A legend surrounding a unique seaside rock formation that gave the Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency its name may serve as a reminder to the three contenders in the seat’s by-election.
Growing up in the village of Kampung Gas nearby, Ambulang Along, 50, frequently heard stories from the elders in his Sabah east coast Bajau community of how the rock formation came to be.
The rock formation is located some 20km from downtown Sandakan.
“According to my ancestors, there was once a buffalo and a salt water crocodile who were friends. The buffalo would come to graze near the seaside and chat with his friend, the crocodile.
“One day, while grazing the buffalo decided to take a walk in the sea. Upon seeing this, the crocodile became offended and accused the buffalo of stepping into his territory,” said Ambulang.
This caused the friends to argue and they failed to realise that the sky had turned dark and clouds had begun to gather.
“Suddenly, a flash of lightning struck the buffalo and the crocodile and they turned into rock,” said Ambulang, now employed by the Sandakan Municipal Council that maintains the small park surrounding the well-known landmark.
He said that while the three-legged rock was instantly recognisable, not many people were aware that there was actually a flat and smaller rock formation beside it.
“Our grandparents would always remind us about the story of the buffalo and the crocodile if we got into arguments with our friends.
“Friends should always care for each other and resolve any differences amicably. That is always the better way,” he added.
And Ambulang’s hope is that once the by-election is over, friendship will once again thrive in his constituency.