Daring acts of forefathers in defending Bintulu hailed
BINTULU: Attacks by pirates were common along the shoreline of Sarawak in the olden days before they were chased away by the Bintulu people twice, said Tourism Assistant Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip.
He said about 100 years ago, a daring community from Bintulu played a significant role in safeguarding the safety and security of Sarawak’s shores from the marauders.
“As documented in history, the Bintulu people attacked the pirates not once but twice.
“We chased them away for the first time on June 25, 1862 but they came back on April 12, 1869 and were chased away for the second time. Since then they were not seen any more in Sarawak’s shores,” said the Jepak assemblyman.
This flashback was shared by Talib when officiating at the Sarawak Special Affairs Department (Jasa) open house at the compound of Masjid At Taqwa Bintulu yesterday, which was also attended by Jasa state director Hassan Busu.
Talib said this daring act was one of the significant factors why Bintulu was chosen as the host for the 49th Malaysia Day celebration recently, apart from the fact that the town was the venue of the first Council Negri meeting chaired by James Brooke on September 8, 1963.
“Good planning by the current government has provided stability and abundant job opportunities for the people,” he said of the prosperity enjoyed by the people there now.
Earlier, Hassan said a total of 14 villages participated in the event by setting up food kiosk which offered a variety of traditional foods.
He said the event was aimed at strengthening rapport among the local communities and to promote the culture and tradition of Vaie Bintulu.
“We are hoping to promote these traditions because if there is no action taken, we are afraid some of our precious traditions will be wiped out from history.
“I was also told a special dictionary on the Vaie language will be produced, which is expected to be officiated by Talib in the future,” said Hassan.
Hundreds of people, including Temenggong Abang Suhaili Abg Mohammad, Pemanca Rosli Kamarudin, village chiefs and residents from the 14 participating villages attended the event.
Among the activities held were ‘hadrah’ and ‘silat’ performances, ‘bermukun’, stage show, bamboo cannon game and lucky draws.