Hornbill Unleashed

November 8, 2014

Jabu warns Penans on the way forward, But what have you done!

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penanJohn Joseph

The Deputy Chief Minister supports Chief Minister Adenan Satem whose vision is the same as that of Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang has advised the Penan community to take a good look at themselves and take stock of where they were going.

He argued that those who taught the Penans to set up blockades and demand compensation from timber companies “were actually making the Penans lazy and dependent on the compensation”. (more…)

November 5, 2014

Zahid declares Penang’s PPS illegal, assets to be seized

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Members of Penang's Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) during a state-level Merdeka parade last August. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 4, 2014.TMI

Members of Penang’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) during a state-level Merdeka parade last August.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has declared Penang’s Voluntary Patrol Unit (PPS) an illegal organisation, and its assets and properties will be seized, the Home Ministry said today.

Its secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohamad Khalid Shariff said Zahid made the declaration yesterday, invoking Section 5(1) of the Societies Act 1966, which empowers the minister to declare an organisation illegal. (more…)

October 31, 2014

Sarawak Penans still hope for Peace Park

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The Sarawak Penans are appealing to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to reconsider the ethnic group's request to alienate land for a Peace Park. – AFP pic, October 30, 2014.DESMOND DAVIDSON

The Sarawak Penans are appealing to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to reconsider the ethnic group’s request to alienate land for a Peace Park.

A Penan village chief has appealed to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to reconsider the ethnic group’s request to alienate land for a Peace Park.

The government under Adenan’s predecessor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud had rejected the idea of alienating a large swath of land in the interior close to the Sarawak-Kalimantan border exclusively for a small ethnic group. (more…)

October 30, 2014

Books on Penan, logging for Adenan

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Money logging bookJoe Fernandez

Australian journalist Paul Malone urges Sarawak CM Adenan Satem to grant the Penan rights over their traditional lands.

Two visiting writers from Australia and Switzerland are in the Sarawak capital in the hope that they can call on Chief Minister Adenan Satem and present him with copies of their books to persuade a change in government policies towards the Penan, on timber and the environment as well as see the necessity for good governance.

Australian journalist Paul Malone wrote, “The Peaceful People: The Penan and their fight for the forest” (more…)

Penan not vengeful people, says author

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Joseph tawie

An Australian journalist of 40 years’ standing, Paul Malone, has described the Penan as ‘peaceful people’ who refused to mount revenge attacks even when their women and children were massacred by outsiders.

“They have shown great restraint in their anti-logging and anti-dam protests, where excessive force has been used against them,” Malone says in his book ‘The Peaceful People: The Penan and their fight for the forest’.

The book was launched in Kuching this afternoon by Sarawak PKR vice-chairperson and Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How. (more…)

October 11, 2014

Nearly half a century of failure in understanding “simple-minded” Penans

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(Right): Alfred JabuJimmy Adit

Did you know that every time a minister or the local YB visited their areas, the Penans would set up blockades to their settlements?

“Setting up blockades will not help their cause. How will the government develop their areas if blockades are set up everywhere?” asked Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu last week.

The Penans have been warned they will be left behind if they continue to run away from the government.

Of course Jabu knows the “simple-minded” Penans are just innocent victims of instigation, which is why “the government does not blame them”. (more…)

September 27, 2014

Penan are not our tools, say NGOs

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Dukau Papau

Was the recent visit of Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Rural Development Alfred Jabu anak Numpang to the upper reaches of Baram River by helicopter ‘official’ or to fish for Malaysia’s most expensive fish – the empurau.

This is what Save Rivers Sarawak Network (Save Rivers) demands to know.

“Based on ground reports and from timber workers, Jabu seemed to enjoy fishing for the empurau,” Save Rivers chairperson Peter Kallang (left) said today.

The empurau in the Kuching market, fetches between RM600 and RM800 per kilogramme. (more…)

September 24, 2014

Documentary tells of Penan struggle amid threat of deforestation

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A British filmmaker has released a documentary based on the life and trials of the Penan tribe in Sarawak, to coincide with the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations in New York.

The 30-minute video by Ross Harrison was released with the support of Swiss-based rainforest advocacy group Bruno Manser Fund, a strong critic of former Sarawak chief minister, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Harrison spent six weeks last year living with the Penang tribe in making the documentary, “Sunset Over Selungo”, named after a remote river in the state. (more…)

July 23, 2014

Ex-CJ: Islam under threat in DAP-ruled Penang

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Former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad has highlighted the problems faced by Muslims in Penang, which he warned could spread if left unchecked.

Among others, he said a former Penang mufti told him that it was difficult to secure allocations for Islamic activities in the state as various religious groups wanted their fair share.

“If this is not stopped, it will spread to the whole of Malaysia. Maybe Islamic programmes will have to be shared with other religions.

“Government departments and campuses may be required to not only prepare surau but also churches, gurdwara and temples,” he added. (more…)

June 30, 2014

Suhakam hears and sees empty promises made to Murum Penans

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Anna Chidambar

The plight of the suffering Penans who had to make way for the Murum Dam in Sarawak has been reconfirmed by Suhakam commissioner James Nayagam.

Nayagam who visited the displaced community recently managed to witness first-hand the horrendous situation they are in and the “empty promises” made to the Penans by the state government.

For starters, the Suhakam commissioner acknowledged that the access road to the resettlement areas was in deplorable condition. When it rained, it became inaccessible even to 4WD vehicles to ferry the children to school. (more…)

June 19, 2014

Suhakam to help Murum Penans seek the unfulfilled promises

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:59 AM
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Ng Ai Fern

James with pupils at a primary school near the Murum resettlement

The promised brighter future for Penans who made ways for the Murum Dam turned out to be another miserable letdown with unfulfilled promises, no schooling and inadequate infrastructures, among other dissatisfying living conditions.

The disgruntlement of the community at the two resettlement areas – Metalun and Tegulang – was brought to the attention of the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) yesterday.

“The access road to the resettlement areas were in bad condition, especially when it rains – it cannot be used to ferry the children to school using the four-wheel drive,” Suhakam Commissioner James Nayagen pointed out. (more…)

June 4, 2014

Taking a dig at arrogant corporations for insulting the Penans…


Yes minister, no problem!

Governments and corporations must exercise greater responsibility when engaging with those most affected by their developments.

BY the time you even get to the first sentence, I would be halfway to my wife’s longhouse in Betong, near Sri Aman, for a two-day trip before heading straight to London to finish the remaining Gawai Dayak celebrations with a well-deserved holiday.

Driving makes me think so I found my mind shifting itself to a Gawai Dayak message this week. (more…)

June 3, 2014

Penans accuse Sarawak gov’t of cheating them

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

Some 1,500 Penan families who have moved to Metalun and Tegulang after being affected by the Murum hydroelectric dam have lodged a police report against the Sarawak state government and its agency Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), accusing them of failing to fulfill their promise of giving them RM850 per family per month.

Four persons, namely Tua Kampung Madai Salo, representing Penan families from Long Luar; Ramlie Bujang, representing Penan families from Long Tangau; Ngang Buling of Long Singu; and Liew Bueh of Long Menapa; lodged a report today at the Belaga police station.

In their police report, they claimed that they were supposed to be paid RM850 per month per family as an incentive for them to move out of their original longhouses to new resettlements such as Metalun and Tegulang.


February 20, 2014

Penans want more from Adenan

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While the community is thankful to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, they hope his successor will give them more in terms of social economic opportunities, and educational and infrastructural development.

The Penan community are hoping that new Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem will create more opportunities for the community to develope and improve themselves.

Community leader Hassan Sui said their main quest was to improve their living standards.

There are 15,000 Penans in the state. (more…)

January 29, 2014

Catholic priests in Penang urge calm in face of provocation

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Catholic priests in Penang have urged their parishioners to continue keeping calm following two incidents on Sunday and early yesterday morning that were meant to provoke religious tension.

Church of the Assumption (pic) parish priest Father Dominic Santhiyagu said today that parishioners are happy that in the midst of the incidents, all segments of society and race have called to provide moral and spiritual support.

“We are sad that there are elements out to create mischief between the various communities. (more…)

Penang BN leaders condemn church attacks

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Susan Loone

BN leaders have joined others in Penang to express their condemnation of the recent attacks on churches in the northern state.

Penang Gerakan chief Teng Chang Yeow said these were “cowardice acts by irresponsible elements”.

“They (the culprits) do not deserve to be called Malaysians. Malaysians love peace and harmony,” he said, speaking from Singapore.

Teng urged the police to act fast to bring the culprits to book. (more…)

January 28, 2014

Christians must not react to mysterious Jesus banners outside Penang churches, priest says

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The controversial banner which was put up outside a few churches of different denominations in Penang today. - Pic courtesy of anilnetto.com, January 26, 2014.LOOI SUE-CHERN

The controversial banner which was put up outside a few churches of different denominations in Penang today.

A Catholic priest has advised Christians not to react to a number of banners which read “Allah is Great, Jesus is the son of Allah” that appeared outside churches in Penang to prevent religious tension from rising.

The banners were hung outside the Victory Lutheran Church, St John Britto Catholic Church, The Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Church of the Assumption on the island and the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Butterworth on the mainland. (more…)

January 25, 2014

Muslim group wants ban on open selling of pork in Penang


Tensions went up a notch in Penang today when a Muslim non-governmental organisation demanded that local authorities ban the open selling of pork in the state.

Solidarity and Charity Organisation (Isco) claimed that the selling of pork openly was a disregard to Muslim sensitivity in the state.

Its president, Abdul Rahman Makhtun, said in a letter to Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) president Datuk Patahiyah Ismail today that the council should be more aware of Muslim sensitivity as the animal was haram in Islam. (more…)

January 19, 2014

Anwar breaks silence on Penang’s ’40 words ban’

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Susan Loone

Although DAP national chief Karpal Singh has urged the Penang government to seek legal advice on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims in the state before a conviction occurs, state leaders have been silent over the matter.

Under the Penang Islamic Religious Administration Enactment 2004, non-Muslims are prohibited from using 40 words, including ‘Allah’.

Conviction under the Enactment carries a RM3,000 fine or jail term not exceeding two years or both. (more…)

January 8, 2014

Murum Penan Stranded Without Supplies As Norwegian Boss Calls It A Day

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:40 AM
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Murum Penan Stranded Without Supplies As Norwegian Boss Calls It A Day

Sarawak Report

The indigenous language radio station Radio Free Sarawak broke the news today that the community of Murum Penan, resettled by Sarawak Energy, are making emergency calls to say they are now cut off by the dam’s rising waters and running out of food supplies.It was the same day that it emerged that the Norwegian CEO, who has made much of his role in allegedly transforming and improving the lives of the natives of Sarawak, will leave at the end of his current contract later this year.

The Environment and native rights group, the Bruno Manser Fund, revealed the news of Mr Torstein Dale Sjotveit’s departure in a press release late afternoon: (more…)

January 1, 2014

BN to ‘seize’ power in Penang, just like it did in Bukit Bintang?

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Ian McIntyre

Remember what happened to then Bukit Bintang MP Wee Choo Keong in 1995?

After Wee had polled 20,403 votes to win the seat for DAP with a 5,546-vote majority, the super Barisan Nasional-friendly Election Commission (EC), in a post-general election move, declared MCA’s Dr Lee Chong Meng the legal MP.

The back door entry of MCA into Bukit Bintang (a parliamentary seat never won by MCA in a general election) followed Wee being fined RM7,000 for contempt of court in a personal matter with MBf. (more…)

December 4, 2013

Penan blockade lifted after additional RM8,000 paid to protesters, says lawyer

A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. - The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.DESMOND DAVIDSON

A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.The 77-day Penan blockade of the Murum hydroelectric dam has been lifted, following an extra RM8,000 offered to each family.

The end of the blockade was announced yesterday by one of the state’s Native Customary Rights (NCR) land lawyers, Abun Sui Anyit.

Anyit, who is also offering legal assistance to the protesting Penans, said they had been “strong-armed by the state government into accepting a token compensation package”. (more…)

Murum Dam: Protesting Penans forced out

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FMT Staff

According to their lawyer, the Penans were forced into accepting a RM23,000 compensation per family, RM8,000 more than the previous offer.

MURUM: The Penans here have been forced to concede defeat and abandon their blockades after 77 days as impoundment of the contentious Murum Dam continued.

According to villagers, flooding will soon drown their longhouses, logging roads and bridges, completely destroying their lives and livelihood. (more…)

December 1, 2013

Taib Mahmud’s offer to displaced Penans a joke, says activist

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This picture taken last month shows banners proclaiming dissatisfaction with the Baram dam project. – The Malaysian Insider pic, November 30, 2013.DESMOND DAVIDSON

This picture taken last month shows banners proclaiming dissatisfaction with the Baram dam project.

Sarawak is bullying its indigenous people with a compensation package that has been called “a joke” for those who have been displaced by a dam project in Malaysia’s largest state, an activist told The Malaysian Insider.

Peter Kallang, chairman of Save Sarawak Rivers, trashed the package which Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said “is probably among the best in the world”. (more…)

November 28, 2013

Penan families not going to get a sen more, says Sarawak Chief Minister

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Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (pic, left) has stood his ground and said that the state government will not pay an extra sen to the 100 Penan families displaced by the Murum hydroelectric dam project.

Describing their cash demands as “outrageous”, Taib said the government will not budge and pointed out that the demands “would be rejected anywhere in the world”.

The 100 Penan families, who have set up a blockade on the access road to the dam site, are demanding RM500,000 compensation for each family while the state government is only prepared to pay RM15,000 per family. (more…)

November 26, 2013

International NGOs take up plight of the Penans

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An undated photo of the Penans protesting against the construction of the dam in Murum. - Pic courtesy of BaruBian.net, November 25, 2013.DESMOND DAVIDSON

An undated photo of the Penans protesting against the construction of the dam in Murum. 

Some 30 human rights and environmental non-governmental organisations have sent letters to 15 Malaysian missions worldwide calling for “good faith negotiations” with more than 100 Penan families who are displaced by the Murum hydroelectric dam project in Sarawak.

The organisations which represent national, regional and international civil society groups are also demanding that the Sarawak state government re-negotiate the compensation package which was offered to the Penan families. (more…)

November 22, 2013

Penans: We will sue if govt ignores demands

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William Mangor and P Ramani

Meanwhile a 13-member Penan delegation which is in Kuala Lumpur detailed their dire straits to a coalition of civil and women’s rights NGOs led by All Women’s Action Society (AWAM).

While a group of natives from Murum are currently in Kuala Lumpur exposing to West Malaysians the severity and urgency of their situation, their families are continuing with the blockades insisting that the state government meet their demands.

Penan and Kenyah community lawyer Abun Sui Anyit said today that the protestors in Murum will not backdown on their demands despite the police intimidation, harrassment and the authorities having severed access to food water and medicines. (more…)

Plight of Penans brought to Tasmanian parliament

Filed under: Dams,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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FMT Staff

Green Party MP Kim Booth has brought up in the Tasmanian Parliament state-owned Hydro Tasmania’s involvement in the contentious Murum Dam and the human rights violations against the Penans in Sarawak.

The Tasmanian Parliament has called on its government to intervene immediately and compel the Sarawak administration to compensate the Penans affected by the Murum Hydropower Dam project.


November 21, 2013

Penans want Najib, IGP to intervene in Murum

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Vignesh Kumar

The Penans have hit a stalemate on their negotiations with state government and the Murum Dam main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) over compensation and resettlement issues.

Thirteen members of the Penan tribe in Murum, Sarawak travelled all the way to Bukit Aman today to handover a memorandum to the Inspector General of Police demanding that the police “stop immediately any intimidation and provocation” towards the Penans who have erected bloackades at the Murun dam site (more…)

Penan march to Parliament with ‘fair play’ demand

Ram Anand

Fourteen representatives of the Penan community marched to Parliament House today, demanding a stop their eviction from their ancestral land, which has been taken over for a mega-dam in Belaga, Sarawak.

They went to the Opposition Leader’s office to hand over a memorandum that also asks Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to ensure a consultation process between them and the authorities.

Two hours earlier, they had gone to Bukit Aman police headquarters to hand over a memorandum urging the police force to behave in neutral manner over the blockade they have mounted near the Murum Dam. (more…)

November 20, 2013

Sarawak Penan arrive to push their case to Parliament

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A group of Penan have descended on the federal capital from Sarawak and they will hold protests outside the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman and go to Parliament tomorrow to get the authorities to look into their plight.

They will be meeting with Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar at Bukit Aman, in the morning and submit a memorandum to him to get the police in Sarawak to stop harassing them.

After meeting Khalid, they will walk to Parliament House to report the Sarawak government’s discrimination of the Penan community to the MPs. (more…)

November 15, 2013

Who To Believe? Torstein Sjotveit and SEB’s Propagada Or The Penan Pengulu?

Removed from his post - no wonder the Pengulu lost his job, yet in their media propaganda SEB still pretend he is their supporter!Sarawak Report

The quite shocking duplicity of Sarawak Energy (SEB)’s full-force propaganda drive has been exposed once again by a simple film.

In this latest documentary from Tegulang, the resettled Penan from Murum have been allowed to speak for themselves, instead of having SEB and Bernama speak for them to tame journalists.

And the very Penan leader, Pengulu Pao Tului, whom SEB portrayed for months as the man who willingly negotiated with them, has gone on camera to slam the way his community has been treated. (more…)

November 14, 2013

Protesting Penans claim police were drunk

William Mangor

A Penan lawyer-cum-activist has called on the IGP and the federal government to intervene in the Murum issue.

MURUM: Penan protestors mounting blockades at the Murum Dam site here claimed policemen who intimidated and harassed them were drunk.

Penan activist cum lawyer Abun Sui Anyit said based on ground reports from the blockade site, the police officers stationed in the area were allegedly being provided alcohol by the dam’s main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB). (more…)

November 12, 2013

Penans vow to continue blockade until govt agrees to talks

Penan longhouse residents during an earlier protest against Murum dam last month.Chen Shaua Fui

  • Penan longhouse residents during an earlier protest against Murum dam last month.

The arrest of 10 Penans last week at the blockade site near Murum Dam has not deterred them from continuing their fight to stop the inundation of their land before compensation is paid.

They went back to the site upon their release on Sunday.

The state coordinator of Borneo Resources Institute (Brimas) Raymond Abin said that the Penan will continue to stay at the blockade site until the government promises to talk to them on the compensation. (more…)

Torstein Should Apologise To Penan!

Torstein Should Apologise To Penan!

Sarawak Report

On November 7th, the Norwegian head of Sarawak Energy took great care to make his accusations against the Penan tribespeople at the Murum Dam blockade as public as possible, by insisting on broadcasting them in full on our site.

In an email to the Swiss NGO BMF, which he copied into our comments section, he claimed that these families had been extorting money from members of the public, by setting up a toll on the public road. (more…)

November 9, 2013

Two Penans visiting detained relatives arrested

Peter Sibon & Joanna Yap

Two more Penans have been arrested yesterday afternoon in relation to the Murum dam blockade.

They were arrested when they went to the Belaga police station to visit their relatives who were among the eight Penans arrested the day before, according to Sarawak Conservation Alliance of Natural Environment (SCANE) chairman Raymond Abin who has been keeping in touch with the protestors.

The two individuals have been identified as 16-year-old Philip Bujang and 21-year-old Merit Gadong. (more…)

Lawyer cries foul over remand of eight Penans, including 12-year-olds for “taking pictures”


The eight Penans, whom police arrested at a blockade on the access road to the Murum hydroelectric dam in Ulu Belaga, Sarawak, Thursday afternoon, have been remanded for three days until Sunday.

Their lawyer, Abun Sui Anyit, said they were being held under Section 341 of the penal code.

Under the section, the arrested Penans, aged between 12 and 60 years old, would be in police custody until a magistrate could hear their case. (more…)

SUARAM condemns Penan Arrests

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 16.07.38Suram

  • PRESS STATEMENT – SUARAM Condemns Crackdown in Murum : Protesters, Including Children, Arrested and Detained

SUARAM condemns ongoing harassment of Penan communities in Murum and Baram. Yesterday (7 November 2013), saw another action from the Royal Malaysian Police which clearly shows the failed role of the police force. Eight Penan who have been blockading against the Murum damsince August were arrested yesterday and brought to the Belaga Police Station. (more…)

Eight Penans arrested at new blockade site at Murum

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Dukau Papau

Eight Penans including their leader Ngang Buling are now being detained at the Belaga Police station following their arrests yesterday afternoon at a new blockade site which they erected at the Murum dam access road near Sungai Majoh Kecil within the dam site.

They have moved to this new site since Tuesday from the previous one to ensure that no workers or officials from Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) enter the dam site unless their demands are met.

In arresting them, some 80 police personnel, including 40 members of the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) were involved in the operation against the Penan. (more…)

November 1, 2013

‘Sarawak Energy trying to mislead the Penan’

Filed under: Dams,Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Dukau Papau

Penan families affected by the Murum Dam have accused Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) of trying to mislead them and the general public into believing that they would receive RM213.3 million in compensation for their longhouses and infrastructure facilities

Peliran-Murum Penan Affairs Committee (Pemupa) chairperson Ngang Buling vehemently refuted the claims today and said there was no truth in the SEB statement.

“The Penan are shocked by the claim, which to them is all rubbish,” said Ngang.

He was commenting on a ‘blanket statement’ issued by SEB on the payment of compensation to the Penan communities affected by Murum Dam hydroelectric project (MDHEP) in the Belaga district. (more…)

October 7, 2013

Police to arrest 40 more Penans

Dukau Papau

The government has dispatched more police personnel including 43 members of the Public Order Riot Unit (PORU) to the Murum dam site in Belaga in an effort to arrest 40 Penans said to be involved in putting up blockades to protect against the impoundment of the dam.

Last Wednesday, their leader Ngang Buling, was arrested and detained, but was released on Friday on police bail.

He is to be charged under Section 448 of the Penal Code for trespassing and is expected to appear in court on Nov 4, 2013. (more…)

October 4, 2013

Cops should protect Penans, not arrest them


Human rights NGO Suaram has condemned police action against Penan protesters fighting against the impoundment of the Murum dam, urging the police to instead protect the indigenous people.

Suaram coordinator R Thevarajan said that by arresting a protester and breaking up the blockade the community had put up to halt progress on the dam, the police are siding with the exploiters instead of the rakyat.

“We urge the Royal Malaysian Police to safeguard law and justice and to protect the interests of the Penan people instead of taking the side of the exploiters. (more…)

Stop impoundment, Penans plead

William Mangor

The Penan and Kenyah communities have lodged a police report after their pleas were allegedly ignored by the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad.

MIRI: Penans affected by the alleged unannounced impoundment of the Murum Dam have lodged a police report against the Sarawak government and the main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB).

In the police report lodged yesterday, they claimed that SEB had failed to notify them of the impoundment and that most members of the community are yet to move to the new resettlement sites and are at risk.

They said the community was still in negotiations with the state government and as such SEB’s action to impound the Murum Dam was illegal. (more…)

October 3, 2013

Murum Dam blockade: Penan protestor arrested

FMT Staff

A tense situation prevailed at the Murum Dam blockade when 30 police officers confronted 300 Penan protestors who offered themselves for arrest.

MURUM: Police moving in to stop the ongoing blockade by Penans on the road to the Murum Dam construction site arrested a protestor and fired a shot in the air to “stop” the people.

Ngang Buling, a Penan from the Murum region, was arrested this morning for reasons as yet unknown. Police are holding him at the Belaga station for questioning.

Quoting Ngang Buling, Save Rivers Network, a coalition of NGOs said the police are likely to hold him for four days. (more…)

Police arrest a Penan near Murum dam

MurumDukau Papau

Police from Belaga fired shots into the air to stop more than 300 protesters who also wanted to be arrested after a protester, Ngang Buling, was arrested at their Murum dam blockade site at 10.10am today.

Save Sarawak Rivers Network (Save) chairperson Peter Kalang said after Ngang was arrested, some 300 others who were guarding the blockade rushed to the police personnel and demanded that they be arrested as well.

“The police feared some untoward incident might take place and fired shots into the air to stop the action of the protesters,” Kalang said in a message to Malaysiakini. (more…)

Police report lodged against Sarawak government as Penans fight resettlement due to Murum dam

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
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Penan representatives demanding higher compensation from the state government and its energy company for their settlement land have lodged a police report in Miri over the move by Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) to impound the Murum hydroelectric dam.

The Penans want the impoundment stopped and are said to among other demand half-a-million ringgit compensation per family.

The group came to the coastal Miri city all the way from their deep jungle home, which will be submerged once the dam is filled with water in a year’s time.

They claimed SEB gave no notice when it started work to fill the reservoir. (more…)

September 28, 2013

‘We did not instigate Penans’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Winston Way

A Sarawak-based NGO which has been accused of instigating Penans to stage blockades against the Murum HEP has hit back at the Sarawak Energy Board (SEB).Penans staged blockades on their own will, and reports of Sarawak Energy contractors burning their old longhouses came directly from the victims, claims SAVE Rivers Network.

SAVE Rivers Network chairman Peter Kallang said: “It’s a lie. SEB is trying to paint the picture that we (the NGOs) are trying to instigate the people there.

“In fact, we were never even there.” (more…)

September 27, 2013

Murum Dam: Blockade intensifies as 100 Penans refuse to budge

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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This is a file photo from previous blockade staged by the Penans.Ng Ai Fern

This is a file photo from previous blockade staged by the Penans.
KUCHING (Sept 24): The ongoing blockade at the 944-megawatt Murum hydroelectric project (HEP) has intensified as some 100 Penans refused to move from the dam site until their long-standing demands are met.
The assurance from Belaga district officer together with two officers from State Planning Unit and Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) who went to the site this morning had failed to resolve the matter. (more…)

September 24, 2013

Murum dam impoundment begins as Penans protest

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
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Dukau Papau

The Sarawak government-owned Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) started the impoundment of the RM4 billion Murum dam at Ulu Belaga yesterday, ignoring the plight of the Penans from six villages who are currently mounting a blockade.

“More than 100 Penans from Long Wat, Long Luar, Long Tangau, Long Menapa, Long Singu and Long Malim which are upstream of the Murum river, have since last week erected a blockade.

“They are protesting against the failure of the government to fulfil its promises as SEB, the owner of Murum dam, started the impoundment on Sunday,” said Raymond Abin, national coordinator of the Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (SCANE). (more…)

September 20, 2013

Court rules Penans free to move on their NCR lands

Cheerful landowners from Kampung Jambatan Suai together with their lawyers.

Ng Ai Fern

Cheerful landowners from Kampung Jambatan Suai together with their lawyers.

Some 150 Penan families can breathe a sigh of relief after a plantation company failed in its bid to restrain them from entering the native customary rights (NCR) land in Suai Niah.

High Court judge Stephen Chung Hian Guan, after a full trial, today quashed SPB Pelita Suai Sdn Bhd’s application to order the landowners to deliver and surrender vacant possession of the plantation area.

“This is the greatest news for the native Penans. They are relieved that they are the rightful owners and reassured of what they did in the past to defend their rights,” the community’s lawyer Abun Sui Anyit told fz.com. (more…)

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