Thursday, November 5, 2009


The word “Nundok” which meant surrender was the most word that Libau RENTAP never said in his life. He swore that he would never meet the white men to talk about peace or anythings else. He and his men kept on strengthening his fort (kuta) in Sungai Lang. The word “Sungai” in Iban meant river and the word “Lang” meant a decomposed smell of an animal. Sungai Lang was located at the headwaters of the Skrang River with many of the Libau RENATAP followers, comprising the Dayaks Iban and the Malays from the Lingga and Kuching area. They defended themselves strongly against the attack of the White Man.
In August, 1854 Rajah James Brooke proceeded up the Skrang River with a large group of war men , about 7,000 from the Dayaks and the Malays community.with the object of attacking Libau RENTAP in his fort (kuta) at Sungai Lang. Libau RENTAP and his war men were ready to defend the fort. at Sungai Lang. Libau RENTAP and his followers was well prepared to defend the fort (Kuta) and the two Dayak Iban longhouses located on the ridge of a hill surrounded by steep ground. High stakes were driven into the earth forming a firm and thick stockade. The fort (Kuta) was situated at a place about four days’ journey on foot from Enteban in the Skrang where James Brooke established his base camp.
The Tuan Besar, Captain Brooke-Brooke was the one who placed in command of the war expedition against Libau RENTAP by land to Sungai Lang accompanied by his younger brother the Tuan Muda Charles Brooke, Mr. Crookshank, Mr. William Brereton and the other four English officers to assist him in the war. Due to his poor health Rajah James Brooke was unable to accompanied them in thw war expedition against Libau RENTAP to Sungai Lang but he was staying behind with a very strong forces to protect all their war long boat (Perahu Pengayau) and all the baggages at Enteban.
The war team of Tuan Besar Captain Brooke-Brooke proceeded up the Skrang River. After two days’ journey they reached Tebat, and they continued their journey untill the fourth days’ then they saw the Libau RENTAP’s fort (Kuta)standing on a hill cleared of all the thick old jungle. Their heavy armament consisted of four-pounder and three-pounder guns and rockets. When they were mounting the last rising ground on which Libau RENTAP and his war men were fortified , they found that some of the Dayak Iban leaders had brave themselves foolishly by gaurding the fort (Kuta) advanced too close and a few of them had been killed and wounded.
The Tuan Besar Captain Brooke-Brooke war men then mounted the four-pounder gun and the rockets were fired on one end while the three-pounder gun were fired away at the other end of the Libau RENTAP fort (Kuta). And Libau RENTAP with his war men returned the fire with their small pretty brisky canon commonly called “Bedil” in Dayak Iban word. The Libau RENTAP war men also shouted out loudly in their war-cry against the White Rajah the words “Agi Bedarah Agi Ngelaban” which meant “Still Bleeding Still Fighting” , and also the words “Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban” which meant “Still Living Still Fighting” which was a commonly team spirit used by the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces untill now.
Early in that afternoon there was a commotion among the Libau RENTAP war men inside the fort (Kuta) . And the women together with their childrens were seen leaving the fort (Kuta) fron the opposite side of the hill where the the Tuan Besar Captain Brooke-Brooke striked the attacked. But Libau RENTAP together with all his braved and strong warriors were still stood fast and kept gaurding their posst all along the fort (Kuta).
The old Malays Chief named Panglima Seman , a Kalaka Malay of the White Rajah’s forces had not yet made any move to lead an attack against the Libau RENTAP. Some knew that he would act cautiously , but the others at him and his reply was “Your words are more than your deeds.” As the sun reached the horizon , Panglima Seman together with his war men moved up toward the Libau RENTAP fort (Kuta). They silently opened the stakes with their hands and jumped inside the Libau RENTAP fort (Kuta) and shouted with a loud cheers and drew their swords during the attacked.
Then about fifty to sixty of the Libau RENTAP warriors were seen tearing away over the open ground covering their bodies with shields and fled towards Bukit Sadok. They were followed by the brave defenders of the fort (Kuta) who rolled down the side of the hill. Libau RENTAP was said to be wounded and had to be carried away by his war men who fled down the hill to a second and much more stronger Libau RENTAP fort (Kuta) located on the simmit os Bukit Sadok. Libau RENTAP fort (Kuta) located at Sungai Lang was been defeated and conquered by the White Rajah warriors. The White Rajah warriors spent a night at the Sungai Lang Libau RENTAP fort (Kuta). It was a mere victory for them, as Libau RENTAP was wounded but did not surrender himself to the White Rajah.
Bulan Apai Jelani and his war men watched and monitored the progress of the war expediton between Libau RENTAP and the White Rajah with interest, but they didn’t take any part with any side of them. They just wait and see, waiting for the attacking party to be in a stateof confusion. Nevertheless , there was no opportunity for him to attack them.
After the victory of conquering the Libau RENTAP fort (Kuta) at Sungai Lang, the Tuan Besar, Captain Brooke-Brooke who was in command of the war expedition was keen to follow Libau RENTAP to his second fort (Kuta) at Bukit Sadok, but his war men refused to go with them. Thus , the second attack did not take place. His warriors only satisfied with the single victory of conquering the Libau RENTAP for at Sungai Lang and was impatient to return home.
William Brereton unfortunately died of dysentery shortly after this war expedition (Kayau). In October, 1854 the Tuan Muda Charles Brooke was placed in charge of Batang Lupar district. Raja James Brooke’s advice to him was : “Encourage the good, Intimidate the bad and Confirm the wavering.

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