Thursday, March 31, 2011


In his recent autobiography the late Rev. Brother Michael Jacques reminisced: "I have never lost the spirit of always being a Sarawakian and am proud of it. No matter how long I have been away, my roots are in Kuching where I came from," giving a subtle signal as to why the autobiography was titledThe Man from Borneo”.

Jacques was always proud of his French-British-Hakka ancestry. He speaks at length of his mother, Chin Jin Khoi, who was married to a labourer and opium addict, Soon Huat. It was not a happy union and so Chin married William Harry Jacques, a teacher at the Chung Hwa school.

In his teaching career spanning 48 years, Michael Jacques, served twice as Brother-Visitor in the La Salle provincialate of Malaysia-Singapore-Hongkong. He was also the first Asian elected to the post of Assistant Superior General of the LaSallian Christian Brothers headquartered in Rome. He was recently conferred a Datukship by the Penang State Government.

His teaching career took him from his idyllic hometown in Kuching to Penang, Ipoh, Malacca, Singapore, Bangkok, Colombo, Hongkong, London and Rome.

Strikingly, in the last leaf of his 390-page epistle, this educationist seems to have prophesised his absence at the launch, penning in Latin:"Dum spiro spero" (While I breathe, I hope)....incidently the motto of the illustrious fighting band called theSarawak Rangers....or the Iban equivalent: Agip Idup, Agip Ngelaban.*

And as if intended as an epilogue to his Latin musings, the last three lines of his memoir read: "We should never despair while we still have life. I shall have to make the best of it. My watchword is to live as authentic a life as possible, for the relatively short time remaining to me."

*The motto of the Ranger Regiment is Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban. A direct translation, word for word from Iban to English is "Still Alive, Still Fight." In spirit the motto means "Fight to the Death." It is conjectured that the motto was derived from Brooke family's Latin motto, Dum Spiro Spero which means "While I Breathe, I Hope." In this light, Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban could mean "While I Breathe, I fight." Dum Spiro Spero was the state motto for the Kingdom of Sarawak. In the other, according to the Journal of 1st Ranger Regiment, the motto Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban was derived from "Whilst There Is Life, There Is Fight", also noted as Brooke's family motto. The Royal Ranger Regiment is the only corps of the Malaysian Armed Forces using this motto in the Iban language.

Bro Michael Jacques, former Bro Theoderat Michael, was my superior. We did not get along well but I always respected this great pedagogue from a distance. Most times it always is better this way. Farewell Brother Visitor.

La Salle director for Malaysia, Brother Anthony Rogers, incidentally an Ops Lalang detainee, in his citation during the launch of “The Man from Borneo”, said it all about Jacques in just three words: "Someone for all".

(bits and pieces from here and there)


As a mark of respect

this blog will be silent

for a day.

Wake will be at the La Salle Hall, Jalan 5/15B, off Jalan Gasing from noon tomorrow. Funeral Mass is on 2 April at 10.00am at St Francis Xavier Church.


smelly said...


will always remember you as the most kind and understanding Bro.Director..

left SXI in 1965

Anonymous said...

take your rest brother deserve it .....
from a former student who had the opportunity of studying at st. xaviers' institution penang ....

wandererAus said...

I am a proud La Sallian and have always appreciated human value I received from the Christian Brothers. One significant value I received and reflected in my daily life is my human decency...although, I must admit I am no saint, more a rascal in my younger years but, I detest immoral values practiced by these UMNO dirty bastards!
The "Hornbills of Sarawak" the time has come to set yourself free. Rid yourselves from the hold of these corrupted scumbags who stole from you and made you slaves in your own land. I borrowed this quote, ""Still Alive, Still Fight." In spirit the motto means "Fight to the Death.

Anonymous said...

Yet the rights of Christians in Sarawak has been systematically removed!!!

Anonymous said...

Sincere condolences.

SXI 1973-1974

Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences to Bro Director. I have never have had the oppurtunity to meet him but nonetheless being an ex Xaverian, I share his wisdom and thoughts! May you Rest in Peace, Labor Omnia Vincit!

J. D. Lovrenciear said...

May the Peace of the Lord be the late Brother Michael's abundant reward.

Yes, Bro Michael and all the many LaSallian Brothers who spearheaded the quality education are today mere legends.

If only, and if only the government had not spiked education with nationalism, we need not be fighting losing battles over a corrupting society today.

So much for the great Mahathirism we inherited without protest.

loh said...

The Election Commission of Malaysia is just an extension of UMNO and so it would not know about what constitute free and fair election, which it has the responsibility to ensure. To have a fair election, political parties should not be allowed to have unfair advantage in using government funds to induce voters to vote for the party that forms the government. Clearly dispensing goodies before election is unfair to the opponents contesting the election. Yet instead of fulfilling its duties Election Commission chose to act otherwise; it even went to the extent of ignoring the decision of the Speaker of State Assembly, when the Election Commission had not the authority to do so. Malaysia is a failed state because the institutions such as the Election Commission have failed in its duties. Yet Nasri was proud to announce that the government has been doing corrupt acts as its usual ways of fulfilling its promise and manifestos. How low can UMNO government go?

Anonymous said...

Just like the fact that as of yesterday, every single piece of news (except the adverts) in Borneo Post was meant to trumpet the success of BN politics of development, the religious space – from the ‘azan’ blaring in RTM and even in the Iban channel of the Sarate private radio station Wai-FM, is dominated by Islam.

And just as the BN ruling political party would give no space for the free market place of political ideas to flourish in the mainstream media, the Islam religious-civil-complex, would shut out – not only the Christians, but every other religion and other Islamic sects – from public space.

So : in both the political and religious space, the tendency to stuff the political and religious space into a tight little bottle, so that the citizenry would remain mentally captive (in the bottle!) – into a particular political and religious orientation, while putting up a facade of democracy and extoling the idea of human dignity and freedom for the Palestinians(and others?),is so typically – Malaysian !

The Opposition Front and numerous other independent and ‘special-purpose’ political party, provides the light at the end of the tunnel for those who seek to widen the Malaysian political space, to break the dominance of UMNO-logy.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the BEST headmaster in perak : Bro. John Moh of Ipoh Sam Tet Secondary school !!

Anonymous said...

After yoga, Jakim is flexing its muscles again to ban poco-poco dance.

People of Sarawak be careful as Jakim will soon make its way via BN to your heartland to ban your culture too.

过瘾 said...


Godfather said...

Standard responses from BN when confronted with allegations of corruption:

1. Who ? What ? Me ?
2. It was paid by the seller, not by us. (Scorpene)
3. We were misled. (PKFZ)
4. It was a legitimate business transaction. (Sarawak)
5. The law says it isn’t corruption. (Nazri)
6. I can’t remember. (Mamakthir)
7. Everything is above board. (Tourism Ministry)
8. I’ll sue you if you say it’s overpriced. (Zahid)
9. I have enough for 7 generations. (Semi Value)

Then when they run out of excuses, the next comment would be: Do you think PR will do any better ? And when all else fails, the standard BN response would be: SO WHAT ?

Masri said...

Tumpang your site to publicise this event where voter registration will be conducted as well. Tomorrow Saturday 2 April.


Rock 4 Rights Music Carnival

Date: 2nd April 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 12pm to 12am

Venue: Inside Fort Cornwallis
Fees: Free of Charge

“Rock 4 Rights” is a 12–hour non-stop concert and carnival organised by the BCCLC in partnership with Frinjan and Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) and supported by Yes. Malaysiakini is the official online media partner for this event. The event is also endorsed by the Penang State Government. This one-of-a-kind initiative will start from 12pm until12am.

A total of 18 bands will perform; a combination of bands from the Radio Demokratika album, the Bangkit album (produced by SABM), Frinjan and others. There will be performance arts and film screening as well as a variety of food and beverage stalls, arts and crafts stalls, a counter for festival memorabilia, CDs by the performing artists and voter registration booths. Unregistered eligible voters are strongly encouraged to register at the voter registration booths.

sampalee said...

In Truth we are Assured liberation.In politics,one can go on hoping and Nothing will happen.
The scriptures Do not Lie.

Anonymous said...

A salesman told me : the ONLY headmaster who takmau commissions was Bro John Moh !!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sarawakians,

May you all bring back the spirit of ” Ngap Sayot ” into the politics of Sarawak. 50 years under the corrupted BN, enough is enough.

Suckerpunch said...

If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

Sarawak 4 Change!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have said it time and again and I am saying it again! Who in Malaysia made these people “tuans” and gave them “ketuanan”? Has any Malaysian ever admitted they are inferior to these tuans? If no one is inferior, then how can these people be SUPERIOR?

Anyway, looking at the term “KETUANAN ME-LAYU”, one would wonder if such “superiority” would last. what good is a “ketuanan” that will “me-layu” (wither)??????

Anonymous said...

A total of RM 50 million is used annually to maintain the two submarines KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Razak to ensure a full operational under extreme condition and for the safety of its crews of the submarines.


Our country will be safe from the pirates!

Anonymous said...

Suddenly, all Christians are so grateful to NR n UmnoB/BN 4 resolving d dispute involving d Bible; grateful enuf 2 kow tow 2 NR n continue 2 vote 4 UmnoB/BN, hurray

No wonder UmnoB/Perkosa want Malays only 2 b appointed as Customs officers – a sure fast way 2 achieve NEP n rich Malays

If ordinary Customs officers hv gold bars n bags of cash containing up 2 RM600,000 in their homes, can U imagine what their superiors n UmnoBputras hv in their homes?

Dis is just d tip of d iceberg – lots of $$ in dis nation via corruption, n dis sort of $$ can easily b used 2 bribe voters/officers n 2 finance activities against PR

In dis nation, we hv a grp of corrupt rich ppl, $ easi come easi go, no What Me Worry abt inflation, while normal mortals struggle 2 survive with $ earned fr honest living

Sadly, still lots of voters support UmnoB/BN n love 2 b exploited n skrued by UmnoB/BN