Tiyung Dayak – “The Sour Dayak Apple” in Bidayuh Politics

For the Greater Glory of Bidayuh Politics

“The October Black Parade”…

The October Black Parade” was coined by a friend of mine (the front line medical staff at Hospital Nyabau in Bintulu), in referring to the tragedy of capsized express boat at Tatau River. The tragic incident was happened on Monday afternoon (about 2.30pm), October 18, 2010, near the Kelebu Camp Logpond. It is akin to My Chemical Romance’s infamousWelcome to the Black Parade” song; indeed, it was and still is a very sad moment for all Sarawakians…


Once again, the unselfish team of reporters sans frontières at Sarawak Update should be commended for their fast track record in reporting back to the community about this tragic incident (and this is where you can get a glimpse of the story). Anyway, they should “polish” their reporting skills as they tend to err in their reporting! Yup; right! To err is human


You can refer back to the sequence of this tragic incident in the Sarawak Update’s Facebook and blog as follows (as at October 21, 2010):

  1. The Sarawak Update’s breaking news (October 18, 2010; 9.09pm)
  2. The Sarawak Update’s breaking news (October 18, 2010; 9.31pm)
  3. The Sarawak Update’s breaking news (October 18, 2010; 9.58pm)
  4. The Sarawak Update’s breaking news (October 18, 2010; 11.56pm)
  5. 6 death, 17 injured, missing unknown (October 18, 2010)
  6. The Sarawak Update’s news (October 19, 2010; 8.27am)
  7. Gambar-gambar Tragedi Tatau (October 19, 2010)
  8. The Sarawak Update’s news (October 19, 2010; 9.10am)
  9. The Sarawak Update’s news (October 19, 2010; 11.36am)

10.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 19, 2010; 1.02pm)

11.  Gambar-gambar dan Laporan Tragedi Tatau (October 19, 2010)

12.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 19, 2010; 2.37pm)

13.  Identiti 4 korban dikenalpasti (October 19, 2010)

14.  Four dead victims identified (October 19, 2010)

15.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 19, 2010; 4.35pm)

16.  Dua lagi mangsa ditemui mati setakat 4 petang (October 19, 2010)

17.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 19, 2010; 6.35pm)

18.  6 mayat dijumpai, tujuh masih hilang (October 19, 2010; 7.54pm)

19.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 19, 2010; 7.57pm)

20.  PKR express sympathy (October 19, 2010; 8.16pm)

21.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 19, 2010; 9.32pm)

22.  Gambar mangsa bot karam Ulu Tatau (October 19, 2010)

23.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 00.16am)

24.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 9.01am)

25.  LATEST UPDATE: (Ke)semua mangsa (yang) dilaporkan hilang (telah) dijumpai (October 20, 2010)

26.  Tujuh lagi mayat mangsa dijumpai, 13 disahkan mati setakat ini (October 20, 2010; 9.13am)

27.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 11.09am)

28.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 11.23am)

29.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 11.27am)

30.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 12.28pm)

31.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 1.49pm)

32.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 1.54pm)

33.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 1.55pm)

34.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 2.15pm)

35.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 20, 2010; 8.04pm) – a very sad and tragic moment…

36.  Suasana pilu di Rumah Mayat Hospital Bintulu (October 20, 2010)

37.  Tatau Tragedy Death Toll at 13 (October 20, 2010; 9.15pm)

38.  Express Boat Skipper Remanded (October 20, 2010; 9.20pm)

39.  The Sarawak Update’s news (October 21, 2010; 1.17pm)

40.  Polis pantau tempat bot karam (October 21, 2010)


According to various, reliable (news) reports, the incident was happened somewhere near the Kelebu Camp Logpond, i.e. within the sharp bend of the river. Its location was about 24 Km from Tatau Express Boat Wharf. That’s why I put the following ye-olde Google Earth satellite images for your kind reference. Yup; I know that some of you are familiar with the area, so let’s consider this as an “orrung puetay” edition, lah!



The central region of Sarawak, as seen at an eye altitude of 117.07 Km above ground (from the International Space Station (ISS), of course!)...



An aerial view of new Tatau Township, showing its mighty Tatau River and the location of the wharf (2° 51’ 31.52” N; 112° 51’ 9.98” E). The river is about 110 – 147 m wide. Well, this satellite image was taken on August 5, 2002; so you can imagine that Tatau Town have expanded a lot!



An aerial view of Kelebu Camp Logpond (2° 50’ 27.17” N; 113° 00’ 54.74” E) in the upper Tatau River (taken on May 25, 2004), as seen at an eye altitude of 1.02 Km above ground. The accident took place somewhere as indicated in this image, where the ill-fated express boat was capsized after its propeller got entangled with the steel cable attached to a log barge (tongkang). Various (news) reports reported that the incidence happened at a very sharp bend river... The Tatau River as shown in this image is about 80 m – 170 m wide; the river might looks calm, but then, there’s a powerful current flowing underneath!



Thanks to Google Earth! As shown in the image above, the “direct length” (or horizontal distance) measurement from Tatau Wharf to the accident area is about 18.55 Km (with Southeast heading at 102.93°). The “winding” length, however, is measured at 24.35 Km or ± 24 Km!



Is it “Tatau” or “Anap” River?! There’s confusion about the name of that river, actually. The word “Tatau” here refers to an ethnic group, of which the tribe’s population shrank (or extinct?) due to inter-racial marriage! The same thing also happened to the Rejang tribe; what left is only the name for that mighty Rejang River! As shown in the above image, the major tributary is the Anap River. Anyway, I couldn’t verify on this; hopefully someone from the Sarawak River Board (SRB) could enlighten us!


Again, based on reliable oral sources (i.e. from people who used to ply the Tatau River), as usual, the boat skippers there are getting high on “alcohol” (and some pills maybe?!). I’ve seen a skipper and his few assistants drinking cans of beer while on our way plying the mighty Rejang River! Anyway, thank God for the safe, to and fro journey!


There are also talks of the town noting that the “alleged” skipper is actually the express boat owner and operator. The “real, drunk” skipper (hence, “the employee”), however, had fled the scene since he didn’t have a valid license to operate the boat and was scared to be beaten (to …) by the survivors and camp workers nearby! That’s why the “real” skipper’s name is withheld from public knowledge! Pending investigation nor business protection, we never know! And I’m quite sceptical whether the victims will be given fair compensation by the insurance company… Poor souls, indeed!


Lapsed of enforcement?! Well, Tatau is just a small town, so it’s quite hard to see the relevant laws and regulations to be enforced! Proper record of boarding passengers?! Improper! Boarding an express boat is just like boarding a bus to town, where the conductor will only collect fares from the passengers soon after the boat is leaving its berthing place…


So, for those who are using river as mode of transportation, you should take precautionary measures (Yup; you heard that too many times before, lah!). Initiate yourself by having your own life jacket and wear it during the journey. In case of emergency (and panicking), you won’t have the time to look for any life jacket inside the boat! And then, the number of passengers on board could be outnumbered the number of life jackets provided. Yup; life is much more important (and too precious to be wasted!) than the less than RM100.00 life jacket!


By the way, the SAR team, medical staff and other people should also be commended for their efforts in saving lives of those passengers involved in the accident, although 13 of them were perished “innocently”…


May Almighty God have mercy upon their souls and may they rest in peace! Amen+


October 21, 2010 - Posted by | 03 Miscellaneous, 07 The Greatest Scam


  1. Well, you can find part of the information on Sarawak Rivers here!

    Comment by tiyungdayak | October 24, 2010 | Reply

  2. It is not to talk on life jacket, a stringent measures need to be taken immediately such the design of the express boat itself. Most of the express boats sibu-kapit had only one exit inadequate emergency exit. All of the express boat are registered with Sarawak River Board and why the board did not look into the safety aspect of then express boat. With the life jacket being worn by the passenger if they cannot get out of the boat it is useless. Wake up Sarawak River Board… reviewed the requirements on the boat design as well as the boat registration. Act now do not wait for the next incident to happen in Kapit….

    Comment by Ragak | October 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Yup; thanks for your comment. In fact, the exits are too narrow and the luggage and goods are either placed near the exits or on top of the boat that could block the “big and small” passengers on their way out – should the emergency case arises!

      Anyway, the Rejang River express boats are quite comfortable (e.g. Mega Vision and Sarawak Boleh 168) and I used to sun bathed on top of the boats to enjoy the Rejang River(bank) scenery. Safety first?! Hmmmph… it’s hard to tell!

      And wahlao wey… my friends and I used to board Mega Vision express boat from Sibu at 8.00 am and we reached Putai at about 4.30 pm!

      The time is now for the state gomen to build link roads connecting Upper Baleh, Kapit, Song, and Kanowit (to Sibu) – instead of carrying out another feasibility study on the proposed Baleh hydro-electric dam!

      And how many dams do the state need, actually?!

      Comment by tiyungdayak | October 28, 2010 | Reply

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