Saturday, January 31, 2009

Audacity of hope for higher education

IN his acceptance speech last year as the newly-appointed Minister of Higher Education Datuk Seri Mohamed Khalid Nordin pledged full support to implementing the National Strategic Plan for Higher Education launched by his predecessor.Admittedly, in his own words then, the task was a daunting one, given the complexity that surrounds higher education, which prevails not only in Malaysia, but globally.
Even in developed countries where higher education has existed over centuries, the confronting issues are very similar. The difference, perhaps, is that the issues are dealt with in a more sobering approach, involving mostly academics and their fraternities.Collectively, they thrash out the issues and arrive at a solution backed by their peers. By and large, politicians and political parties are seldom involved, less still turning the situation into some kind of political football, with points scored over one another at the expense of education itself. Thus, in this sense, Khalid has a tough job at hand. To use the football analogy, he must both ensure that the game is properly played according to the international set of rules and, at the same time, defend the goal post from being ravaged by others, who may not be interested in the rules at all. To his credit, Khalid has defended the goal post rather well, while taking various initiatives to further move the game into the big league. So, when he gave his annual address last week to the higher education community, he did it with a sense of pride and achievement. True to his words, he not only supported but, more than that, also facilitated the implementation of the first phase of the strategic plan in a systematic way. The Accelerated Programme for Excellence (Apex), MyBrain15 and enhancing the delivering systems are among the more visible and difficult initiatives that were launched, putting higher education on a different trajectory from the past. Indeed, he is more interested in creating the future while leveraging on what has been successfully carried out previously. This point was well taken when Khaled underlined that there would be no more new public universities.Instead, the emphasis is on the need to build better "intellectual infrastructure" which is well-captured in the ministry's new tagline: "Meneraju Kegemilangan Ilmu".Khaled talked about the need to populate the universities with high quality and talented people, ranging from students to staff. The fact that the 2009 budget allocation is about RM14 billion, a 15 per cent increase from what it was last year, is certainly not a pipe dream. Further, under the MyBrain15 agenda, some 60,000 PhDs will be trained by 2015. Thus, moving forward, Khalid expanded on 18 critical agenda which are part of the strategic plan, all except one -- academic-industry collaboration. The tone of his address was accommodating and facilitating. This can be illustrated by a number of concrete steps to ensure a more conducive future. One important change is the implementation of the new amended Akta Universiti and Kolej Universiti (Auku) next month. Therein is a recognition that autonomy is a critical element in the university's search for excellence, accompanied by a sense of accountability. It follows that the "command-and-control" mode of operation that has long beleaguered our universities is being gradually dismantled.The new relationship with the universities is now based on trust and respect, instead of fear.For too long, the act, rightly or wrongly, has been perceived as an instrument of fear. Universities are now given the flexibility to plan for their own "destiny", as it were, using approaches of their choice in arriving at the strategic goals. Some of these flexibilities outlined include the mechanism of hiring and rewards, benchmarked against world standards. Non-conventional modes of degree-awarding courses are encouraged, so too self-accreditation and self-auditing to enhance quality. Sharing and exchanges of "best practices" between universities and with the industry ought to be more creative beyond what is done today.There must be an unshackling of the minds in trying to translate the strategic plan for the future where "speed" is of essence. In summary, the minister's address presents renewed hope for Malaysia's higher education. With the return of the all-important "trust" to the universities, the uncharted waters are now within reach to make higher education more relevant for the future.In a way, this perhaps represents our "audacity of hope" as championed by the new US president who took office the same day. If so, this too will mark a new chapter for Malaysia, particularly in the history of the higher education sector.

Friday, January 30, 2009


I may not be called a real Iban in the sense that I do not believe the preservation of what so called "THE TRADITION OF DAYAK" or Iban in particular. It has been in our culture that whatever traditional value and culture we have shall be passed from older generation to younger generation – just like from father to son kind of arrangement. Therefore, it is the responsibility or rather an obligation of parents to disseminate or teach their children of how to make a living at the same time to maintain our rich cultures.
The point that I would like to share with you is that we emphasize so much on this Gawai Antu and therefore, we tend to deviate from its original destinations or values.
If we hear that people is going to organize GAWAI ANTU, it comes across our mind that these people will be spending a lot of money on the preparation and allocation of food and drink. What makes it even worst is that people spend a whole sum of saved money on hard liquor or best to be called ALCOHOL. Alcohol, socially and economically deprives us from progress. This statement may be too general and may be too exaggerated but this is the fact which Iban in particular cannot deny.
I have one genuine case and it happened to be my own uncle's worker, named Mr. Anding. Mr Anding and his wife were painters in November 1997. They made $30 and $25 per day respectively. One day, he asked for early pay so that he could go back and celebrate the GAWAI ANTU, somewhere in SARATOK division. OK!. One week later, he and wife turned up for work at site. With little surprised, My Uncle asked them why they came back so fast. He told my uncle that he had spend all his money and now he totally broke. He added that he and wife spend about $12,000.00 and the saddest thing is that they had saved that money for the last 5 years. Out of $12,000.00 they spend about $5,000.00 for ALCOHOL only. (Beer, Samsu, expensive and branded liquors). Ba iya wai, nitih ke orang bukai, deka enda nunda, malu ke temuai datai. What a saddest thing to say!!!!.
Summarily, $12,000.00 saved in 5 years and spend 2 or 3 nights????? You may ask yourself, is it wise to celebrate this kind of occasion at the first place??. Competitiveness in term of showing to people that you are so rich and yet your are a kuli in the real sense. Why not being a competitive to, perhaps, sending their children to University or College or perhaps business. They could spend the money on sending their children to private colleges or technical schools!!!!. Why do our people work so hard for "cap apek" than to send their children to go for tertiary education?. Perhaps, you know the answer better.
I apologize for literally not knowing what is the real purpose of Gawai Antu, and my views may insult some of you people to some extend. But, I cannot help in asking myself over and over, that Dayak or Iban in particular are so rich and yet so poor.
In some longhouses, people who have member of family died, have to spend some money to buy "cap apek" just to attract people to attend the funeral and stay until morning. The idea is to get people awake all night and stay at ruai instead of sleeping in bilik . It is a good idea, if the "cap apek" is consumed moderately, however, people tend to forget what is the purpose of them being there. As "cap apek" being more and more apek, the crowd suddenly turn into a party. There will be soon a loud noise and dancing and laughing and pulling and fighting and drunking and and and !!!!, instead of a silent moment of mourning and sorrow. To me, it is disrespect of the family members who are not dead and it defeats the purpose of attending and showing your moral support to the affected family.
What kind of a culture is this?. Are we heading for a change or do we want to pass this kind of value to our next generation????. Is this sort of the progress in nature that we have talked about or do we want to show other society that we are so rich in cultures????.
May be I am too emotional or too conservative about this social ill. Why am I so bother, after all it is not my money and I don’t feed the society, I never give them anything so far. Why do I care so much????.
Nya aja , mupok aku

Can We Change it??? Just thinking back....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cerita Temenggung Jugah Pergi Ke London

Pada tahun '60an zaman P Ramlee dulu, ada seorang pemimpin dari Sarawak bernama Tun Jugah Anak Barieng (1903 - 1981) atau sering dipanggil semasa itu Temenggong Jugah. Beliau merupakan Ketua Utama Orang-orang Iban selama 55 tahun dan digelar Apai bermakna bapa.Temenggong Jugah atau kita panggil Apai untuk pendik memenangi kerusi ahli Parlimen pada pilihanraya Malaysia pertama pada tahun 1963, dan menjadi Menteri Hal Ehwal Sarawak.Kalau tengok gambar Leo Moggie, berbeza dari Temenggong Jugah. Kenapa Leo Moggie tidak bangga dengan pakaian jatidiri Iban? Dengan luaran Iban, dia berperanan dalam sejarah awal negeri Sarawak. Besarnya Apai kepada Orang Iban hingga Yayasan Orang Iban diberi namanya untuk mengenangkan jasanya.Ceritanya, Tunku Abdul Rahman membawa Apai ke London untuk rombongan rasmi melawat Queen Elizabeth II. Itu adalah pertama kali dia ke London. Dia tidak tahu berbahasa Inggeris. Queen menjemput mereka ke satu Majlis Malan Malam di Raja di Buckingham Palace.Hidangan pertama adalah sop. Pelayan itu menghidangkan Apai sop. Apabila dilihat mangkuknya sudah habis, pelayan itu bertanya, "Would you like any more soup, sir?"Apai tak tahu nak cakap apa. Dia tak faham apa yang dikatakan, cuma faham perkataan soup. Ingatkan dia ditanya sedap ke tidak sop itu, dia hanya mengangguk dengan sopan sambil menyebut, "Soup soup ..."Ingatkan dia mahu lagi, pelayan itu menambah lagi sop dalam mangkuknya. Dah terpaksa dia menghirup lagi sop. Zaman itu, pantang orang membazir makanan.Apai lihat orang lain sudah dihidangkan salad yang berisi dengan makanan laut. Cepat-cepatlah dia hirup sop itu.Habis saja, pelayan itu berkata, "You must love the soup, sir. Would you like some more?"Sekali lagi dia menganngguk sambil menjawab, "Soup soup ..."Dituang lagi sop dalam mangkuk. Terpaksa Apai menghirup sop, tak mahu membazir.Tun Dr Ismail, Tun Sambanthan dan Tun Tan Siew Sin hairan kenapa Apai masih menghirup sup. Mereka sudah habis salad dan sedang menunggu hidangan ke tiga stik. Malas bertanya kerana tak mahu malukan dia. Apai pun agak kurang bercakap.Apai sedar orang lain dah habis hidangan kedua. Semasa dia menghabiskan mangkuk ketiga sopnya, dia lihat pelayan-pelayan lain tengah membawa masuk hidangan stik kepada mereka-mereka yang lain.Apabila dia habis saja menghirup sop mangkuk ketiga, pelayan itu bertanya dengan hormat, "Sir, you missed the second course, and they are now at the third course, which is steak. Would you still like to have the salad or steak now? Or you still prefer more soup?"Apai melihat kepada pelayan itu sambil bercakap, "Berapa kali kau nak kasi aku sop? Aku nak makan daging. Sop, sop, sop, nak aku potong kepala ...?"Tun Tan Siew Sin yang duduk disebelah hampir nak tergelak. Baru faham dia tidak tahu bahasa Inggeris. Dia pun beritahu pelayan, "I believe he would like to have the steak now."Husin bukan mahu mengingatkan kita mengenai kelemahan Temenggung Jugah.Semasa kita nak merdeka, 70% dari rakyat yang kebanyakkan orang Melayu dan Kaum-kaum di Sabah dan Sarawak adalah miskin. Kebanyakkan rakyat luar bandar tidak ada air, dan letrik di rumah. Kemudahan sekolah kurang. Inikan nak bercakap bahasa tuan dan mem.Kadang-kadang bila didesak-desak dan dimintak-mintak anak-anak, Husin keluarkan perkataan dari cerita ini, "Nak aku potong punai?" Maksudnya sunat. Berhenti mereka.

Sebuah Negara Zionis

Negara ini di tubuhkan oleh kuasa kolonial British. Negara ini adalah bekas tanah jajahan British. Parti politik yang berkuasa dalam negara ini pada awalnya menentang British tetapi kemudian bekerjasama dan bersekongkol dengan British.British dan kaum Zionis ini telah membunuh, menangkap , memenjara dan menghalau keluar sesiapa sahaja yang menentang negara baru ini. Akhirnya kuasa kolonial British telah memberikan kemerdekaan. Semua ini berlaku sesudah tamatnya perang dunia ke dua.Zionisma ialah satu fahaman perkauman – hegemoni satu bangsa. Zionisma membawa fahaman rasis yang percaya hanya bangsa mereka sahaja yang betul. Bangsa-bangsa lain adalah salah. Bangsa-bangsa lain akan dianggap bangsa kelas ke dua. Malah jika ada bangsa lain yang tinggal dalam negara mereka, bangsa asing ini wajib tunduk kepada kuasa politik hegemoni perkauaman. Zionisma adalah politik hegemoni satu bangsa.Jika ada sesiapa yang berani mengkeritik negara hegemoni satu bangsa dan satu agama ini mereka akan dianggap musuh. Jika mereka dianggap musuh maka mereka boleh di penjara. Undang-undang kolonial British membolehkan warga di penjara tanpa bicara. Banyak penentang fahaman perkauman dan hegemoni satu bangsa ini telah di penjara. Ada yang berbelas-belas tahun. Ada yang telah digantung mati.Negara Zionis ini sentiasa menggunakan AJENDA KESELAMATAN sebagai dasar utama dalam negara. Sesiapa yang cuba mengkritik negara hegemoni satu bangsa akan di anggap mengancam keselamatan. Apa sahaja yang cuba dilakukan oleh warga jika di tafsir bertentangan dengan fahaman hegemoni satu bangsa ini akan di anggap mengancam keselamatan negara.Justeru jika ada tiga warga yang berkumpul mereka akan dianggap bahaya dan mengancam keselamatan negara. Ini kerana negara Zionis ini semenjak zaman British sentiasa dalam kedaaan perang. Walau pun telah lama merdeka undang-udang perang British ini masih terus berjalan. Berkumpul secara aman tidak dibenarkan dalam negara Zionis. Ini akan dianggap memporak perandakan keselamatan awam. Semua perhimpunan akan di anggap perhimpuan haram – hanya parti Zionis dan penyokong-penyokong mereka sahaja yang boleh berkumpul dan berhimpun. Jika ada perhimpunan berlaku walau pun dengan aman, jentera daulah – polis dan pencegah rusuhan – akan datang mengancam. Penangkapan terhadap perhimpuan aman adalah satu yang biasa berlaku dalam negara Zionis ini. Simbahan air asid adalah satu yang biasa kelihatan dalam negara Zionis. Peluru hidup juga digunakan untuk menembak dan menakutkan mereka yang berkumpul.Bala tentera kaum Zionis hanya dipilih dari satu bangsa sahaja. Bangsa lain tidak akan dibenarkan memasuki bala tentera negara ini. Polis mereka juga dari satu bangsa. Mukhabarat - polis rashia - mereka mungkin ada bangsa-bangsa lain. Ini kerana mereka ingin menyamar masuk ke dalam masyarakat bangsa-bangsa lain untuk merisek.Kekuatan negara Zionis ini bergantung kuat dengan polis-polis rashia. Mukhabarat Zionis ini ada di merata tempat. Dalam universiti, dalam masjid, di perhentian bas malah dimana-mana tempat awam akan kelihatan mukhabarat ini berkeliaran. Mereka menyamar sebagai orang biasa untuk mengutip maklumat jika ada sesiapa yang berani bersuara menentang hegemoni satu bangsa.Negara hegemoni satu bangsa ini memiliki parlimen dan mengakui sebuah negara demokrasi berbanding dengan negara-negara lain. Tetapi parlimen negara ini tidak pernah berusaha untuk melupuskan undang-undang perang yang diwarisi dari zaman kolonial British dahulu. Undang-undang perang ini sentiasa ada dalam negara ini. Negara ini sentiasa dalam keadaan berperang.Selain dari menganggap bahawa bangsa mereka sahaja yang betul – fahaman Zionisma juga menganggap agama lain adalah salah. Agama mereka adalah agama pilihan tuhan. Kitab-kitab suci orang lain dianggap tidak betul. Hanya kitab suci dan agama mereka sahaja yang membawa jalan ke syurga. Agama lain adalah ajaran sesat yang membawa ke neraka.Negara Zionis ini mendapat sokongan ketenteraan dari negara-negara luar. Negara Zionis ini membeli berbilion-bilion ringgit peralatan senjata dari Amerika, Britain, Russia dan Peranchis. Kereta kebal, kapal terbang jet, kapal selam, senapang, pistol, gas pemedih mata, asid anti- rusuhan - semua alat persenjataan ini di bekalkan oleh negara luar. Semua senjata ini di beli kerana kaum Zionis tahu bahawa inilah satu-satu cara untuk mereka terus berkuasa.Akhir-akhir ini kaum Zionis ini telah mula membuat alat-alat senjata sendiri. Semua ini dibuat kerana negara Zionis ini masih terus menerus dalam keadaan perang.Salah satu sifat kaum Zionis yang amat menonjol ialah merampas tanah-tanah. Perampasan tanah-tanah ini terus menerus berlaku. Tahun demi tahun tanah akan di rampas. Tanah-tanah yang dirampas adalah tanah-tanah asli yang telah di teroka beratus-ratus tahun oleh penduduk tempatan. Ada tanah pertanian yang di rampas. Ada tanah perkampongan asli yang telah di rampas.Kaum Zionis akan memberi alasan keselamatan jika mereka ingin merampas tanah. Pembangunan juga akan di jadikan alasan. Mendirikan empangan air , membuat jalan raya atau mendirikan penempatan bandar-bandar baru sering menjadi alasan untuk merampas tanah.Pada awalnya undang-undang akan digunakan untuk merampas tanah-tanah ini. Jika gagal maka jentera polis dan tentera akan di bawa untuk merampas tanah peneroka. Polis-polis rashia akan mengancam. Ada tuan tanah yang akan dibeli. Jika gagal di beli maka tuan empunya tanah akan di ancam. Jika ancaman tidak berjaya maka akan berlaku tangkapan.Tanah- tanah yang di rampas ini akan di berikan kepada penyokong kaum Zionis. Tanah- tanah pertanian subur yang telah di rampas ini akan di berikan kepada syarikat-syarikat yang menyokong fahaman hegemoni satu bangsa. Tuan-tuan pemilik tanah yang telah dirampas ini akan memberikan sokongan dana kepada kaum Zionis. Hotel-hotel, kondo dan apartmen mewah akan di dirikan di atas tanas yang telah di rampas.Kaum Zionis akan melakukan diskriminasi terhadap bangsa-bangsa lain. Kaum Zionis mengamalkan diskriminasi untuk memastikan kuasa politik dan ekonomi terus di tangan mereka. Segala macam undang-undang akan diluluskan untuk memastikan hegemoni satu bangsa ini berterusan.Kaum Zionis tidak akan mempedulikan pandangan masyarakat antarabangsa. Resolusi-resolusi badan-badan antrabangsa tidak di endahkan. Badan-bandan dunia diperlekehkan. Di dalam negara hanya pandangan yang bersetuju dengan politik Zionisma sahaja yang di benarkan. Jika ada kritikan yang muncul dari akhbar luar negara maka suara-suara ini akan dianggap benci kepada budaya bangsa kaum Zionis.Kaum Zionis akan menuduh warga yang menentang hegemoni satu bangsa sebagai warga yang tidak patriotik, ajen negara asing atau telah keluar dari agama suci mereka dan mengikut ajaran sesat. Justeru itu negara Zionis ini mewajibkan warganya menggunakan kad pengenalan. Dalam kad pengenalan ini akan di letakan agama dan bangsa. Ini untuk memastikan kesucian bangsa mereka.( Kita tidak perlu ke Gaza untuk melihat keganasan Zionis. Kita tidak perlu ke Tel Aviv untuk memahami Zionisma. Kita tidak perlu ke Jenin, Hebron untuk melihat tanah-tanah di rampas. Kita tidak perlu melihat Haram–al-Sharif untuk melihat tempat ibadat di runtuhkan. Kita tidak pergi ke Nablus untuk melihat rumah-rumah di runtuhkan. Kita tidak perlu melihat Ariel Sharon yang terlibat dalam pembunuhan.Kita lihat Tasek Utara, Kampong Chu Badak, Kampong Berembang, tanah-tanah orang asli di Sabah dan Serawak yang dirampas. Kita lihat berapa banyak kuil Hindu yang telah dimusnah. Masjid dan surau yang telah diruntuhkan. Berapa buah gereja Orang Asal yang telah diruntuhkan. Kita lihat bagaimana keterlibatan Najib Razak dalam kes pembunuhan Altantuya – ini tidak ada bezanya dengan pembunuhan Abu Jihad. Bukan Tzipi Livni Menteri Luar Israel sahaja yang mengahalau keluar pengkritiknya , Syed Hamid Menteri Luar Malaysia baru sahaja berkata sesiapa yang tidak suka kepada undang-undang negara ini sila tinggalkan negara ini.Peluru hidup menembak penunjuk perasaan bukan hanya di Baitulmukadis tetapi di Memali dan Batu Buruk. Bukan Shin Bet sahaja yang mengintip di Birzeit University – Polis Cawangan Khas juga mengintip di semua universiti di Malaysia.Jangan terlupa Bilik Rashia tahanan ISA tidak ada bezanya dengan yang di tahan di Facility 1391 di Israel.)Jangan hanya menyokong yang jauh tetapi lupa yang di hadapan mata. Zionisma bukan hanya orang Yahudi. Zionisma adalah fahaman politik hegemoni satu bangsa dan satu agama. Zionisma adalah semua kerajaan zalim yang menindas warganya.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

From the people back to the people

From the people back to the people

After a litany of refusal by hotel operators and other venue owners, finally Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) managed to secure an open ground at 4th Mile Kuching-Serian Road for the venue of its January 9th dinner. In preparation for unpredictable January rain, a roofed canvas makeshift hall was erected. Judging from the total number of numbered tables and chairs without tables, the crowd at the dinner was in the region of 4,000 to 4,500 people.

This writing, however, is not about dinner or for that matter, PKR's dinner. It is about choice; peoples'choice. The subject matter of choice is voting for Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat in the next Sarawak State General Election. The dinner was just an opportunity to congregate people from all walks of life to listen to speeches by PKR leaders. Besides Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, among the speakers were Menteri Besar of Selangor, YAB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, Angkatan Muda Keadilan Chief, saudara Shamsul Iskandar and Gopeng MP, YB Dr Lim Boon Chai.

'From the people back to the people'. That was the gist of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's speech referring to the wealth of the State of Sarawak, which he (Anwar Ibrahim) said had been plundered and continue to be plundered by some leading state's politicians. The role of PKR and its partners, DAP and PAS is to end the 45 consecutive years rule of the BN in Sarawak. It is only by so doing that the peoples' wealth could be legitimately returned to the people.

Either the term plundered is appropriate or otherwise is something subjective. But there is certainly much truth that thousands of acres of land had been alienated to companies owned by State's Barisan Nasional politicians or their families. And among the latest alienation (27th June 2007), in which I have documentary record, is 12,000acres of state land in Baram District to a company owned by the wife of a very senior civil servant. On what basis such a large piece of land being alienated to a very senior state civil servant is not known. This is just one instance. There are a lot more in which we also have documentary record.

By the way, the aforesaid dinner ended with the handing over a memorandum of protest to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrhim by the people of Bengoh over the building of several dams in Bengoh. From the information that I have those dams will greatly benefit only TWO personalities on the pretext of providing electricity to some of the Bidayuh kampongs.

The initial hunting for proper venue of the aforesid dinner reminds me of a proverb, "All's Well That Ends Well", which is also one of Shakepeare's plays. The countenance drawn on the forehead of the people who came out of the makeshift hall after the dinner had ended was an indication of personal satisfaction. Some people reasoned that many who were there only came for free meals. I doubt such allusion carries much truth as many who came were from afar at their own expenses. Why should they come all the way just for a simple dinner? The truth was, they wanted to hear the message that Anwar Ibrahim brought. To them Anwar Ibrahim is more than just a Malay leader but a national leader and a leader for all races.

Revive Role of Home Demostrators to help rural economics

When prices of rubber, pepper and timber are down and prices of agriculture produce are up, and when many factories are closed down and workers forced to quit, what a better way is than to involve ourselves in agricultural activities. The decision of some 250 families in Kapit and 75 persons in Sarikei participating in a Bumi Hijau programme is not only a wise decision, but one that others should emulate.

While the programme is involved in the planting of vegetables around the house compound mainly for home consumption, extra produce can be sold to supplement household incomes. Under this programme the participants among others will enjoy subsidies of fertilizers, vegetable seeds, fish fry, chicks and other garden paraphernalia.

The Green Book programme introduced more than 30 years ago is being revived to reduce the rate of inflation by raising the people’s incomes through involvement in agriculture either as a part time or full time basis.

Through this programme the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has introduced a “kitchen farming” concept whereby households involve in vegetable farming, chicken and fish rearing in gardens of individual homes. Last year alone, the ministry had allocated RM20 million for the purchase and distribution of selected vegetable seedlings, fertilizers and manuals to all strata of society.

Sadly not many of our folks know about the existence of this scheme; perhaps there was little publicity or perhaps our so-called Dayak Yang Berhormats were ignorant or couldn’t be bothered about government policies that could benefit the Rakyat.

For us in Sarawak, the State government should go one step further to ensure the success of this “kitchen farming” concept by reviving the department of agriculture extension programme. Under this extension programme, Home Demonstrators (HDs) go to longhouses to teach Dayak women about home economics including advising them how to plant vegetables and fruit trees, the use of pesticides and fertilizers, how to make compost and to prune fruit trees, teach them sewing, cooking, handicrafts, cake making and healthy living, etc. Likewise, Junior Agriculture Assistants (JAAs) help their menfolk in maintaining their pepper or rubber gardens, chicken, sheep or cow rearing, etc.

This extension programme was actively carried out when Datuk Sri Daniel Tajem was Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Community Development from October 1980 to March 1987.

Working closely with the Home Demonstrators were members of the Women’s Institute resulting in many housewives establish cottage industries selling various kinds of handicrafts including “pua kumbu”.

But when Adenan Satem took over as Agriculture Minister and Community Development in mid-1987, the agriculture extension programme was discontinued, the monthly visits by Home Demonstrators were stopped, and the name of Home Demonstrators was changed to Community Development Assistants having entirely different duties.

Even Farmers Training Schools where the menfolk were trained to be progressive farmers were closed and now they become white elephants. Since then the home economics programme was left to disappear into thin air.

The Women’s Institute which was under the leadership of Rugayah Majid, wife of Abang Yusof Puteh also became dormant.

Could actions against all these institutions and programmes have something to do with the Ming Court Affair 1987 during which Permas (a Malay party) and Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) were trying to topple Taib Mahmud’s government? Why were rural people, especially the housewives made to suffer due to political harassment and victimization?

However, for the Green Book programme to be effective, we must not play politics and deprive the rural women from playing an important role in economic development. Therefore it may be necessary as far as rural Sarawak is concerned to revive or activate the agriculture extension programme.

This is where the role of Home Demonstrators is not only an important tool towards enhancing home or rural economics, but one that helps produce healthy families that are essential in nation building efforts.

Serakup Nembiak Universiti Dayak Malaysia ( SNUDM)

Serakup Nembiak universiti dayak Malaysia...

Nyadi serakup tu siti serakup ka ditumbuhka nembiak bansa Dayak ke segempuru sejalai segulai ba siti tuju ati ke nguat ka bansa Dayak..
Aku ngarap semua meri sukung ngagai serakup tu..
Enti ka nemu enggau mayuh agi tau msg ngagai aku tauka telepon: 0137117477