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“Still Alive, Still Fighting”. Do you still remember HIM?

Credit photo to Albert Remong.

Who is the warrior of this Iban legend?

You must be wondering who he is, right? He is a legendary warrior from Sarawak. But are you still remembered him today? He created a quoted slogan of “Agi Idup, Agi Ngelaban” and gave a great meaning about struggle.

Photo credited to Allen Charlie.

His name is Rentap. Rentap is an Iban legendary warrior against the British in Sarawak and was born in 1800. The original name of the name is Libau which means “World-shaker” and also known as “Raja Darat” which means King of the Land. He was a leader of the Iban people on the Skrang River and the Saribas River.

Illustration of Rentap and his people.

The Story of Rentap struggle.

Rentap oppose the reign of Brooke’s family because regard the Iban people on the Skrang River as a pirates. Angered by Brooke’s plunder of the Iban lands and forced the people of Sarawak to pay taxes, he planned to strike at the British Fort near the Skrang River.

Skrang River now.

For the first time, he succeeded and the victory of the attack attracted more Iban people to flatter him. Brooke returned with his men to attack Rentap with naval ships, H.M.S Royalist, H.M.S Ranee and 8 small vessels entering Skrang and Saribas.

The war in Sarawak broke out and killed about 500 Rentap’s people but victory still stands in his sides because of protection to important people in his village. The Brooke’s family and his army continued to attack from 1857 to 1858 but the attempt still failed to topple the Fortress of Rentap.

In the 1861 attack, the British achieved victory and James Brooke set fire to his homestead and the fortress at Bukit Sadok. In this battle, Rentap and his warriors are attacked at close range with a Six-pounder gun and a cannon called “Bujang Sadok“.

The result of the defeat led him to retreat to Entabai to devise a new strategy but he died before he could continue his struggle.

Fight for Nation!

He was a legendary warrior to Sarawak people and fight for his nation and not pirates as thought by the Brooke family.

His legacy leaves a deep impression on us today about the meaning of struggle especially Iban people in Sarawak. The spirit of his struggle was immortalized in the Memorial Stone of Rentap.

Memorial Stone of Rentap.

Together, we appreciate and remember our hero’s struggle against the enemy in the pursuit of independence.

“AGI IDUP, AGI NGELABAN” is still fresh in our mind. We will never forget that for the rest of our lives.

BY: SHAMSUL.

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