Friday, November 28, 2008

Rembering Pemanca Anggok @ Anggu Anak Pengarah Otoh ‭(‬1921-1997‭)

Pemancha Anggok @ Anggu Anak Pengarah Otoh was born in the year‭ ‬1921‭ ‬though his birth certificate showed that he was born in the year‭ ‬1925.‭ ‬He was the eldest of eight siblings of five males and three females.‭ ‬His father was Pengarah Otoh Anak Bangat and mother was Weh Anak Gireng‭ @ ‬Gereng.

His first marriage in‭ ‬1947‭ ‬was a misfortune because wife and child died during labour.‭ ‬His second marriage in‭ ‬1949‭ ‬was to Melin Anak Tabas with whom they have ten children.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬two of their children died at a tender age due to sickness.‭ ‬The eight children that survive‭ ‬are four males and four females.

Since his youth,‭ ‬Anggok @ Anggu Anak Pengarah Otoh was known to be of a firm and disciplined character.‭ ‬He was respected by his other brothers and sisters and by the village folks who regarded him as a strong-willed personality.‭ ‬In‭ ‬1951,‭ ‬he was unofficially entrusted to assume the roles and duties of his father,‭ ‬Pengarah Otoh Ak Bangat as he was indisposed due to ill health and old age.‭ ‬On the‭ ‬25th February‭ ‬1957,‭ ‬he was elected as Tua Kampong for Kampung Biawak and Pasir Ulu‭ (‬then known as Kampong Panggong/Bapangokng‭)‬.

In‭ ‬1963‭ ‬he won an election for a seat to be one of the Councilors in Lundu District Council while at the same assuming the role of Tua Kampong.‭ ‬At that time district councilorship was an elected affair.‭ ‬He assumed both the duties of a Councilor and a Tua Kampong until‭ ‬1st March‭ ‬1977‭ ‬when he was appointed a Penghulu for the Salako Bidayuh community in Lundu District.

With Vice Admiral Sir Parry Desmond Drayer, Commander of the Far East, British Armed Forces: July 25th, 1963

During the Confrontation period with‭ ‬Indonesia in‭ ‬1963-1965,‭ ‬he was a very instrumental asset to the British Army as he knows very well the geography of the surrounding terrain across both borders of‭ ‬Malaysia and‭ ‬Indonesia.‭ ‬On numerous occasions he was brought along on air patrols by the British Army using helicopters to identify potential target areas.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬towards the end of the Confrontation in‭ ‬1965,‭ ‬for reasons unknown,‭ ‬a few British Army soldiers tried to assassinate him by lobbing a hand grenade inside his bedroom during one night.‭ ‬Fortunately his life and the lives of his wife and one of his sons were spared because the hand grenade failed to explode.‭ ‬An immediate report was made to the Officer-in-Command of Biawak Britsih Army Camp and the perpetrators of the incident were promptly arrested and charged.‭ ‬The trial was held in‭ ‬Singapore where Pemancha Anggok‭ ‬was the main prosecution witness.‭ ‬The five‭ ‬accomplices were all court marshaled and found guilty by the‭ ‬Military Court and all were discharged from duties and jailed for varying periods of time.

Standing 2nd From right (in suit), Lundu District Councilors, 1963.

It must be noted that Pemancha Anggok @ Anggu,‭ ‬due to his strong spirit of‭ ‬patriotism,‭ ‬brought an influential voice to the Defense Department in it’s decision to construct a road from Lundu Town leading to Kampung Biawak in‭ ‬1969/1970‭ ‬which would make it easier for the Malaysian Armed Forces to fight the Communist Terrorists,‭ ‬sometimes known as the Paraku for Partai Rakyat Kalimantan Utara.

1967, seated 2nd from right

During the formative period of Dayak Bidayuh National Association‭ (‬DBNA‭) ‬in Lundu,‭ ‬Pemancha Anggok @ Anggu was one of its founder members.‭ ‬He visited almost every Bidayuh Salako and Rara villages to get them receive the ideas of DBNA and become members.‭ ‬

On the‭ ‬10th November‭ ‬1992,‭ ‬he was officially appointed as the Pemancha for the whole of the Salako Bidayuh community in Lundu.‭ ‬As during his younger years,‭ ‬Pemancha Anggok @ Anggu stood strongly for the rights of his community within his influence and capacity until his death on the‭ ‬25th June,‭ ‬1997.‭ ‬He died at the age of seventy six due to acute respiratory failure.‭ ‬He left behind his wife,‭ ‬eight children and twenty three grand children.

During his lifetime,‭ ‬he was awarded with two recognitions:‭ (‬1‭) ‬Faithful and Meritorious Service‭ (‬1959); (‬2‭) ‬Bentara Bintang Sarawak‭ (‬1988‭)‬.

  • Medal for Faithful and Meritorious Service, 44mm. silver, with neck ribbon, nearly extremely fine E60-80 Instituted in 1946 and issued until 1963. Awarded to civil servants in recognition of long and meritorious service. Recipients were required to have completed 20 years continuous good service and possess a certificate of good conduct.
  • The fact that he was awarded this medal by the British in a much shorter time than the mandated period tells us a little about the late Pemancha Anggok @ Anggu Anak Pengarah Otoh.

May his soul rest in peace.