Stories behind the ‘Broken Shield’ continues with ‘The Dayak Dilemma’
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
ABOUT EIGHT YEARS AFTER Joseph Tawie published his first book ‘The Broken Shield: The Birth of Dayakism’ in 2007, he launched his second book titled ‘The Broken Shield: The Dayak Dilemma’ on June 6th this year at Telang Usan.
It captures the development of Dayakism following the birth of Dayakism depicted in his first book, the issues of Dayak political power, the challenges and political awakening of the Dayak community as well as the agenda towards creating a new generation of ‘Bansa Dayak’.
“When Kalong Ningkan was toppled, there was a feeling of anger and disappointment among the Dayak from all the empty promises made. Thus, this gave birth to Dayakism,” he said of his first book.
“The second book covers the crisis of Sarawak National Party (SNAP), Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP). Both SNAP and PBDS not only had their shields broken, but had also registration withdrawn due to crisis. PRS and SPDP had almost met a similar fate,” said Joseph.
Joseph cited the ruined efforts of a group of Dayaks to form the Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC) after the deregistration of PBDS and how strong opposition from certain political leaders, especially the Dayak leaders, led to the group failing to register MDC as a political party.
Also present during the launching of the book was president of Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) Dr. Dusit Jaul who outlined the book as a depiction of Dayak political drama.
“Cases of betrayal, political backstabbing, empty promises, dirty money, manipulation of the less informed, jostling for power and positions are vividly described in the book,” said Dusit. “What is clear is that in the process of jostling for power and position, the losers are the Dayaks.”
“For aspiring Dayak leaders, this is a must-read for there are so many lessons to be learnt from reading this book,” Dusit continued, explaining that the youth should learn from this publication and be informed in how infighting and jostling for power among Dayak leaders in the past has led to today’s political fragmentation.
When asked how he got inspiration to write the book, Joseph said that the book was inspired from his previous experiences covering events involving various important political figures in the country.
“Throughout the years since 1965, I have been covering the visit of various VVIP such as Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tunku Abdul Razak, Queen Elizabeth and various federal as well as state ministers such as Abdul Rahman Yakub, Stephen Kalong Ningkan, Tawi Sli and even Taib Mahmud when he was chief minister,” he said. “So, from my experiences, I started to assemble and write the story.”
Detailing into the intricacy of Dayak politics, Joseph hopes that the book could be useful and informative to help the younger Dayak generation to be more familiar with the history of Dayak politics.
“I hope this book will be useful for those who want to understand Dayak politics especially our young Dayaks who need to know our historical political journey from the days of independence in 1963 to the present-day political scenario,” said Joseph.
For Joseph, the younger generation have a more independent mind as well as access to more resources than the older generation who, in their day, had less access to information and became more vulnerable to manipulation.
“For the younger generation, I hope they can learn from their forefathers, all the misgiving and mistakes. I hope things would be different,” he said.
Currently, Joseph is planning to write a biography on former Sarawak chief minister Dato Sri Daniel Tajem.
For those interested, ‘The Broken Shield: The Dayak Dilemma’ may be purchased at MyBookstore, Jalan Haji Taha for RM100.