|Written by Arimi Sidek|
'Katak di-bawah tempurong'
Sultan Hashim was the Sultan of Brunei of the time.
He was indeed powerless, but he took great pride in his ancient lineage. I say, he was a certain patriotic that deserves respect, in a way.
But, the British at the time and even contemporary researchers did not share my sentiment. Horton was one of them. According to him,
"this (the sultan) patriotism, however, was blended with ignorance of the outside world: it is unlikely that Sultan Hashim had ventured beyond even Labuan – in the Malay phrase he was 'katak di-bawah tempurong' ('a frog under a coconut shell'), and so were most of his people, apart from the few who had made the pilgrimage to Mecca”.
Horton, 1986. British Administration in Brunei 1906 - 1959 by A.V.M Horton. Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 20, No.2., (1986), pp. 353-374. Cambridge University Press.