Sim Kwang Yang (SKY)
This is the first official article of the new kid on the blog in Sarawak, the Hornbill Unleashed. I really want to say something about the termite, but something else appropriate seems to be in order for this opening ceremony.
Why this particular bird?
The majestic Rhinoceros Hornbill with the proud crown is the State Bird of Sarawak; it is proudly installed on our State Crest.
It represents one of the most powerful gods among the Ibans, Singalang Burung, who plays a central role in Iban religious rituals and festivals such as the Gawai Kenyalang. It is an important omen bird, sending signals from the gods of tidings to come to the Ibans. It is also a symbol of courage and strength.
Our beloved state of Sarawak has also been known as the Land of the Hornbill (Tanah Kenyalang), in recognition of the importance of the Iban and other Dayak communities in Sarawak.
As far as this blog is concerned, the hornbill is the symbolic embodiment of our fair land of Sarawak and all her people, irrespective of race, religion, and creed.
The Hornbill is sick
Our Hornbill is sick to the bone to-day in its own homeland. Its entrails are infested with all kinds of political parasites. Its blood is sucked by leeches and termites. Vultures from outside Sarawak attack this once noble and great bird. That is how I imagine the sorry state of Sarawak and her people today – 45 years after independence through the formation of Malaysia.
Sarawak is the chunk of Mother Earth that nourishes you and me, and all other Sarawakians irrespective of race, creed, and religion. When our mother is now under attacked, and is bleeding from inside, we the Anak Sarawak cannot standby and watch. We have to stand up and be counted. We have to do something about it. We have a responsibility to our Mother.
Why the Hornbill Unleashed?
But we cannot act alone, because alone, we are weak, isolated, and fearsome. We fight with one another. So, we gather a collection of like minded Sarawakians to contribute to Hornbill Unleashed. They are some of the finest professionals and educated Sarawakians, and their collective records of social activism and community engagement must be at least 60 years in total.
Our task is to heal the sick Hornbill, and free the Hornbill from the fetters of blood-sucking parasites of all types. We want to participate in citizen journalism in earnest. We want to make a difference and bring change to Sarawak. We dream of returning the political sovereignty and the wealth of our blessed state to the Sarawak people.
We do not know if we will succeed in our lifetime. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but if is often defeated by the mighty Ringgit in Sarawak. It does not matter. It is our duty to speak out through our blog. We must help to revive the power of the people and unleash the Hornbill to claim its rightful place.
How about the political parties?
How about them? Some of us are members of different political parties. But while we are members of this communal blog, we are all concerned, engaged, and committed Anak Sarawak who want to help heal the sick Hornbill and free her from all those reptiles.
For now, we support the Pakatan Rakyat, because we have to use parties to reach our objective. We support the PKR candidate in the Batang Ai by-election, but we will criticise them for their weakness and misdeeds when the need arises.
For instance, the recent method of the PKR candidate selection in the Batang Ai is faulty, because it is very much decision-making on an important issue from the top down. I will rather see the decision making process from the bottom up. That will be democracy.
But we still need the PKR and their PR allies to balance out the BN towards a two-coalition system. Political parties want the support of the civil societies and the voters at large to come to power. We want to use them to unleash the Hornbill.
Who is fighting whom in Batang Ai?
Batang Ai is an important step in this long march to freedom and prosperity. The battle there is not only between the BN and PKR. It is not only a battle between Malcolm Mussen and Jawa Garang. It is part of a big war between the King and Queen of the Sarawak Termite Empire and the rest of the Sarawak people.
However they want to promote the BN candidate Malcolm Mussen, with all kinds of promises to bring development to Batang Ai, this man will get rich in a few years after being elected, while the Batang Ai people will continue the live in 19th century backwardness. This is the story of BN YBs in Sarawak.
Back to Termite
I went back to Kuching with some leading members of the Barisan Rakyat people. RPK is still embroiled in his numerous court cases, so Harris Ibrahim, Zorro Unmasked, and Delcapo came over on an exploratory trip to see how they can help in the Batang Ai by-election. They met some Sarawak bloggers, and they told me this reconnaissance trip has turned out to be fruitful.
I was sitting in the coffee shop behind my old Hornbill’s Corner Cafe and met an old Chinese friend in Kuching. He proclaimed that the number one sickness suffered by the Hornbill is the termite infestation. I was puzzled.
He told me patiently that the termite is a pestilential pest that eats up everything, and even s—t! He pronounced the Mandarin term for the termite “Bai Ma Yee”, which sounds very close to “White Hair”!
In the 2006 state general election, many of the Chinese people have already expressed the need to exterminate termite infestation in Sarawak. On this trip back, I was told that the many Dayaks and Malays share this anger against the termites. Batang Ai is the first extermination exercise towards unleashing the poor sick Hornbill.
The new blog Hornbill Unleashed is now open for all Sarawakians.
SKY can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org