Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kayans of Sarawak Heartland | Suspension bridge and Suspended hopes

Pix | Kayan Elder, Aban Jau Ing (with bamboo staff) [The Borneo Post]

For Aban Jau Ing and other senior Malaysian citizens of Kayan origin deep in the Sarawak heartland, heaven can wait.

Sighing he says, "My wish [is] to see the bridge before I die".

No one should have to wait for heaven. Not that there's any berth booked for us. You'd be lucky to catch a glimpse of Ratzinger near the Pearly Gates. But, timber companies operating in the area shouldn't have much problem. In fact they wont even get a parking ticket from psudo-guardians of the Sarawak top quality timber-rich forests.

Deep in the heart of Sarawak's heartland, there are murmers. Not raucuous as the Red Shirts; no ear shattering din; no march with petitions. In fact these are ideal citizens of the Barisan National Government. All they want is to go to heaven. Perhaps, the BN Government don't like addresses in heaven. There are no forest to log and no taxes to collect.

In the valleys of the Apoh River, past some ox-bow lakes, they built a 115-door longhouse long ago known as Long Atip. That's something like almost half a mile long. It's the longest house in Sarawak or the world. You could keep fit visiting your cousin if you both live at house ends. Rather puzzling that Apco did not spin this. They could have told PM Najib to build the Suspension Bridge last month and hype that on a "1Longhouse" jingle from the greenest "1Jungle". Well, Apco can only unbreak suspended hopes. Government contractors had left a long slab of concrete meant for a suspension bridge and that was it.

Meanwhile, the longest house is the raging number 1 fire risk in the world. Even with fire extinguishers, these people will only survive with broken dreams and dashed hopes.

Maybe heaven is near from high, with or without Bomba. Sarawak State Elections are just round the corner, some say.

But everything is long in Long Atip. Long walks, long boat trips, long hopes. Deep long sighs. And a long wait for heaven, here or thereafter.

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Jong said...

Looks like Robert Lau and those before him had been spending their time polishing their imported golden toilet fittings to match that of neighbouring Brunei, huh?

Another vote for BN will set back the long walks, long boat trips and long hopes another long half century!

Wake up Sarawakians, if this does not wake you up, I really don't know what and how else will!

No more votes for BN!

Jong said...

Btw, I guess there's a long wait for toilets too?

Salak said...

I frankly don't know the health side of the story.

Kayans fron the Ulu then looked very wiry and sturdy to me. Their womenfold were no less pretty. I came off the Ulu with some mushroom or bacteria growing in my ears from bathing in clear cool streams. Their kids would not be free from similar exposures. On the other hand they know too well the jungle which might be kinder to them than some civilized institutions on "pukau" to us!

You wonder. I hope some people would leave some comments here.

Salak said...

Oops! I mean "womenfolk" not 'womenfold'!

Anonymous said...

It is especially sinful to keep these natives backward and bereft of the mod-cons. The country and this State is awash with abundant natural resources.

Jong said...

Hey the BN crooks are marching in soon with Nomination/Polling dates just announced 8/16 May 2010.

This time they will go on their knees, swear how much they care for YOU - the natives tulen, with promise to answer your long lost hope!

Yah after half a century in power, this is as far as it can gets(!!) - frustration of having to long long wait for healthcare, long long wait for longhouses, fresh water-pipes and modern toilet-sanitation!

Let them bring in the goodies, take and give DAP/Pakatan Rakyat your votes!

Salak said...

Apparently Robert Lau has returned from heaven and showed up at Sibu Market!

He should have made way for Aban Jau Ing. Guess, the toilets up there stink!

Or was it too hot for him there? ;)

Not easy to get past the Pearly Gates! Would Ratzinger have problems, too?

Jong said...

Hahaha!! Looks like there are as many "Robert Lau" as there are "Bujang" in Sarawak? LOL!!!!!

Anonymous said...

For BN, it is the case of 'out of sight, out of mind'. The natives of Sabah/Sarawak and even in Peninsula are conveniently tucked away in the backwaters and forgettable.

Salak said...

Maybe 20% of Sarawakians are name "Bujang".

The most famous of course is Bujang Senang! He's good now but dead!

That doesn't mean a good Bujang is a dead Bujang! :) You can't zap up 20% of Sarawakians! It's the BN we should write off! ;)