Lau: Sarawak, particularly the Iban community, has lost a true son with Masing’s passing

Senator Robert Lau (File Photo).

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KUCHING, Oct 31: Sarawak, and in particular, the Iban Community, has lost a true son with Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing’s passing, says Senator Robert Lau.

Lau said he first heard about the late Masing when he read a local newspaper article regarding the latter as the first Iban to hold a PhD (Doctorate of Philosophy) in anthropology.

“He has dedicated his life to serving his people and Sarawak. He was a shining example of how education is the way to uplift the welfare and living standard of the people, especially those from the rural community where opportunities are very limited,” he said in a statement today.

Remembering the times he shared with the late Masing, Lau noted both of them had a common interest in history.

Lau also said during his visit to a chapel in Sheepstor, England, the home of James Brooke in 2017, he saw a Pua Kumbu hanging on the wall with an inscription identifying it as a gift from Masing.

The Pua Kumbu hanging on the wall at a chapel in Sheepstor, England, with the inscription identifying it as a gift from Masing.

“He visited Sheepstor in 1996, when he was State Assistant Tourism Minister. I shared photos and my experience of my visit with him later and we had good exchanges of our experience,” he added.

The inscription beneath the Pua Kumbu.

According to Lau, the last time both of them had met was when Masing visited Sibu for the groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the road from Sungai Bidut to Ng Tutus about a year ago.

“We had a very good chat on the boat to and from Ng Tutus. Farewell Tan Sri and rest in peace,” he said.

Masing, who was the Baleh assemblyman, passed away at 7.05am this morning, due to complications from Covid-19 at the age of 72, in Normah Sarawak Medical Centre.

He tested positive for Covid-19 on Sept 28. — DayakDaily