Friday, March 6

Can we defeat the arrogant “kingfisher”?

The more we try to be united, the more we become divided. Dayaks especially the Ibans must learn from past political miscalculations in order to build a better future.
In Japan, homogeneity is a unifying force. Here in Malaysia, despite the Ibans being homogeneous, why are they so divided, so much so that the unity is so elusive? asked Dr. Dusit Jaul, a senior INTAN Program Coordinator.*

Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) which tried to group the various Dayak tribes under its umbrella was about to achieve that unity. But certain forces both within the party and outside were determined to see that the party not only failed to achieve its objective, but also wanted the party destroyed and at the same time sabotaged the unity among the Dayaks.

The Dayaks should be united to fight these forces and should ponder and learn a lesson from a story of a race between “burung ensing” (kingfisher) (read BN) and “kuyong kerikap” (fresh water snail) (read the Ibans).

The kingfisher is always poking fun at the snail for its sluggishness. Angered by the daily taunts, the snail, despite its handicap challenges the kingfisher to a race. The kingfisher cynically laughs off the challenge knowing very well that the snail in no way can beat it in the race.

And when the snail looks very serious the kingfisher smilingly accepts the challenge with a condition. If the snail loses the race, the snail and its descendents will become the slaves of the kingfisher and its descendents. The snail accepts the condition also with its own condition that if the kingfisher loses the race, the kingfisher and its descendents will also likewise be their slaves. The agreement was sealed.

Before the race begins, “kuyong kerikap” asks several other “kuyong kerikap” for a meeting and tells them of the pending race, a very important race that will determine their future well-being.

To save their kind, the snail wants each and every one of them to cooperate and asks each one of the “kerikap” to station itself at a strategic point along the river starting from the estuary to the very “ulu”. The duty of each one of them is to answer when the kingfisher calls.

On the day of the race, both the snail and the kingfisher start the race from the estuary and follow the river upward. Smiling arrogantly, the kingfisher begins the race and flies along the river, while the snail slithers its way.

At the first ‘tanjong’ (point) the kingfisher calls for the snail’s whereabouts, the snail replies “here I am ahead of you”. Startled the kingfisher flies faster and at the second tanjong, it calls for the snail, the snail says that it is ahead of the kingfisher. The kingfisher tries to fly faster and faster and every time it calls for the snail, the snail is always ahead. The kingfisher becomes frustrated and tired until it cannot fly anymore. It collapses.

The kingfisher concedes defeat and from that day until today, the kingfisher and its descendents, according to the tale, become the slaves of the “kerikap” snails. The kingfisher’s job is to daily forewarn the snails of the coming of tide and it flies all the way from the river mouth to the very “ulu” shouting at the top of its voice. Hearing the voice of the kingfisher, the “kerikap” snails know that the tide is coming and so they will quickly climb to a higher ground to avoid being drowned.

The moral of the story is that although the snails appear to be stupid and sluggish, they are able to defeat the fast flying and arrogant kingfisher simply because of unity and cooperation among the snails and strategically use their numerical strength and a bit of intelligence to outsmart the kingfisher.

Do we Ibans have the esprit-de-corps of “kuyong kerikap” among us to beat the BN in the Batang Ai by-election? - The Broken Shield

* An excerpt from the second volume of The Broken Shield – The Dayak Dilemma, which will be published very soon.


Anonymous said...

Will the Dayaks hear? Will the Dayaks free themselves? Will the Dayaks learn and move on? Will the Dayaks unite? Will the Dayaks use their numbera to assert themselves like the Malays? Will the Dayaks continue to accept greedy and betrayors as their leaders? Will the Dayaks unite once again? How I wish for that. How I long for that. Change we must.

Uchu Keling said...

Kebuah kitai bepecah laban semua ka nyadi tuai. Every tuai ngaga rakyat iya kediri empu.

Semua ka nyadi raja berani mai bala iya ngayau.

Ukai salah bansa bukai tang salah kitai empu. Ukai ga salah kitai empu laban nya sigi bansa kitai - our characteristics.

We are like ants - hardworking and dedicated. But the bad habit of the ants is colonisation.

Because of the habit of colonisation, we have so many tuai as in so many short longhouses, so many cluster of Dayaks, so many parties.

Ukai salah bansa urang. Badu agi blame bansa urang about what is happening to the Dayak today. It is us!

NEIL said...

The dayaks are never united.Since the time of the white rajah in sarawak,we have read about their disunity.If they have unify like the chinese against the Japanese,the white rajah would have long gone and sarawak will today be rule by them not those from Mukah, who is a minority.
Regarding the snail been slow and a pest to farmers,the comparison come very close.The dayaks are too very slow learner and they are consider a parasite by the gov't for their slash and burn,NCR,refusing to be grouped etc.That's why been less educated,the gov't have chop them up into small groups,making them less effective to topple any gov't.All these are achievable through the co-operation with the dayaks YBs ,MPs ,paramount chiefs and Tuai Rumah.Through these leaders ,the gov't are able to manupilate the dayaks to the likes of the gov't.So really,blame all these traitors for leading the dayaks into thew ravine,instead of the gov't.If these dayaks leaders dare to stand up to the gov't,surely some if not all the dayaks will follow what their leaders wants them to do.But,alias,these corrupted traitors are only interested in their own pockets and that's why they them up with the gov't to take turn to rape the dayaks.This have happen not for one or two years but for 45 long years.They just want their fellow folks to be uneducated so that their ambitions will be fulfilled easier.They may shout and curse the gov't during their trip to their longhouse but their voices are always drown in the primary jungles of sarawak.This are only window dressing and never was any outburst intended to achieve its goal.
Look around and you can see all these traitors lazing in the towns and cities.The flung their rag to riches wealth around while their fellow folks are fighting for survival and left to face the harsh environment of the unfriendly jungles on Borneo.
So it's our sincere hope that the dayaks will see Batang Ai as astepping stone to a new beginning.It might not be of much help to them but at least we see change is coming.This can only be a reality if all the hatred can be translated into votes for PR.We will see if the death of Dublin Unting is a blessing in disguise, a hope for the dayaks,a window of opportunity etc or will it be another waterloo for the dayaks.

Anonymous said...

Not quite JT...esp. when u equated Kingfisher to BN.Don't forget the famous Iban saying or song, "Runggu Ensing tang ti terebai apus ga sungai". The moral of the story idealy should be, BN is quitely doing their campaigning and not much oah..ohah...oahah like in Pakatan camp. When counting is done and over BN gots more votes. Anyway let see what others has to say !

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the dayaks are at present every bit the kingfisher. Their weakness, power crazy which leads to their downfall. Everyone wants to be the general and nobody cares to be foot soldiers! You can't run an army where everyone is a general. For there to be unity this mind set needs to change right now.

Jackson Mangan said...

Wow! The Dayaks are indeed diverse – even in folklores! The Bidayuh version of the story: Payau vs. Kuyong Kerikap. The message, however, is still the same and crystal clear indeed.

A’ya, let us be the “David”; win or lose – it doesn’t matter, as long as we’ll have a good fight against the mighty “Goliath”.

By the way, A’ya, kindly inform us on when is your second book is ready on the shelves, lah!

Have a(n) ice day!

Tiyung Dayak

Anonymous said...

Hello Jetty,

A tale remains a tale, but how about this views.......

In BN, dayak leaders no longer aspire to the chief minister`s seat.The dayaks comprising 42 per cent of Sarawak`s population represented in 30 out of 71 state seats shared between the four multi-racial Barisan Component parties namely PBB, SUPP, PRS and SPDP, will never be chief minister based on these numbers.

Therefore, in PKR the dayak leaders are still wishfully heirs to the chief Ministership if only they can be united and if chosen by our friends Malays, Chinese and Dayak communities in PKR.

Jetty said...

Mr. Jackson,

The second Volume should be ready any time. Already seen by a lawyer.