Friday, March 2

Dayak leaders unnecessarily get agitated

KUCHING: Dayak leaders unnecessarily get agitated over articles written by missionary workers portraying Ibans of loose morals whose diet include leeches, ants and bee pupae.

According to an article written by Henry Ng which appeared in the Asian Beacon, the Ibans generally enjoy smoking and drinking, and they often get drunk during festive seasons or special occasions like wedding.

"They are also inclined to be immoral. I have seen men from another longhouse entering a different longhouse to look for women. After drinking tuak or rice wine, the inhabitations are lowered and sexual activities are common. Mothers are known to have offered their daughters for sex in the hope that the men  will marry their daughters," he wrote.

While I do not agree with the observations that mothers are known to have offered their daughters for sex in the hope that the men will marry their daughters, it is certainly true to say that men from another longhouse entering a different longhouse looking for women. This is called NGAYAP. Although it is not practised in longhousses near towns and cities, it is still practised in longhouses in remote areas.

It is also true to say that Ibans eat leeches (lelitak, a family of the leeches, and temeloh, a type of leeches found in tree holes in the river), ants (red ants called kesa) sago worms (called tindoh, singkit or ulat mulong), eat snakes (ular sawa, paie, etc) and pupae (anak manyi).

Not only Ibans eat all these, other races also eat these delicacies.  So there is nothig to be ashamed of. Writers like Ng and Christopher Chong may try to humiliate us, but we will not die. So no need for Dayak leaders to over-react.

Our leaders should be more concerned with bigger issues such as poverty, suppression  and oppression of the Ibans in the civil service, scholarships, education, lack of business opportunities, and the robbing of  their native customary rights lands by big companies.

Their land is their life. Take away their land, they will just be like fish without water. Soon Ibans from the rural areas are forced to  abandon their lands. (Infact somehave been forced out, but they fight by brinking their cases to court.)

All the Dayak leaders should come together and make their stand as they did against the writers of the Asian Beacon who portray Ibans as eating leeches,worms and bee pupae.

Regretably, they are the ones who not only  help the companies to land-grab the NCR land from the Ibans,but they themselves are directly robbing their fellow brothers of their land. 


Iban Lingga said...

There are some truth in the article. Why some Ibans should be ashamed of the facts. I have eaten leeches(lelitak), ants(kesa), worms(tindoh), snakes (sawa). I have ever went for "ngayap" looking for women in other longhouses. I drink "tuak" and "cap langkau". Why should I deny all these things. BUT I have never robbed, snatched, or stolen people land, neither I have a second or third wife, or keeping a mistress.

Apai irau said...

Yes,sago worms,ant(kesa only),phyton etc are all exotic delicacies.If Henry Ng had traveled or al least watched documentaries about exotic food of Thailand,cambodia,vietnam and other parts of the world,people in these regions even have more w iered food.There is no big deal about it,after all, all these are gifts from GOD which Henry Ng is serving.But if Henry Ng habours ulterior motive in coming up with such article,then he should not become a missionary spreading God's words.Missionary's job is to win the mind and heart of the unbelievers,NOT FRIGHTENING THEM.

DG said...

I couldn't agree you more. There is really nothing to be ashamed of the bizarre food taken by the Ibans. Other cultures also have weird diets. I saw in a blog there were some Chinese tribe from the interior eating human flesh but we cannot say that the Chinese are carnivorous. It is also true those interior Ibans still practiced "ngayap" but Henry Ng is wrong to generalize the Ibans are morally loose in allowing free sex. Now, some of the Iban leaders get agitated by this issue because they are basically trying to say that they are defenders of the Ibans. Ironically, when their own people ancestral lands were "robbed" in broad daylight, these same defenders of the Iban rights are silent. If really they have been fighting for our Iban rights all these years the Ibans would not have been cheated and shortchanged; they would have had equal treatments in civil service, business opportunity, rural infrastructures, etc. But as we all can see, most of the rural Ibans and the Dayaks as a whole are still the poorest and economically backward communities even after so many years since formation of Malaysia. Now, what have our self-proclaimed Iban or Dayak rights' defenders have to say?! Thanks Jetty, for enlightening our people!

Bujang Skrang said...

No one like Henry Ng have the right to degrade or demoralised the Iban through media.
What Henry Ng has done through his despicable articles potray the Iban as 'wild and immoral' tribe in Sarawak.
Not all Iban are like what Henry Ng had portray in his articles. Most Iban have value, moral or adats.
Henry Ng has painted a black picture of the Iban depicting Iban as wild and immoral tribe.
Don't tell me that Chua Soi Lek's sex scandal representing the whole chinese community. Or Lingam's case reflected the whole Indian community. Or Anwar Ibrahim's court case affecting Malay community.
Henry Ng is looking for cheap publicity and easy money by degrading the Iban in Asian Beacon Magazine.

Anonymous said...

I cannot agree with u if say this is a big or a sensitive issue, there is nothing much to dispute to this article or be ashamed of, I agree with some of your comments. of course the dayak or Iban leaders who are living confortably in the city have forgotten all these looking ugly food they once taken, they have forgotten all these that I and my friend still very much enjoy as much as those Iban leaders once experienceand of course its quite embarassing if they do not get apology from Henry Ng, Mr Henry I would like to thanks and congratulate you for telling and speaking the truth. Of course "ngayap" is completely no more practice nowadays, but we still enjoy take all the food and drinks, perhaps that is the only way we keep our relationship closer to each other though we do not quarell, rape, taking dadah, robbery, stealing, tipu. The Iban leaders should concentrate and more daring foussing on other important issues such land issues, land grabbing, NCR development, Iban economy, education etc etc. Ah jangan exksen aja mahu champion on small issue like, Mr Henry please do not feel hurt or offensive, I support you and forget about the hyprocite Iban Leaders like Jabu, Salang, Masing, Mawan etc etc. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

I remembered when I was a kid, I was very choosy about foods{lauk}, I did not eat worms {tindoh}, ants and pupae{kesa}etc. And every time we have these foods my grandfather scolded me and that could survive as a Anak Iban. Iban Lingga is speaking the facts.

FairviewBetong said...

It is a classic example of leadership of top notch displayed by a dayak hogansiau (tuai menua)in the person of YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Alfred and his assistants Tan Sri James, Mawan & Datuk Manyin when they speak in defence of their subjects - the dayaks of Sarawak.

We, as their subjects must feel guilty because our hogansiaus even took time off from their busy and tight schedule just to attend to the issue while many of the dayaks commoner remains a by-stander.

In the future, whosoever trying to rob us of our rights, sideline, belittle and redicule us the dayak race shall face the wrath of the ever protective YAB Hogansiau Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi and his Assistants.

Thank you YAB Hogansiau and you assistants for the protection so displayed.

BN cares for the dayaks - you bet.

Apai Semalau said...

Hypocrites seeking cheap publicity! Thats none other than our so called BN "defender of ketuanan dayaks". BN Dayak leaders who would rather betrayed their own race and are accomplices to robbing their ancestors NCR lands to line their own pockets. We can't deny the fact that we eat all those exotic food as described by Henry Ng. So what? We are proud of it. The writer meant no malice and neither did he generalised. Why should we indulge in self denial like all BN politicians? BN dayak politicians are bankrupt of issues and thus take up this petty issue to grin for votes...........

Anonymous said...

Dayaks should take pride that some one has come up with the stories regarding what they do in the remote rural setting, their kampung and villages. In fact the very fact that the writers in that magazine which exposed those activities at time time and age gfoes to show that they are prevalent even these days. And why? The answer is Dayaks are not yet developed in tandem with the modern urban societies. They do so must mean the economic development has not got to reaching them.This is a poor fiat for BN. It testify that what BN has been saying all along about development into the rural areas has been empty.

I think if we look on the good side of that report in that magazine, beside the poor certification by it of BN perfomance and policies, there is absolutely nothing wrong in eating snakes, sago worm and bees young which is very tasty and full of protein.

Why talk bad about 'ngayap'? Except that this habit has been exploited by "outsiders" I certainly one should equate this with immorality. They are not carrying on vices. Why, there are now by the thousands of Chinese, Thais and young women from other African countries who under various guise are doing trade in or earning monies from vices in our country. All the massage parlours are full of them and not doing any massages actually. Our country has been tolerating all these vices. So why be so hard on "ngayap". Correct we should not allow "outsiders" to exploit this. But enjoyment of cultural traits by the communities that practise it should not be condemned. And neither should we Dayak be ashamed of it.

On the other hand we should tolerate the magazine and not go hard against it over that report: it is their right to expression, isnt it?

Anonymous said...

There is nothing to be ashamed of, eating worm(tinduh), eating larvae (telu renyuan) or snake(ripung) because it is common to the iban. But I strongly disagree that in iban's long house there is a free sex after drinking session.
I have been living in the long house since birth (almost 50 years) and there is no such thing as free sex. The moral in'Ngayap' is being misinteprated from the norm. Eventhough it is getting unpopular nowaday, may be in some remote area 'ngayap' still being practice. But Henry Ng exaggerate it as free sex which is wrongly generalize and misleading.

Anonymous said...

come-on!! let's us talk more on our present and move forward to face our future. we want to see our true Iban or Dayak leaders to be more agreesive dealing with our problems, we are far behind compare to others like Chinese, Malays or Orang Ulu. Enough is enough, why are so scared to voice our needs, education, economy, job apportunity, sholarship, business etc etc, why are so coward. Jabu!!! wake-up, Masing, Mawan, Salang etc, you can rule if you dare to sacrifice and work as a team, Jabu should step down if cant do much to our society, you are our hero but you are and coward. I would go for chanhe if dont change.