Sometimes in the middle of 1950s, several inhabitants of Punan longhouse at Telawan known as ‘Punan Tepeleang’ suddenly fell ill, then died. In the span of few weeks, about eight peoples died suffering from unknown illness. Even perplexing was the fact that they were healthy individuals before their sudden death. Anxiety and fear enveloped the longhouse.
“In the morning was the funeral of a relative who died a few days earlier and in the evening, back from the funeral, my father became ill. That evening he too died,” recalled my mother. About a week earlier, the unknown illness took away her beloved mother from the family. My grandparent was still in their early 50s – just passed their prime age.