Sunday, October 25, 2009


One the Dayak Iban war leader named Dandi whose nickname was “Gasing Gila” which meant “A Mad Spinning Top” in the Iban language. Dandi “Gasing Gila’ was a loyal Dayak Iban war leader to the White Rajah . Rajah James Brooke was suspecting that Dandi “Gasing Gila “ was collaborating with the rebellious Dayak Iban war leader named Libau RENTAP.
In April year 1854, William Brereton who defended the fort at Nanga Skrang was organising a war expedition against Dandi “Gasing Gila”. When Dandi “Gasing Gila” heard the news , he summoned all the bravest Dayak Iban war men in the Batang Saribas for the battle against William Brereton and his followers. The Dayak Iban war men that he summoned was including Aji “Apai Limpa”, Linggir “Mali Lebu” and many other principal war leaders of the neighbouring areas to help him in the war.
The White Rajah Tuan Muda (Young Prince), Charles Brooke also brought along his war men from Lingga and joined by another group of war men from Kuching and they all proceeded up the Batang Skrang River to fight for the battle against the Dayak Iban war leader Dandi “Gasing Gila.” Along the journey William Brereton war men was passing by some dangerous rapids when they reached a point called Tanjung Lipat, where they have no choice but to leave their war boats (Bangkong / Perahu Pengayau) behind.
After a one day long journey walking on foot from Tanjung Lipat toward the longhouse of Dandi “Gasing Gila”, then William Brereton ordered that all the Europeans and all the Sarawak Malays war men should remain behind, while all the Dayaks Iban war men should be sent forward under their chief to do the attack in the battle against Dandi “Gasing Gila.
The longhouses of Dandi “Gasing Gila” was situated at the backbone of a hills some considerable distance away from where they are going to strike the attack. The Dayak Iban warriors at Dandi “Gasing Gila” longhouse were ready to defend themselves against the attack. At dawn on the third day, the advancing war men of Tuan Muda make a quick movement to reached Dandi’s “Gasing Gila” longhouses and make their battle attacked without any body giving an orders. As their leaders mounted the wooden ladder , they were struck off one after the other by hundreds of war men dressed in their fighting costumes headed by the whole of the Batang Saribas warriors.
The war leaders of Tuan Muda’s war men had to retire to guard those who were wounded and died , while the Dayak Iban warriors in the Dandi “Gasing Gila” longhouses yelled shoutly with cheered and beat their gongs happily as they win the war battle against the White Rajah Tuan Muda war men. The girls and women dressed in their best costumes were seen clapping their hands with loud shouted and encouraging their husband and sweethearts to take and chopped as many heads of the dead White Rajah Tuan Muda war men as many as possible.
As the longhouse of Dandi “Gasing Gila” was well defended by the bravest fighting men and warriors, the White Rajah Tuan Muda’s forces could not win the battle at all. They had to retreat to their base camp with many dead and wounded war men. The White Rajah Tuan Muda, Charles Brooke and William Brereton war expedition to destroy Dandi “Gasing Gila” and his war men was thus a total failure.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


In December 1853 the Raja James Brooke went up the Skrang River with the object of meeting Libau RENTAP and Bulan Apai Jelani for a peace talks. It was said that these two Dayak Iban chiefs were a men of different characters. Libau RENTAP was strongly opposed to the presence of white men and Bulan Apai Jelani was the figure head of a party that did not support either any of the other side. He watched to see which side that would win the battle. Raja James Brooke was accompanied by Tuan Muda Charles Brooke have arranged for several meeting to discussed about the matters between the two parties, but without any satisfactory results.


In Early year 1853 Libau RENTAP collected his men with the intention of attacking the Fort (Kubu) at Nanga Skrang, and pushed his way to the open South China Sea. When Brereton received the information that Libau RENTAP and his large group of war men were in their way coming down the river to attack the said Fort (Kubu) at Nanga Skrang, Brereton sent a message to Alan Lee who was the officer in charge of another fort at Nanga Lingga which was located ahead to the mouth of the Batang Lupar River after the Simanggang (Sri Aman) town.
Alan Lee arrived at Skrang with a scratch party and heard that the Dayak Iban war men who was under the command of Libau RENTAP was approaching toward them at Fort Nanga Skrang. Alan Lee urger Brereton to defend the fort instead of attacking the Dayak Iban war men in the open But by his own plan Brereton had built a small stockade a few miles above up river from the Fort Nanga Skrang at a place called Lintang Batang and insisted that they should defend if from the attack.
On the morning after Alan Lee and Brereton had arrived at Lintang Batang, Libau RENTAP have sent his two pilot war boats (Bangkong or Perahu Pengayau) down the Skrang River. A gun was fired from the fort at Nanga Skrang to stop the two war boats, but they took no notice of it. After that the Dayak Iban war men were approaching them and that the men in the two war boats were in a state of confusion after being fired at by the fort men, Brereton rushed forwrd to attack them in the open on the river. He was soon followed by Alan Lee.
Their small boats were swamped by the heavy war boats of Libau RENTAP’s main fleet. Brereton’s small boat capsized, but luckily with difficulty he managed to save himself by swimming to the river bank. Alan Lee continued to fight against the Libau RENTAP war men fearlessly, but he was overpowered and killed , and fell into the Skrang River with his head almost severed from his shoulder. It was Layang, the son-in-law of Libau RENTAP, who chopped off Alan Lee’s head . Libau RENTAP and his war men then came under heavy fire from the stockade and had to retreat reluctantly upriver. It is uncertain whether or not Libau RENTAP and his war men was successful in taking Alan Lee’s head.
On retreating upriver Libau RENTAP and his war men were heavily attacked by another Dayak Iban rival chief lead by Orang Kaya Gasing who had sided with the White Rajah. They also burnt down twenty longhousesbelonging to the Libau RENTAP and his war men.


In the late year 1849 or in the early year 1850 James Brooke sent Arthur Crookshank to bulid a fort at the juction of the Batang Skrang River and the Batang Lupar Rivers. The establishment of the fort was indeed a nuisance to the Skrang peoples because its pupose was to block their passage to go to the open South China Sea.
The first officer was placed in charge of the fort at Nanga Skrang was a Malay’s by the name Sheriff Mohammed Hussain or Sherif Matusain or Sayid Mohsen, the grand father of the late Second Governor Of Sarawak, His Excellency Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang bin Tuanku Othman. Shefif Matusin was originally came from Pontianak, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia. He had fought on the side of the Sarawak Malays at Lidah Tanah in Kuching in the year 1840.He led the other Sarawak Malays leaders to see James Brooke and arranged for their surrender to the White Rajah.
The Ibans of the Lower Skrang area who submitted to the rule of James Brooke werenot pleased with the arrangement that Sayid Mohsen (Sherif Matusin) should be placed in charge of the fort (Kubu), and as a result , he was recalled to Kuching. His replacement was a young Englishman by the name William Brereton Nevertheless, Sayid Mohsen (Sherif Matusin ) was still remained to be a loyal friend of James Brooke for many yrers. He also being mentioned to be as a nurse to the White Rajah through a severe attack of smal pox in
Small pox 1853.
One of the principal Iban war leaders who did not submit to the rule of James Brooke at that time was the famouis Skrang Hero by the name Libaun RENTAP. He was said to be very daring, active, crafty , and a powerful and determined man. He dislike the establishment of the fort (kubu) to be placed at Nanga Skrang because he could no longer go out into the open South China Sea to collect salt and other essential comodities. He and his faithful followers
after that moved farther up-country to the headwaters of the Saribas and Skrang. There Libau RENTAP established a strong stockade on the mountain ridge up the Sungai Lang, the branch of the Batang Skrang River.
The fort (kubu) located at Nanga Skrang was then managed by William Brereton and then he was being supported by two of the best and the most capable Malay Chief, by the named Pengiran Matali who was a Brunei of rank and another Malay Chief by the name Abang Aing who was a Malanau from Matu at the mouth of the Batang Rajang River who came to Batang Lupar and settled with his father named Laksamana Medudin, and a Malay woman by the name of Dayang Kota.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


On 4th.June, 1843 Raja James Brooke and Captain Henry Keppel organized a war expedition to attack the Dayak Iban of Saribas area. Datu Patinggi Ali who join the White Rajah in this war expedition had been sent ahead of the main tracker callled “Bala”. At the mouth of Batang Saribas he met with the seven Dayak Iban war boat called “Bangkong or Perahu Pengayau” whom Datu Patinggi Ali attacked and drove back to the up river after he succeed capturing one.
The strongest and most important Dayak Iban longhouse belonging to Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana Bayang at Nanga Padeh was about sixty miles up the Batang Saribas River and defended only by the two forts and a barrier of trees called “Pengerebah” that will block the river from being entered easily by their enemies. The longhouse was completely burnt and taken by James Brooke on the 11th.June,1843.
Three days later on the 14th.June,1843 the war expedition group of James Brooke went up to Sungai Paku, the branch of the Saribas River and attacked Linggir Mali Lebu fort at Karangan Pinggai. The Dayak Ibans did not show any resistance, but Rajah James Brooke burnt down a few longhouses along the Sungai Paku River bank.
Another three days later on the 17th.June,1843 Rajah James Brooke and his war forces went up the Sungai Rimbas another branch of the Saribas River, and attacked the fort belonging to the Dayak Iban leader by the name Rekaya Antau Linggang Nengeri and Rekaya Gun Mangku Bumi at Sungai Tawai. This was the largest and the strongest Dayak Iban fort along the Saribas River. They fought bravely but were over powered by the Armed Rajah Forces. The Rimbas chiefs then submitted. That was the first time the Dayak Ibans of Saribas River had ever fought against the White Man (Orang Putih), but not their brothers in the Skrang areas.
It was probably on 19th.August,1844 at Karangan Peris in the Skrang area that Libau RENTAP was first fought against the White Rajah armed forces. He stood bravely blocking the advance trackers of Datu Patinggi Ali’s forces with a formidable array of war boats and thousands of men on each bank of the river. They had selected a good positions where they could effectively use their spears and blowpipes.
Although the old Datu Patinggi Ali and his small contingent fearlessly fought against RENTAP and his men they were out numbered and Datu Patinggi Ali was killed along together with George Steward and twenty nine of his devoted followers with fifty six of them wounded. The main party of the White Rajah armed forces were not in time to support him.Datu Patinggi Ali and his devoted followers were buried in the Batang Undup area.


It is said that some of the Sarawak Malaysclaimed that their origin was from the ancient Kingdom of Minangkabau in Sumatra, Indonesia. Datu Undi, whose title was also known as Raja Jarom, a prince of the Royal House of Minangkabau, emigrated with his people to the Borneo Island and settled along the Sarawak River. Datu Undi, the Raja Jarom had seven childrens. The eldest daughter who married to a royal prince of Java, Indonesia and from them in a direct line came Datu Patinggi Ali.
Raja Jarom’s second son established himself in the Saribas area, his third son established himself in the Samarahan area, the fourth son established himself in the Kalaka area and the fifth son established himself up the right hand branch of Sarawak River and spread to Sadong area.
Datu Patinggi Ali was a principal leader of the Sarawak Malays who fought against the Brunei Government during the rule of Pengiran Makota and Raja Muda Hasim, most probably between 1837 and 1840. He surrendered in December, 1840 on the understanding that James Brooke would hence forth become the Raja and stop the Brunei Pengirans from oppressing them.
After James Brooke was declared Raja and the Governor of Sarawak on 24th.September, 1841 and he reinstated Datu Patinggi Ali as a leader of the Sarawak Malays. From 1841 to 1844 he served James Brooke as a famous fighting man for the government.


Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana Bayang was a principal leader of the Saribas Ibans before the arrival of the White Rajah named James Brooke. Dana Bayang received his title “The Orang Kaya Pemancha” from the Saribas Malay leaders who were the representatives of the Sultan Of Brunei.
Dana Bayang was described as a small, plain looking man, brave and fierce. His body was scarred with the spear wounds. His longhouse was located on the Padeh River, a branch of the Btang Layar River not far from the Betong town. Dana Bayang had six sons and three daughters. Three of Dana Bayang sons , namely 1) Nanang, 2) Aji, and 3) Luyoh were often mentioned in the history and Dayak Iban story of Sarawak, and the most famous among three of them all was “Aji Apai Limpa.
Very little was known about Libau Rentap as he was an ordinary man during the early part of his life, except that he was said to be famous when he was being appointed as a Manok Sabong or a fighting man (meant in the Iban language) for the Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana Bayang.
As a war leader (Tuai Kayau) amongst the Dayak Iban community by that time , the famous Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana Bayang have led many successful war sea expeditons (Ngayau) along the coast of Sarawak towards the Sambas Territory, in Pontianak and beyond the surrounding areas of the Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
During one of these raids (Ngayau) in the year 1837 in the Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia (the then Dutch Territory) Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana Bayang captured a one arm iron cannon belonging to the Dutch which was commonly know until now a days as Bujang Timpang Berang and bearing the mark 1515. This historical cannon is still on display at the gorund floor of Fort Lily in Betong, Sarawak.
Libau Rentap, as a famous fighting man (Manok Sabong) of the Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana Bayang was a very brave figthing man and he always joined him in these sea war expeditions (Ngayau) When Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana Bayang was old, Libau Rentap was taking over as the commanding officer and he led a number of similiar raiding sea war expeditions (Ngayau) to Sambas and Pontianak, Indonesia
During one of these raiding voyages Libau Rentap attacked and killed a boatful of Sambas people, one of them who was the nephew of the Sultan Sambas whose “Kris” was identified by its golden handle was looted by Libau Rentap. From that incident, Libau RENTAP’s name became famous and was recognised by the Dayak Iban Skrangs as their great war chief.
The Orang Kaya Pemancha Dana Bayang was died of smallfox in the year 1845. He was one of the most fmous Dayak Iban chief and war leaders in the Saribas area. He also known as one of the Dayak leaders who fight and rebel against the ruling of the White Rajah James Brooke as he don’t want to pay the taxes and being governed by the foreigners.
After their great defeat by James Brooke at the notorious battle of Beting Maru during the night of 31st July, 1849 which was led by the Dayak Iban war leaders named Linggir Mali Lebu of Saribas and a Malay war leader named Abang Apong of Beting Maru, and possibly Libau RENTAP of Skrang, all the Dayak Iban living in these rivers were divided into two parties.
One party was sided with the White Rajah, while the other which consisted of the prowess, the warriors, the wild and the fiery bloods under the leadership of Libau RENTAP and Aji did not submit, but continued fighting against the White Rajah by his own forces.


Once ago there an Dayak Iban whose name was Libau and welknown with his nickname RENTAP, the hero for the Dayaks Iban tribe in the State of Sarawak, Malaysia, located at the western part of the Borneo Island.
Libau bensumbar (nickname) Rentap was born at a longhouse in the Skrang River, and Skrang River was a part of river branch in the Batang Lupar River in the Sri Aman Division (previously known as the Second Division) of Sarawak, Malaysia. The river mouth of the Skrang River was situated not far from the Sri Aman Town (previously known as Simanggang).
It has its sources in Bukit Sadok, a rough little mountain with its summit of which is about 2,725 feet above the sea level and located next to the Padeh River, a small river branch from the Batang Layar River , in the Batang Saribas in the Betong Division about 300 kilomiles from Kuching the state capital of Sarawak. The nature of the country in the area was very rugged with plenty of rapids, some chains of white cliffs and dense jungle. Bukit Sadok can be reach by road now a days proceeding to Rumah Panjai Merunjau by driving along the Ulu Padeh Road, Betong. Its a rough gravel and muddy road passing by a deep jungle.

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Thank you for visiting my blog. My name is John Adam Ak Gilbert Anyai. I'm an Iban, working as a civil servant in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. I'm a married man with two childrens, a daughter and a son. I was born in Sri Aman in 1964, and growing up at Saratok in 1968 until 1982. I came from Serudit, Paku, Spaoh, Betong and married to my wife from Brayang, Roban. My longhouse now is at Room 7, Rumah Undi, Brayang, Roban and my next house is Lot. 522, Taman Susur Jambu, Sarikei.
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