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KUCHING, March 7: The death of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) president Cobbold John Lusoi is considered a great loss in the state’s third force, particularly the Sarawak Baru coalition.
Sarawak Baru founder Lina Soo described Cobbold as a great friend and compatriot who fought for Sarawak to his last breath.
Soo who is also State Reform Party (STAR) president said they even exchanged the books they wrote with each other.
“What can I say about my great friend and compatriot Cobbold John? We shared precious moments with our dream for Sarawak. While others talked, he did (walked the talk).
“He fought till his last breath for his beloved homeland and served Sarawak to the end.
“Our struggle for Sarawak’s freedom shall continue. Farewell my friend Cobbold John, rest in peace,” she said.
Cobbold died of a heart attack at his home in Kuala Lumpur around 7am this morning. He was 57.
Former Padungan assemblyman and native land rights activist-cum-lawyer Dominique Ng said Cobbold’s death is a great loss for Sarawak.
“Sarawak has lost one of her patriotic sons, one who has always fought valiantly for Native Customary Rights (NCR) land and who has always stood up with us whenever he was needed.
“I have known him for at least a decade and have found him to be very trustworthy and a humble person,” said Ng.
He said he and Cobbold were together with the late Datuk Seri Daniel Tajem (Deputy Chief Minister, 1981-1987) during all those times when they struggled to fight for and defend NCR lands from being taken from Sarawakian natives.
He said he first got to know Cobbold during the beginning of the landmark case of Tuai Rumah Masa Nangkai back in 2005, which they had won all the way from the High Court to the Court of Appeal, only to be overturned in a now controversial decision of the Federal Court which was then chaired by a now much maligned and former Chief Judge of Malaysia.
“He was with me when I was the state chief of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and its first YB. When I left PKR, he left too to later became the president of PBDSB.
“He has always stood up for justice and to his very last breathe his heart was with our struggle to liberate fellow Sarawakians from their hardships,” said Ng who is also Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspirations (SAPA) president.
Ng continued: “His loss will be greatly mourned not only by his family and relatives, but by many Sarawakians all over the state who shared deeply his dreams and visions for a better future for Sarawak.
“May his soul rest in peace. On behalf of SAPA and fellow Sarawakians, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” he said.
Cobbold’s body is said to be brought back to Sri Aman later today. — DayakDaily