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Jul 24, 2019
2/7/19 POLITIK MELAYU SARAWAK KINI IBARAT MEMBANGUNKAN GAJAH LUMPUH...

2/7/19 POLITIK MELAYU SARAWAK KINI IBARAT MEMBANGUNKAN GAJAH LUMPUH...

Politik Sarawak sebaik "bebas" dari British pada 22 Julai, 1963 adalah sangat menarik. Penubuhan pelbagai parti politik yang asalnya menentang dan menyokong Penyerahan Sarawak oleh Vyner Brooke kepada British akhirnya menyatukan mereka ke dalam Perikatan yang membuahkan percaturan kepimpinan politik Sarawak di tangan kaum etniknya. Kalong Ningkan (dilantik KM 22 Julai, 1963-1966) dan Tawi Seli (Jun-Sept., 1966-SNAP) adalah dua tokoh Iban yang telah berjaya menyatukan sebahagian kaum Iban ke dalam arena politik massa (SNAP) Sarawak. Akibat masalah pengalaman dan ilmu, kedua-dua Ningkan dan Tawi Seli tidak dapat membawa "penyatuan sebenar" kepada Sarawak biarpun di kalangan masyarakat Iban keseluruhannya. Maka dengan percaturan Rahman Yakub yang jauh lebih terpelajar dan berpengalaman, dengan Juggah akhirnya telah dapat menyatukan kelompok pribumi ke dalam gagasan politik yang lebih luas. Rahman telah "dihantar pulang" oleh Tunku Abdul Rahman untuk memimpin Sarawak khasnya bagi mengatasi masalah keselamatan Malaysia dari susupan Kominis di Sarawak. 

(2) Rahman Yakub, memulakan kerjaya politik beliau di Kuala Lumpur setelah terpilih menjadi Ahli Parlimen pada Okt 1963. Pastinya, beliau terlibat dalam banyak hal dalam usaha-usaha pembentukan dan pengukuhan Malaysia di bawah Tunku Abdul Rahman dan Abdul Razak. Bahkan lantaran dinamisma Rahman Yakub, beliau kemudian menduduki kedudukan yang sangat berpengaruh dalam Kabinet Tunku Abdul Rahman dan Razak. Razak, khasnya yang sangat terdedah dengan sistem birokrasi British dan DiRaja Melayu berserta tahap pendidikan beliau, menjadikannya seorang yang sangat "mudah digauli dan sangat terbuka". Sikap beliau sebegitu, dan dengan latar belakang keluarganya yang luhur, maka beliau menjadi seorang yang "merendah diri". Sifat "merendah diri" Razak saya yakin, adalah ibarat "ular menyusur akar, tetap tidak akan hilang bisanya". Ular tetap ular. Tabiat mematuk berbisa dan membelit membunuh pasti kekal bersamanya, biar dia berselidung menyerupai akar. Razak, sejak dari bangku sekolah seusia 15 5ahun (1975), saya membaca dan mengikuti bermacam-macam tulisan mengenai jalan pemikiran beliau, saya dapat katakan bahawa dia seorang genius licik. Razak adalah manusia pemikir dan action oriented person yang cukup strategis dan tektikal. Jiwa kepahlawanan military instinct pada Razak adalah sangat hebat. Rahman Yakub juga berpunya bakat yang sama. Dengan beliau bekerja bersama Abdul Razak, maka bakat beliau berkembang cepat dan mereka menjadi segandingan. Namun Razak berpunya Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, Senu Abdul Rahman,  dan banyak lagi jaguh-jaguh Melayu, maka Rahman Yakub, Razak spared to keep Sarawak at length. Rahman dilantik menjadi Ketua Menteri Sarawak pada 7 Julai, 1971- 26 Marc 1981 setelah berjaya bermain Aikido dengan SUPP and PESAKA.

(3) Menyatukan Sarawak yang secara geografi dan antropologinya sangat recam adalah sukar. Bertambah sukar bilamana Sarawak sejak sekian lama sering terjajah sehingga rakyatnya berpunya fikiran dan jiwa terbelenggu. Sarawak pernah terbelenggu oleh aristokrat Brunei (dari kurun ke 16 sehingga 19). Sifat pemerintahan feudal Brunei telah menjadikan khasnya orang Melayu sebagai Hamba Sahaya Pak Turut. Raja dan pembesar dengan gaya besar mereka menjadikan jiwa rakyat kerdil dan menyingkir. Kemudian Sarawak terbelenggu oleh cara flamboyant Brooke (1841-1946). Dengan penuh gaya aristokrat-kapitalis British, ie dalam istilah Melayu Sarawak gap benar ie sangat hebat bergaya sekali lagi secara saikologi menjadikan jiwa Melayu Sarawak tersisih sebagai rakyat hamba jelata. "Siapalah Melayu berseluar belacu berbanding Brooke bersut gab benar. British (1946-1963) yang kemudiannya mendapat gadaian Sarawak dari Brooke melihat Sarawak sebagai khazanah yang harus dihabis kikis. Melayu menjadi budak suruhan. Melayu tersisih. Boroh Cina menguasai industri dan perdagangan. Melayu menjadi penonton juru isap jempol. Kemudian, kekerasan dan sikap kejam (1941-45)  Jepun tambah membelenggu pemikiran rakyat Sarawak. Melayu menjadi tunduk runduk khuathir takut kena penampar Jepun. Saat di awal merdeka, Sarawak sekali lagi terbelenggu dengan keganasan Kominis. Inilah waktunya Melayu Sarawak mula melihat para soldadu Malaya sebagai penyelamat. Jiwa Melayu menjadi tergantung bergantung. Namun bila segala-galanya telah berlalu damai, sayangnya kempimpinan Sarawak tidak segera membuka memerdekakan pemikiran dan jiwa rakyat Sarawak. Rahman Yakub, saya berani menegaskan di sepanjang pentadbiran beliau mengamalkan sikap payung, patronage kepada Melayu. Sikapnya itu saya yakin beliau perolehi dari sifat mondok pada bapanya. Di Kelantan dan dalam lingkungan Pattani bahkan di Jawa, institusi pondok, pesantren adalah berupa patronizing institution. Saya tidak ada masalah dari segi konsepnya asalnya iaitu Madrasah dan atau Maktab, namun apa yang saya perhatikan adalah fenomena penyalahgunaan konsep yang menjadikan institusi pondok dan pesantren menjadi institusi yang merosakkan Melayu.

(4) Di Mesir dan serata tanah Arab, Madrasah atau Maktab kini telah berubah menjadi Universiti, Kolej dan Maktab Pengajian ulung. Al Azhar, universiti tertua dunia bermula sebagai madrasah. Di Malaysia, Pattani, Indonesia, bahkan di Filipina, Pondok atau Pesantren terus kekal sebegitu dan hanya beranjak menjadi institusi politik atau tempat menikmati kemewahan dan demi kepentingan sosio-ekonomi para pengasasnya. Banyak Pondok dan atau Pesantren menjadi panggung wayang kepada para pengasasnya. Rahman sebagai fitrah ayahndanya (Yakub) yang condong kepada Islam, telah menjadikan dirinya Sheik yang bersifat patronizing. Beliau mengambil sikap dan sifat memayung Melayu. Untuk beliau mampu sebegitu, maka beliau terlibat secara langsung dan atau tidak langsung dalam menguasai kekayaan Negeri. Dari kekayaan inilah maka beliau mampu menjadi Kassim Baba dalam Filem P Ramlee. Akibatnya, Melayu melihat Rahman Yakub sebagai Godfather. Rahman Yakub mampu menguasai Sarawak dalam keadaan aman damai lewat usaha-usaha patronage. Inilah cara feudal para Sheik Arab dan bahkan Feudal Barat di zaman kebangkitan mereka. Melayu akhirnya, berasa selamat selagi godfather is around dan sokongan Melayu kepada godfather ini ibarat Rasul-Murid. No need to ask or question. Tiada berbelah bagi. Ketua tahu apa terbaik untuk pengikut. Melayu terus membelenggu fikiran mereka sebagai pengikut setia bukan Umat yang progresif. Saya tidak menafikan bahawa Rahman Yakub juga banyak membawa kebaikan kepada Umat Melayu, namun sebel saya adalah kebaikan beliau menjerumus Melayu ke alam pemikiran dan jiwa terbelenggu parah

(5) Taib kemudian mengantikan Rahman sebagai Ketua Menteri Sarawak (26 Marc 1981- 14 Feb., 2014), suatu tempoh selama 23 tahun. Taib berusaha untuk sedikit berbeza dari Rahman Yakub. Namun sayang proses membedakannya telah dibaca sebagai lari dari jalan Rahman Yakub sehingga pada 1986 telah berlaku pergolakan Taib-Rahman. Rahman lantaran sikap patronage beliau, maka sokongan kepada beliau adalah kalangan Melayu yang telah biasa dengan dedak dalam istilah Mahathir. Maka bilamana Taib berjaya mengatasi tentangan Rahman Yakub, maka beliau sebagai strategis berpengalaman sengkatan Rahman bersama Tunku dan Razak, merombak circle of influence dari bergantung kepada Melayu kepada true Sarawak-based. Namun lantaran Sarawak masih mundur, penguasaan Taib ke atas Sarawak sangat mendekati jejak Rahman Yakub, cuma seperti saya katakan Taib melangkah keluar dari Melayu dan menjangkau tokoh-tokoh usahawan Cina terutama golongan Foochow yang mempunyai masalah dengan Rahman terdahulunya. Taib menjadikan "musuh" Rahman Yakub sebagai teman seiringan. Paling ketara, cara dan langkah Taib jauh lebih pantas dan ke depan dari Rahman Yakub. Taib membina Empayer Sarawaknya. Taib kemudian menjadi patron kepada seluruh Sarawak, tidak terhad kepada hanya Umat Melayu. Taib menjadi a better and more powerful godfather. Sehinggalah Melayu juga akur, Taib adalah a far better godfather. Kepimpinan Taib tidak pernah Melayu persoalkan. Jiwa dan fikiran Melayu terbelenggu dengan Taib knows best

(6) Siapakah yang berani menyanggah Taib? Kalangan Melayu di keliling Taib, paling kecut untuk menyanggah Taib. Sejarah lepas, di mana sesiapa tidak sealiran dengan Taib, tidak kira siapa pastinya akan menuju gaung kepunahan, biar Rahman Yakub sekalipun. Ketakutan inilah yang menjadi asas kepada sikap terbelenggu Melayu khasnya di kalangan pemimpin Melayu di keliling Taib. Cuma pada hemat saya, Melayu menjadi lupa, Allah itu Allahuakhbar. Siapa yang yakin akan Allah itu Allahuakhbar, maka Dialah penentu segala, dan bukan selain Dia. Melayu lebih kecut dengan apa yang di depan mata semasa dan bukan Allahuakhbar yang sebetulnya tidak pernah tidur dan tahu segala-gala.  Takut Melayu seringnya adalah kepada yang dekat, dan bukan kepada yang Mahaberkuasa di atas sana. Taib terlalu penting untuk kelangsungan kuasa dan kehidupan mereka. Mereka melihat Taib sebagai sumber kemewahan dan kekuasaan. Allah menjadi nombor dua. Semua menjadi manut. Akhirnya semua bersikap runduk, tunduk menyerah. Bahkan Melayu terus cukup taksub dengan pemimpin mereka yang cukup bergaya. Sindrom minority complex terus mengekang Melayu. Inilah jika disorot dari sejarah ketemadunan manusia tentang sikap para pembesar Roman di zaman mereka. Mereka bersikap menyerah dan tunduk kepada pemimpin yang kejam atau sangat bergaya (aura) dan mengambil sikap selamat menanti waktu akan muncul seorang perwira yang berani berperang sendiri mengalah Caesar yang ada. Namun lumrahnya, pahlawan Roman yang handal akan hanya mati di kandang gladiator berbunuh sesama sendiri dan Caesar terus seronok bersama permaisuri dan para gundek. Rahman dan Taib dengan gaya kepimpinan aristokrat feudal gagal dalam  melahirkan warisan kepimpinan Melayu Sarawak yang hebat-hebat.

(7) Lantaran Rahman dan Taib adalah dua cendikiawan yang sememangnya bijak, mereka tidak perlukan mereka yang hebat-hebat di keliling mereka. Apa yang mereka perlukan hanyalah Yes Boss. You execute or to be execute. Manusia-manusia di keliling Rahman dan Taib, saya kira kebanyakan adalah manusia-manusia yang hanya menunggu arahan. Self innovation mati. Dalam kata-kata mudah Mahathir, "Pemmpin yang rakus seronok mereka yang bodoh-bodoh di sekeliling mereka. Bila pemimpin ini mati, maka yang naik jadi pemimpin adalah yang bodoh. Pemimpin yang bodoh ini, lantaran cerdiknya mereka untuk terus kekal berkuasa, maka mereka suka yang lebih bodoh untuk terus bersama mereka. Maka akhirnya, "succession plan Malays leadesrhip" hanya berlaku di kalangan yang bodoh-bodoh". Mahathir di pusingan pertama pentadbiran beliau mempunyai banyak badot-badot juga, seperti pernytaan Musa Hitam, betapa "Mahathir juga tidak perlukan mereka yang bijak di sekelilingnya lantaran beliau was a very capable person". Pernyataan Mahathir ini adalah keras, namun hakikinya ianya sering terjadi dalam dunia Melayu. Allahyarham P Ramlee cukup hebat dalam mempamir watak ini dalam dunia Melayu lewat pelbagai filem yang beliau karyakan. Saya melihat, pernyataan Mahathir ini setidak-tidak lantaran semoga Allah telah memberikan dia nur kesedaran kesilapan lepas. In Shaa Allah.

(8) Di zaman Rahman dan Taib, saya melihat terlalu ramai square pegs in the round holes. Pegs pilihan Rahman dan Taib bukan sekadar bahan, bodynya tidak sesuai malah holes, tempatnya juga tidak sesuai. Ambil contoh Simunjan, kawasan di mana saya lahir dan In Shaa Allah dikebumikan, sering orang luar yang tak faham kesan pasang surut air kepada kehidupan rakyat yang menjadi pilihan Rahman dan Taib. Akibatnya, Simunjan (Batang Sadong) sehingga kini terus terbelenggu. Samalah bagi Samarahan, Batang Lupar dsb. Kunci manusia-manusia di keliling Rahman dan Taib adalah loyalist dan fullstop. Sangat berbeda dengan Muhammad SAW, beliau mengarap loyalist and capable. Namun apapun, Rahman dan Taib telah membuktikan itulah cara mereka dan mereka telah berjaya dalam cara mereka. What past is past, nothing to be polemic. We need to move far fast ahead.

(9) Adenan Satem, Ketua Menteri selepas Taib (Mac 2014 - Jan 2017) kira-kira adalah pemimpin Melayu seangkatan sepermainan dengan Taib. Taib dan Adenan adalah sahabat, rakan politik malah sebelumnya juga adalah keluarga dekat. Namun, politik Adenan tetap sangat beralun volatile. Banyak pasang dan surutnya. Banyak suka dan dukanya. Beliau mengantikan Taib dalam keadaan politik Sarawak yang sedikit kacau. Taib kehilangan pengaruh yang ketara ke atas masyarakat Cina dan sebahagian pribumi bukan Melayu pada PRN 10 (16 April 2011), biarpun beliau terus dapat menguasai majoriti dua pertiga DUN. Jika Taib terus bertahan untuk menjadi Ketua Menteri sehingga PRN 11 (7 Mei, 2016), saya menjangka BN Sarawak akan terkecundang terok. PBB akan menang, namun menang dalam kalah. Namun dengan gaya politik populist, Adenan telah dapat melonjakkan penguasaan BN dari 55 kerusi ke 72 kerusi dalam PRN11.  Adenan bijak menonjolkan dirinya sebagai the people leader. Beberapa tindakkan populist Adenan adalah bersifat terburu-buru, namun sangat dihargai rakyat. Sikap beliau ini harus kita dapat duga lantaran dua faktor terdesak, iaitu faktor politik semasa serta kesihatan beliau sendiri. Adenan tidak mempunyai masa dan tenaga untuk meneliti apapun tindakannya secara teliti dan jangka panjang. Adenan banyak memberi empowerment. Cuma sayang di balik usaha-usaha empowerment yang agak terburu-buru, dan kini sedang menjadi cabaran hebat kepada Abang Johari.

(10) Adenan bertindak wajar dengan beberapa langkahnya hendak mengekang masalah rasuah di Sarawak. Cuma, langkah beliau hanya di sektor terhad dan tidak menyeluruh. Lagipun saya melihat tindakan beliau lebih bersifat Fire Fighting dari benar-benar menyusupi segala institusi. Saya melihat, bukanlah rasuah sasaran utama Adenan, tetapi memuaskan aspirasi mereka yang tertindas oleh pembalakan. Sebegitu juga dengan cara beliau mengembangkan ekonomi Sarawak.  Sebetulnya, ekonomi Sarawak sedikit terencat di masa pentadbiran beliau. Adenan banyak put a break ke atas usaha-usaha perekonomian, semua bukanlah kerana apa hanyalah untuk kelihatan yes I'm curtailing all these greedy enterprises. But then the greedy remain steady in the different forms. Perkembangan ekonomi Sarawak di bawah Adenan adalah fenomena que sera sera akibat things running as usual. Tiada yang baru dan berkesan. Hakikatnya, faktor masa tidak bersama Adenan itu kita fahami, namun dia harus sedar, seperti perpatah Arab tegaskan "generasi 100 ke depan adalah hasil tindakan kita kini". Bagi saya, Abang Johari jelas adalah penganti Adenan. Adenan harus percaya bahawa jikapun dia tidak mampu mengadakan landmarks semasa pentadbiran singkat beliau, namun jika foundation kukuh dia telah letakkan, In Shaa Allah ganjaran pahala akan tetap beliau perolehi juga di atas pemudahcaraan terhadap kerja-kerja selanjutnya bagi Abang Johari.

(11) Hakikatnya kini, Abang Johari (13 Januari 2017) adalah Ketua Menteri Sarawak. Dia juga adalah reflect pemimpin Melayu Sarawak. Salasilah Darul Hana asal ada pada beliau. Bagi saya, kini, saya melihat Melayu Sarawak sedang dicabar hebat dari segi politik dan urustadbir Sarawak Civil Service. Akibatnya, saya agak pesimistik dengan lonjakan ke depan sosio-ekonomi Melayu Sarawak. Dari segi politik, PBB khasnya komponen Bumiputera adalah Parti Tua jika tidak jumud. Parti Bumiputera asalnya adalah dari gabungan Parti PANAS dan BARJASA yang diasaskan oleh kalangan Melayu-Melanau (Muslim). Gabungan Parti Bumiputera dan PESAKA (Iban) membentuk PBB yang menjadi teras Kerajaan Sarawak kini.  Asas Perlembagaan PBB adalah UMNO. Perlembangaan  dan Struktur PBB adalah Perlembagaan dan Struktur UMNO. UMNO adalah parti jumud malah berlumut dan berkulat, makanya ianya terkecundang dalam mempertahankan pemerintahannya bagi Malaysia. PBB sejak Adenan sehingga kini terus dipenuhi mereka yang menjadi pilihan Taib. Saya tidak mengata mereka adalah orang-orang Taib, mereka adalah golongan terbelenggu. Kuda kepang Taib. Biar Taib sudah tiada, mereka tetap terbelenggu fikiran dan jiwa mereka. Saya berani berkata, sebahagian besar dari mereka yang memimpin PBB kini adalah mereka yang berkarat, berlumut dan berkulat. Melayu, bukan Melayu melihat PBB with lesser hope. Sifat patronage Taib dan populist Adenan telah tidak menyuburkan perkembangan kepimpinan di dalam PBB khasnya dalam komponen Bumiputera. Saya belum menyaksikan Abang Johari berani melangkah keluar dari bayangan Taib dan Adenan. Dalam kata-kata mudah, hakikatnya Bumiputera dan PBB secara keseluruhannya kekal mengamalkan Politic of Inertia

(12) Di sektor Perkhidmatan Awam Negeri State Civil Service, SCS kalangan Melayu juga kian lengai, inert. Melayu dalam SCS sedang berada dalam keadaan lengai, Inertia. Tidak berubah progressif. Mungkin jika inertia ie status quo itu lebih bagus, tetapi sebetulnya SCS Melayu sedang mengundur. Dari jauh saya perhatikan penstrukturan Institusi terutama di Jabatan Ketua Menteri (JKM) dibuat bukanlah untuk tujuan kecekapan penyampaian tanggungjawab service delivery tetapi lebih kepada keperluan Perjawatan dan Pengisian Perjawatan. Pangkat lebih penting dari amal bakti. Kedudukan dunia lebih afdal dari nikmat Akhirat. JKM telah menjadi Jabatan Perdana Menteri (JPM) di zaman Abdullah Badhawi dan Najib Razak. Terlalu banyak cabang, saling bertindih tugas dan pemuas para haloba dalam SCS. Lantaran JKM telah menunjukkan teladan yang kurang baik, maka di peringkat Kementerian dan agensi bawahan juga telah melakukan perkara yang sama. Penstrukturan tidak mementingkan fungsian penyemampaian deliveries function tetapi lebih terdorong untuk what good for me. Paling merosakkan SCS Melayu adalah penuaan. Mereka yang seharusnya bersara terus menerus kekal menjawat jawatan mereka tanpa ingat yang muda harus dibenarkan berenang seawal-awalnya. Bila yang tertua bersara, yang muda sudah menua maka jadi tualah SCS Melayu. Harus juga diingat, sekitar akhir 1990an, kemaruk kemasukan orang luar ke dalam SCS telah memusnahkan moral mereka yang bertaraf penduduk asal SCS. Inilah titik mula penyuburan sikap inertia dalam SCS Melayu.  Penduduk asal SCS Melayu mengambil sikap "aku tak berguna, maka biarlah yang hebat-hebat dari luar buat kerja". Malangnya, bila kalangan orang luar yang dibawa masuk mendapati laba dalam SCS terlalu kurang maka mereka meninggalkan SCS mentah-mentah. But too much damage had been done.

(13) Abang Johari kini umuran 69 tahun dari segi politik, just nice and energetic namun dengan PBB dan SCS Melayu yang lengai, maka beliau kian kedengaran sebagai Guruh di langit, airnya di mana?. Saya berani mengatakan, terlalu sedikit mereka yang mahu meneliti prihal ini, lantaran kebanyakan merasa kecut untuk berada di sekeling yang lebih cerdik dan atau bertenaga. Dunia politik dan SCS Melayu sama saja. Why rock the boat?. Politik Melayu menuju jumud, berlumut dan berkulat, maka SCS Melayu juga menuju jumud, berlumut dan berkulat sama. "Malangnya" dalam Abang Johari cuba "memperkasa" SCS, beliau sedang saya dengari melakukan kesilapan yang Abdullah Badhawi telah lakukan. Sesungguhnya tidak semua theoritist menepati keperluan sebenar Negeri apa lagi rakyat. Dalam budaya petani Melayu, belakang parangpun kita boleh tajamkan, jika betul cara mengasahnya. Kesabaran dan kekentalan In Shaa Allah merobah segala.  Namun, hanya masa akan menjadikan Melayu sebagai bangsa yang penuh sesal. Melayu hanya terngadah setelah terhantuk, lantatran tidak bermata, telinga, otak dan hati terbuka sentiasa. Astarfirullah Halazim.

(13) Akibat patronage dan I don't need smart brilliant people to be around yang telah berlalu sekian lama dalam dunia Melayu (sekurang-kurang dari kurun ke 11 sehingga kini 21), maka kini Abang Johari sedang berdepan dengan tugas untuk membangunkan gajah lumpuh atau menumbang kayu mati dalam politik dan SCS Melayu. You need an "elephant" to push the limp elephant or dead wood.  Walau bagaimanapun bagi saya, Abang Johari harus berani mengorak langkah strategik dan tektikal demi kebaikan semua di Sarawak. Kita diutus menjadi khalifah, maka menjadi khalifah Allahlah kita dan jangan kurang dari itu.

Kuching, Sarawak
24 Julai, 2019
Jul 17, 2019
1/7/19 MENGURUS MELAYU SECARA MODEL YAHUDI PASTI MEMBAWA PADAH....

1/7/19 MENGURUS MELAYU SECARA MODEL YAHUDI PASTI MEMBAWA PADAH....

Para Nabi seperti Yusuf, Musa, Daud, Sulaiman dan Isa telah Allah turunkan bagi membimbing bangsa Yahudi. Mereka berjaya pada waktu mereka. Namun pada saat mereka tiada, Islam pada Yahudi runtuh. Kenapa sepertinya, Yusuf, Musa, Daud, Sulaiman dan Isa yang berupa tokoh-tokoh kenabian yang sangat hebat gagal memantapkan keIslaman kaum Yahudi? Itu satu persoalan, dalam dunia Melayu apakah kias Allah di balik segala kegagalan ini? Atau dalam lain kata, apa tidak mungkin kita juga kini sebagai mana kita kini lantaran kita juga telah dan sedang ada Yusuf, Musa, Daud, Sulaiman dan Isa di kalangan kepimpinan kita? Bagaimana keadaan kita kini? Sangat baik atau sedang hanyut menuju gaung mematikan?

(2) Saya melihat dunia Melayu kini dalam resah tanpa arah. Melayu sedang kucar kacir. Keliru sebetulnya. Melayu sedang menuju jurang yang menghancurkan. Saya pernah menulis, jangan urus Melayu secara Sulaiman mengurus Yahudi. Melayu jangan dimanja, Melayu jangan ditantang, kerana itulah cara Sulaiman dan akhirnya Yahudi hancur bangsat. Dalam tulisan ini, saya cuba melihat bagaimana kita juga harus tidak mengurus Melayu secara jalannya Yusuf, Musa, Daud, Sulaiman dan Isa. Tulisan dalam Al Quran yang mengatakan "Setiap kaum Aku hadirkan Nabi dari kalangan mereka sendiri" harus kita kupas dan teliti secara meluas. Saya melihat, ada mirip cara pemimpin Melayu telah mengurus Melayu mengikut acuan para nabi yang saya sebutkan awal tadi. Saya yakin, Allah sengaja menurunkan para nabi dengan gaya pengurusan seperti itu kepada Yahudi pada masa itu, dan akhirnya menjadikan mereka tidak berIman kepada Allah mengikut cara dikehendaki Allah, kepada saya, bukanlah kerana Allah hanya tujukan kejadian itu kepada Yahudi, melainkan juga adalah untuk kita kini renung dan ambil ikhtibar. Samalah betapa kutukan Allah terhadap Yahudi termaktub kekal di dalam Al Quran sehingga Kiamat, bukanlah sekadar untuk Yahudi tetapi untuk kita perhati dan ambil ikhtibar. Dalam Melayu inilah apa yang mereka maksudkan sebagai pukul anak sindir menantu.

(3) Pada masa Yusuf, Yahudi telah dibenarkan untuk terlibat dalam segala bidang perekonomian Mesir khasnya dalam pertanian dan perdagangan sehingga kaum Yahudi menjadi sebegitu makmur aman sejahtera lalu dapat menguasai ekonomi Mesir. Yusuf berjaya menukar Yahudi dari bersifat malas, peminta sedekah nomadic kepada penduduk kekal dan berkembang setempat. Mesir dan Yahudi berkembangan seiringan, sehingga bila kekayaan melimpah, kemewahan mulai menguasai nafsu, Yahudi akhirnya bertukar tamak haloba. Mereka menguasai segala-galanya seperti juga Yahudi pernah lakukan di Jerman dan negara-negara Scandinavia lainnya. Inilah yang menjadi titik mula perselisihan Yahudi dan rakyat biasa Mesir dan akhirnya dengan Firaun. Iman Yahudi kepada Allah hanyalah sandaran terbaik untuk Firaun bertindak untuk mengerakkan seluruh rakyat pribumi Mesir untuk merayah Yahudi. Hakikatnya, tamak haloba adalah penyebab sebenar Yahudi dibenci Firaun. Itu semua telah menjadi sejarah. Namun, apa pengertian terkini pada sejarah tersebut, itu lebih utama untuk umat Melayu teliti.

(4) Siapakah tokoh Melayu yang telah mengurus Melayu seakan-akan mengikut acuan Yusuf? Saya melihat, Abdul Razak Husein ie bapa Abdul Najib telah berbuat sebegitu. Projek-projek perairan di Kelantan, Trengganu, dan Kedah semua terbangun semasa beliau. Sebegitu juga penempatan Felda di Pahang, Trengganu, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor dan Perak, semua terbangun oleh beliau. Apa saja beliau bangunkan termasuk SEDC, MARA, LPN (sekarang BERNAS), FAMA, RISDA, MAJUTRENAK, LKIM, UDA, PERNAS, Bank Bumiputera, PETRONAS dan bermacam-macam semua khasnya untuk Melayu. Razak benar-benar menatang Melayu bagai minyak yang penuh. Alhamdullilah Melayu berjaya. ITM contohnya paling ramai melahirkan tenaga kerja Melayu berkemahiran. Sebegitu juga segala politeknik yang beliau dirikan. Melayu kian membanjiri bidang tenaga kerja mahir dan professsional di seluruh Negara. Abdul Razak benar-benar telah meletakkan asas kukuh bagi kemajuan Melayu. Kerja-kerja Abdul Razak mirip dari kesan mimpi Firaun tentang tujuh ekor lembu dan tujuh butir gandum yang ditafsirkan oleh Yusuf agar Firaun mengerakkan rakyatnya untuk bekerja keras membangun sektor ekonominya. Selepas Razak meninggal, Husein Onn yang mengantikan beliau agak lemah atas masalah kesihatan dsbnya. UMNO mula bergolak dalam diam bila Husein Onn melantik Mahathir Muhammed seorang junior sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri. Bila Mahathir naik jadi Perdana Menteri perang dalam cawan kopi jadi perang saudara terang-terangan di dalam UMNO

(5) Fitrah Mahathir, dia hanya hebat jika diasak dengan segala macam cabaran. Cabaran menjadikan pemikiran Mahathir ligat. Dengan ligat berfikir, Mahathir sebagai fitrah dan lumrah para saintis, mereka selalunya menemukan sesuatu yang lain dari tiori kebiasaannya. Alhamdullilah, keluarbiasaan inilah menjadikan Mahathir hebat dalam menghadapi segala cabaran. Sesungguhnya, di zaman Yahudi Mesir, sebegitulah kehebatan Musa yang Allah berikan. Musa sering melakukan kelainan dalam menghadapi cabaran para Firaun. Sehingga akhirnya Musa memiliki magic yang tiada tandingnya. Tongkat Musa mampu menelan segala ular ahli sihir Firaun. Musa mampu mengalah dan memusnahkan bala tentera Firaun dengan membelah Laut Merah. Musa mampu menerbitkan mata air dari batuan. Musa juga mampu mendatangkan Mana dan Khana sebagai makanan Yahudi di Sinai yang gersang. Musa adalah antara Nabi yang berpeluang berbicara terus dengan Allah dan mendatangkan segala perintah Allah dalam kalam yang jelas tablets. Musa adalah Nabi penyelamat Yahudi. Namun Musa gagal membawa Yahudi ke Baitulmuqadis, lantaran Yahudi adalah pengecut biar Musa berpunya apa saja mukjizat yang boleh memenangkan mereka. Selepas Musa (ratusan tahun) timbul Daud. Daud adalah Nabi Yahudi yang sangat hebat kemahirannya. Beliau adalah tukang besi yang sangat handal. Lantaran itu beliau mampu mempersenjatakan Yahudi untuk berperang dan akhirnya menguasai Baitulmuqadis. King David menjulang kekuasaan Yahudi di Baitulmuqadis. Beliau berani mengajak Yahudi yang timid pengecut untuk gagah menantang kaum Canaan. Daud dapat membina Kerajaan King David yang makmur dan aman di Baitulmuqadis yang dulu hanyalah kawasan tandus kering kontang pada zaman moyangnya Yakub dan Ibrahim. Sesungguhnya, sebegitulah Mahathir. Di pentas manapun, beliau cukup berani. Keberanian beliau melonjak semangat juang Melayu. Mahathir akhirnya dengan pelbagai usaha Institutional Strengthening khasnya melalui usaha-usaha pengkopratan telah mewujudkan kebajiran professional Melayu yang hebat-hebat ilmu pengurusan dagang dan industri mereka. Mahathir berjaya meletakkan batu asas untuk Melayu terus berjaya dan gagah. Kejayaan Mahathir adalah berasaskan segala batu asas yang telah Abdul Razak bina. Samalah, kehebatan Daud lantaran Musa telah dapat menyatu dan menyelamatkan Yahudi. Paling penting, di masa Musa, Taurah secara bertulis telah Allah datangkan kepada Yahudi. Cuma Melayu biar di zaman Razak apa lagi Mahathir, mereka kian terpisah, yang professional tetapi susut Imannya, yang tebal Imannya, ilmu dunianya memudar. Manusia-manusia Melayu menjadi manusia-manusia yang mulai kusam tujuan hakiki hidup mereka. Ada Ilmu tiada agama. Ada agama tiada ilmu.

(6) Di manakah kegagalan Daud? Jika dikaji sejarah Yahudi, Daud hanya membina sebuah "Masjid" di zamannya. Itulah apa kini disebut sebagai Temple of David. Saya berkira, dari pembacaan yang sangat terhad sumber rujukannya, Daud pada masanya terlebih sibuk memperkuatkan kebendaan Yahudi sehingga keImanan mereka kurang diasah. Maka menyedari akan kemungkinan musnahnya Yahudi selepas beliau, maka beliau berdoa kepada Allah agar Nabi selepas beliau haruslah jauh lebih hebat dari beliau. Samalah dengan Mahathir, lantaran keingian membuak-buaknya untuk melihat Melayu maju jauh, soal-soal keImanan Melayu menjadi secondary. Para pensyarah di universiti tempatan bekerja keras untuk melahirkan ramai professional Melayu. Kita juga menghantar ratus ribuan anak Melayu keluar negara untuk tujuan sama. Namun, professional Melayu tidak dikukuhkan keImanan mereka. Pendidikan Islam dan professionalisma terasing malah terpisah terus. Bedanya, selepas Daud ada Sulaiman yang juga tebal Imannya kepada Allah dan dia juga adalah professional handalan. Benar Sulaiman berusaha keras untuk menebarkan Islam sehingga Jinpun menjadi media beliau untuk mengIslamkan puteri Balqis dari Yaman. Namun sejarah Yahudi menjelaskan betapa Sulaiman terlalu memanjakan Yahudi. Yahudi mendapat apa saja yang mereka mahu. Bahkan untuk membantu Sulaiman, Allah memberikan beliau segala kekuasaan yang beliau perlukan sehingga para jin, angin, binatang dsb were at his disposal. Namun selepas Sulaiman, kemewahan Yahudi tidak dapat mempertahankan keImanan dan kekuasaan mereka. Mereka kemudian berpecah dan terus terpesong menjadi Yahud dari menjadi Muslim.

(7) Selepas Mahathir, Abdullah seem to be great namun akhirnya hanyut oleh professionalist Melayu yang kian tamak haloba. Nasib Abdullah hanyalah sebagai seat warmer. Beliau digantikan oleh Najib. Najib merupakan Perdana Menteri yang sangat beruntung. Pertama asas-asas utama telah Abdul Razak sediakan dan rakyat terima. Kedua, asas-asas ini kemudian Mahathir telah perbaiki, juga kesan meluasnya sudah ketara. Melayu berwawasan dan pemberani sudah mulai tumbuh hebat. GLC-GLC pimpinan Melayu berpunya limpahan dana yang meruap. Semua ini menjadikan kerja-kerja Najib harus menjadi lebih mudah dan teratur. Namun, kerana kedua-dua Razak dan Mahathir telah tidak membina tembok Iman tebal di kalangan professional Melayu, maka mereka atas sifat keterbukaan Najib telah menjadi ibarat kaduk naik junjung. Professional Melayu kian lupa tentang tanggungjawab mereka kepada Bangsa, Agama dan Negara. Mereka menghambat kejayaan koprat dari kejayaan masyarakat dan Islam. Jatidiri mereka, tertonjol sebagai watak koprat hebat-hebat, dan bukan watak insani yang Islam dan Melayu tuntut. Akhirnya, Negara bergelumang rasuah dan salahguna kuasa. Seperti juga Yahudi di zaman mewah Sulaiman, mereka terbiasa dengan hamburan rezeki mudah maka, korban mulanya adalah Negara dan akhirnya rakyat sendiri. Empayar Yahudi Sulaiman punah lantaran Yahudi menjadi terbiasa dengan dedak sehingga Sulaiman terpaksa mengawasi mereka biarpun setelah menjadi jenazah.

(8) Secara ringkas, Al Quran memaktubkan kutukannya terhadap Yahudi pasti ada hikmah besarnya. Sebegitu juga, Al Quran menjelaskan secara teratur para Nabi dan Rasul Yahudi dari Ibrahim sehingga ke Sulaiman, juga pasti ada hikmah besarnya. Dan bagi saya, bila Al Quran membuat caution betapa kita jangan sekali-kali menjadikan Yahudi, Nasrani dan Majusi sahabat pasti berpunya maksud lain dari yang kebiasaan kita dengar dan maklum. Sesungguhnya, Model Yusuf bukan sekadar untuk Yahudi tetapi juga bangsa lain ie Mesir. Ianya kekal baik dan berterusan sehingga kini. Yusuf mengemukakan Model Pembangunan Seimbang Luar Bandar dan Bandar serta pengukuhan institusi. Model sebegitu sangat baik untuk Melayu seperi Abdul Razak telah buktikan. Model Daud juga adalah baik untuk mengeluarkan kaumnya dari bersifat bacul. Daud mepersiapkan bangsanya. Sebegitulah Mahathir. Namun, bila Melayu terlalu terkut-ikut akan nikmat hidup mudah, lewat pelbagai handout maka kita juga pasti hanyut seperti Yahudi selepas Sulaiman. Model Sulaiman hanya terbaik jika everything is at our disposal, which is impossible. Allah tidak mengubah apapun, melainkan tangan kita sendiri. Itu telah Allah maktubkan di dalam Al Quran selepasnya Sulaiman dan bahkan Isa. Itu setakat cara yang saya perhatikan, bagaimana kita telah mengurus Melayu sehingga kini.

(9) Dan kini sedang wujud satu fenomena baru (lama juga sebenarnya) dalam cara kita mengenengahkan kaedah alternatif untuk mengurus Melayu. Kita sedang mengurus Melayu secara rhetoric menyeru kepada Islam. Di mana-mana kita sedang disumbat dengan seruan ikutlah Islam. Saya tiada masalah dengan ajakan agar kita patuh kepada cara Islam. Itulah tuntutan hakiki ke atas kita. Yang saya persoalkan adalah cara kita mengenengahkan seruan itu. Di sini sekali lagi saya ingin membawa Model Yahudi. Isa Allah turunkan untuk memperbetulkan keagamaan Yahudi yang telah menyimpang. Agama bawaan Ibrahim sehinggalah ke Sulaiman adalah Islam, bukan agama Yahudi Judaism ie hanya dan untuk Yahudi. Agama bawaan Ibrahim sampai Sulaiman adalah agama sejagat. Namun, Yahudi telah menjadikan agama bawaan Ibrahim ke Sulaiman sebagai agama khusus untuk Yahudi. Lain-lain adalah kafir yang tidak layak beragama Yahudi. Isa diutus untuk memperbetulkan itu. Namun cuba teliti Bible dan Sejarah Nasrani, Isa hanya digambarkan sebagai preacher, penyeru. Isa gagal menyeru Yahudi agar kembali kepada Islam. Malah Yahudi "membunuh" beliau. Soal Isa per se itu soal lain. Persoalan atau kias yang ingin saya utarakan adalah, apakah "kegagalan Isa" itu bukankah rencana mahabijak Allah? Tidakkah, dengan menjadikan Isa "gagal" itu bukan cara Allah menghendaki kita untuk berfikir, betapa jika sekadar menyeru dan tanpa bukti kejayaan maka seruan kita akan sekadar masuk angin keluar asap. Kini, Hadi Awang yang cuba menonjolkan dirinya sebagai alternatif pemimpin Melayu sedang secara rhetorik ke hulu ke hilir melaung-laungkan pilihlah PAS kerana PAS adalah pembela Melayu dan Islam. Persoalan saya, di mana pembuktian modenis Hadi tentang perihal perjuangan PAS. PAS tetap kucar kacir. PAS telah banyak mengelirukan Melayu. Islam Melayu jadi celaru kerana PAS. Kelantan, Trengganu, Kedah, Perak (dan Selangor) pernah ditadbir PAS maka apakah hebatnya negeri-negeri ini berbanding negeri-negeri lain dalam Malaysia?

(10)   Sesungguhnya, bila Allah pada 20 Dzul Hijjah (?) menurunkan Ayat Al Maidah 5:3 bermaksud Pada hari ini, Aku telah sempurnakan bagi kamu ugama kamu, dan Aku telah cukupkan nikmatKu kepada kamu, dan Aku telah redakan Islam itu menjadi ugama untuk kamu... bagi saya adalah pemasyuranNya tentang kemuliaan kerja dan kedudukan Muhammad SAW berbanding para Nabi dan Rasul lainnya. Allah memperakukan bahawa Model SAW adalah terbaik untuk sepanjang zaman dan sejagat. Model beliau adalah jelas pragmatik dan menyeluruh. Saya tidak dapat menulis Model ini secara panjang lebar di sini, cukup jika saya berikan bayangan akan konsepnya. Hijrah adalah asas kepada kejayaan Muhammad. Hijrah adalah perentah Allah kepada SAW agar memerdekakan dirinya dari segala kemelut Jahilliah Mekah. Muhammad SAW mulanya membebaskan dirinya dari cengkaman konvesyenal Jahilliah. Bila sampai di Quba sebelum memasuki Yathrib, beliau membina Masjid Quba. Sama juga bila sampai ke Yathrib, beliau mendirikan Masjid. Kenapa Masjid dulu dan bukan rumah atau Istana sepertinya Daud dan Sulaiman? Pasti banyak tafsirannya. Namun kepada saya, bagi Muhammad SAW, bukti kebendaan adalah penting. Dari Masjid beliau berdakwah, mendidik, mengurus dan kawalselia segala-galanya. Mendirikan Masjid adalah simbol gerak kerja Muhammad selanjutnya. Dari Masjid beliau kemudian membina Bazaar lalu perkampungan atau kota. Muhammad membina kejayaan-kejayaan fizikal sebagai lanjutan kepada segala seruan beliau. Pendeknya, beliau tidak hanya menyeru tetapi menunjukkan teladan membina. Maka benarlah apa kata Aishah "Muhammad adalah Al Quran dan Al Quran adalah Muhammad SAW"
. Muhammad SAW mengota menunjuk teladani apa yang beliau katakan. Dan berbeda dengan Model para Nabi dan Rasul Yahudi, Muhammad membina bukan sekadar bukti fizikal tetapi juga cekal dan kental dalam membina jati diri Islam kepada semua pengikutnya. Muhammad tidak sekadar rhethoric tetapi pengamal dan pengembang. Sesungguhnya di sinilah bedanya antara agamawan kini khasnya yang menceburi politik berbanding Muhammad SAW. Muhammad SAW adalah praktis, sedang mereka adalah sekadar rhetoric.
(11) Maka SubhanaAllah, untuk pusingan kali kedua, saya berdoa agar Mahathir tidak terikut-ikut Model Pembinaan Melayu ala para Nabi dan Rasul Yahudi tetapi cubalah mendekati Model Muhammad SAW. Saya yakin Yaakub-Isa hanyalah untuk Yahudi. Sedang Muhammad SAW adalah untuk manusia sejagat. Islam bawaan Muhammad SAW telah Allah istiharkan sebagai agama sejagat. Sesungguhnya, lantaran  usaha beliau telah Allah maktub terima seperti dalam Al Maidah 5:3, dan jika itu cara kita, Is Shaa Allah Melayu akan perkasa. Kita harus memilih cara sejagat ie universal berbanding tradisional atau konvesyenal biasa.

Kuching, Sarawak
18 Julai, 2019
Jun 19, 2019
1/6/18 SAGO - Allah blessing that Sarawak and Malaysia had ignored (DRAFT)

1/6/18 SAGO - Allah blessing that Sarawak and Malaysia had ignored (DRAFT)

INTRODUCTION:

Sago, sagu, sasak, rumbia, lumbia, masago yashi as the plant is internationally; Indonesian, Papua, Malay, Tagloq and Japanese-wise known is a very unique and Allah blesses crop. In Latin it is known as Metroxylon sagu. This is the limited plant species that bears starch in its trunk as compares to others which are either tubers and or cereals. Sago belong to the palmae plant family. Sago is among the few palms that bear starch in the trunk as compares to other palm species which mostly bear fruits of different types vis coconut, nipah, areca, etc. To the native of Brazil, Borneo, Papua etc, the real delicacy of sago is the sago warm (the larvae of rhinoceros beetle), the milky high protein stuff taste as peanut once roasted as many said, but I dare not try. In Sarawak, if one visit Mukah, a coastal town in mid Sarawak, one can have a try on this siat delicacy. They said nice to have siat with canes of beer, and that is what they always do down there.

(2) My aim of writing this article, is to support the international interest over the plant as source of human energy, pharmaceutical, biofuel, and even for the aquaculture and livestock feeds development. Sago traditionally and even to this moment is still being treated as source of starch, nothing more. I believe, based on my experiences, knowledge and even personal perception, this plant warrant a just treatment as a gift from Allah for all humankind. I'm having a strong believe that after Taib Mahmud is no more the Chief Minister of Sarawak and with the hunger for faster return of investment; ROI, Sarawak will not be able to succeed to make sago as its prime agriculture commodity. Accordingly after Peter Chin had left MoPIC, the interest over sago at the Federal Ministry level is subsiding fast. Based on my Paper to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister Department, Peter Chin indeed had made Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to start a trial plot of 100 acres in Penor, Pahang to show case sago development on commercial basis. Upon the success establishment of such plot, now MPOB is in dilemma on what to do next.  I dare to say, Sago Industry in Sarawak (and Malaysia) will die to its natural course. Thus, I have lost patience and passion to see the growth of sago industry in Sarawak, to which I would like to throw this idea of Sago great prospects for international people to pick it up especially among the Japanese, Chinese and Indian. Indonesia and the Papua New Guinea (hopefully the poor) will benefit the best if sago industry could be well developed. Nonetheless, Mahathir now is back as the PM of Malaysia where in his earlier era, sago plus jatropa and kenaf had been identified as new agriculture growth areas. MoPIC was then tasked to advance the R&D on these crops. Now he is back, will he still remember to his directive on the matter?

(3) This writing is not a comprehensive presentation of sago as a whole, but as much as possible I'll dwell on its key economic, agronomic, and some industrial technical advantages over especially oil palm and rice. My direct involvement in the sago industry began in 2003, when I was tasked to spearhead the Sarawak GLC, LCDA, but I decided to leave the whole system by 2011. I had tried hard to bring some changes in the ways sago had been developed in Sarawak and Malaysia as a whole. In term of development policy, I had managed to get sago be treated separately from being continued categorized as minor crops as spelt out in the State and National Agriculture Policy. Indeed, the success must be attributed to Muhhyddin Yasin when he was the MoA Minister. I managed to take him down to explore and have a hand-on experience over the plantation and smallholders satellite estates being developed by LCDA in Mukah somewhere in 2007 (?). My best memory of his trip was when I took him for breakfast by the hawkers' stalls next to the Pasar Mukah, a real old day kopitiam treat. We sat among the local folks enjoying Kopi O and pulut panggang, but then when people began to realise who he was, as politician he then had to be busy greeting every body and later drifting mingling in  Walk-About-the Pasar Mukah. Unfortunately he left the MoA too early before I could work with him to get the Federal Grant to fund the development of 5,000 hectares satellite estates per year as he had suggested. But then, I was lucky to have known Peter Chin, whom then was MoPIC, while I was serving the R&DO Bintulu, thus, despite he was a bit conservative, I did managed to get good inflows of Federal Grant for the sago smallholder development in Mukah, Balingian and Pusa.

(4) Technically or agronomically, I had worked hard to infuse the concept of sago planting areas must be developed to be as good or even better than the oil palm. My observation in Sarawak, Sabah, Malaya, South Thailand; sago strive the best on alluvial soil. On peat soil, the land preparation must be as good or better than the oil palm. The development of sago plantation on deep peat area must come with heavy investment for the real good plantation development and management. In Papua, Papua New Guinea, and even those areas such as Lombok, Seram and Kendari, the Far Eastern Indonesia, I observed sago also strive well on much higher rolling grown. From what I had seen, despite the land are much higher and rolling, the ground is always wet or damp. The foggy island micro-climate environment and as well as the long sago frond, broad leaves and fibrous trunk contribute to such consistent ground dampness and good growth of the sago. Sago seem had been created and equipped to be able to capture fog and dew at night or early morning for its survival purposes. I believe the spongy trunk, long frond and broad leaves of sago played the seme role as those air-spongy root of orchid. In deed SubhanaAllah, such is the ecological indicators that people should had understood of sago best planting ground requirement: soft but good density ground, wet but well drain. The Melanau and Iban farmers and indeed widely practiced in Malaya and Thailand, sago is always associated with paddy growing areas; instinctively they knew about this, yet our scientists and planters ignored such indicators. Some headway, despite facing with great resistances were made in those areas, but unfortunate after I left, the whole system seem to revert back to where it had began. Pulang asal balik asal, as the Malays called it.

(5) There are substantial writing on the sago technicality and or ethno-botany available out there, but very less on the economic and commercial aspect of its. Accordingly, the primitive sustenance of the Indonesian and PNG sago industry is all about the incapability of their governments in dealing with the heritage Customary  Land Tenure System of the Far East Pacific. Papua and Papua New Guinea plus all those sago islands in the far eastern Indonesia, not only they could meet the vision of Isao Nagato, but most important, the nurturing and advancement of the sago commodity from my personal perspective, definitely would transformed their people livelihood be even better than of the oil palm industries. Sago is starch-based, a non-competitor to oil palm and alike. Wheat, maize, potatoes, cassava etc can be the threat to the development of sago industry and vice versa, but as we know starch is in shortage worldwide. Very unfortunate for the PNG, not only they are having problem with their uneducated population, but foreign interference into their natural resources management had hindered the economic advancement of their population. For instance, the Green Peace and Australian interest to protect marshland forest of PNG and Indonesia, I would say may have such agenda in their mind if not for reason to sustain their marine resources. Mismanagement of the PNG and Papua marshland can be a catastrophe for the South Pacific marine resources.

(6) Sarawak is the world champion for sago industry. Since 1880s, Sarawak is world sago exporter despite probably having the least area of natural sago. Sarawak had developed the finest processing technology which is home grown by a cartel of smallscale industrialists. The pioneer in Sarawak sago industrial development, I would believe began in Sibu. The Foo Chow ethnic Chinese whom dominate Sibu in those day, due to the peaty land nature of the region, they couldn't grow rice, thus learning from the local natives particularly the Malanaus and Iban, they then took sago as their staple food. But as time progress and due to resource locational advantage, Mukah then began to take on Sibu as key sago industrial development. The Melanau of Mukah ( and the Iban along the Rajang river bank) were not paddy farmers. Thus, they treated sago as their staple food. I would believe, the Melanau involvement in sago farming was the real starter of the sago industry. Again the Foo Chow of Sibu, expanded the traditional Melanau sago industry to the present much modern undertaking. Unfortunately since 1980s, the Sarawak sago industrial development remain stagnant due to resources problem and industrial perspective issues. Sago flour production had remain to about 50,000 Mt/yr since 1980s to this day.

(7) The Sibu and Mukah Foo Chow advancement in developing sago processing or sago flour extraction industry is nothing sophisticated. They indeed started by looking at the way the local traditionally had been extracting the sago milk know as rippo by shredding the sago pith then soaking them in water container while the ladies then step on it to milk the flour out. From such, then they came with the idea of mechanical shredding and pressing of the sago fiber. The sago milk then had to be pushed to certain shieving system before going onto the dryer conveyor and so on. Today sago processing industry indeed is a mixture of cassava, potatoes and timber processing technologies. The combination and fine tuning of these technologies would give one a fine modern sago processing factory. In 2011, a two tonnes sago factory cost around RM3.50-5.00 million set up.

(8) Papua (Indonesia) and Papua New Guinea are homes for the world natural sago. In both Countries, they have at least 5.00 million hectares of natural sago land each. As I said, despite various attempt to develop the sago industry in Papua and PNG, there seem to be not much progress. Papua and PNG are having too much option for the industrialist to really going into sago. Probably until and unless they are dried of their other easy lucrative options then sago would be the focus. The same applies for Sarawak. I can foresee the diminishing of sago industry in Sarawak is mainly due for Sarawakian had been seeing sago nothing beyond the linut ie boiled sago flour and or dried sago granule which has very limiting acceptance as source of food even among the local. Thailand despite having lesser sago area within the Nara-Pattani region, their sago food-based application industry is doing far better than Sarawak. Indonesia, definitely is the world largest sago flour producer, but due to their large population, their sago is all eaten as bakso. The PNG sago industry had remained as the traditional Sarawak in the 1930s.

FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC:

The international interest over sago was officially recorded in 1976 when an International Sago Symposium was first held in Kuching through the initiative of the Dr. Isao Nagato who provided financial support to fund the Society for the Sago Palm and Sago Culture of Japan (presently the Society of Sago Palm Studies). Being in the army in the WWII he had seen the human famine miseries at such time, thus Nagato realized sago could be the solution to the possible human and fuel hunger crisis of the 21st century. Thereon, he initiated various studies and seminar on sago.

(2) To me, Isao Nagato fit into what the Malays proverb saying Kuman di seberang laut nampak, gajah mati depan mata tidak nampak of which literally means one can clearly sees a bacteria across the sea rather a death elephant under his nose. Nagato can foresee the great future of sago but not the Sarawakian (Malaysian), Indonesian and Papua. Sarawakian see more of the timber prospect in Brazil, Malawi, Russia and New Zealand rather the sago at home.

(3) The economic of sago couldn't be well comprehend without one looking at it from the comprehensive agronomic and industrial (economic and commercial) applications. Let me presented a brief economic and industrial significance of sago as the basis to evaluate the commodity economic advantages. Naturally and by researched, sago palm ideal density growing is almost similar to the oil palm ie 125-150 palms per hectares. This density had been practiced by the local farmers, by the Sarawak LCDA and even a sago plantation in Pulau Besar, Rhiau, Indonesia. Differing from oil palm, sago palm normally growing in cluster except for one species that is endemic for Bougainville Island of the PNG. Ideally, each cluster should be maintained to have 5-7 palms of different growing stages. Such "plantation" practices either in Sarawak and Pulau Besar, Rhiau, Indonesia, planting density of 125-150 palms per hectare with each cluster having 5-7 standing are adopted. Such practices is by reason to achieve about 80-100 palms per hectare harvesting annually.

(4) The Sarawak species and those that I observed in Malaya, Thailand, the Philippines and Java, sago takes about 10-12 years to achieve full maturity. Matured sago palm will normally produce a 10-12 meter trunk (log) filled up with sago starch. The matured sago palm would generate more and better quality of sago flour. Younger palm produce less and a bit inferior flour quality especially for bakery and food production purposes but still could be converted into other great industrial purposes. Indeed the other industrial applications of sago had not been well developed thus far, which I'ii touch on later

(5) With the harvesting rate of 80-100 palms/year, and for the Sarawak local species of 20-25 per cents flour extracting rate (FER), from 10-12 years onward after first planting, a yield of 16-25 mt of flour is expected for a hectare of sago farm. There are reports indicating the Indonesian and PNG varieties could produce 30-40 per cents FER. Since sago need no replanting, therefore from year 10th onward, the graph of sago production is considered constant at 16-25 mt/yr/ha. In comparison to oil palm, in term of yield, the oil palm Fresh Fruit Bunch FFB is equal to the sago log. Thus the crude palm oil CPO is then equivalent to the sago flour. Based on such perspectives, it is clearly shown that sago productivity is much higher than the oil palm. On per hectare basis, oil palm would produces 20-25 mt FFB and conversion to CPO would be around 4-6.25 mt/ha. On the other hand, sago would produce 80-100 mt of sago logs on per hectare basis. These logs is about 10 meters in length with about 45-60 cm in diameter. The wet weight of these logs is estimated about 1 mt/log. Therefore, the wet weight of harvested sago logs per hectare is estimated to be around 80-100 mt/ha/yr. With the flour extraction rate of 20-25 per cents, sago would produce 16-25 mt/ha/yr flour. In these senses, sago definitely is about 400 per cents much productive than the oil palm.

(6) The gestation period for oil palm is about 30 months upon planting. By the  eighth year, an oil palm is considered at full maturity, giving a yield of almost 20-25 mt/ha/yr FFB. By month thirty, the yield increases from 3-5 mt/ha/yr reaching to about 15-17 mt/ha/yr on the fifth year. The palm sustain its productivity of averaging 20-25 mt/ha/yr from year eight to year 22nd. Thereon the yield began to  diminish and needing replanting by the year 25th. Graphically, the productivity of an oil palm is about half parabolic in nature.  In fact, without replanting after year 25th, the productivity graph would turned a complete concave as shown in the graph to the left. Thus oil palm has a high and low pattern of productivity. If we take a 25 years life cycle of an oil palm, the total FFB production is estimated to be around 350-410 mt and equivalent to 80-90 mt of CPO and 12-20 mt PKO.

(7) In the palm oil industries, for every 1 Mt CPO produced, there will be about 1 Mt/dried fibrous biomass production (?). With the present technology and fuel demand, all these are now being slowly converted into compacted cube-biofuel. Similarly, the palm kernel shell are being converted into many other byproducts. Palm cake is another important byproduct of the CPO making process. Palm cake had been widely used in the livestock feed development. The only palm oil waste is the sludge., which still not seriously being studied for bio-gas and bio-fertilizer production. As a whole, though there should be more industrial application be discovered, the oil palm related industries had matured and being well developed by the MPOB and parties concern.

(8) On the other hand, working on the Sarawak species or variety, sago would need a gestation period of 10-12 years depending on the soil type. Sago growing on alluvial soil would need less gestation period comparatively to other less fertile soil such as the peat area. For good alluvial soil, around year 10th, the palm is ready to be harvested. As I had mentioned earlier, the planting density for sago range 125-150 palms/ha. By taking into consideration of 70 per cents of the plantation good performance, this planting density would thus be giving about 80-100 palms/ha/yr. Sago trunking (log) yield can be depicted by the S-curve Growth Pattern as shown in the Graph to the left. In term of biomass ie FFB equivalent as in the oil palm, 80-100 palms/ha is equal to 80-100 mt of 10 meters sago logs.  Conversion into flour, ie CPO equivalent as in the oil palm, 80-100 of 10 meters sago logs would generate about 16-20 mt of sago flour. Taking this fact alone, within the first 25 years equivalent life cycle of the sago palm, a total of 1,200-1,500 mt sago logs could be produced, which is 350-400 per cents more productive than the oil palm. Accordingly, for the first 25 years life cycle, a total of 160-200 mt of sago flour could be generated. This is 200-225 per cents more productive if compared to CPO production equivalent.

(9) In Shaa Allah sago need no replanting. There will be no second gestation period. Thus say in the second 25 yrs life cycle of sago plantation as against oil palm plantation, by no way the oil palm plantation can out do the sago plantation both in term of productivity and return by assuming all other factors remain constant. Say using a 50 years life cycle ie two 25 years life cycles; on per hectare basis, only about 160-180 mt CPO will be produced as compared to 560-700 mt sago flour. Indeed in a two oil palm planting cycles, a total of 5 years gestation period and followed by at least 10-16 years of lower yield period (30-40 per cents) is expected. This 5 years of gestation period and 10-16 years of low yield period is much higher costly for an oil palm development as compared to the sago. The appended Graph above is my theoretical comparison for yield productivity generated by sago and oil palm on per hectare basis over the 50 years life cycle. The graph clearly showing the cyclical nature for the oil palm while very higher, stable and sustainable for the sago.

(11) Indeed, at time of global environment concern over agriculture production, I dare to say, based on the productivity graph as shown above, sago is not only very stable and sustainable crop, but a much environmental friendly as compare to all others. Sago land will only be baron once but never be repeated as compare to wheat, maize, soy bean, rice, cassava, and or even the oil palm plantation.  Sago plantation can be real evergreen forever.

(12) While I'm writing this article (June, 18, 2019), the average CPO price is about RM2,214.00/tan while sago flour is fetching about RM2,500.00/mt. In 2003, when I was an active player in both industries, the price of CPO then was about RM1,500.00/mt while sago flour was only at about RM600.00/mt. Even at the peak price in 2017 whereby CPO price fetching the level of RM3,500.00/mt; by then sago flour price was just lingering around RM1,500.00-2,000.00/mt. Thus comparatively, sago price had increased by 416 per cents while the CPO just managed to garner 233 per cents (taking the 2017 highest price). In term of price increased, sago flour beat CPO by double fold. Thus if one dare to take the risk over the sago 10-12 years gestation period, indeed the reward ie total revenue generated by a hectare of a sago plantation within the first 25 years life cycle is far beyond the oil palm can achieve ie RM400-500K Vs RM280-315K which is about 50 per cent better.

(12) As for the field development and management cost, I would say it is almost similar except the cashflow spread slightly different. For the first 10 years, infrastructure and machineries investments for sago plantation might be a little bit lower, but much care may be need for the field upkeep especially for the weeding and pruning or desuckering. I believe, for field upkeep, serious consideration must be paid on how to promote fast waste decomposition to sustain the field fertility and wetness. My observation, sago produce more fronds as compare to the oil palm, thus accumulation of debris is much more intensive in sago area as compare to the oil palm. Faster decomposition of these debris would help to fertile the land better. Again, the technicality of the oil palm development could be easy capitalized in developing the sago farm. Allah had blessed us with a very advanced technology in oil palm development, and such to me is His well planned blessing for us to move into the sago industries, if we care to think, work and be passion and patience.

(13) As an overall, what I can say, sago plantation development and industries could only take a trajectory growth IFF the plantation economist and or accountant could look at the comparative cashflow of both sago and oil palm from a very different perspective: real long term sustainable investment rather the present traditional banking accounting or financial analysis. Taib Mahmud was indeed very futuristic as Isao Nagato in his out look of sago. Indeed I understood him as such, but unfortunately, there are administrators, accountants, financial and even scientists people whom can't see things beyond present ROI norms and traditional technicality, so much so, now Taib's and Nagato vision of the sago fate is dying sooner. Nonetheless, their vision is not really that matter, but our State and National opportunity socio-economic lost is a much profound thing that we must be concern.

(14) DOA, SEDC, LCDA, and Sarawak as an overall failure in sago industries development is not really a big issue and shouldn't be seen as a progressing deterring experience, but as I would put it in the sarcastic sense, we indeed had started by groping in the dark, yet when the light is clear ahead, we stopped. DOA started the game. Their game was mere copying the traditional smallholders. DOA had ever since focusing on the upstream production by the small guys. SEDC then in 1980s came in and wanted to champion the industry, by facilitating in the manufacturing aspect only but then they had to withdraw, for they forgotten the upstream aspect of the industry. LCDA then caught the ball, in mid 1980s-1990s, deferring from DOA and SEDC, landed in sago plantation development in peat soil with zero knowledge, thus played badly, then have a relook in 2000s, but then made a turned back to the old game play by 2010s. The existence of CRAUN, a special Sago Research Unit indeed had caused confusion in the sago development on deep peat. Numerous and non-consistent advice given to the plantation which to me are based on micro and short term findings really not helping the plantation sector. All was about, everybody were still in the laboratory stages. Nonetheless, around 2009 we were pretty sure on how to develop sago plantation both on deep peat and alluvial land, but then in 2012, I would say LCDA and the State dare not moving toward the light in a much strategic manner. The "accountants and financial" people keep looking back to the dark tunnel behind rather moving strategically ahead to the open coming light. We took the habit of we saw the light at the end of the tunnel, yet we stop where and when we see the light. I believe, such will also applied to the Pilot Penor Pahang Project.

(15) Indeed I dare to say, Sarawak has the best evolutionary experiences over sago industrial development. We had the experience over the success of the smallholders but badly manipulated by the small scale industrialist cartel. Then we (SEDC) ventured into the manufacturing as public intervention to correct the market, but we failed due to our negligence over raw material supplies improvement as well as other logistic issues. Then we (LCDA) embarked in material supplies development, but we started with the  non-proven hypothesis (not even theories) by forgetting the wisdom of the smallholders that Allah had infused upon them. Probably we are too arrogant to recognize the wisdom of Allah onto the smallholders and we believe the technologies and scientific discoveries can out do Allah wisdom, rather taking the sign given by Allah as guide to our technological and scientific discoveries. I remembered, when I ordered the drainage system in the plantation to be intensified, and clean felling and scraping of the land before planting and or replanting, it was then done with great resistance by the concept of irreversible drying of the peat soil will make it useless, though I argued, the desert had longing being death, yet when rain came, everything will bloom.

SAGO IN FOOD INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION:

I was touched but not surprise by a friend, when I was handed a research finding by a scientist whereby it was found out that for every tonne production of sago flour, a total of equivalent one tonne of dried waste is produced. From this dried waste, a total of 470 liters of ethanol could be produced, seem giving a yield of 47 per cents level. Purposely I posted the graph to the left to indicate the prospect of ethanol as against the gasoline ie diesel. Ethanol currently is mostly produced as part and parcel of the petro-chemical industries.  From this graph, the price for ethanol in the open market is about RM2.00/liter. Today (20 June, 2019) the price of our subsidised diesel is about RM2.18/l. Well let look at how much opportunity lost had we made yearly by thrashing the sago waste into the Rajang, Mukah and Dalat rivers - 50,000 mt of equivalent of dried waste. Based on the research finding, 50,000 tan of dried sago waste could generate 23,500,000 liters of ethanol. By taking the March 2019 price, such should generate about RM27,000,000.00 annually since 1980s. We had rubbished billions Ringgit for being ignorance and greedy short sighted.

(2) What are the major components of sago factory waste. Firstly the bark. Second the fibrous. Third the "sludge". Before I dwell on these wasted resources, let me put it clearly here, that the so called sago wastes are much environment friendly as compared to the oil palm factory wastes. Sago wastes are starch-related as compared to the oil palm which are fatty acid-based. The decomposition of the starch-based wastes are much faster and easier than the fatty accid-based wastes. For such, sago has the environmental waste management advantages over the oil palm. To reflect the broad application of sago starch in the food related industries, let me put here some of my personal encounter over the matter.

(i) I visited one maltodextrin making factory in Klang, Selangor once. This factory is using cassava as its source of starch. From cassava starch, he then produced maltodextrin. From maltodextrin, there came many other sweeteners and food preservative products. He used about 5 tan cassava starch daily. I was informed, the mill preferred sago starch over the cassava.  Meaning, he need at least 1,500 tonnes of starch annually. Based on this observation, I agreed for a private company to revive an SEDC/CRAUN abandoned Sago/Maltodextrin Pilot Plant in Mukah. The plant was able to produced about a tonne maltodextrin a day. Nonetheless, the economic operation is about 5 tonnes daily.  Due to the Company financial issues, I believe nothing much really had gone through. Accordingly, no one had ever came to me to really work out the best maltodextrin plan in Mukah as yet in those day.

(iii) Maltodextrin indeed is the basic ingredient for all sort of food sweeteners. One of it is in the production of caramel which is key ingredient in the production of carbonated drink such as Coca Cola, Pepsi etc. Worldwide there is a great demand for caramel both for drinks and bakeries industries.

(iv) I also did visited an Aji Nomoto ie Sodium Glutamate factory somewhere in Klang as well. This factory was importing the cassava flour as its raw material supplies. I was informed, if they could get the sago flour as their source of starch, they believe they could produced a better Sodium Glutamate quality as compared to the cassava starch.

(v) I did also visited a Kwe Thaw making factory somewhere in Shah Alam, Selangor. Their kwe Thaw distribution covered Klang Valley, Melaka, Ipoh and Penang. They need a mixture of 10-15 per cents sago starch to his kae thaw to make it much soft and elastic. The complain then was, they can't get enough sago flour. They consumed about 1,000 kg daily. That is equivalent to 25 tonnes a month and 300 tonnes a year. Their expansion was limited due to sago starch supply.

(vi) In 1980s, every time I get down to Kuala Trengganu, I will make a time to enjoy the Keropok Fish Cracker Losong. In those days, I can still remember the taste was superb. The cracker was much crunchy but soft and tasty. Today, I don't really enjoy the Losong Keropok anymore for, again they are complaining that they can't get sago flour as the complementary ingredient. Even if they can get from Thailande, the quality was very much inferior to the Sarawak produced. They need a mixed of 15-20 per cents sago flour to make their cracker softher and tastier. Nowaday, they are substituting the sago starch with cassava or poor quality of sago starch imported from Thailand.

(vii) Even in Indonesia, the street fried banana or banana tempura taste varied considerably. The one that is using sago flour as part of the ingredient definitely will give a better taste of fried banana.  I had tasted the same in part of Chambodia and Vietnam. Sago seem to give a special delicacy taste and texture to the flour-based dishes.

(viii) By trailing the Japanese in the production of the facial mask one entrepreneur through the assistance of MOSTI had came out with the invention of sago-based facial mask. A sum of money was required to enable for the products be put on clinical trial. LCDA was invited to participate, but due the unclear business model proposed, I decided not to take up on the venture. Indeed I had personal communique with the Medical person whom had been using such product for post chemo-treatment of her clients instead of using those being certified in the market, she was indeed very happy with the product. She just need 1-2 years clinical trial to enable her to put her testimonial confrirmation over the product.

(3) Those are among the limited application of sago flour in the food industries that I had known. The Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines had a wider applications of sago starch in their food industries. The Thailand, due to their aggressive food industries, they really capitalised sago starch especially in the food preservative sector. Indonesian bakso will not taste good if without the sago flour. Similarly lots of the Thailand and the Philippines light dishes would not taste good if without the sago pearl. In Sarawak, we had not get out of tebaloi and tumpik in our sago flour usage. Why? I would believe, the basic reason is the scarce supplies of raw materials. Scarcity sometimes limiting our creativity.

PROSPECT OF THE SAGO BYPRODUCTS:

The Chart to the left is the basic flow of a sago processing factory. Sarawak sago manufacturing had been very secretive on the sago processing technologies due to business reason. Indeed the technologies is nothing so complicated if one understand the mechanical engineering of starch production in cassava, potatoes, and even maize. Combination of these technologies with the timber milling technologies would enable the milling process be fined tune over time. The basic principal process in sago flour production would involve the crushing of sago pith into loose fibrous matter to facilitate the flour granule release which is currently done through some sort of water jet pressure and hydrolysis and thus sieving before going for drying.   Indeed, the growth of sago manufacturing in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea is deterred for their lack of interest to invent their own milling technologies. The Foo Chow of Sibu Sarawak for they had been longing in the mechanical and timber industries, they had perfected their system through trial and errors.

(2) It is clearly shown that, while the main product is sago flour, the factory byproducts or wastes are in the form of bark (outer skin layer), hampas which is basically the fibrous component with residual starch, and sludge which also content some residual or finer starch granule. The leftover sago bark, definitely could be turned into fiberboard production or even be crushed to produce fuel pellet. Sago bark is about 10-15 per cents of the sago trunk biomass. Indeed in a much modernized sago factory, the bark is no more the form of waste. The timber milling technology had been adopted in such, the bark is now being scraped into fibrous product and dried as source of heating materials. I would believe, these scraped bark fiber could be turned into fuel pellet. Thus, the bark is slowly being turned into source of industrial fuel for the boiler or dryer.

(3) As earlier indicated, studies had been done and indicating that the production of one tonne sago starch will produce one tonne equivalent of hampas. The hampas is basically coarse fibers which trapped or withhold about 20 per cents of the sago starch. The hampas indeed then is made of about 20 per cents trapped starch granules and 80 per cents fiber which indeed is a cellulose or higher degree of polysaccaride structure. This 20 per cents starch could be extracted through hydrolysis process to produce sugar ie fructose or glucose which then can easily dissolve in the water and thus could be extracted out from the coarse fiber. This dissolved fructose or glucose then could either be distill and condense to be turned into sugar or alike products, or even be converted for the synthesis of ethanol and methanol.

(4) The balance coarse fiber which is a mixture of different level of celluloid or higher degree polysaccaride chains could then be passed through a much rigorous hydrolysis  process. The product for such process is again either fructose or glucose. Many other byproducts could then be generated: ethnol, methanol, maltodextrine, and so forth.

(5) Even this cellulose could be turned into organic glues for various industrial application especially where health is concern. In the West and Japan where their concern over hygiene matters is so high, glue produce from sago starch and or fibers could be a better alternative to the petro-chemical-based glue.

(6) Accordingly, since the coarse fiber is about 0.50-2.00 cm in length, and indeed is mostly soft cellulose just like those of the alfafa grass, then if properly blended with all the correct ingredients, all these left over coarse fiber or the hampas as a whole could be a very good source for the production of livestock and fish feeds. Malaysia and Sarawak in particular is in real shortage of feeds supplies to boast their livestock industries. Again, as Allah wished it, the Nation is blessed with the CPO cake, and yet we can't really see why sago and oil palm co-exist in this part of the world. Sago fiber and oil palm cake I would believe could help the Nation in fulfilling her protein demand.

(7) I'm studying the various method of mushroom culturing medium.  This saprophyte thrive well in the forest floor and or dead wood. I figured out, musroom must be preying onto the cellulose of plant waste. Even on animal (inclusive of human being), mushroom also strive on the cuticle part of the skin. In Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, wood dust, paddy husk, stray, and even EFB are widely used as mushroom culture media. Mushroom culture indeed is nothing that complicated or expensive. Thus I'm having a hypothesis, a good blend of sago coarse waste - residual starch with all the other conventional media may be could prolong the growth cycle period of the mushroom. In Shaa Allah I'll experiment on this soon. Mushroom had been proven to have numerous nutritional and pharmaceutical values. Thus, I would believe, cheap production of mushroom would be a best alternative to supplement or even lessen our Ummah dependent over animal meat as their source of protein. I can see, and In Shaa Allah, the presence of hundred of food suitable species of mushroom in our forest plus the abundance of EFB, paddy stray, and sago hampas could capitalise to the best blessing of Allah to the ummah.

(8) The coconut fiber is now very popular for the production of coco-peat for all sort of agriculture and ornamental plants nursing and production. Again, coconut fiber is nothing much different than the sago hampas except the later content too much water. There is a shortage of coconut in the Country, thus affecting the production of coco-peat drastically, and thereon spin over for its broad limited application in the agro-industries. Again, despite such shortage, and if one really serious about sago, one will discover, the best coconut growing area (except on sandy land) is also the best sago growing area. Here again as Allah had said, He made things in couple. Indeed sago can be the coupling and or complementing to so many other agriculture commodities. Compost I would believe is one of it. Good blend of coconut fiber, EPF and sago hampas would be giving a much better organic planting media for our plants.

KEY ISSUES IN SAGO INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT:

Indeed sago is just a source of starch just as the wheat, rice, maize, potatoes, cassava etc. All over the world, the industrial advancement in the starch industries could easily be emulated in the sago starch industrial application. Nonetheless, the basic challenge in developing the sago starch lies in the fact that sago is much bulky to handle as compare to all the others which are either tubers or grain. Sago handling especially within the present Sarawak sago development setting; with so much lacking in infrastructural and mechanization supports, made the harvesting and post harvest handling of sago logs as key deterrence for the very active participation either by the smallholders and private sector in the production of sago material.  Sago is a tree. Others are either annual shrubs or weedlike. Definitely, it is now much easier to handle the oil palm fruits FFB as compare to the sago logs. It is very much tougher to organize the post harvest management of sago trunks (logs)  as compare to tubers or grains and oil palm FFB. 

(2) Thus the profounding issue with regard to the limiting trajectory growth of the sago industries lies in the shortage supplies of the raw material which bound onto the lacking in infrastructural and mechanization support. In Sarawak, sago logs transportation is still by way of water transport which is very inefficient and inconvenient. Such mode of transportation had deterred the deep interest of the
local to venture in developing sago farm and as well as into the harvesting of sago logs. Indeed such had attributed to the diminishing of sago farms and sago farmers, which then limiting the production of sago raw materials. Limited raw material supplies had limited the industrial innovation of sago. The key to material supply now boil down to the fact, we failed to developed sago as our next golden commodity. This failure indeed was contributed to the fact we failed to understand the real sago agronomy and how best sago plantation should be developed. Sarawak was suppose to lead the way, through the LCDA 20,000 (?) hectares of intended Sago Plantation in Mukah and Dalat, nonetheless, I dare to say not even 3,000 hectares is now being properly developed into a real good sago plantation. In the short sighted over quick returned, I was sadden to know, most of the intended plantation areas had been converted into oil palm. The total investment to get this plantations development since 1986 (?) had cost the State in close to hundred and fifty million Ringgit (?), but the result is really very sad. Even CRAUN which was originally established to spearhead onto sago research, I would believe had diverted their focus more to non-sago related activities.

(3) Despite the initial losing of monetary and time, indeed Sarawak had gain the best lesson on how sago plantation could be properly developed. Just as I had said earlier, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel, instead of moving forward better, we chosen to withdrew back into the darkening beginning.

(4) Why despite we had started since 1986, to this day we failed to showcase a success story? Indeed the missing of this success story that had made sago as a no go crop. We, for so long had showcase a failure not a success that made the interest over sago to diminished greatly. Even the so called successful Penor Pilot Sago Min-Estate, I dare to say of no one knew about it. I dare to say, the Nation is being blacken over the success of the Penor Sago Mini-Estate. Within Sarawak, sago now seem to be a taboo, a crop to be forgotten. How bad to see people seriously ignoring Allah saying: "There is nothing not useful among My creations". Sago was created by Allah, and He never made any of His creation as useless. The "present uselessness" of sago is nothing more than human ignorance. The biggest failure in Sarawak sago industrial development if due to people cowardice to admit their failure, to really understand their failure and thereon to look for all means of possible success. Basically, Malaysian dare not to fail to succeed. Our culture of which can't accepting failure to succeed indeed pulls us back to progress in so many things.

FALLACIES THAT SHOULD BE ADMITTED: (  to be developed In Shaa Allah)

Looking back to my nine years experiences and knowledge in the sago and oil palm industries, I could see, that we had made numerous mistakes in how we had embarked on sago plantation development. Inter alia, among them are the following fallacies:

(i) In general, people are having the opinion sago strive well in peatland. So much so, people were also believing that sago strive well in deep peat area. Deep peat means area with the peat dept of more than one meters. The fundamental of this fallacies, for they observed sago seem to strive well in soggy land. Sago has been associated growing better in wet land. Sarawak peat is soggy, thus it was then been assumed wet-peat land must be the best ecology for sago.  But when I traveled all through Malaya, Southern Thailand, Sumatera, Java, then to those sago island in eastern Indonesia, I hardly saw sago on peat. Sago is always associated with paddy fields. Even observing closely those sago area in Sarawak especially in Mukah, Balingian, Pusa and sporadically those sago areas among the Iban farmers, confirmed my observation that sago is always related to paddy fields. I also visited the 'crazy' Harris Salleh farm in Beaufort, Sabah, my observation was just the same. Yes sago love water, but sago also need much solid ground to grow. Paddy field is always associated with alluvial soil with good drainage. People had missed such facts.

(ii) People also having the view that sago strive well in canopy. The main reason why they came to such conclusion was by observing such was the practiced of the smallholders' farms. Well which smallholder really care to tender their farm to the best practices? Smallholders are very pragmatic people. They knew sago is hardy crop with long gestation period, so much so, they leave sago to the nature, except they knew from experiences, sago do well on good drained alluvial soil. Based on this fallacy and the above (i), LCDA initial sago plantation development was made on deep peat areas with very minimal drainage and semi-felled forest. When I first visited the 'plantations' in 2002, I hardly could go beyond 50 meters deeper into the 'plantation', for they were still forest. I hardly can see any sago growing. There were some modified fields experiments done, whereby the lands were totally cleared, and the surface shrubs were well scraped, but again, the water table was kept high, I observed the sago growth were stunted, or failed to grow.  Again, the missing parameters here was good drainage and soil bearing capacity.

(iii) There was this theory or rather a hypothesis indeed, that good drainage is important for the sago growth, as drainage will facilitate good water flow. There were then few plots were established with good drainage except the plots were not really linked to good outlets. Basically, the plots were established in the middle of nowhere for the water to flow better. The intention of putting up good drainage were then merely to discharge excessive surface water. Ground water table was kept high. Good water flow means, good oxygen supplies to the sago roots. Such hypothesis was argued along the line that in soggy land, sago will produce lots of areal roots. These areal roots take the function to source for oxygen. I took such as logical then and to this day. My personal research on orchids of Batu Cave and Templer Park, Selangor in 1983-84 brought me to similar conclusion with regard to the orchid areal roots, to source for water and oxygen. But, to my second thought then, the drainage is more to facilitate for the faster decomposition of the peat subtracts and thus greatly improve the soil fertility and bearing capacity. Good drainage then was not only to facilitate for good dissolve oxygen supply to the plant but also for all those decomposing creatures.  Drainage then is having multi-purposes. Thus, I believe, the purpose of drainage in sago plantation development had not taking into account the mutual benefits of the drain to sago and its overall good growth ecology. People were too focused to sago, and had forgotten the overall symbiosis of the crop with the overall growth ecosystem.

(iv) Everywhere around the globe, we could see sago is closely associated with wetland. In Papua New Guinea and Papua, wild sago is mostly found in the marshland. This marshland indeed seem to be always inundated. Thus, based on all these sago ecological settings people believe sago loves water. In Sarawak in particular, the wetland apart from the mangrove, the abundant peat area is our natural water catchment area, always wet. For this reason, I would believe, what had made LCDA to embark on sago development in peat area. Indeed the 20,000 ha area for LCDA sago plantation development area, I can say 80-85 per cents of it is deep peat area. Definitely sago loves water, but sago don't strive well in inundated land. As for the marshland in Papua and Papua New Guinea, the land is inundated due to the swelling of the river basin during the rainy season which may last for 4-6 months. Thereafter, the marshland would be sufficiently dried. The marshland indeed is made of alluvial river basin. Indeed, sago can sustain a reasonably long flooding period of 4-6 months. Sago is best for alluvial or mineral soil with good water supply.

(v) People were also having great puzzle on the manuring of sago palm. I had written much earlier, the principle notion of sago manure should not be too far from all the other crops. Probably, as in cassava and paddy, the main product of sago is starch, therefore, the life cycle fertilizing requirement  of sago should bear more focus toward to facilitate the synthesis of the starch. The idea that sago need less fertilizer, I would believe is of the smallholders orthodox views. From the commercial stand point, sufficent amount of fertilizer is needed in the sago palm development just as in any other crops.

(2) Based on the LCDA long mistaking experiences, Sarawak should now be able to moveon better in sago plantation development. Good drain, field preparation and upkeep, and ....
Sago need less fertilizer and maintenance

SAGO AGRONOMIC Vs the OIL PALM:

As I had said, in term of field development and management of a sago plantation, it would not be much different from the oil palm. The key would be good soil bearing capacity and water management regime. In term of field development cost, for 1-3 meter depth peat and alluvial areas, I would say the cost will be just equivalent to the oil palm except due to longer gestation period, the overall infrastructure and machineries investment would be initially 30-40 per cents lower and need not be upfront. I strongly discourage and indeed a total fallacy to a suggestion for sago development in deep peat area ( more than 3 meters depth), unless heavy investment for serious soil compaction and drainage development investment is made available. Soil bearing capacity is the key technical consideration that one must seriously be concern over peatland development. Indeed I tried this for Sebakong Estate, and good growth result was coming nicely and thus pushing for similar approach for the Mukah and Dalat plantations. Indeed in developing the smallholders satellite estates, I made such approach as compulsory, so much so their performance was much better then the LCDA plantation proper. Similarly, I dare to say it is a serious fallacy to suggest sago could be developed under permanent wetland ecology. I agree, wetness is needed in the sago plantation development, but even in the natural ecology of the Papua and Papua New Guinea, the sago marshlands are not inundated all year through. Allah inundated their sago land for only certain period of the years for reason I would believe to facilitate natural fertilizing, weeding and definitely harvesting.

(12) My observation, sago that grown in permanent wet ecology will slow or never trunking; most would be stunted. Rather than trunking the palms gone for primary growth ie keep producing babies, suckers so much so, the cluster getting wide bushy spread over time.

(12) Sago area need good water management regime is nothing too hard to be understood. Sago is about producing starch. The basic formula for starch is CHO. Both the HO components came from H^2O of the water molecule. Thus, water supply must be within the easy reach of the crop. But again, making water access doesn't mean the crop need to be inundated. To me, sago is a biennial perennial crop, thus though it need water but the water supply must be in a proper drainage system. In my simple sarcastic term sago is a crop, not a fish.

.. to be continued In Shaa Allah
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