KUCHING, Jan 5: Orang Ulu community leader and veteran politician Temenggong Dato Sri Nyipa Bato will be buried in his family cemetery in Belaga on Jan 11.
The 82-year-old former cabinet minister and four-termed state assemblyman passed away on Jan 2, at his residence in Kuching at Medan Iris Garden Square, due to organ failure.
A wake was held at his residence in Kuching on Jan 2 and 3.
Yesterday, his remains were flown to Kapit and another wake is to be held at Uma Kahei, Belaga for his relatives and friends to pay their last respects. Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing is Nyipa’s son-in-law.
Nyipa, a well-respected politician and community leader was the first state assemblyman for Belaga constituency which was created in 1968.
Standing under an SUPP ticket, he joined the fray of a four-cornered fight in the 1969 state election.
The then 33-year-old Kayan managed to poll 772 votes to defeat Tajang Laing of Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak or PESAKA (688 votes), independent candidate Matu Pusa (606 votes) and Sarawak National Party (SNAP) candidate Lisut Tinggang who garnered 67 votes.
He represented Belaga for two consecutive terms, from 1970 to 1974 and from 1974 to 1979.
For the next two consecutive state elections of 1979 and 1983, however, he was defeated by his arch adversary, Tajang Laing.
Nyipa, however, made a comeback in 1987, during the Ming Court Affair where he sided with former Chief Minister Tun Datuk Patinggi Abdul Rahman Ya’kub by standing under Persatuan Rakyat Malaysia Sarawak or Permas’ ticket.
He won the seat to once again become Belaga state assemblyman.
In the 1991 state election, Nyipa returned to the BN fold and stood in Belaga where he defended the seat.
Nyipa sat as cabinet minister under two chief ministers, Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan and Dato Sri Penghulu Tawi Sli.
As a community leader, Nyipa was also the president of the Orang Ulu National Association (OUNA) for two terms, from 1975 to 1976 and from 1978 to 1979.
The passing of the veteran leader is greatly mourned by his people.
President of OUNA Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Abdullah said Nyipa was the person who had helped the community to stand tall all these years.
Describing him as humble and helpful, and one who listened, Abu Bakar said Nyipa had fought hard for the interests of his community. — DayakDaily