RENTAP

The man who makes the world shake

Script by
Dharmara Hans Nash Production / Art Theatre Club Miri Technical School

Cast of character 1. Sheldon Jimbau ak Patrick Jawa 2. Andy Telasai 3. Mohd Faizal Ibrahim 4. Kenneth ak Ujak 5. Alfairez B Jemurin 6. Nordin B Madian 7. Nasrin Abdul Ghani 8. Emmyline Cecilia Yahya 9. Ruhaidah Taer @ Sedi 10. Timothy Jiram Labang 11. Ricky Yong 12. Atiqah Wahid 13. Sylvia ak Sibat 14. Jaminah Jawawi 15. Siti Fatimah Hamdan Scene In a ruai at a fort. Rentap Warrior 1 Warrior 2 Warrior 3 Messenger Syarif Japar Syarif Masahor Narrator / Dancer Narrator / Dancer Dancer Dancer Dancer Dancer Technician / Reserve Technician / Reserve

Synopsis This is the story of Rentap, one of the Sarawak’s great Iban war chiefs of the nineteenth century. He is known as a fearless warrior and his greatest enemy is James Brooke, The White Rajah of Sarawak. This story is about all his ups and downs in the battle for his land, people and traditional ways of living. SCENE 1 (Music – Sape – On stage, a warrior was standing still. When the music began, the warrior started to dance.) Narrator This is the story of Rentap, one of Sarawak’s great Iban war chiefs of the nineteenth century. Rentap – meaning ‘one who 2

makes the world shake’ first name was Libau and took the name Rentap only after his first head in battle. Rentap did not want Rajah James Brooke or any other foreigner to rule over his people. He fought fiercely for a long time against the Rajah’s men. His struggle won the respect of his enemy and forced the Government of Sarawak to allow the Ibans to live their own way without much interference from the Government. In common with many other Ibans of his period, Rentap spent his time robbing neighbouring villages when he was not engaged in farming hill paddy. As a result of these raids, his people knew him as a fearless warrior. When Rentap first heard of the changes of government in Kuching and the plans Brooke had putting an end to piracy along the Borneo coast he was both amused and angry. He was amused at Brooke’s claim to govern Sarawak, and was determined to prevent him from interfering with his traditional way of life. He took an active part in the fighting against Rajah Brooke’s men at the Battle of Beting Maru on the 31 July 1849 and when he realized that Brooke had won, he withdrew with many of his followers to the headwaters of the river Saribas. There he built a strong fort near Tabbat, on a mountain ridge called Sadok, overlooking the river Lang. (Out went the dancer)

SCENE 2 (Rentap and warriors come in) Warrior 1 Now that our fort is ready, what shall we do Rentap? 3

Rentap

First we must make sure that our stronghold is ready. When the stronghold is ready, we can counter against any attack from the British.

Warrior 1 Rentap

Yes Rentap, you can check the stronghold today, as it is ready. Good. We will also get ready our men to attack the trade and we must plundered villages for our supply.

Warrior 2 Rentap Warrior 2 Rentap

Where shall we attack, Rentap? I think we will go along the banks of Batang Lupar. When do we leave? We will leave in a couple of days, if the stronghold is tough enough. That should give us some times to prepare for the supplies and our men.

Warrior 1 Rentap

Then I should get all the men ready for leaving. Yes, you get all our supplies ready as well as all the weapons we need for our raid to the villages in Batang Lupar.

(Rentap and his warrior pick up some things and they went out slowly.

SCENE 3 Narrator Rentap and his men attack the trade and plundered the villages situated along the banks of the Batang Lupar. In 1852, Rajah Brooke built a fort in Lingga to prevent Rentap from interfering with people in the lower area. This annoyed Rentap so much that he decided to attack the Brooke fort at Skrang in the hope of drawing off the Rajah’s men at Lingga. (Out come the dancers, dancing a welcome home for victory dance)

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Narrator

The Rajah’s men were ambushed and Lee, the English Officer in charge of the Lingga reinforcements, was killed.

(Out went the dancers, leaving only two warriors, greeting Rentap. Rentap comes in) Warrior 2 Welcome home Rentap! It is good that you have come home without hurt. Warrior 1 Yes, Rentap. Congratulations, too for your victory in killing the English Officer. Rentap It was nothing and yet it was a good fight between the Brooke army and us. I am glad we could defeat the fort in Skrang. Warrior 2 It is easy because they were too busy involved in building the fort in Lingga Rentap I am displeased with this fort in Lingga, which is why we plan the attack on Skrang. Now, we must get ready for any news about Brooke’s next strategy. Warrior 1 Do you think Brooke might be planning for a next attack, Rentap? Warrior 2 Yes, Rentap. We might need some time off to mend our good warriors and get their energy back, as well as mending all our weapons. Rentap We might need the break, but if Brooke’s army comes we have to be ready for them.

(Warrior 3 comes in) Warrior 3 Rentap Rentap! Yes, what is it? 5

Warrior 3 Rentap Warrior 3 Rentap Warrior 3

There is a messenger wanting to see you. Messenger? Who sent this messenger to me? He says he is a messenger from the white Rajah. Huh! Show him in. (Angry) Yes Rentap, I will show him in.

(Warrior 3 went out and a messenger comes in.) Rentap What do you want?

Messenger I come with a message from the White Rajah, James Brooke. Rentap James Brooke? What does he say?

Messenger He asks me to come and tell you that he is now in Fort Lingga, and.... Rentap And.... And what?

Messenger And he wishes to invite you over to Fort Lingga and talk peace. Rentap What peace? I will be at peace with him only if he leaves our land. Messenger He only wanted to negotiate with you. Rentap I refuse to talk to any men who want to conquer our land. Tell him, I will not come and see him. Tell him that he can bring all his fire guns from England and we will still not be afraid of him. Messenger Yes, I will relay your message to him. (Messenger went out)

Warrior 2

What do you think the White Rajah will do now? What will we do?

Rentap

He will try to attack us sometime in the near future. We must be ready for them. 6

Warrior 1 Rentap

Then we will be ready for them. We must go and find the poison for our weapon. It’s one of our greatest weapon for fighting the Brooke’s Army.

Warrior 2

I have already sent our men to search for the poison. They should be back any days now.

Rentap

Good. As long as we are ready for Brooke’s Army, we will give them a good fight that they wished they had come to the land of Sarawak.

(In come Warrior 3) Warrior 3 Rentap Warrior 3 Rentap Warrior 3 Rentap! What now? There are two men out there wishes to see you. Who are they? They say their names are Sherip Masahor and Sherip Jafar, the Malay Chief. Rentap Warrior 3 Show them in. Yes, Rentap.

(Out come Warrior 3 and in come Sherip Masahor and Sherip Jafar) S. Masahor Rentap! Rentap! Congratulation! Congratulations on your victory in Skrang. I heard you have the head of the English Officer. Rentap Yes, my friend. I have killed and cut the head of Lee, the English Officer. Come and sit so we can have something to drink. Warrior 1 and Warrior 2, get us something to drink. (Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 went out) Rentap So, to what may I honour this visit?

S. Masahor My dear Rentap, I have a proposition for you. 7

Rentap S. Jafar

Proposition? What kind of proposition? We are thinking of supplying you and your men with ammunitions, for fighting with the Brooke’s Army.

Rentap S. Jafar

Ammunitions? Yes, ammunitions such as fire guns, with barrels of gunpowder. We can supply you with lots of fire guns that are as powerful as the Brooke’s weapon. We will also supply you with all the gunpowder you will need for your battle.

S. Masahor Yes, we think that the ammunition that we supply will be a great help for you. Rentap I am sure it will. I would only be happy that you were willing to help us. What can I give to you in return? S. Jafar We just want you to defeat the White Rajah. I want him to leave our country and leave our people and our ways of life alone. His high taxes to our people are making our people

suffering. S. Masahor And there are sayings that he wishes to raise the tax even further. If this happen, our people will work with nothing to eat but all the crops will have to be given to the White Rajah as their taxes. Rentap Yes, I have heard of these high taxes the White Rajah is implementing. He is also going to put the taxes to our people in every longhouses. Well, my good friend, I will only be happy to help you, as it will also benefit my people. We will try and keep James Brooke away from our land. (In come Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 bringing water) 8

Rentap

Ha, here come our drinks. (Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 pass around the water) Come, we must drink to celebrate this. For Victory!

All

For Victory!

(All went on drinking and laughing heartily. Then Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 gather all things and went out. Rentap and the two Sherip went out.) Narrator Rentap defiance angered James Brooke, so in August 1854, about 7000 Malay and Dayak soldiers was gathered to march on Rentap strongholds. (Rentap and dancers, dancing the war dance) Narrator This command was led by Captain James Brooke himself, assisted by Charles Johnson Brooke. In the fighting that followed, Rentap was wounded, but he managed to escape into the jungle and eventually arrived safely at Sadok. He then began to strengthen Sadok against possible Brooke attack. He began to call himself the ‘Inland Rajah’ and became the centre of all native opposition to Brooke rule. In 1857, Charles Brooke led an expedition consist of 3500 Ibans and 500 Malay soldier, climb to the top of Sadok mountain, 2700 feet high. The stronghold was so well protected and after spending eight days on the mountain top in very heavy rain, Charles Brooke decided to retreat, taking along the Malay leader, Abang Aing, who is badly wounded. As he left Rentap cried: Rentap It is only we Dayaks who can walk and fight on land and climb up steep mountains.

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Narrator

He is remembered by the Ibans as a great warrior and a determined defender of the Iban way of life.

END

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