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The Island of Sorrow

Supirak Island is located in Malubang Village in the Pitas district of Sabah, and is often referred to as the Island of Sorrow, due to its dark tale of betrayal and curses.

Looking at Supirak Island, it truly does look like a large ship, sort of like a cruise liner. The island has a few sea caves and even an observation platform right at the tip, where you can act out your best Titanic fantasies if you’d like.

The Island of Sorrow

The Island of Sorrow
Supirak sea cave

Here’s how the legend goes. Long ago in Kougun Village, there lived a couple. The husband was a fisherman and went missing during a fishing trip, leaving behind his pregnant wife, whose name is Supirak. Supirak gave birth to a son, who she named Ragam.

Ragam was Supirak’s entire world, and he grew up a responsible and hardworking man. The small family lived in a small hut built by Ragam, located on the seaside of Torong Puteh.

One day, a supply ship was docking at Torong Puteh, and Ragam had the idea of working on-board the ship for better future prospects. He asked his mother’s permission before setting sail and promised to return to Supirak. Before he left, his mother kept a strand of his hair to remember him. 

Ragam’s diligence and intelligence earned him respect and admiration on the ship, and he soon climbed the ranks and made it all the way to being captain of the vessel. After a few years, his ship landed on an island called Pulau Intan. He even met the king and the princess, Dayang Dundunai, whom he fell in love with instantly. They got married a few months later.

During a voyage with his wife, the royal couple find themselves at Torong Puteh, Ragam’s hometown. The villagers recognised Ragam and joyously celebrated his return by throwing him a big party. Supirak, upon hearing that her beloved son came home, was overcome with joy. She boarded the large ship in hopes to reunite with him.

Ragam, who was now a prince through his marriage to Dayang Dundunai, was too ashamed to acknowledge the woman dressed in torn, ragged clothes as his mother. He loudly disowned her and chased her out of the ship. Supirak rowed back to shore, heartbroken. The villagers, instead of comforting her, mocked her for Ragam’s betrayal. 

Supirak grew resentful and took out the strand of Ragam’s hair she kept as keepsake. Her grief and rage led her put a curse on who was once her treasured son. 

A heavy storm then came to Torong Puteh. In the midst of strong winds, screaming sailors and villagers, Ragam can be heard pleading for forgiveness from his mother. It didn’t help though, everyone on the ship turned to stone, along with the villagers who were partying in Kougun Village and even the ship itself.

It was said that Supirak herself too turned to stone. 

Today, you can still see relics of the old legend, most significantly Supirak Island, which looks like a ship, and amazing rock formations at Malubang Village. These rock formations supposedly resemble Supirak’s hut (Batu Gerawang) and the villagers (Batu Berunsai). 

The Island of Sorrow
Batu Berunsai

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