If you were not present at the meeting, you would have thought that he was talking to a group of longhouse chiefs, where he could bluff his way. But to address the “cream of the Dayak society”, his speech appeared more like his curriculum vitae (CV) applying for a job.
Let me quote some parts of speech without editing it:-
# My experience when I started 42 years ago working as Divisional Agriculture Officer, then Staff Officer in-charge of Regrouping and Resettlement during the emergency due to communist insurgency in RASCOM areas in Sibu, having to brave the communists threat in Kanowit, Song, Kapit, Mukah, Balingian, Meradong and Sarikei areas, then followed by 35 years of active political life with Barisan Nasional government tell me that there are plenty of good things which the government has done to protect the people and to benefit our people.
# When I introduced Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) in 1976 to develop Native Customary Right Land as a conscious program on the part of Barisan Nasional Government to fight poverty some quarters including the Opposition from our own community opposed SALCRA.
# About 25 years ago I started with a small group of our Iban education officers, thereby gaining more support from our community and supported by YAB Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud, the chief minister of Sarawak and the Federal government especially with the help of YB Datuk Douglas Uggah who works in Kuala Lumpur after several years I eventually managed to get our Iban Language recognized by the Federal government as Pupils Own language to be taught as Second Language in schools in Sarawak.
# When unity and cooperation amongst the Dayaks were ruined as a result of native politicking in 1987 historically known as Ming Court political fiasco, working together with few Dayak leaders in Barisan Nasional I took a bold step to organise the Dayaks through the Gawai Dayak as an institution of Segulai Sejalai which is still actively being adhered by the Dayak community.
# I also initiated the Dayak Technical Committee which then systematically developed to the formation of Dayak Cultural Foundation in 1972 where I was appointed as the Founding chairman until now.
# Since 30 years ago I introduced the seeding of Rivers and Lakes with millions of fish fries to repopulate and replenish the depleting fish stock. This programme of fish fries release gained momentum throughout Sarawak and benefited our rural population as increased source of protein to fight poverty/malnutrition and source of income to the rural people.
# I was responsible for the breakthrough in ikan terubok research and development as a result of my visit to commonwealth scientific and industrial research organisation in Australia.
# Another scientific research success was the Ikan empurau and ikan semah which I started through our inland fishery research and development station at Nanga Adang Ulu Limbang.
# I also helped to design ponds in Tarat to accommodate broodstock of Ikan empurau and ikan semah collected from Katibas, Kapit, Baram, etc.
While Jabu tried to project what he had done to the Dayak community, he had, however, failed to mention that he is the chairman of the recruitment and promotion bureau of the state civil service which determines the promotion of Dayak civil servants as well as approving of the appointment of community leaders such as Temenggong, Pemanca, Penghulu and Tuai Rumahs by virtue of the fact that he is the Minister of Rural Development.
Can we know how many Dayaks have been promoted to hold senior posts in the state civil service? Or how many have been recruited into the State civil service?
Meanwhile during the election of office-bearers, Jabu’s “manok sabong”, Dr. Joseph Jawa Kendawang, the incumbent president was trounced by his challenger, Dr. Dusit Jaul with a majority of 61 votes. Jawa polled 29 votes as compared to 90 votes by Jaul out of a total of 119 delegates.
Jabu’s backing for Jawa and his speech at the meeting was believed to have caused the defeat of Jawa. Despite his efforts to project himself as a Dayak leader, his leadership is not accepted. So one may ask: What’s wrong with Jabu that even the Dayak intellectuals do not like him? - The Broken Shield