Thursday, November 8

Excerpts from Chapter 4: The Birth of PBDS

Waiting for Tajem’s return from the CM’s residence was really unbearable. And when he finally turned up and entered the room, all conversation stopped and all eyes were focused on him. Seating himself comfortably on a chair, Tajem related what transpired between him and Taib. Taib, he said, had agreed to them to form a Dayak-based political party and that he would still be retained as deputy Chief Minister. The announcement was greeted with loud cheers and claps of the hands. That was the birth of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) and there was celebration that night followed by barbecue until the early hours of the next day. Years later Tajem asked the CM as to who objected to them to join PBB. Taib said that there were certain Dayak leaders in PBB, but did not identify them.

Strangely enough, some of those who were among the pioneers of the party years later saw it fit to leave the party. In the words of Datuk Tajem, “….some of those who had partaken in the momentous decision in such circumstances less than being extenuating had since chosen to walk on different paths; others had found comfort in an enlightened and fluent company in higher esteem.”

Among them who had left the “PBDS boat” are Datuk Tra Zehnder, Datuk Gramong Juna who is now with PBB, Douglas Endawie who believes that Iban must act like a creeping plant (empakap) in order to survive and one time worked for Wahab Dollah, a PBB strongman, Patrick Anek Uren, Lucia Awell, Vida Bayang and Joseph Samuel. (You will read more of Joseph Samuel’s story later on). But the tenacious few have chosen to march on to carry the torch of the party, loyal to the cause in search of new direction, joined merrily along by a band of others to explore the intricacies of politics in the new horizon far away.