TUMPAT – For most Malay film buffs, the word “Bunohan” would remind them of the winning entry which won the best film award at the 25th Malaysian Film Festival last year.
The action drama film directed by Dain Said, with a cast that included Faizal Hussein, Zahiril Adzim and Nam Ron, told the story of the conflict between three brothers in Kampung Bunohan which ended in murder.
The film’s title came from the name of a village in Tumpat, Kelantan, situated about 30 km from Kota Baharu.
In turn, Kampung Bunohan got its name from a murder which took place there many years ago and the story was spread through the internet after the film was screened.
Today, Bunohan is no longer the sleepy-hollow it once was but is littered with tents and decorated with flags and posters of candidates representing Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS fighting for the Pengkalan Kubor state seat in the coming by-election.
Located on the main route between southern Thailand and Kota Baharu, Kampung Bunohan’s streets are now jam-packed with traffic as security forces personnel form roadblocks to control the hundreds of vehicles bringing party supporters from throughout the country.
Bunohan itself has 1,433 voters who are registered for the Pengkalan Kubor by-election, 99.09 per cent of whom are Malays.
According to resident Awang Said, 57, the origins of the village’s name had nothing to do with the story told in the film.
Awang, who was born and raised in the village and still lives there, said that according to local history, the name Bunohan was actually taken from a fish trap which was called “bunohan” in olden times.
He said there was a river in the village which was the main source of income for villagers to catch fish.
They created a type of trap which was so efficient in catching fish that the village came to be called Kampung Bunohan.
Awang added that since the film Bunohan was screened, many people had asked how the village got its name.
However, he added, the storyline in the film was purely fiction created by its director who only borrowed the name Bunohan because it was unique.
Today, Pengkalan Kubor is flooded with many outsiders, especially political party members, security forces personnel and government officials involved in the by-election.
A popular spot for many to take an unforgettable photograph is the signboard of the village’s name “Bunohan”.
Physically however, the village is no different from any other in the country.
Only its unique name draws so much attention, and the fact that it is so close to Pengkalan Kubor town which is an international gateway on Malaysia’s border with Thailand. – Bernama