KUCHING, Feb 1: Prominent Dayak intellectual Professor Dr Jayum Jawan said his respect for veteran Dayak leader Datuk Seri Edmund Langgu has plummeted after the latter has joined Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) which is an opposition party.
He said his respect for Langgu was based on the latter’s struggle for the Dayak community especially for the Ibans.
“That respect for Datuk Seri Edmund Langgu Anak Saga has just plummeted by his recent action that showed antithesis to his long-term struggle for the Dayak and Iban communities.
“I would like to think that he is being manipulated to support this new political group which sought his involvement in order to get endorsement for their “supposed” care and struggle for the Dayak and Iban communities,” Jayum said in a statement issued to DayakDaily here today.
However, he said, despite what Langgu did by joining PSB, it did not diminish what he has done for the Dayak and Iban community through his earlier involvement in Sarawak National Party (SNAP) and later Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS).
Jayum asserted that PSB’s hope to gain the Dayaks, especially the Ibans’ support by bringing in Langgu into their fold merely confirmed that PSB is struggling to get the party accepted among members of the two communities.
“Make no mistake, the Dayak and Iban people are not naïve any longer to be unable to see what PSB is trying to do.
“Some top leaders of PSB have been in government and what have they to show in terms of struggling for the Dayak and Iban community?,” he asked.
Jayum paid tribute to Langgu as a well-known political figure in the country, especially among the Dayaks.
“More so because he is also well respected for his struggle on behalf of the Dayak and Iban community. He is an orator as well as a person well-coached in the steep tradition of the Iban community,” he said.
Jayum also said, he had greatly respected Langgu when he was with SNAP in the early 1970s and later on in PBDS in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
“He was unwavering in his struggle for the Dayak community whom he wanted to be taken seriously and as equal partner in the governance of Sarawak.
“My highest respect for him did not wane when he left SNAP to help formed PBDS in the early 1980s with some notables from the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu communities,” added Jayum. — DayakDaily