Malay folklore is in fact so rich and complex that it embodies several different traditions of oral and written storytelling. There are, for example, bardic tales recalling hero journeys and animal fables that serve as morality tales – much like Aesop’s Fables. There are also ghost stories, epics and fairy tales.
Known as kisah dongeng, Malay fairy tales describe a plethora of weird creatures called orang halus (“soft folk” or “refined folk”). These include ogres, mermaids, dwarf-like entities, birds made of fire and water, dragons and giant crabs. But the creature photographed in Pahang was apparently some sort of lycanthrope.