Written by James ak Bond,
This article is written in response to Dr. John Brian's question of “Do we need the Dayak Agenda?”
(See Dayak Baru Weblog, minor edition by Sarawak Headhunter)
Where are we now?
To the rest of you, we can start thinking big for the Dayak nation provided we know who we are. Are we DAYAK or are we Ibans, Orang Ulu, Bidayuh, Penan, or what? At this very moment, ask yourself where are we? We talk about Dayak but where are the Kelabits? Where are the Bidayuhs? I am a Kayan but where are the Kenyahs? Are they here with us?
Jesus, people do you know what is seriously wrong with us Dayak even until today? Everyone does not want to do anything with Dayaks! All tribes go away. Why? Because we don’t have that sense of identity over Dayaks, that’s why!
That is the utmost important thing in Dayak society these days. We need to start pulling all Dayak tribes to one spot and from that spot we can march forth. But where are we now?
Where are we now?
Do Dayaks betray other Dayaks?
I know where we are. We are in Baram. We are in Bau. We are in Lubuk Antu. We are in Bario. No wonder Taib is very powerful, because all the forces that can challenge him are scattered in all corners.
Yes, I know, there are a few who finally come to a spot and there they stand. They should try to pull more others to join them on the spot. But you know what they did? They bebukut, bebunuh sama kaban on that spot. On that spot they betray us all!
We have no qualms about likening Dayaks to traitors to their own future because every argument they can employ to quash this claim will rebound to stare at their face, and they know that.
Dayak always want to be in control
The Dayaks always want to be in control. If we cannot take over the ship as a whole, we divide the ship in two to be fair to everyone in the hull. A halved ship will sink! Oh, we forgot that. But we can worry about that after we split the ship.
That is what we Dayak do. Call it self-mutilation but that is Dayak. Call it wrong sense of competition but that is Dayak.
Four things we Dayak need to do :
1, For a CORRECT sense of community
Note the emphasis on “Correct”. To acquire a correct sense of community, this is what we must do.
· The Iban must stop thinking like Iban, the Kayan/Kenyah must stop mutating, the Kelabit must stop decorating themselves, and the Bidayuh must start dragging themselves to embrace the spirit of Dayaks and sit next to the Lun Bawang if they think the Ibans are too noisy. The other tribes must stop being too tribal and keeping only to themselves. Wherever Dayak is concerned, that’s the only race that matters now.
The Iban especially must exercise some restraint, and a whole lot of it. Already the other Dayak tribes vilify you as the mother of all evils in the Dayak gallery of debauchery, and your boisterous behaviour will continue chasing them away from our midst.
You Ibans must stop thinking Dayak is Iban, Dayak is for Iban alone or Dayak is all about Iban day in day out. Stop thinking selfishly. You are no superior to other tribes. If you think Ibans are superior, then Sarawak history may want to nominate the Orang Ulu as the real champions. The Orang Ulu only make up a small percentage of Sarawak's population yet they can conquered nearly half of Sarawak's land mass. What’s that if not the legacy of their superior past? The Ibans were after all jungle wanderers without a proper civilization and the Europeans are ready to acknowledge that. So quit the ego, stop blowing your own trumpet, stop thinking you’re special, start thinking for a larger community. Help us. We sincerely need you. Bring out the best of Rentaps in you and unite us again so we can conquer all again. Now you come down to the ground to be with your Dayak brothers and sisters. Here! In the mud we stand!
· The Kelabits must quit the ego, too. Stop the dreaming you’re the Jews, the Chosen People, of Sarawak. You’re the jewels of the land in many cases all right and everyone is ready to give that to you. But enough with that. Time to share your virtues and honed skills with the Dayak. Time to grace the humble Dayak nation with your presence. Have a sense of belonging with us, for Christ’s sake, and quit living like a hermit in your elite exclusive society. Tear down that wall, Miss Bario, and come down here to be with us. Here! In the mud we stand.
KAYAN AND KENYAH
· The Kayan and Kenyah. I don’t know what’s wrong with you two tribes but you had better stop idolising the Chinese because it has been proven in silence you can eventually surpass the Chinese at many of their craft and we fear you will infect the Dayak with the same made-in-china trickery. Already you’re skilled to bluff your way to the top. Just because the Chinese did it, it’s still not right for you to rape the Penan girls in ‘lumberjack minutes’ like the Chinese! You are after all religious God-fearing people. So save yourself from yourself. Already you sent your children to Chinese schools and married your pretty daughters into Chinese homes.
What’s next? No problem with the Chinese but too much of it can kill your own identity and good caring nature. Here, look here, we are your brothers and sisters. We are the same people who danced with you in the river long before any foreigners set foot on this island. You are one of us. We are the same. So come down from there and join the Dayak crowd. Here! In the mud we stand.
· The Penans! Sebile’ek, (meaning brother in English) you must start fighting for yourself. For Christ’s sake, pick up that blowpipe and put it to good use, could you? You cannot continue relying on other people to fight for you. God has given you two good eyes to be vigilant, two good ears to tell between lies and sincerity, a good mouth to say “Stop! That’s the farthest you can go!”, and all the good limbs to kick the intruders out of your jungle, off your back, off your skirt. You cannot continue standing there like some dead wood and expect God to intervene. That’s not the way to do it! The gangsters they sent to intimidate you are just a bunch of crabs waiting to be cracked.
Believe me, many times gangsters have roughened me up, too. They beat me up, slashed me and left scars on my body. But you should see what I did to them. They got even bigger scars. After that, they’re no more. Penans, you must show them you can make a stand and fight for what you believe is right before they want to leave you alone. That’s the basis of survival, you hear me? What Dayak are you if you cannot defend yourself? We cannot simply come to your aid because someone will make a completely different issue out of it. And we don’t want to fight for you and be made to fight alone while you pack up and quit on us halfway. So you must make a firm stand over your rights. Come down from your hiding in the caves and face the brunt of the tyrant.
Fight for the air you breath, fight for the trees and the land and the rivers, fight for your children and your future, fight and don’t you stop fighting, fight like a Dayak you should and we will join you. Here! In the mud we stand and we wait for you.
Other Dayak tribes? Never mind, this is enough for now.
For a CORRECT sense of identity
The Ibans play a key role here. All they need to do is shut up. Shut up and allow other tribes to speak. Shut up and observe how they do it. Let everyone speak and work in this Dayak family. That’s the only way a Dayak nation can be identified as a nation, otherwise they will continue to regard Dayak as small as a tribe, and that tribe is Iban.
I’m sure other Dayak tribes will be encouraged to play active parts in the Dayak branding if the Ibans stop horsing around as if they own the planet. Given enough room to manoeuvre, perhaps a true Dayak identity will slowly come to notice and everyone will take pride in it. I repeat, take pride in it.
Don’t pull a face at me. All I’m saying is for you to give room for others to paint a Dayak identity on a canvas as big as Sarawak. You don’t own the Dayak, you hear me? We need an extreme measure now, because after trying for many, many years the Dayak tribes continue to put some distance between them. Something must be wrong somewhere. Maybe the Ibans are the culprits. So maybe you should make a sacrifice. I know this is very difficult for you to do, given your nature and all, but please, please, please, please, please, Jabu anak Numpang, you shut up.
For a CORRECT sense of Sarawak Supremacy
Once we have the correct sense of community and a correct sense of identity, we can command respect from the world society. Malaya will want to court our friendship, this time with heartfelt sincerity. It will look nice for Malaya to share the Bumiputera status with an esteemed Dayak nation. We can walk amidst the Malayan kings with our head held high because we have raised ourselves up to become a force to reckon with. The last thing they want to do is trespass our native land. The Sarawak Supremacy will be known from coast to coast. And we will gloat in the success, and all the glory will be ours!
For a CORRECT sense of competition
We need someone around to surrender to us by the time our Dayak Renaissance comes into full swing. We need that someone to see the awakening of the Dayaks and see how the Dayaks arise from the mud level to the pinnacle of the kingdom. We want this!
We want progress for all Malaysians. We want progress for all Sarawakians. We Dayaks also want to progress as much as our brother Malaysians. We ask for fairness and justice. We were promised special privileges in the Federal Constitution but why have we been taken for a ride by the government?
November 5, 2008