The Teapot Kingdom

When I first saw this giant teapot adorning a roundabout near Kuala Belait in Brunei, I was thinking, at the time, it must be a British hangover. After all, Brunei was a former British colony and tea drinking must be a culture it inherited from the British. The structure’s construction was sponsored by Brunei Shell Petroleum.

It is known as the Teapot Roundabout and the four cups represent the four districts of Brunei-Muara, Tutong, Belait and Temburong. The central teapot represents the central government and the benevolent Sultan. Nice symbolism but how many Malaysians can forget one man after seeing this?

Seeing it, reminded me of the famous local cult leader Ayah Pin who built a giant teapot in his Sky Kingdom in Terengganu. In 2005, the commune was ruthlessly smashed by unknown masked men.

The authorities persecuted him and and his followers, accusing them of subscribing to deviant teachings. Ayah Pin became a fugitive and died of old age on 22 April 2016, according to Wikipedia.

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