Saturday, August 23

Do we have "manok sabong" after Taib-post era?

In my last posting, I posed the question: Are we Dayaks ready for a change of government? And this time I am going to ask every one of us equally important questions: Who should lead us after the Taib-post era? Or be our “manok sabong” (fighting cock) to fight for our cause? Before going further, let me compare the Dayaks in the Brooke era with the Dayaks of the present day.

* “The Dayaks are noted for their honesty, humility, bravery and spirit of adventurism (bejalai). In wars, they are motivated by their battle cry – AGI IDUP AGI NGELABAN (as long as there is life, we fight). Their incredible courage during the height of communist insurgency in Malaya before and after it became independence in 1957, communist terrorism and the “confrontation” after the formation of Malaysia, had earned them gallantry awards.

Our forefathers were also the most feared tribes of Borneo successfully practicing headhunting and territorial expansion. The reasons for their successes were that they were united, brave and loyal to their community.

But nowadays we are all “ngeleput” and are losing those traits – the pioneering spirit, the spirit of expansionism and adventurism as well as the spirit of “beduruk, segulai, sejalai, sepenemu enggau penyarakup” (working and living together in unity towards a common goal) and the effects of this lack of those traits lead us to disunity, bickering and fighting among ourselves even for a trivial issue causing us to lose our numerical superiority, our political influence and our sense of direction. Indeed, we are more individualistic driven by greed and jealousy, the weakness of which is being manipulated by those who wish to see the Dayaks in a state of continued periphery and subjugation.

The current political situation offers a golden opportunity for any Dayak to prove himself as a leader. For example, when Anwar Ibrahim calls for the end of Abdul Taib Mahmud’s political dominance and regime in Sarawak, Dayak leaders should come forward to express support and a similar sentiment, because they know that Dayaks have become victims of unjust “politics of development”. Why must it be Anwar Ibrahim who wants Taib to go? He must have a lot of guts. And why the deafening silence from the brave Dayaks? Or is the present generation of Dayaks no longer brave?

But what should we do now to revive the spirit of bravery, the spirit of headhunting and the spirit of adventurism as espoused by our forefathers?

First and foremost, we have to put our house in order. “This should be our priority number one,” said Dr Dusit Jaul, a senior INTAN lecturer when commenting on my previous article.

“The question is who should play the leading role. In this, we no more can depend on the old generation of the Dayaks in the Abdul Taib Mahmud era. Those self-proclaimed Dayak leaders have ample opportunities to prove their worth to the Dayaks. You can see for yourself what have they have done to the Dayak causes at large,” he said.

In the days of “ngayau-mulau” (headhunting), a Dayak leader had to prove his leadership quality by conducting “ngayau” expeditions and returned home successfully with their war trophies and loots, and only then he would be recognized as a “manok sabong” or a “Raja Brani” (warrior).

According to Dr Dusit, a leader must have the ABC leadership - ability to lead, must be brave and at the same time competent. “Now how many of our Dayak “leaders” fit with these leadership qualities, not to mention the leadership qualities of the 21st century,” he said.

Currently Jabu is the most senior Dayak “leader”. However, he knows only how to praise Taib Mahmud and addresses him with the words “yang disayangi” (most beloved) not once or twice, but several times in his speech so much so that it causes embarrassment to the audience. Some of his enemies say that Jabu is not a leader, describing him as only fit to be a community leader (Tuai Rumah) or a discipline officer barking and condemning his “anembiaks”.

Dr James Masing, although highly educated, has spoilt himself after he brought the death of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) in 2004 in collaboration with Sng Chee Hua. Generally, the Dayaks cannot forget nor forgive him, even though he has realized his blunder and is trying his best to be recognized as a leader in the new party he formed.

Another Dayak leader is William Mawan. Many Dayaks distrust him because of his close association with Tiong King Sing and many have also questioned him over his personal behaviour. He is only good as a follower.

What about Joseph Salang, you may ask? Although Salang can be a uniting force between the hardcore members of the defunct PBDS and the members of PRS, he is new to PRS and being new he has been very cautious for fear of stepping on the toes of some of the senior leaders. He is being groomed to take over after Masing steps down, perhaps in the next State election. His quality as a leader is yet to be seen.

Other Dayak leaders in the present Taib era are not worth mentioned, as their performances are below par. They are the “Yes” men.

Although there are many Dayak intellectuals among us, so far no one has come out to show his colours the way the HINDRAF leaders do and who are prepared to go to jail fighting for their community’s rights. Until we find some one possessing the spirit of our forefathers, the Dayaks will not be able to free themselves from being marginalized and manipulated.

* Taken from a page in the volume two of "The Broken Shield – The Dayak Dilemma"


Anonymous said...

Akai....tusah aku ka ninga kitai di Sarawk diak bejako baka seduai Aya (+ Dr John Brian. Rindu deka ninga sekeda ari bansa kitai diak udah bisi buah penemu kebakatu.

Entah dimaia meh kitai Dayak ensium burit bansa org bukai...ti suba bansa kitai tu meh ti dipebasa serta dikemesai sida bansa bukai...

Aram meh kitai sama2 bebatak negi niri ke "Bansa Dayak Rebak Baru"....

Anonymous said...

well said... mr. jetty.. i'm a malay, sarawakian, it's been too long since independence that we see our very own sarawak local to have our voice heardin the parliament.. not to mention from my very own MP, mr. jacob sagan..

Dusit said...

Tabi menyadi,

Manah artikel nuan nya. Keep the subject alive.

2. How to be united, or put it the other way, how to achieve unity in the context of us Dayak. Allow me to offer my thought on this.

3. In order for us Dayak to be united, we must have a COMMON enemy/enemies, REAL or PERCEIVED. As long we have "NO" enemies, real or perceived, we cannot be united. To unite the Iban alone is a real challenge, what more to say about Dayak unity. You can see it thus far; so much so that it's almost a fallacy to talk about Dayak unity. It is crucial that we identify who is/are our enemy/enemies....??? Enemy/enemies can be from within and from without. If you don't have one, (which is impossible), then CREATE one. Make this enemy/enemies known to ALL Dayak. This enemy/enemies become our RALLYING point to unite- we are fighting a common enemy/enemies.

4. If identifying enemy/enemies is too difficult a job, then we must create a CAUSE. If you proclaim yourself to be a leader, Dayak leader for that matter, then you ask yourself, "What cause are you fighting for"?. In other word, what is your vision of the Dayak, what is your mission, what are your goals for the Dayak? Remember the famous saying, " Where a leader has no vision, the people perish". I dread to think of the statement in bold becoming a reality. Before it is too late, again i repeat what i have said earlier, the Dayak must put its house in order. This is a suggestion as well as a call. Remember, we're in the midst of leadership transistion in the state. As long as "rumah kitai bedau diadu, kitai endang belama ia numpang ba rumah orang". Kitai nemu, lalu ngasai ke pemedis numpang ba rumah orang, nya meh utai ke di asai kitai diatu. Kitai Dayak temu orang bansa ke berani, tang pemerani kitai di salah guna, dikena kitai belaya ngelaban bansa diri empu. Uji ti pemerani kitai di kena kitai ngelaban munsuh, tau dipeda kitai impact ia- di pelaba aku, kitai meh megai ulu duku.

Naka tu dulu menyadi


Stanley said...

A safe bet to lead the dayaks will be Leo Moggie.He is a humble well learned man.Once a anti Taib, he will make a good leader to take on all those Taib loyalist.Joseph Salang will be a nice successor to Leo if he is prepare to show his true self. Ever since Salang Becomes MP for Julau he have never issue any statement that shows which side he is in.He is playing cards close to his chest.

chapchai said...

I don't know much about Salang but of all the Dayak leaders named he seems to be the only one left who is fit to be the next CM of Sarawak after a process of elimination.

Can someone in the know please provide a profile of Salang?

Jetty said...

Dear Chapchai,

Below is a brief profile of YB Datuk Joseph Salang:

Obtained a Master’s degree in Public Admin from an American university in Iran. Appointed as a Regional Manager of Development Bank, Sarawak. Resigned and joined Chartered Bank in Kuching holding a very senior post. Left the bank and joined PBDS and later appointed as Treasurer General.

In 2008 elected for the third time as MP for Julau and has served as deputy minister in the federal cabinet since 2004.

Prior to becoming an MP, he was the Sarawak representative in the Board of Telecom Malaysia. Married a lawyer from Pulau Pinang. For his services, he was awarded a datukship by the governor of Pulau Pinang.

Tbsbidayuh said...

Mr. jetty,

I am wonder if you can release the new edition of Broken Shield.

Sarawak to accept new government? May be yes?? But how about all those Pakatan Rakyat fellows? Someone is trying very hard to absorb every cent from our state to bring them out to Samoan Island.

Jetty said...

Dear tbsbidayuh,

Volume 2 should be ready for printing by Dec 2008. It is now being edited and proofread.

Samuel Sila Mathew Unjah, Bsc of History Education ( UPSI ) said...

To Jetty:
Tabi basa ngagai nuan,
Keterubah aku balat gaga laban pemerani nuan bejaku ka bendar pasal penimpang bala tuai kitai ti tau dikumbai ukoi..sapa manok sabong udah peneemu aku tak nadai siku manok sabong ari semua mp n dun kitai..semua nadai diguna..uji nuan meda bc sida abdullah sida najib..nadai..mina nyadi sapit orang aja..enti uggah nasib ia aja nya pan nyadi menteri paling nadai bisi pengawa..menteri alam sekitar aja

Hm ulih nuan nguji mantai ka penanggul orang iban ba menua krian laban mayuh amat janji sida YB Jelaing (Sapit Menteri Perintah Besai) seduai Yb Datuk Peter Nyarok pasal jalai.sampai ditu jalai alun menua krian baka jalai lori balak..sedangka jalai alun ba semenanjung nyau bertar..kini ke tunga duit kena ngaga jalai alun nya..pia mega bala iban dia amat tusah laban nadai ap elektrik..udah lama minta..mina janji kosong aja..

Terima kasih..mupuk aku..