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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

When The Rooster Crows II

Was it a mistake for Dayaks to join Federation of Malaysia?

Tun Jugah Anak Barieng was the Dayak leader (Dayak Paramount) that contributed to Sarawak inclusion into Malaysia. According to a source from Tun Jugah Foundation, Tun Jugah was an Iban leader who loved peace even though at that time the Dayaks still practice Head Hunting. Iban community in Kapit admired him very much because of his honesty and nobility.

“Tun Jugah was born on 1903 at ‘Rumah Gong’, at that time it had 30 rooms. He planted paddy and raised poultry to support his family. He was also appointed as Penghulu Kapit and earned RM 5.00 per month. He was a very wise man and he saved RM 2.50 a month. Apart from that, he also planted rubber and breed fish to sell. His diligence has brought to an entrepreneurship phase in his family. He had bought a shoplot that cost him RM 12,000.00 and involved in timber industry.” – The Star Publication, All Malaysia Info.

Sir Malcolm used to visit Kapit to meet with Temenggung Jugah, whom at that time worked as State Commisioner. As a person who cared about Dayak community, he persuaded the Dayaks to embrace Christianity and encouraged Saint Schools in Kapit. At that time, Methodist School was built. He had a high regard of education even though he never finished any school.

In the early 1960, Tunku Abdul Rahman had suggested Sarawak’s inclusion into Malaysia Federation and promised equal rights to the Dayak community as Malay community in Peninsular. Tunku invited Tun Jugah and Fuad Stephen to join Malaysia as the indigenous numbers in Peninsular was insufficient. Chinese was still under communist ideology, including Chin Peng’s action that brought Communist ideology to Malaya. Lee Kuan Yew also felt that Singapore should join Malaysia because of the Communist strong influence. Despite the fact that Baling Agreement had succeed in shattering the communist ideology, Chinese based parties still fought for communism. This included SUPP under Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui who stated that Sarawak should first become independent before joining Malaysia.


At that time, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore were very afraid of Communism. Cobbold Commission was then setup to observe people’s voice about Sarawak inclusion into Malaysia. SNAP had also opposed this commission due to Sarawakian’s rights. Tun Jugah who was the leader of Parti Anak Jati Sarawak, later joined Parti Negara Sarawak (PANAS) that was lead by Tun Abdul Rahman Yakub and Taib Mahmud to form Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB). Sir Malcolm McDonald then went to Kapit to ask Temenggung Jugah to join the formation of Malaysia. Due to the royalty service by Tunku Abdul Rahman to the Iban and Melanau delegates in Kuala Lumpur, Tun Jugah and Rahman Yakub have agreed to join Malaysia Federation. SNAP had finally agreed to Tun Jugah and Rahman Yakub with some conditions as per Sarawak 18-point memorandum containing matters the two territories wanted to safeguard. But mostly the focus was on religion, constitutional safeguards, immigration, and special position of the indigenous people, language, education and fiscal arrangements.


As for Sabah, Tun Fuad had received loyal entertainment from Tunku and this captured his interest to join Malaysia. “A member of Fuad’s delegation, Datuk Seri Ghani Gilong, told reporters on arrival at the airport in Kota Kinabalu (then Jesselton) “… bisuk pun boleh masuk Malaysia” (“... we can join Malaysia as early as tomorrow”).”- Malaysiabar.com.my. Nevertheless, GS Sundang opposed Tun Fuad’s plan and step out from UNKO and form United National Pasok Momogun Party or Pasok Momogun.

We joined Malaysia mainly because of the loyal entertainment from Tunku and the fear of our own future.

They also worried that their culture and polity would be gradually eroded. Thus, discussions were held on such issues as religion, education and finance where early assurances on these matters were made. Most of the discussions centred on the Sabah All-party 20-point memorandum and the Sarawak 18-point memorandum containing matters the two territories wanted to safeguard.”- Malysiabar.com.my.

However, Sarawak and Sabah must accept the fact that they are not safe because of Indonesia and Philippines interest toward them. Petroleum rights had been given to Federal Government and Petronas, and this issue had brought to Sabah’s demand to step out from Malaysia. Tun Fuad then signed a petroleum agreement and at that particular day, he died during the plane crash tragedy in Sembulan. He died just after signing the agreement in Labuan at 6th June 1976.

Every gift comes with a sacrifice and this is what Sarawak gave to Malaysian Government. Even though the 18-point memorandum was a supreme agreement, it did not guarantee Dayak’s future that was lead by Tun Jugah at the beginning. Sarawak only enjoyed 5% oil royalty since 1963 and because of that Sarawak depended much on timber and tourism industries. The oil royalty should be increased since Sarawak had supported Malaysia Federation until today.

Maybe this issue can cause ISA, but it should be reconsidered because Sarawak had contributed to oil and gas industry besides Terengganu. The 18-point memorandum should be reviewed so that Sarawak can enjoy 4-lines highway and Multimedia Super Corridor as in East Malaysia. As to appreciate Tun Jugah’s involvement to the formation of Malaysia, BN should also give the opportunities to Dayak Community to become the Member of Parliament and not appointing the inappropriate persons.

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