In Memoriam 23 Years

23 Years

As in my last post of 22 Years in Memoriam I recieved an SMS this morning from mum reminding me that on this date today it will be 23 years since my grandad passed away. So today Nadai Nama blog post will be dedicated to grandad and my memories of him. Incidently I have some pictures of him in his younger days.

In Memoriam - in the Borneo Post today

The rubber trees that which is the main source of income during grandad's pioneer years in Nanga Beguang Song

Where grandad is resting in Nanga Beguang Song - after 23 years. His favourite rocking chair, cupboard, mattress, favourite coat and other personal belongings are still there

Grandad in his younger days

As Member of Parliament for Kapit in the 1970s

With the State and Federal officers visiting Kapit in 1970s

To cut the story short - grandad would have had a lot of story to tell if he was still around today. I would have loved to hear his tales of experience during the days he moved to the great Rajang River during the time of the Brooke Rajahs. From a young Iban warrior at that time he ventured from Nanga Poi, Kanowit to Nanga Beguang, Song. Those days Sarawak was not a safe place when clashes between the various natives were frequent. Settling in Nanga Beguang he came up to become the Councillor and then Penghulu and after that the Member of Parliament for Kapit. He was a natural leader rather than a politician serving the people and his area at that time.

The opening of Kong Ming Bank Kapit in 1973 - grandad is seen sitting next to Tun Jugah anak Barieng

Apart from the marauding headhunters and Japanese occupation, he also experienced the Indonesian Confrontation, the Communist threat and Sarawak politics at that time was quite volatile where you have to be a fighter and strategist to survive - but when he was with us, he's the ever lovable grandpa.... we call him 'Aki Chai', (short for Aki Besai or Big Grandpa) as he is a big figure (or 'Besai' in Iban) in the family. When the Parliament was convening, my dad would coincide our holidays so that we can spend time with Aki Chai. There were fun moments (which I hope to blog one day) as well as sad moments when Aki Chai left us due to a long illness. I was too young to understand then.

I am proud of you grandpa. With him I used to carry the title (Uchu Penghulu, Uchu MP) whenever I roamed the longhouse compound looking for chickens to 'Stik' (shoot with elastic catapult). Its a tall order trying to outdo what he has achieved. I am glad that he was a Grandpa to me first, rather than a Councillor, Penghulu or Member of Parliament. I did not really like the title he carried as his duties took him away from me. Aki Chai and Ini Chai (Grandma) are always there to protect me when my parents want to scold me for something naughty that I did. When he was not around attending to the rakyats' needs, we missed him so much. I will try to emulate that part of him where he gave his full dedication in trying to uplift the livelihood of the people in his area. This I promise you Grandpa.


I was only 5 at that time. Great Grand dad you had! Mine was a horny old man! He is still alive and he is sober...
Uchu Keling said…
Too bad we can record his oral history back then. Otherwise, it could be another great Iban book to read.