Former SRDC chairman James Laju Ambok passes away

SIBU (Sept 12): Former chairman of the Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) James Laju Ambok has passed away.

According to SRDC chairman Sempurai Petrus Ngelai, he learnt of Laju’s passing from a council staff this morning.

“I offer my deepest condolences and sympathy to the late James Laju’s family.

“I was informed early this morning about his passing by SRDC staff. My thoughts and prayers are with them. We pray for his eternal rest in peace,” Sempurai told The Borneo Post tonight.

He recalled: “Personally, I knew Uncle James very well. When I was a councillor with Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) and chaired the Dayak Pavilion of Borneo Cultural Festival, the late James was a mentor to me with his wise advice and strong support that made the Dayak Pavilion that time very successful with the support of all NGOs and local community leaders.”

On behalf of SRDC, Sempurai extended his deepest condolences to his family.

He said Laju’s contribution to SRDC and areas under its jurisdiction during his tenure as chairman of SRDC will always be remembered.

Sempurai took over the baton from the late Laju in 2016.

The late Laju became the SRDC chairman in 2004.

Meanwhile, former SRDC deputy chairman Oliver Kuo when contacted had fond memories of Laju.

“I had known late James Laju for a long time. When I was the chairman of SRDC from 1999-2003, he was my deputy. Late James was a man of principle, a mild character, very cooperative and is a good team player in SRDC.

“He had given me a big helping hand in handling issues in the rural Iban areas during my tenure as chairman. I returned back to SRDC as deputy chairman in 2013, he was my chairman until we retired together in 2017. He was friendly, easy approachable and always prepared to give advice whenever needed.”

Kuo said that he had a good working relationship with him, where they always solved council problems together through consultation and mutual understanding.

Hence, we were able to discharge our duties smoothly in SRDC, he recalled.

“Being serving in SRDC for over 20 years, he had a bank of experience in leading a local council, he had contributed a great deal in transforming Sibu rural area into what it is now.

“I think he is a good leader, his passing is without doubt a loss to the Iban community in Sibu,” said Kuo.

Meanwhile, a Facebook user, Urai Rosiana posted in her Facebook that the late Laju considered her as a sister and was somebody who gave her advice and scolded her when she made mistakes.

She said the late Laju was concerned whenever she faced problems.

-- Source: Borneo Post

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