I think he has his reasons to hide)

Liza: Maybe. But whatever reason nya atu, baik tah di share-share nya. Right now, the police sees him as a criminal bah.
(Maybe. But whatever his reasons are, he better share it. Because right now, the police sees him as a criminal.)

Adam: Banar tu.
(That’s true)

Aisyah and Amalina turns to Adam, surprised by his response.

Adam: Kalau iya kan jadi superhero banar-banar, baik tah iya keluar bejumpa sama rakyat Brunei.
(If he really want to become a real superhero, he should go out and meet the people)

Liza: Exactly!

Adam seems to have made his mind up. He thinks its time for Kapten Brunei to come out to the public. But the question is how to do it.

The Daily Brunei HQ
Gadong – Day

Haji Wahab is having a meeting with Vivian in his office. Haji Wahab is leaning back on his chair, making himself comfortable and drinking his coffee.

Wahab: So what do you think about our new people?

Vivian: They are very vocal and passionate.

Wahab: Reminds me of you when you first started.

Vivian: *laughs* if I was to be honest, I had another motivation to be fiery back then.

Wahab: What’s that?

Vivian: I was the daughter of…I guess *rolls her eyes a bit* the country’s ‘leading journalist’.

Vivian seems to have a problem with her father’s reputation.

Vivian: Everyone was judging me left and right. ‘The daughter of the great journalist Stephen Ng would not make it‘, they say.

Wahab: Do you want your daughter to follow your footsteps?

Vivian: No. Or Yes. I don’t know. It’s up to her.

Vivian shrugs as she sips her coffee.

Wahab: What does she like? What interests her?

Vivian: Nothing much, really. She’s still young.

Wahab: Or you just don’t know what she likes.

Haji Wahab places his coffee on the table and leans on his table.

Wahab: This is just an advice, Vivian. You didn’t really need to be in that meeting. I think it would be better if you stayed a little longer with your daughter in school and spend time there instead of rushing here. I would’ve understand tu. Inda masalah, we have plenty of young bright reporters here. Work is important but your daughter is more important. Trust me, I don’t want you to have any regrets saja.

Vivian slighly nods.

There’s a knock on the door.

Wahab: Come in!

Azim comes in with his laptop.

Azim: Sorry to interrupt but I think we should all take a look at this.

Azim shows Vivian and Haji Wahab a webpage from his laptop.

Vivian: ‘Jafar’s Corner’ Blog? Seriously? Did you even hear what I just said earlier about differentiate…

Azim: Check the title of his new post.

Vivian looks at Azim’s computer screen and reads the title of Jafar’s blog post:


Vivian (reads): “On behalf of the Bruneian public, I invite Captain Brunei or Balau Man to come out publicly and set the record straight. I’ll be honoured to help out.”

Azim: Do you think they will respond?

Vivian: Damned if they don’t and damned if they do.


Chapter 6 – >
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