From British military intelligence to financial secretary of Sarawak: John Pike 1945-1967.
The ending of World War Two in Europe (4 May 1945) signaled the beginning of the end for Japanese supremacy in the Far East. By then John Pike, who had studied Japanese at university, was a captain in the Intelligence Corps. (2) He had been commissioned in late 1943 upon his arrival in India, attached very briefly to the Rajputana Rifles, then posted to Advanced HQ, 11 Army Group, Ceylon, where he was sworn in to the Ultra [secret] list. (3) He worked on the Japanese Order of Battle, which was essential for the planning of Operation Zipper to oust the Japanese occupying forces from Malaya. (4) After leave and more study of Japanese, Pike was about to begin parachute training to go with the paratroopers on Operation Zipper when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. (5) Immediately the airdrop part of Operation Zipper was canceled and Pike was posted to Pegu in Burma. After the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945, he became involved in looking into war crimes with an emphasis on segregating Japanese soldiers who were to be tried for war crimes from those to be repatriated.
At that time the Merdeka (freedom from Dutch rule) movement was sweeping through Indonesia. After the Japanese surrender, the Japanese 2nd Guards Division in Northern Sumatra handed over most of their weapons to the local Acehnese, assuming they would turn the weapons against the incoming British and Dutch troops. (6) But the Acehnese turned on the Japanese instead, driving them out of their barracks and pinning them down in a 1,000-meter perimeter trench on the beach. Responding to urgent calls for help, Pike and a small group were sent to help extricate the Japanese safely, culminating in his group calling on HMS Caprice, a British frigate, to provide covering firepower while the Japanese were withdrawn by sea. Pike then spent the next 72 hours in non-stop interrogation of Japanese prisoners while returning to Singapore in a Japanese ship in rough seas. (7) In late 1945 following a short stint in the translation section in Singapore dealing with captured Japanese documents, Pike was posted to Kuching, Sarawak, as the second-in-command of the South East Asian Translation and Interrogation Center (SEATIC) Detachment, Borneo. (8) En route, he was briefed in Labuan, the HQ of the 32nd Infantry Brigade, and then flown to Kuching, where he was attached to the 9/14 Punjab, one of the 32nd Infantry Brigade's three battalions.
Travel outside towns in Sarawak was mostly by river and on foot due to lack of roads. (9) One of Pike's early assignments was to recapture two Japanese POWs who were suspected of war crimes and had escaped. Both were armed. The trail led into Dutch Borneo (Kalimantan) through tropical rainforest in undulating terrain where Pike and his patrol group of soldiers and police faced a constant hazard of possible ambush. However, everyone returned to base safely but empty-handed after discovering that Dayaks had already decapitated both POWs. (10) On another occasion, Pike escorted six Japanese POWs suspected of war crimes from Pending to Pontianak in Dutch West Borneo by Sunderland flying-boat. (11) After leaving them at Pending on the Sunderland under only a light guard, Pike belatedly realized the POWs could take over the plane in flight as one was a licensed pilot; so he organized more guards before take off. This was fortunate for the Japanese, as they had been responsible for the assassination of the Sultan of Pontianak and on arrival had to be protected from angry local Indonesians intent on taking revenge.
Sarawak was in a constant flux of change between 1945 and 1966. At the end of 1945 Sarawak was nominally an independent country under the Brooke dynasty, but debilitated by three years of Japanese occupation. The British Borneo Civil Affairs Unit was providing interim civil administration, and surviving pre-occupation Sarawak Administrative Service (SAS) expatriate officers had begun to resume their posts. (12) In his military role, Pike was exposed to and mixed with both the local people and SAS officers. Over a few months in early 1946, he became impressed by "the open, friendly, and essentially egalitarian relationships [of the expatriate administrative officers] with local people--in contrast to the 'apartheid' of post-mutiny India and the 'Club' world of expatriates in Malaya." (13) Pike was also attracted to the tradition of SAS officers traveling extensively in their districts and that "one stayed in the longhouses of the people and slept on the floor and shared one's food and shared the rather heavy drinking sessions ... and heard [legal] cases seated on the floor of the longhouse without any pomp or circumstance." (14)
Finding this atmosphere "perhaps unique in the colonial empire" and imbued with ideals, Pike wrote to the Third Rajah, Charles Vyner Brooke, seeking to join the SAS, only to receive a reply that Sarawak was about to be ceded to the British Crown. In turn, the Colonial Office replied to a similar letter saying that Sarawak was not a British possession. Happily for his long-term future, Pike wrote to his college in Oxford for a Class B release from the Army, to complete his degree. (15) Completing his tasks in Sarawak in April 1946, he was posted to command the SEATIC Detachment in Sumatra. But he was quickly recalled to HQ, Allied Land Forces South East Asia in Singapore to work on the Russia order of battle in Manchuria and Siberia. (16) On 1 July 1946 Sarawak was ceded to Britain following a controversial vote in Sarawak's Council Negri (legislature). (17) Pike was released from the army in September and flown back to the UK for the start of Oxford's academic year, which he would have missed if he had been repatriated by troopship. Shortly after arrival he received a letter from the Colonial Office asking if he were still interested in overseas service. Resisting pressure to serve in other territories, Pike reached an agreement with the Colonial Office to complete his degree, attend the first Devonshire course, and return to Sarawak at the end of 1948. (18) Married on 17 December, his wife accompanied him to Kuching. (19)
In early 1949 after a short induction in Kuching, SAS cadet officer Pike was posted to the Sarikei Sub-District downriver from Sibu, the capital of the Third Division. (20) Alastair Morrison, Pike's immediate predecessor in Sarikei, described the life of an outstation cadet officer in his book Fair Land Sarawak. (21) Pike quickly noted that the SAS tradition of visiting and staying in Dayak longhouses did not extend to staying in local houses in Malay kampungs or in Chinese homes. (22) This, he felt, led to a slightly more remote relationship with the Malays and the Chinese. He became aware that the British policy after cession of treating everyone equally had undermined the special pre-cession position of primus inter pares of the Malays vis-a-vis the other two main racial groups (Chinese and Dayaks) and had created resentment. (23) He also noted the contrast between the formality of officers who had served in Africa and the friendly relationship between the people and officers who had served under the Brookes. The first British governor was Sir Charles Arden Clarke, who had served in Basutoland and tended to be rather formal. (24) In sharp contrast, the Commissioner General, Malcolm MacDonald, was informal and friendly, building up a strong personal rapport with many local people in Sarawak. (25) Illustrating this, for a time Sir Charles insisted on taking a chair when he visited longhouses, whereas everyone else sat on the floor. This came to an abrupt end after Malcolm MacDonald pulled the chair from under Sir Charles, who "to the great delight of all, crashed to the floor and who never then got back on a chair when traveling to longhouses." (26)
Writing in the Sarawak Gazette on 7 October 1949, Pike postulated that economic strength was a prerequisite of independence, and that neither Sarawak nor British North Borneo had large reserves upon which to draw. (27) He pointed out that Colonial Development and Welfare Funds could provide little more than a "pump primer" for development. For any development that created enough revenue to support interest and amortization charges on 20-year loans, Pike suggested foreign borrowing with suitable safeguards to prevent exploitation. (28) To foster the creation of capital, he suggested replacing a simple self-sufficiency economy by promoting a spirit of individual enterprise. Pike also drew attention to Sarawak's oil concession, describing it as "extremely disadvantageous to the Government." (29) As a cadet officer his views had little weight, but over time his observations were accepted and introduced. (30)
In late 1949 Pike was posted to the Binatang Sub-District near Sibu as Assistant District Officer, once again following Alastair Morrison. (31) As an independent country under the Brookes, by 1941 Sarawak had a reasonably well-established hierarchal court and appeal system, and codified laws covered mainly in local Ordinances and native customary law. Sarawak Criminal Law was contained in the Criminal Procedure and Penal Codes based on the Indian (Colonial) Codes. Under English common law, existing laws of ceded countries applied until altered by the Crown. (32) After passing examinations in law during their cadetship, SAS officers usually became responsible for administering the law in the lower courts in their districts. There were no private practicing lawyers in Sarawak until February 1950 and Pike's newly acquired knowledge of Sarawak law was quickly put to the test. (33)
The anti-cession movement that began in 1946 was still active when the new governor, Duncan George Stewart, arrived in Sarawak on 19 November 1949. (34) Accompanied by other officials, he was being welcomed by a line of school children during his first official visit to Sibu on 3 December 1949, when Rosli Dhobie (18) thrust a knife in his abdomen. John Barcroft, the Resident of the Third Division, and the governor's private secretary, Dilks, thwarted a second would-be attacker, Morshidi Sidek (25). (35) Stewart was quickly flown to Singapore, but died seven days later after two unsuccessful operations. (36) Rosli and Morshidi were arrested immediately and subsequently committed to trial on 5 January 1950. (37) Barcroft ordered Pike, who had been appointed a Magistrate, 3rd Class, on 1 January 1950, to act as their defense counsel. (38) The trial was held in Sibu before Judge D. R. Lascelles and five assessors, three Malays, one Dayak, and one Chinese. (39) By then, Rukun Tiga-belas, the secret anti-cession group behind the assassination, had been uncovered and ten of its members had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to murder. (40) On 28 August 1948, the leader of this secret group, Awang Rambli bin Mohammed Deli had convinced the members that "if we kill the Governor, our country will quickly regain freedom [from the British]" and then the Brooke dynasty could be reinstated with Anthony Brooke, the Tuan Muda, as Rajah. (41)
In his defense speech, Pike pointed out both the accused were young and impressionable and had been driven to act by "a discredited Government servant [Awang Rambli] who has not the courage to act for himself and drives small innocent people to do his dirty work for him." (42) He also pointed out their background of having endured the Japanese occupation "when a true appreciation of values of law and order" was missing and that both had helped the Crown to uncover the Rukun Tiga-belas movement. Both Rosli and Morshidi admitted their guilt, spoke of being instigated by Rambli, and pleaded for clemency. Judge Lascelles sentenced both to death by hanging, saying their "names will go down in the history of Sarawak [as men] who cowardly murdered an innocent man." (43) Another SAS officer records that "when the trial was over, relatives of the accused bitterly rounded on Pike and he narrowly escaped at the very least a serious assault." (44)
The war in Korea (1950-1953) created a boom market in rubber and pepper, two of Sarawak's staple exports at that time. (45) Income from rubber exports more than trebled between 1949 and 1950, and by another 40 per cent in 1951. (46) Similarly pepper exports doubled between 1949 and 1950 and quadrupled again in 1951. (47) But both rubber and pepper were long-term crops and there had been little rubber replanting since World War Two. Most Chinese farmers benefitted from the boom, but some missed out due to their rubber trees and pepper plants no longer being productive or new plantings not being ready for tapping or pepper collection. An "astonishing number of Chinese" who failed in this way committed suicide. Pike's most poignant memory when at Binatang "was the frequency of calls to him as a newly appointed Third Class Magistrate to view the bodies." (48)
On 25 February 1951 Pike was appointed District Officer to the Lawas District, once again preceded by Morrison. (49) For convenience, although unofficial, Bareo on the Kelabit plateau some 180 kilometers from Lawas by land and river came within the Lawas District area of influence. (50) Before Pike's first visit to Bareo, he asked Tom Harrisson, an experienced traveler in the region, if there were any route that avoided crossing into Indonesian Kalimantan. (51) Told there was not, Pike followed the accepted route and was arrested by the local Penghulu when he crossed the border near Ba Kelalan. (52) He was escorted to his opposite number, the Kiai (District Head), at nearby Long Bawang, where he was able to provide some much-needed medicine. (53) Pike was allowed to continue on his journey unhindered and the goodwill his gesture created was not forgotten. On another visit some years later, his arrival at Long Bawang was greeted with a very unique rendition of the British national anthem by the local bamboo pipe band. After two explorations, Pike found an old rhino trail over Gunung Murud (2,423 meters), and Tom Harrisson said it would be shown on maps and given the name "Pike's Path." (54) His magisterial duties also had their less serious moments. The recently opened cinema in Lawas showed many American wild-west movies, moving a person accused of stealing buffalo to say in his own defense, saya jadi cowboy tuan ('I have become a cowboy, Sir').
When King George VI died on 6 February 1952, Pike received a signal from the Resident of the Fifth Division instructing him to honor Elizabeth II becoming the Queen of England with a local proclamation ceremony. (55) With no guidelines of how this should be done, he tuned into the BBC and his wife took down the official proclamation in shorthand. Lawas was then treated to Elizabeth II being proclaimed Queen in a local ceremony that followed the official proclamation in London word for word. Some sixteen months later, Pike took the salute of the local Constabulary celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elisabeth. (56) In the meantime, Pike had been on leave and had attended the Second Devonshire Course in Oxford (September 1952 to April 1953), where he added to his language skills by specializing in Mandarin. (57)
In the first stages of devolution of power to an electorate, in 1947 Governor Arden Clarke had formulated a four-tier local government system. (58) A year later, the Local Authority Ordinance was enacted, providing for full development of Local Government throughout Sarawak. (59) Local authorities were gradually established and began to take over local government activities from government officers. (60) After his return from leave, Pike was deeply involved in setting up the first multi-racial Lawas District Council, which was then established on 1 January 1954. (61) Since in the early years members were selected by communities and/or nominated by government, achieving a viable working group from various ethnic groups was a delicate task. (62) The selection process was reasonably successful in Lawas as two members of the Lawas District Council later became distinguished members of the Council Negri. (63) On a more negative note, while Pike was in Lawas he and his wife were refused entry to Brunei for dental treatment. Barcroft was the British Resident of Brunei at the time and refused entry on the grounds that Pike had left Sarawak without the Secretary of State's permission. (64) Pike had to call on the help of the Resident at Limbang, John Fisher, to sort this out. (65) However, he had to be completely self-reliant when placed in a very dangerous situation of his own making, which showed the close relationship between SAS officers in the field and the local people. (66)
One of the residents of Lawas was a rather likeable but volatile Sikh who was so prone to running afoul of authority that he was close to being declared an undesirable person and expelled from Sarawak. (67) Morrison, Pike's predecessor in Lawas, had advised the Sikh could be dangerous when "full of brandy" and that his shotgun, which had been confiscated, should not be returned. (68) Worn down by constant pestering for return of the shotgun, Pike finally agreed with the Sikh that his shotgun would be returned, providing his drinking was limited to beer and he remained on good behavior for six months. (69) The shotgun was duly returned and peace reigned for a time. Then Pike had to intervene in a quarrel between the Sikh and his arch-enemy, possibly causing the Sikh to lose face. In the middle of the night a few days later, the Sikh appeared outside Pike's house shouting that he was going to shoot him. With the safety of his wife and two children also compromised, a very alarmed Pike slowly opened the door and walked down the steps to confront a brandy-charged Sikh with a raised shotgun ready to fire. Pike managed to persuade the Sikh to hand over the spare cartridges by saying only one was needed to kill him and that he was sure there was no intention to harm Pike's wife and children. After further persuasion the Sikh removed the last cartridge from the breach and, handing it to Pike, finally agreed to let Pike take him home. The police, who had been keeping out of harm's way, then appeared, asking Pike if he was all right. After that Pike took far more notice of any advice from his predecessors.
On 10 July 1954, Pike was appointed District Officer of the Lower Rajang District based at Sarikei. (70) His normal routine of adjudication, administration, and travel throughout his area of jurisdiction was disturbed at the end of 1954 by what initially seemed a minor matter. To help finance an increase in expenditure on education and offset lower prices for staple exports, in the 1955 budget the government decided to raise an additional $31 1/2 million by increasing trade license fees 500 to 1,000 percent. (71) Opposition to the new fees from the predominantly Chinese business community quickly escalated. (72) Initiated and led by the politically astute Cantonese kapitan of Sarikei, Chert Koh Ming, a ten-day hartal in Sibu, Sarikei and Binatang began on 1 January 1955. (73) Importers in those towns refused to take delivery of cargo, all shops and businesses closed, and bus and taxi services ceased. (74) To keep trade moving in Sarikei, Pike commandeered the Customs godowns at Binatang and Sarikei and goods not accepted by their importers were sold to the public. (75) Kuching and its environs joined the protests with a three-day hartal that began on 7 January. (76) Spurred into action, on 1 January the government conceded license fees could be paid by installments, set up a committee to examine revising Trade Licensing fees on 7 January, and accepted its recommendations on 13 January. (77) The Council Negri passed the resulting amendments to the Trade Licensing Ordinance on 30 March, but not without protest. (78) It is known that Pike was recommended for a MBE at this time. Was the recommendation due to his firm yet peaceful handling of the hartal in Sarikei? But the recommendation was blocked. (79)
Just as Pike had established local government in the Lawas District, he did the same for the rural areas in the Lower Rajang District outside the Sarikei and Binatang Municipal Councils that covered those townships. (80) To do this, Pike split the Lower Rajang District into two parts and over time set up the Sarikei District Council and the Binatang District Council. This had to be a slow and meticulous operation, as persons of influence and standing in the community acceptable to both the people and the government had to be selected. Some of them later became members of the Council Negri, including Chen Koh Ming who became a prominent parliamentarian.
As a First Class Magistrate, Pike adjudicated in both civil and criminal cases. (81) In an opium smuggling case that came before his District Court, the Constabulary seized some opium, providing conclusive proof that several of the accused were guilty. Pike sentenced them to appropriate periods of imprisonment, which collectively added up to 50 years. (82) Some eight years later, Abang Othman, the head of the Constabulary in the Lower Rajang police district at the time, told Pike that the smugglers had offered him a substantial bribe to leave the keys of his safe in his desk, so that the opium could be switched for an innocuous substance. (83) Asked why he had refused the bribe, Abang said his wife would have gone on a spending spree buying new clothes for the entire family and bicycles for the children, and "then you would have known." (84) To Pike's relief, his magisterial duties ended when, following a few month's leave at the end of 1955, he was posted to the Secretariat in Kuching as Principal Assistant Secretary (PAS) Finance. (85)
Pike had a good grounding in central government over the following eight years, serving consecutively as PAS Finance (1956-1959), PAS Local Government (1959), PAS Economic (1960-1961), and Under-Secretary Finance and Planning (1962-1963). (86) When J. C. H. Barcroft, the Financial Secretary, fell ill in 1957, Pike wrote the government's budget speech, an unusual responsibility for the PAS Finance. (87) While Pike was the PAS Finance, his wife became seriously ill and was flown to Singapore. (88) Ignoring refusal of his application to leave Sarawak, Pike visited his wife in Singapore, his disobedience being allowed to pass without comment. (89)
By 1958, government revenues together with Colonial Development and Welfare funds could not cover the cost of development considered essential for the future of Sarawak. (90) Sarawak had no public debt at that time. Pike thought that the UK government's Macmillan Bonds would appeal to the general public, as the bonds included an element of chance by annual drawing of lots for early redemption of bonds at matured value. (91) The outcome was an advertisement on 1 July 1958 in the Sarawak Tribune offering nominally ten-year $10 debentures with a redemption value of $14. (92) Lots were to be drawn annually for one tenth of the debentures, which could be redeemed immediately at full value. (93) Although not as successful as hoped, in 1958 over $1.5 million debenture bonds were issued, a sizable amount considering government revenue was just over $52 million.
While acting as Secretary for Local Government, Pike drew up Sessional Paper No 1 of 1959 "The Financing of Primary Education and Financial Assistance to Local Authorities." (94) Passed by the Council Negri in August 1959, the paper made Local Authorities responsible for meeting part of the cost of primary education, another phase in placing responsibility for local affairs firmly in their hands. At the same time the legislation replaced existing racially-based tax systems; the Chinese (occupied house tax), the Dayaks (door tax), and the Malays (head tax); with a broad rating system for all races that did not offend any racial sensibilities. (95) To provide local authorities with the will to collect the rates, the government offered a grant of $1.50 for every $1 collected. Setting up and empowering multi-racial local authorities was the government's primary means of removing racial barriers and giving increasing self-governance. As the paper's architect and writer, Pike visited every district in Sarawak to explain to local authorities the implications of the paper, held press interviews, and spoke on Radio Sarawak. This extremely important piece of legislation operated successfully for the next eight years, fulfilling its primary political purpose. (96)
In May 1961, Pike, then the Acting Economic Secretary, and Ong Kee Hui, the Chairman of the Sarawak United People's Party, attended a special marketing meeting of the Economic Commission for Asia and Far East (ECAFE) in Bangkok. At the meeting, Pike and Ong argued without success for a producer's organization to stabilize pepper prices. (97) ECAFE conferences were useful in enabling politicians and high-level government officers to meet their counterparts in other UN member states and exchange ideas on development. (98) For Pike, being nominated by Jakeway to attend a course in Washington at the World Bank's Economic Development Institute (EDI) in 1961-1962 proved far more useful. Some eighteen senior civil servants from all over the world attended the course, many later becoming finance ministers or governors of central banks. The EDI course together with discussions with the other attendees, whose experience and problems were generally similar, proved very valuable in formulating proposals and implementing policies throughout Pike's subsequent career. (99) While in Washington, Pike wrote a 72-page monograph, "The Fiscal Implications for Sarawak of Entering a Federation of Malaysia," which was accepted by the World Bank Library in March 1962. (100)
As many others in the community, Pike had reservations about Sarawak becoming a member state in a proposed Federation of Malaysia. But he finally concluded that, as Fourth Division Resident J. C. B. Fisher wrote at the time, "... in the long run I believe that it [joining Malaysia] is worth it, and indeed our only alternative ... Please God that I am right." (101) On his return to Sarawak, Pike, as Under Secretary, Finance and Planning, was deeply involved in negotiating terms and conditions under which Sarawak would become a state within the proposed Federation of Malaysia. With primary responsibilities for the fiscal implications of joining Malaysia, Pike had the satisfaction of playing a useful role in negotiating an agreement that committed Malaya to "use its best endeavors to enable this amount [$300 million] of development expenditure to be achieved [spread over five years]." (102) Pike's responsibilities also included overseeing the preparation of Sarawak's 1964-1968 $343 million Development Plan that provided a virtual blueprint of how the promised funds would be spent. On 15 September 1963, Pike was one of those bidding farewell to Sarawak's fourth and last British Governor, Sir Alexander Waddell, ushering in a new era with an indirectly elected state government within the Federation of Malaysia. (103)
With the advent of Malaysia, expatriate Administrative Officers in Sarawak were offered either immediate retirement with suitable compensation or four years further service with compensation for loss of pension spread over five years. (104) Among others opting for four years further service were John Pike and Tony Shaw, who was appointed State Secretary when Malaysia was formed. (105) Stephen Kalong Ningkan, a Second Division Iban, became the Chief Minister of Sarawak and the chairman of the Supreme Council (cabinet or executive council). Ningkan led a coalition government of competing, ethnically based political parties that had differing levels of empathy with the Federal government. Malaysia and, in particular, Sarawak were facing a hostile Indonesia. Indonesian army cross-border raids from Kalimantan helped by Sarawak communist elements were increasing, and Indonesian and Commonwealth troops were being built up along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border. (106)
State Financial Secretary B.A. St. J. Hepburn presented Sarawak's 1964-1968 Development Plan on 12 November, gave his last Budget speech on 3 December 1964, and a week later moved to an appointment in Kuala Lumpur. (107) Pike was confirmed as State Financial Secretary on 1 January 1964, and thus directly responsible to Chief Minister Kalong Ningkan. As well as dealing directly with Kalong Ningkan and his ministers, Pike became an ex-officio member of the Council Negri, taking part in its meetings and exercising voting powers. Pike also became Sarawak's representative on the National Development Committee, charged with integrating Sarawak's Development Plan with the first Malaysia Development Plan. In this role, to estimate Sarawak's national income for the first time, a difficult task in a partially subsistence economy, Pike successfully pressed for a statistician within his section.
On 26 February 1964, a page 5 headline in the Sarawak Tribune read: "Pike Weathers the Storm in the Council Negeri [Negri]: Lively Session All Way." A week prior to Chinese New Year (13 February) and Hari Raya (15 February), important festivities in the Sarawak calendar, the Sarawak Government Asian Officers Union (SGAOU) had requested either prepayment of their February salaries or advance salaries. (108) Although at one stage the union threatened to strike, the government stood firm and made no prepayments or advances. For the Opposition, this was an ideal opportunity to gain some political capital and a series of potentially damaging questions were asked. However, Pike had done his homework, pointing out that in the previous decade, when the festivals fell in the first half of the month, no advances were made nor was the Personal Advances Public Officers Fund adequate to meet the union's demand. (109) The Tribune reported that "Mr. Pike, however, calmly manoeuvred his way out of the 'cross-fire' to hit back hard and strong at the Opposition speakers ... and on occasion had the House roaring with laughter with his witty answers."
Pike's 1965 Budget attracted the headline "Our Economic Life Proceeds on Steady Course," but Sarawak was still facing incursions by Indonesian troops, militant communism, growing signs of instability in the various political alliances, and a volatile hubristic Chief Minister whose "personal conduct continued to give much offence." (110) In late 1964 when pressed by the Opposition for reasons why two secretaries always accompanied him to Kuala Lumpur, Chief Minister Ningkan raised his voice, saying, "You bloody Opposition." (111) Later in the debate he challenged member Chan Siaw Hee "to go outside Chambers." Proposed Land Bills intended to free up land held under Native Title for development aroused strident political opposition, providing an opportunity to try to overthrow Ningkan. (112) Political parties realigned presaging collapse of Ningkan's government, but Shaw and Pike felt that at this critical time Sarawak's interests were best served by avoiding this. (113) They managed to persuade the Commonwealth security forces to fly an influential Chinese businessman, Ling Beng Siew, to Kuching at a few hours' notice to persuade Temenggong Jugah, the paramount chief of the Third Division Ibans, to join a Chinese-Iban alliance. (114) This proved successful and on the next day, 11 May, the Land Bills were withdrawn, saving the government for the time being. Seven days later a correspondent in the Sarawak Tribune wrote that "it is an undeniable fact that Inche Taib, his Uncle Rahman and their company are making the Land Bills as an excuse for them to topple the Government of Dato Stephen Kalong Ningkan." (115)
The government was still in danger of imminent collapse as two political parties, Pesaka and Barjasa, had withdrawn from the group of parties holding governance (the Alliance), ostensibly over the Land Bills issue. (116) Pesaka was Jugah's party and thus would continue to support the government, but to retain a safe working majority the support of another party was essential. (117) To attract another party to the Alliance, on 11 May Pike proposed removing himself and the other two ex-officio members (the State Secretary and the Attorney-General) from the Supreme Council, to be offset by creating three new ministries. (118) Immediately approved, the necessary Constitutional Amendment Bill was prepared overnight, tabled the next day, and approved by the Council Negri on 13 May. (119) Shifting groupings of political parties quickly followed and by mid-June Pesaka, Barjasa, and Panas had rejoined the Alliance. (120) Against a backdrop of letters to the press calling for expatriate officers in the SAS to be replaced by local personnel, an urgent need for action to curb communist activities was about to arise. (121)
On 27 June 1965, in a well-coordinated attack, about thirty armed raiders from Indonesian Kalimantan overran a police station eighteen miles from the capital, Kuching, and escaped unscathed. (122) During the raid, two policemen--one was the Chief Minister's younger brother--and six civilians were killed. (123) Two days later key figures in defense and internal security met to consider what action should be taken. There was strong support for implementing an earlier plan to resettle some 60,000 Chinese in closed villages to prevent any material support being given to communist insurgents from Sarawak. (124) As acting State Secretary, Pike argued strongly for limiting resettlement to the immediate locality of the raid, which involved a much smaller number of Chinese--about 7,600. His views finally prevailed. (125) Approved by the Supreme Council on 30 June, the civil service and military swung into action. Pike recalled Kenneth Robinson from leave to head a Psychological Operations team, seconded John Woods to assist him, and allocated Desmond Bruen to the post of Administrative Officer of the proposed settlements to be set up under Operation Hammer. (126) With military help and support, on 6 July civil authorities implemented the resettlement plan without incident, although the temporary crowded accommodations attracted adverse criticism and the lives of those resettled were disrupted. (127) Recognizing Pike as "godfather" of the scheme, he received a letter of commendation from the Chief Minister on 20 October 1965, having been awarded the Order of the Star of Sarawak with the title of Dato some days earlier. By 5 January 1966 three permanent guarded settlements had been built and occupied by some 8,000 Chinese, another step in the struggle against communist insurgency in Sarawak. (128)
But Ningkan's volatility led to Pike being threatened with dismissal on the day Operation Hammer was launched. (129) At a press conference that morning, aggressive questioning by an Australian journalist upset Ningkan, who threatened to imprison him immediately. (130) To prevent the situation deteriorating further, Pike quickly maneuvered Ningkan out of the room and Deputy Chief Minister James Wong took over. Council Negri was in session at the time and the same evening a still irate Ningkan summoned Pike to his home, where an impromptu assembly of the Supreme Council had convened to witness his dismissal. (131) In an inimitable Sarawak solution to the problem and ironically at Pike's suggestion, Temenggong Jugah insisted drinks be served and by the end of a convivial evening the whole episode had been forgotten, never to be mentioned again.
Sarawak's security improved immensely with the end of Indonesian armed confrontation on 3 June 1966. By then Malaysian armed forces from semenanjung Malaysia were beginning to take over responsibility for security and all Commonwealth armed service personnel were withdrawn over the next six months. (132) But relations with the federal government were strained. Among other points of difference, the Ningkan government was resisting Federal pressure to introduce Malay as the national language in Sarawak quickly. (133) Conferring responsibility for the strained relations, the Prime Minister of Malaysia accused Sarawak's Dayak leaders (the Ningkan government) of being under British influence. (134) But Shaw and Pike had already decided any further political efforts on their part to maintain the Ningkan government would be counterproductive. (135)
The political situation began to spin out of control on 13 June 1966, when Ningkan dismissed Inche Taib bin Mahmud, his Minister for Communications and Works, as a leader of a "Rebel group ... plotting to topple the government." (136) The federal government demanded Ningkan's resignation, Ningkan was removed from office and a new Chief Minister, Penghulu Tawi Sli, was sworn in on 17 June 1966. (137) Action against Shaw and Pike, who were seen as obstacles to closer integration of Sarawak within Malaysia, and by some as obstacles to their own careers, was swift. (138) On 28 July Tawi Sli said, "it is of vital importance that the local officers should run the administration." (139) Shaw was given ten days to leave Sarawak and Pike, who was on leave at the time, was told he had no need to return. Both were given extended paid leave for the remainder of their four-year contracts. What one observer has described as "an effective combination" and others may have viewed as an impediment to their aims and ambitions had been removed from the scene. (140)
Like many of Sarawak's "old hands," Pike had built up a strong affinity with Sarawak and its people. Shortly before the 1969 elections a leading political figure in Sarawak asked Pike to return to Sarawak to help him and his party in the election campaign. Considering this would be unwise for both that politician and his party, Pike declined. In 1993 much to Pike's surprise, he received an invitation from the Sarawak government to attend the 30th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia. During that visit he was particularly pleased to see that the creation of wealth, while benefiting a few disproportionately, had also provided much-needed amenities for many rural people. (141) Pike's affiliation with Sarawak also found ongoing expression through two voluntary roles: Honorary Treasurer of the Sarawak Association (1980-2004) which still has over 600 members, and a Trustee of the Sarawak Foundation (1970-1998) that awards scholarships to deserving Sarawak citizens.
After leaving Sarawak in 1966, Pike went on to a successful sixteen years with the London School of Economics as Financial Secretary, finally retiring in 1983. Lord Donaghue wrote in the June 1983 edition of the London School of Economics Magazine that only when discreetly enquiring "about securing for him [Pike] the well-earned reward of a C.B.E." did he discover Pike had already received that award for his services to Sarawak. (142)
Vernon L. Porritt
Honorary Research Associate
Western Australia 6150
(1) In his unpublished 2004 memoirs, Tim Hardy, head of the Sarawak Special Branch at the time, labeled even the reduced resettlement as "vindictive, unjust, small-minded," but acknowledged "the mood was too ugly [at that time] for reason to intervene" to try to avert the "punitive operation code-named Hammer."
(2) Born 1924; education--Dauntsey's School, St Edmund Hall, Oxford (MA); Intelligence Corps SEA 1943-1946 (GSO III): SCS 1949-1966; London School of Economics 1967-1983. Pike learned to speak Japanese at the School of Oriental & African Studies (1942-1943).
(3) Japanese and German signal codes had been deciphered. To prevent the Japanese and Germans from becoming aware their ciphers had been broken, advantage was not always taken on information gleaned. Only Army and Corps Commanders and above, and a handful of direct operatives such as John Pike, were on the Ultra list.
(4) Pike was rather pleased to find out later that the order of battle intelligence had been remarkably accurate (J. Pike letter of 2 June 1992).
(5) Pike had pressured for a more active role for months. (Tales from the Burma Campaign, 1942-1945, pp. 66-68). The time he spent on leave and further studies of Japanese had made any information to which he had been privy through the Ultra list redundant, thus enabling him to take part in the proposed airdrop over Malaya.
(6) J. Pike letter 2 June 1992.
(7) On arrival, Pike called in at the officers' mess where he was introduced to a visitor, Sir John Gielgud, but, completely exhausted, promptly passed out and collapsed at Gielgud's feet.
(8) Pike had stumbled across a cigarette smuggling operation from India to Singapore involving a superior officer, but it was covered up by Pike's speedy removal from the scene by posting him to Sarawak.
(9) In September 1945, in Sarawak there were only two notable roads outside major towns. The 64 km. Kuching to Serian road was impassable and the 40 km. Kuching to Bau road was in dire disrepair.
(10) Head hunting was an established part of Dayak culture, but had been mostly eliminated by the Brookes. It had reappeared in the guerilla warfare against the Japanese in the latter stages of the war and any Japanese in North Borneo and Kalimantan was still a prospective target.
(11) A few miles down river from Kuching, Pending was a flying-boat base on the Sarawak River.
(12) James Brooke, the First Rajah, started the SAS in 1843 by appointing the first expatriate Chief Secretary. The Brooke administrative structure can be traced back to 1476 when Sarawak was part of the Brunei Empire.
(13) John Pike, "Questionnaire: Towards a Retrospective Record": Overseas Pensioners Association Record, Rhodes House Library (RHL), October 2001.
(14) "Interview with Mr. John Pike, C.B.E., P.N.B.S., November 1998," Oral History Archives, British Commonwealth and Empire Museum, Bristol.
(15) At Oxford, he read Economics, Philosophy, and Politics. A Class B Release from the armed services provided speedy discharge for those resuming studies interrupted by military service.
(16) Coming under fire from Indonesians when traveling was so commonplace that when Pike was recalled to Singapore, he was taken to the nearest airport in Sumatra by ambulance to secure his personal safety.
(17) J. C. B. Archer, the Chief Secretary, cast the deciding vote in favor of cession on 16 May 1946. As all Sarawak's signals traffic went through the 9/14th Punjab, Pike was unofficially privy to those signals. These led him to believe that more finesse in handling cession could have alleviated post-cession problems with the anti-cession movement (Pike letter, 29 July 1992).
(18) The Devonshire courses reflected the euphoria of the immediate post World War Two era by imbuing members of Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service with developing the Welfare State concept in all its colonies ("Problems of Colonial Government" p. 1, Second Devonshire Course Material, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1950/1, MSS Pac.s.s105(1), RHL).
(19) Under SAS rules, all expatriate officers required the Chief Secretary's permission to marry. Pike did not have this but nothing was said, although another officer was refused permission a year later.
(20) Pike's immediate superior was the District Officer of the Lower Rajang District, A. R. Snelus, a prewar Brooke officer, who had been interned by the Japanese.
(21) Alastair Morrison, Fair Land Sarawak: Some Recollections of an Expatriate Official. Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Program, 1993, pp. 17-30.
(22) Longhouses were usually remote and very compact communities where one met the entire community when one visited. In contrast, Malays and Chinese lived in individual houses, generally either in or on the fringes of centers of population, where usually some form of segregated accommodation was accessible.
(23) "Interview ... November 1998."
(24) Charles Noble Arden Clarke, Governor of Sarawak from 29 October 1946 to 26 July 1949, upbraided former local customs officer Awang Rambli instead of patiently reasoning with him, embarrassing two long service senior SAS officers, Barcroft and Fisher, "as that was not the way things were done in Sarawak" (Morrison, Fair Land Sarawak, p. 450).
(25) Malcolm MacDonald, the Commissioner-General for South-East Asia from 1946 to 1963, developed a close relationship with Temenggong Jugah, the paramount chief of the Third Division Ibans, and his people.
(26) Pike felt that MacDonald did a great deal to "ease some of these rather pompous color based biases that existed not just in Sarawak but elsewhere in Southeast Asia" ("Interview ... November 1998").
(27) Sarawak Gazette, 1099 (7 October 1949): 263-36. Conversely, Sarawak had no public debt and operated without incurring deficits.
(28) Sarawak did not adopt "forced development," such as the experimental groundnut scheme in Tanganyika that failed.
(29) Oil royalties were renegotiated and a new agreement was signed on 23 June 1952.
(30) As a junior officer, Pike was not acknowledged as the author of the article.
(31) For the role of an ADO and everyday life in Binatang, see Morrison, Fair Land Sarawak, pp. 30-37.
(32) Halsbury, Laws of England, vol. 10, para 986.
(33) No private lawyers were allowed in Sarawak during the Brooke regime (A. B. Ward, Rajah's Servant, New York: Cornell University, 1966, p. 166; K. H. Digby, Lawyer in the Wilderness, New York: Cornell University, 1980, p. 98).
(34) Stewart's predecessor, Arden Clarke, had been "resolved to strangle the anti-cession movement" (Digby, p. 91), but had not succeeded.
(35) J. C. H. Barcroft was a pre-war Brooke officer of the "old school," who had risen through the ranks.
(36) Incensed by the assassination, the Iban community in the area had to be persuaded not to seek retribution by taking action against the Malays in Sibu.
(37) The District Court Magistrate had held a preliminary enquiry committing Rosli and Moshidi to trial.
(38) Barcroft refused permission for Pike to visit the accused a second time before the trial, but Pike ignored this.
(39) For an account of the trial, see the Sarawak Gazette, 1103 (7 February 1950):27-29.
(40) Rukun tiga-belas refers to the thirteen essentials that according to Muslim practice must be included in a prayer if it is to be successful. Naming themselves the "Rukun tiga-belas," as initially there were thirteen members plus the leader Awang Rambli, the group first met on 20 August 1948. On behalf of the group, Awang subsequently persuaded Rosli, a young teacher who was not a member, to carry out the assassination, telling him "If a youth undertakes this, the government would have no suspicion" and this was the chance for him to make a name for himself. Rosli chose Rukun tiga-belas member Morshidi, to help carry out the assassination. Awang in turn told Morshidi that his was an order from Rukun tiga-belas, which would take action against him if he refused to obey. At their trial, both Rosli and Morshidi admitted their guilt, spoke of being instigated by Rambli, and pleaded for clemency. Judge Lascelles sentenced them both to death by hanging.
After the trial of Rosli and Morshidi, ten members of the Rukun tiga-belas, including Awang Rambli, were tried for conspiracy to murder. Eight were defended by the first private lawyer to practice in Sarawak, T. G. Dunbar, and two by District Officer A. R. Meikle. Awang Rambli and Bujang bin Sutong were sentenced to death and hanged, seven were sentenced to death subsequently commuted to terms of imprisonment, and the last, a youth under 17, was acquitted.
(41) A protest was unusual, the Sarawak Tribune commenting, "That any bill should have been opposed ... is an event in itself" (2 April 1955). At that time the Council Negri was made up of 14 government officers, known as Official Members, and 19 government nominees known as Unofficial Members chosen from group and interest representatives, prominent personalities and community leaders. Unofficial Members tended to rubber stamp legislation and it was uncommon for them to speak their minds.
(42) Sarawak Gazette, 1103 (7 February 1950):29.
(43) As a fascinating counterpoint to the Judge's statement, on 29 November 1990 in a revision of history, the Chief Minister laid the foundation of a grandiose Heroes monument near the Sarawak Museum in Kuching commemorating Rosli et al. as freedom fighters.
(44) Morrison, Fair LandSarawak, p. 45.
(45) See V. L. Porritt, British Colonial Rule in Sarawak, 1946-1963, Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 187-93.
(46) Approximate rubber-export values were 1949-$31 m, 1950-$114m, 1951-$160m, and 1952-$65m.
(47) Approximate pepper-export values were 1949-$2m, 1950-$4m, 1951-$18m, and 1952 $33m.
(48) Pike letter of 27 June 2005. This outcome of the boom in commodity prices has passed unrecorded.
(49) The Lawas District covered about 1,000 square miles with a population of over 10,000. For the life of a District Officer in Lawas, see Morrison, Fair Land Sarawak, pp. 39-55.
(50) Pike graphically describes what staying in a longhouse entailed for an SAS officer, with a preceding welcoming party, daytime official duties of taking a running census, hearing cases, and trying to settle disputes, followed by a sometimes all night "party" with heavy drinking in which everyone joined, and finally, exhausted, sleeping on the floor ("Interview ... 1998").
(51) The influence of Tom Harrisson, the Curator of the Sarawak Museum, in the Kelabit plateau area arose from his role in raising and leading
guerrilla groups in Japanese-occupied Sarawak during World War Two (Harrisson, Tom, The World Within: A Borneo Story. London: Cresset, 1959). His influence was so great even in the 1950s that no Murut or Kelabit would answer a summons from the Lawas District Officer, however serious the offence, without Harrisson's concurrence, so the DO had to signal Harrisson first.
(52) The local Kelabits were being harassed when they crossed into Indonesian Kalimantan on their travels.
(53) Traveling SAS officers routinely carried medicines for issue as needed during their visits to longhouses.
(54) Harrisson does not appear to have honored this promise of permanent but rather obscure fame.
(55) Pike letter of 27 June 2005.
(56) The Coronation in London was on 2 June 1953 and the Lawas ceremony took place four days later.
(57) Most Sarawak Chinese spoke in one or more of their many dialects, not Mandarin. Pike had working knowledge of Japanese and Malay (including Jawi script), and a smattering of some indigenous languages.
(58) Arden Clarke, "Note on Development of Local Government in Sarawak," Unpublished typescript, 5 July 1947 (MSS.In.Ocn.s.223, Rhodes House Library). Under the pre-war Native Administration Ordinance, the first Native Authorities were established in 1948.
(59) The Local Authority Ordinance has been described as the cornerstone for the development of later local government institutions.
(60) For an authoritative work on local government in Sarawak, see John Woods, Local Government in Sarawak: An Introduction to the Nature and Working of District Councils in the State, Kuching: Sarawak Government Printing Office, 1968.
(61) In the Lawas District, about 50% of the people were Malays, about 35% were indigenes (mainly Kelabits and Muruts), and about 12% were Chinese.
(62) The first elections in Sarawak were for the Kuching Municipal Council in 1956.
(63) The two Lawas District Council members were Racha Umong and Mak Yau Lim.
(64) Usually a notation would be made in the officer's personal file and ultimately influence his future. Many pre-war Brooke officers placed great weight on not leaving their posts without permission, with an ongoing debate on whether having done so to try and escape when the Japanese invaded Sarawak was desertion.
(65) J. C. B. Fisher, like Barcroft, was a pre-war Brooke officer of the "old school," who had risen through the ranks and was able to pacify Barcroft during a very convivial evening.
(66) In retrospect Pike views this as a fascinating insight into how a good District Officer looked after the people in his area, illustrating why he was so attracted to serving in Sarawak.
(67) He had been awarded the BEM for helping the Services Reconnaissance Department in their behind-the-lines action in the Lawas area during World War Two. He told Pike of taking part in cannibalism when very hungry SRD irregulars destroyed the Tagai saw mill and killed the occupying Japanese.
(68) In his handover notes Morrison wrote that the Sikh was "our premier problem child."
(69) Pike letter 2 August 2005.
(70) The Lower Rajang District covered over 1,800 square miles with a population of some 54,000. Pike took over from Anthony Richards, a pre-war Brooke officer who later produced the first authoritative Iban dictionary with financial help organized by Pike from the Ford Foundation.
(71) Sarawak Gazette, 1174 (31 December 1955):308. The Council Negri passed the 1955 budget in November 1954. An import/export license fee was increased from $400 to $4,000.
(72) The only way to alter the fees was by amending the Trade Licensing Ordinance at the Council Negri's next meeting in March 1955.
(73) For a more complete account of the hartal, see V. Porritt, "The 1955 Trade Hartal (The Unofficial Birth of the SUPP)," Sarawak Gazette, 1530 (December 1954):58.
(74) The Straits Times said Sarawak faced economic chaos, pointing out Sibu, Sarikei and Binatang were three of Sarawak's six biggest towns (4 January 1955, p. 1).
(75) Denis White, the Resident, instructed Pike to give priority to European firms, no doubt because Chinese business had organized the hartal, but Pike ignored this as impractical (Pike letter, 28 July 2005).
(76) All shops and petrol stations as far as Serian were closed, there were no taxis, and the markets were empty (Sarawak Tribune, 8 January 1955). Saratok held a three-day hartal that began on 9 January, and Mukah held a one-day hartal on 1 March.
(77) This concession reduced revenue from this source by some $1 1/2 million dollars (Sarawak Government, Sarawak Annual Report, 1955, Kuching: Government Printing Office, p. 3).
(78) Unofficial Council Negri members showed they were willing to challenge the government, the Sarawak Tribune commenting "That any bill should have been opposed ... is an event in itself" (2 April 1955). There were fourteen official (government officers) and nineteen unofficial (all nominees, prominent personalities, community leaders, and government favorites) members. The unofficials tended to rubber stamp legislation and it was uncommon for them to speak their minds.
(79) Possibly A. R. Snelus, the Deputy Chief Secretary, viewed Pike's posting to the most senior District Officer posting in Sarawak, the Lower Rajang, as overrapid, especially when compared with his own experience, and that adding a M.B.E. would not be appropriate at that stage.
(80) A Local Government Department was set up in 1954 to accelerate expansion of local government.
(81) Pike was appointed a First Class Magistrate on 1 January 1952, operating under the Criminal Procedure Code and Courts Ordinance that came into force on 1 May 1952.
(82) Some First Class Magistrates, including Pike, were given special powers to impose prison terms of up to ten years (Pike letter 28 July 2005).
(83) Abang was a fellow Council Negri member when he told Pike about the bribe. 84 The inference here is that he would have let down Pike, who he looked upon as a colleague and friend.
(85) During his leave, Pike furthered his Mandarin studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies.
(86) Pike also acted for a time as Secretary for Local Government and as Economic Secretary.
(87) Barcroft was appointed Chief Secretary in May 1958, dying suddenly a month later.
(88) After a number of operations, Pike's wife was flown to England for further hospitalization, eventually discharged, and finally recovered after several months' convalescence, her weight having dropped to 32 kg.
(89) This was the second time Pike had left Sarawak without permission, but technically more serious as this time he had disobeyed an instruction.
(90) In 1957, of the total development costs of $27.5 million, CD&W met $3.5million and the Sarawak government $23 million.
(91) The Financial Secretary was then B.A. St. J. Hepburn, previously the Development Secretary.
(92) To help secure Supreme Council approval for the debenture scheme, Pike used the name Barcroft Bonds, Barcroft being the Chief Secretary at the time.
(93) Thus a debenture drawn in the first draw, that is twelve months after issue, would yield 40% interest, 20% in the second draw, 13.3% in the third draw, and so on.
(94) Sarawak Tribune, 1 August 1959.
(95) This was a major reform of the local taxation system.
(96) Collection of rates is never popular, and the scheme began to fail in 1966 when arrears of rates were allowed to build up.
(97) Pike was instrumental in changing the structure of pepper export duties to encourage production of higher-value white pepper (Straits Times, 2 December 1960; Pike letter 20 July 1994).
(98) ECAFE established the Asia Development Bank that provided loans to member states for development. After joining Malaysia as a state, Sarawak lost the right to representation at international conferences.
(99) Pike was later elected a Fellow of the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank.
(100) The World Bank reference is EDI/9R/336-3/P638. Although Pike's paper focused on Sarawak, the Financial Secretary of British North Borneo (now Sabah), Howard Davidson, told Pike years later that he had used the paper as "a bible in Sabah's financial negotiations with Malaya to set up Malaysia."
(101) Fisher's letter to A. F. R. Griffin, Third Division Resident, 27 January 1962 (MSS.Pac.s. 109, Rhodes House Library).
(102) Department of Information, Malaysia Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee, 1962, Kuala Lumpur: Government Printer, 1964, clause 24(10).
(103) In the three-tier election system, Council Negri members were elected by elected members of the urban and rural district councils, leading to some distortion in political representation, which was further accentuated by political party alignments.
(104) The terms applied to pensionable overseas officers who were members of Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service. The British government paid their inducement allowances and half the cost of their passages to and from the UK (Malaysia Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee, 1962; Annex B).
(105) G. A. T. Shaw joined the Civil Service of Malaya in 1940, rejoined after serving in the Intelligence Corps during WWII, and was transferred to Sarawak in 1948 (Sunday Telegraph, London, 10 June 1990)
(106) The first Indonesian cross-border raid was at Tebedu on 11 April 1963. Indonesia's President Sukarno was strongly opposed to the formation of Malaysia.
(107) Hepburn became Deputy Chairman of the Tariff Advisory Board. He had served in Sarawak since 1947 following 17 years in the Jamaican Civil Service (Sarawak Tribune, 7 December 1963).
(108) The Sarawak Government Asian Officers Union (SGAOU) requested the advances only for its members.
(109) Only Council Negri could increase the Personal Advances Public Officer's Fund, but the Council could not be convened in the time available.
(110) Sarawak Tribune, 22 December 1964; Morrison, Fair Land Sarawak, p. 171. A sourced example of Ningkan's unacceptable behavior was when in Kuala Lumpur, he called Shaw and Pike to his hotel room "on urgent business" late at night when he was enjoying the company of local perempuan jalang.
(111) Sarawak Tribune, 23 December 1964.
(112) The proposed land bills became available in print for public discussion in March 1964 (Sarawak Tribune, 9 March 1964).
(113) Ibans were the "eyes and ears" of the Commonwealth Security Forces facing Indonesian armed incursions supported by Sarawak communists, and retaining an Iban Chief Minister was considered essential for retaining ongoing Iban support.
(114) The maneuvers of political players and parties in a struggle for power were very involved and not fully played out for another thirteen months. This is covered in Borneo Research Bulletin, vol. 35, 2004, pp.77-79.
(115) Inche Taib was Abdul Taib bin Mahmud, Minister of Communications, and Uncle Rahman, Taib's uncle, was Abdul Rahman Ya'akub, Federal Minister for Land and Mines.
(116) The two parties were Pesaka (mainly Iban with 11 Council Negri seats) and Barjasa (mainly Malay/Melanau with 5 Council Negri seats).
(117) Pesaka was "Jugah's party." Without Barjasa but including Pesaka, the government held 20 of the 39 Council Negri seats and would be dependent on the votes of three ex-officio members for survival.
(118) The possibility of securing ministerial positions could serve to attract parties to join the Alliance.
(119) This Bill attracted a press headline of "Shock Move" as, being unaware of Pesaka's and Barjasa's withdrawal from the Alliance, the media and public did not know that Ningkan's government was in jeopardy (Sarawak Tribune, 13 May 1965).
(120) Sarawak Tribune, 16 June 1965. Panas had withdrawn from the Alliance on 15 April 1963.
(121) In a letter copied to the Tunku, SGAOU claimed "the retention of expatriate officers ... lent color to the allegation that Sarawak is still a neo-colonialist country." In contrast, the main Chinese political party, the SUPP, and others held that Sarawak joining Malaysia as a state was neo-colonialism, since ultimate power was merely transferred from London to Kuala Lumpur (Sarawak Tribune, 16 June 1965).
(122) For a detailed account of this and the repercussions, see Porritt's Operation Hammer: Enforced Resettlement in Sarawak in 1965, Hull: University of Hull, 2002.
(123) Needless to say, Ningkan was very upset over the death of his brother and wanted strong retaliation. The raid was attributed to Indonesian military personnel helped by Sarawak communists. However, the Special Branch held that any Sarawak communist involvement was inconsequential. Civilians killed included Special Branch or Customs informers and some were mutilated.
(124) This plan had been agreed to in principle some time before the raid by State Secretary Shaw to assuage police and military pressure, but with no intention of it being carried out.
(125) Pike faced robust opposition from strong personalities in the British and Malaysian military and civil hierarchy responsible for Sarawak's defense and internal security. Brigadier William W. Cheyne, Commander, West Brigade, wrote in his uncompleted and unpublished memoirs that "Pike quietly took control" of the meeting.
(126) Pike's letter of 8 December 1994.
(127) For a more detailed account, see Porritt's The Rise and Fall of Communism 1940-1990, Clayton: Monash University, 2004.
(128) Gradually all restrictions on movement were removed and the three settlements are now flourishing towns; Siburan, Beratok and Tapah. Communist insurgency continued until 1990, although much reduced after 1973.
(129) Pike letter 27 June 2005.
(130) The Federal Prime Minister had only recently conferred the power to impose immediate imprisonment on Ningkan for use in combating communism, but as a draconian measure it was to be kept secret.
(131) On a whimsical note, Ningkan's peremptory summons interrupted Pike's dinner with Major-General George Harris Lea, Director of Operations Borneo, his guest that evening.
(132) A diplomatic incident arose when the Chief of Staff of Major-General Lea circulated a report by Lea for the Commander-in-Chief Far East to all Brigade Commanders in Borneo. The report questioned the competence of a Malay Regiment battalion, and one of the Brigade Commanders, a Malay, passed the report to Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman demanded Lea be removed. As Confrontation was coming to an end, London withdrew Lea and then promoted him to Lieutenant-General and awarded him a knighthood.
(133) Under the Malaysia Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee the Sarawak government had ten years to introduce Malay as its national language.
(134) Sarawak Tribune, 17 May 1966.
(135) Michael B. Leigh, The Rising Moon: Political Change in Sarawak, Sydney: Sydney University Press, 1974, p. 99. Underlying this decision was the improved security situation and Ningkan's increasing inability to accept advice. On 13 September Alfred Mason, another Sarawak political figure, publicly accused Ningkan of having attempting to strangle him nine months earlier (Vanguard, 14 September 1966).
(136) Sarawak Tribune, 13 June 1966.
(137) Tawi Sli's government laid the foundation for a pro-UMNO Malay/Melanau dynasty that has dominated Sarawak's government to this day.
(138) Shaw and Pike had insisted on the provisions of the Malaysia Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee being fully adhered to, which on occasion had irritated the Federal government.
(139) Sarawak Tribune, 28 July 1966.
(140) Morrison, Fair Land Sarawak, p. 156.
(141) Pike was also invited to the 40th anniversary celebrations in 2003.
(142) Lord Donaghue, at one time the Chief Policy Adviser to Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, also wrote: "Presumably his [Pike's] earlier service as a District Officer was particularly helpful in preparing him for the culture of Houghton Street [the LSE]."
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Author:||Porritt, Vernon L.|
|Publication:||Borneo Research Bulletin|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2005|
|Previous Article:||Anthony Richards and the search for Lawai: myths, maps and history.|
|Next Article:||The diary of a district officer: Alastair Morrison's 1953 trip to the Kelabit Highlands.|