Monday, April 13

News and Views

1. Miring and politics

As we all know, miring (making offerings to gods) is part of the Iban culture when one is about to venture into something deem to be important such as to start padi planting, going to battle fields, journeying to the unknown, starting a business, constructing a house, and etc.

Usually, as part of the ritual, a pig is to be speared so that its liver is to be examined and interpreted to mean good or bad. For a smaller miring, a chicken is to be used as its blood is to be smeared on the ingredients of the piring.

Both Jawah Gerang, the PKR candidate and Malcolm Mussen Lamoh, the BN candidate, performed miring on their way to the nomination centre on 29 March 2009. Mussen speared a pig, but the pig which was supposed to have been killed, was still alive. Somebody else finished the job.

On 4 April 2009, deputy chief minister Alfred Jabu anak Numpang while at Wong Panjai campaigning for Mussen performed a “genselan” by spearing a pig. Like in Mussen’s case, the pig also was not killed instantly. Some one else used a piece of wood to hit the head of the pig.

According to Iban elders, the two “incidents” were bad omens (jai burong) and they predicted Jawah Gerang to win. Now we know that the so-called "jai burong" turned out to be “manah burong” (good omens) for Mussen.

Of course, what Mussen did was to neutralize the “jai burong” omen, not by another miring, or by waving of cockerels, but by calling on the God of money to help. And the God of money blinded the voters’ eyes and made them deaf and dumb.

2. Tuai Rumah Nyawin

It only takes Tuai Rumah Nyawin to undo the effects of thousands of CDs distributed to longhouses in Batang Ai to discredit the State BN government. The CDs featured scenes of Nyawin’s longhouse and other longhouses destroyed by the Land and Survey, the Police and oil palm companies. Initially, the CDs had some effects on those who saw them; some even cried. But during the last few days of campaign, Nyawin was brought from Bintulu to counter the propaganda and neutralize the effects. He did a very good job for the BN. Why not flying in a helicopter?

A couple of years ago Nyawin was in the limelight after the authorities destroyed his longhouse and sued the government for destroying it, taking away his land and the land belonged to his “anembiaks”.

The CDs featured the destroying of his longhouse and how they were treated as if they were animals. But some months later Tuai Rumah Nyawin was asked to withdraw the case and some compensation was paid. Land titles were given to the land where their houses stand today. He got himself a 4WD vehicle. Today his people are still grumbling as they have no land to farm. But Nyawin enjoys himself and is always seen in Bintulu town. The story reminds me of Iban folklore, the Apai Saloi.

3. Bloggers again under fire

Before and after the Batang Ai by-election, bloggers especially the Dayak bloggers are constantly under fire from the State BN leaders. Deputy president of PBB Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang described the bloggers as “specialist instigators”, while Parti Rakyat Sarawak president James Masing did not read what bloggers wrote, but yet condemned them.

PRS Information chief Joseph Salang said that the impact of the bloggers in the Batang Ai by-election was only 10% of the 22,000 population of Batang Ai, that is, only 2,200 people. If only there are telecommunications towers and broadband centres and longhouses have electricity supply, then the percentage of people using internets would have been higher. The impact by bloggers’ write-ups may be higher.

Now the latest to attack on bloggers comes from Senior vice president of PBB Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who told Kuching journalists not to abuse media freedom. Press was an important institution in forming public opinion, but a small section of media including bloggers had ignored ethics and law.

He said: “We should not allow internet users and bloggers to use this venue to slander, incite and criticise others including political and government leaders.

“As the position and role of traditional media was being threatened by the new and alternative media, the tasks and responsibilities of journalists in playing ‘check and balance’ role was being more challenging,”
he said.

Why bloggers are suddenly becoming a threat is that the people want to read the other alternative views and government leaders and politicians do not want the people to know. They even tell traditional media not to pay much attention to news coming from the Opposition, and if they do, they may be in trouble.

If that is the case, people who are hungry for Opposition news will have to go to the internets and blogs. So other views other than the government’s views are always considered a threat. – The Broken Shield



Apai Semalau said...

Its a reality show! We ibans are damned cheap! See money can buy our votes. No questions about it. For the sake of money we can even be bought to burn our rumah panjai twice over. Just take a closer look at TR Nyawin. He betrayed his anakbiaks to line his own pockets. No wonder the other races spit in our face and call us names. We can't blame them because thats the truth. Lets be honest about it.
Why do we sell our souls for money? The reasons being simply we have been living in POVERTY for too long. We have been caged in poverty by the BN all these years so that they can exploit us in every election with the offer of money sweeteners. It may be for the short term but to us money helps immensely when you are dirt poor. Any races would do the same if place in the same predicament. Beside the dayaks which other communities are in a worst position then us? NONE! The majority of us, Dayaks lives below the poverty line and that is a fact!! So help us "Allah".

Anonymous said...

Ni maia bansa kitai tau berubah pikir ngau runding, ketegal maioh nadai pelajar, lalu nda kala meda tai ti nyadi di menua orang.

Bala tuai rumah ndang maioh baka TR Nyawin nya, sain sebarang surat,pom diasoh bala Manager, orang perintah lalu diberi sa-sen dua lalu nda nemu tuju utai ti disain cda. Ngai nda pen kitai ndang peturun Apai Saloi tu ndang dikerindu ka sida YB BN kitai Dayak/Iban

Unknown said...

Dear Jetty,
Let "bygone be bygone" as we are counting our day to the nearest time of rest. Both of you and I are now growing old and soon coming to where we are. The almighty will soon prepare us the best place to be all season.

I do not believe in "Miring" as I have faith in God and whatever sign given by the speared pig has nothing to do with the election. it is just to make joke to our own people to believe in funny thing. yes, there are some cases where miring really work but are we really sure of this?

It is not about miring or not. The Dayaks still prefer the old some song. Every Dayak know how to sing "Berkikis Bulu betis" regardless they are Iban, Bidayuh, Kenyah, Kelabit, Lunbawang and so forth. But, anybody know how to sing "I started a Joke" by Beegees? I don't thing so.

Politic is always about power, territory, dignity, serving spirit, patriotism and so much more. But, the dayaks are blinded by money, lies and promises that only benefited only one group of people. The next generation are remaining as stupid and idiot. Why? because our ancestors are idiot and stupid more earlier that us.

I don't want to be an idiot because there must be something better to dream and think about. The BN's victory is marked as the ancestor idiocy and the decedents' stupidity because are a lazy to learn and therefore we are very poor.

Anonymous said...

Problem with Iban is that we do not have solid faith in Allah. We claim to be Christan but never fail to miring. What Allah will help the Iban(opposite of Nabi) when the Iban are confused " nadai batang ati" in their beliefs. Maybe Iban beliefs in ARAK.

Agom said...

I viewed the CD. The said Tuai Rumah condemned the police and the enforcement officers from Land and Survey Dept. for being cruel dismantling their longhouse.He even accused the government for having not taking their plights regarding NCR land issue.

Now, the tuai rumah is `turning over` because of money, the root of evil.We cannot blame him as he followed the footstep of some politicians and YBs who could be easily bought with money, positions and wealth.

No matter how much damaged you have done to discredit BN, it will accept you to its fold proving that you have changed and have BN spirit at your heart as a minister said in reference to a `frog` who is now searching for pond to cool his skin.

Perhaps, some of you who have been vocal against BN, most likely to be approached....first step of `turning over` and you will say goodbye to your friends.

Anonymous said...

If Brokenshield is well connected maybe you can list the senior posts held by Dayaks in the Civil Service? Should be easy if one browse through the agency website? How many are Directors in the various Government Department, Ministries, GLC, Residents, Secretaries, District Officers and we can analyse whether what you say about discrimination is true? Are Dayaks given key posts in key Government agencies like the powerful SPA or Land Survey? Does the distribution of senior Dayak Government servants translate into equity in the State Administration? Or is it all a cover up as some of the positions are basically junior position in decision making like the senior Majlis Adat Istiadat can be overuled in Adat Land matters by the more powerful Director Land Survey? The Chinese are not happy with their representation in the Service. How about Dayaks?