Son describes Dawos as a man of his words, ever forgiving

Henry paying his last respect to his late father at their residence.

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, July 9: The late Datuk Seri Dr James Dawos Mamit has been described as the “perfect” man who always keep his promises and ever forgiving.

Henry James Dawos, 48, said his father will keep to his words no matter what and would go the extra mile to serve his Mambong parliamentary constituency, now renamed Puncak Borneo.


“I was always close to him. Sometimes, he is a father and at times, a friend,” he told DayakDaily at his late father’s residence at Taman Stutong Indah, here, today.

“As a father, he always fulfil his promises. So too in politics, where he went the extra mile to serve his people in the Mambong constituency, which covers a very large area,” he continued.

Henry, who is a consultant, had persuaded his late father not to stand in the 2013 general election due to failing health conditions but the latter persisted.

“He told me he has some unfinished business that he really wanted to accomplish, especially in uniting the Bidayuh community,” he said.

Henry recalled how the late father put a lot of emphasis on their education to ensure that they would have a better life.

“He himself worked very hard as he first took his first degree from then Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) in Forestry, while he was working in the Forestry Department, as well as a similar degree from an American university.

“Later, he completed his Masters in Forestry from Baton Rough University in Louisiana, United States, where we followed him for six years between 1980 and 1985.

“He later pursued his PhDs from a United Kingdom university. He actually has two PhDs, one in environment and the other in his favorite subject, forestry,” he explained.

On politics, Henry believed that Dawos was a rather reluctant politician, as he was then the controller of the state Natural Resources and Environmental Board (NREB), which he was tasked to set up in 1994.

“NREB is like a baby to him but he was asked to stand for the newly created Mambong seat (as a Barisan Nasional direct candidate) in the 1999 general election, so he has to oblige,” he continued.

Dawos retired from active politics and did not seek re-election for GE14 held in May last year, due to his failing health conditions. He was also  losing his eyesight since 2016.

He was first diagnosed with nose cancer 15 years ago and recovered. He was made a Deputy Minister of Tourism in 2009 and became Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (2013-15).

Between 2015 and 2018, he was Deputy Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water.

His health deteriorated since April where he had difficulty in swallowing due his throat infection.

He passed away peacefully at his residence here at 11.30pm in the presence of his family, except for his third son Benedict, 39, who is currently working in Australia.

Dawos left behind his wife Datin Sri Christine Dawung Narub, three sons and seven grandchildren.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is expected to pay his last respect to the late Dawos tomorrow.

His funeral is scheduled to be held at St Ann’s Church, Kota Padawan, on Friday at 11am and thereafter, he will be buried in his village at Kampung Stabut, Padawan. — DayakDaily