Baru (left) being briefed by the teachers about the flood problem at SK Siang-Siang.
The construction of SK Long Sukang new building is abandoned due to the contractor’s financial problem.
The Education Ministry is urged to seriously look into all the problems faced by rural schools in the state, especially with the RM1 billion allocated by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently.
Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said The Borneo Post’s revelation yesterday on the lack of clean water supply and poorly built teachers’ quarters at SMK Tinjar in Lapok, was proof that many rural schools in the state were in ‘pathetic’ condition and in need of urgent action from the ministry. (more…)
The Borneo Post
Baru (second right) reading out a statement from his laptop during the press conference. With him are (from left) Sabah PKR women chief Juliana Jusit, state PKR secretary Lynette Tan and state PKR information chief Vernon Aji Kedit.
The amount of RM1 billion allocated for the improvement of about 600 dilapidated schools in Sabah and Sarawak will not be sufficient.
This is because, says Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian, in Sarawak alone there are around 800 of such schools. (more…)
Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat claimed today that state legal consultant JC Fong, who represented the state at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights in general last week, had misled the UN on the status of native customary rights (NCR) land and issues related to it.
“It is embarrassing to Sarawak and the country and as such, Fong should be removed as the state consultant,” Sarawak PKR chairperson Baru Bian said.
“If Fong’s statement is accurate as reported, I am appalled at his blatant attempt to mislead the UN on the situation our indigenous people are facing in Sarawak. (more…)
The detention of 2,000 copies of the Roman Church’s publicationThe Herald last Friday at the Kota Kinabalu Airport by the Home Affairs Ministry has shown that the ministry’s officials have ignored Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s assurance that the world ‘Allah’ can be used in Sabah and Sarawak, said Baru Bian, chairperson of Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
“The prime minister’s assurance does not hold water as proved by the detention of these copies of The Herald.
“Najib and his cabinet ministers were only intensely trying to mislead and pacify Sabahans and Sarawakians by saying that the ban does not apply to Sabah and Sarawak,” said Baru (right), who is the Ba’Kelalan assemblyperson. (more…)
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) assemblyperson for Ba’Kelalan Baru Bian admitted today he and two of his colleagues, Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How and Krian assemblyperson Ali Biju, have been enticed to join Barisan Nasional some time before the last sitting of the dewan undangan negeri in an attempt to weaken PKR.
“They told us that the three of us had a better future with BN than with Pakatan Rakyat. But we have rejected their offer because we believe our struggle is with PKR and Pakatan,” said Baru, who is state chairperson for PKR.
He was asked to comment on speculation that Ali would join BN in after he was seen in the company of BN leaders giving away prizes. (more…)
Sarawakians should not trust Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and members of his cabinet on their claims that the Court of Appeal decision on the use of the term ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims will not affect them, two Sarawak PKR leaders have warned.
“If we trust them, we will be in for a big shock, because they do not have power to override a court decision,” Sarawak PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How said today.
See (left), who is Batu Lintang assemblyperson, was commenting on the assurances given by the Najib administration that the Borneo states will not be affected by the decision to ban the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians. (more…)
Ng Ai Fern
Some 22 Iban landowners emerged victorious after the Court of Appeal overturned a lower court’s decision and affirmed their native customary rights over 3,000 acres of land in Niah.
Appeal judges Datuk Abdul Wahad Patail, Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki and Datuk Mah Weng Kwai on Tuesday ruled in favour of the plaintiffs from Rumah Meringai, Sungei Lembong Suai in Miri, Sarawak, with costs and damages.
The landowners had filed two cases; the first against Fung Tai Sdn Bhd, Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA), Miri Superintendent of Lands & Surveys and the Sarawak state government over the matter. (more…)
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…)
Two contractors suffered delays of up to four years in civil engineering works, causing their costs to spike.
The government agreed to pay US$133 million (RM430 million) in compensation to two foreign contractors for losses incurred in the problem-plagued Bakun Dam, an audit has revealed.
The compensation, revealed in the Auditor-General’s annual report, is a rare official acknowledgement of problems in a highly controversial project that Transparency International once labelled a “Monument to Corruption”.
The report submitted to parliament yesterday said two contractors suffered delays of up to four years in civil engineering works, causing their costs to spike. (more…)
According to a reputed senior lawyer in Sarawak, the “inescapable conclusion” is that the state has not done well from its 50-year partnership with Malaya.
On Sept 16, 1963 through the signing of the Malaysia Agreement independent Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia came together as a nation.
At that time first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman said one of the principal objectives was to further the economic development of the Borneo Territories so that their standards of living and technical skills could be raised so that the gap between a relatively backward Sarawak and Sabah and advanced Peninsular Malaya could be narrowed. (more…)
Muhyiddin Yassin must resign as education minister as he has failed to address the plight of the rural schools in Sarawak, almost all of which are in dilapidated conditions, says Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
“Muhyiddin knows that students in rural schools in Sarawak perform very poorly in their examinations and yet there is nothing at all in his education blueprint to address this problem,” Sarawak PKR chairperson Baru Bian said today.
“I was looking at a special emphasis in the blueprint to ensure that rural schools in Sarawak are at par with that in Peninsular Malaysia. But there is nothing in the blueprint. I am very disappointed,” Bian (left) said when commenting on the education blueprint. (more…)
The Borneo Post
NEGLECTED: Baru (centre) showing the teachers’ quarters which was constructed using money forked out by the school’s teachers and PTA while Voon (right) looks on.
KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian has expressed disappointment over the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 claiming that it marginalised the rural schools in the state.
He cited that schools such as SK Long Semadoh, which was under his constituency, was among those that were neglected as the parent-teacher-association (PTA) and teachers had to fork out their own money to construct a teachers’ quarters at the school. (more…)
As such the best solution for Dayaks seeking a solution following the recent federal court ruling is to approach the Sarawak Council of Native Customary Laws.
KUCHING: The Sarawak Attorney General, who is allegedly not Dayak-friendly, stands in the way of amendments to the native ‘adat’ and customs, claimed a leading native customary rights (NCR) lawyer here.
Baru Bian, who is also Sarawak PKR chief, described the state A-G as the ‘biggest hurdle’ to the process.
“But the biggest obstacle is that the Attorney General is not with the Dayaks. He is against the Dayaks and the one who argues against us right from the High Court to the Federal Court on NCR land cases. (more…)
“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter,” said Winston Churchill the writer, war-time leader and unreconstructed elitist.
I have subjected many rural voters to my rambling conversations in the past. Most of these discussions would be parochial, involving concerns about local issues. You can imagine it would be difficult to hold a conversation about world current affairs, if you had little access to newspapers, and none to the internet.
One such memorable discussion was with a group of friends, members of a village development and security committee in one of the poorest parts of Sarawak. They had lodged police reports against their ketua kaum or village chief, accusing him of corruption. (more…)
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian slams armchair critics who ridicule and malign Sarawakians over the recent general elections, adding that “change takes time”.
A senior Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat leader has rebuked armchair critics within the cyber realm who continuously malign Sarawakians over the 2011 state and recent parliamentary elections.
Since the parliamentary polls, there have been countless attacks on Sarawakians and Sabahans through social media and online news portals.
Critics blamed voters in the two states for “reaping what they sow”, in relation to them voting in Barisan Nasional despite the coalition’s failed promises and pledges. (more…)
The party conceded that the ‘the election petition is not foolproof’ and the allegations stated in the petition ‘remains not being tried by court’.
Sarawak PKR was “constrained” to withdraw its election petition for Baram “to save costs”. PKR lost the Baram parliamentary constituency in the recent election by 194 votes.
Posting his response on Facebook late yesterday evening, state party vice-chairman See Chee How said: ‘So sorry. I am no rocket scientist, the election petition is not foolproof. We were constrained to withdraw it to save costs. (more…)
Will vocal Sarawak Barisan Nasional leaders support a motion to amend the state Land Code involving NCR land if proposed by the opposition?
Barisan Nasional’s Dayak assemblymen should set aside politics and put their money where their mouth is if they are genuinely concerned about the rights of NCR (native customary rights) landowners.
Daring these elected representatives to support his proposed motion in the state legislative assembly to amend the Land Code, state PKR leader Baru Bian said: “If they are really concerned, they should support my motion in the state assembly when it sits towards the end of this year. (more…)
Baru Bian wants the Sarawak government to show evidence on its claims that the opposition was to be blamed for the Lawas water treatment plant construction delay.
Ba’Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian has Sarawak Utilities Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan 14 days to furnish proof that the opposition had delayed this construction of the Lawas water treatment project, failing which he will take legal action.
Awang Tengah is also Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment as well as Minister of Industrial Development. (more…)
A High Court ruling here has ruled that native customary rights (NCR) land includes pulau galau and pemakai menua,but the state government uses Section 6 of the land code to mislead natives.
Land Development Minister James Masing has been accused of “misleading” native customary rights (NCR) land owners.
Instead of ensuring that the perimeter survey, promised by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, is carried out in all NCR lands including longhouse forest reserve (pulau galau) and territorial domain (pemakai menua), Masing’s saying that the demarcations will be done on farmland (temuda) and old longhouse sites (tembawai). (more…)
Inside his Rolls Royce – fear is opening Taib’s tight purse….
What better sign of BN’s panic that they may lose this election than the frantic handouts and sudden promises of ‘projects’ that we have been seeing this week?
In 2008 the average election bribe that BN paid to poor rural folk per vote was a mere RM10. Yet this week the timber tycoon MP Tiong Thai King was going round offering a fat RM1,000 each!
So, now people are starting to learn what these politicians can really afford and why it pays to stand up to the bullies in BN. (more…)
A 66-year old NCR farmer, waging a case against an oil palm company linked to two Sarawak ministers, shocked at Serian police chief’s claim that his assailants were masked when he had identified them.
The opposition has questioned how the content of an police report lodged against four personnel of United Teamtrade, an oil palm company linked to several ministers, could be changed.
Surik Mantai, a 66-year old native customary rights land owner, was attacked and severely assaulted by a director and staff of United Temtrade. Surik who suffered multiple wounds including head injuries, a broken arm and legs had identified the director in his police report. (more…)
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian has expressed hope that Sarawakians will never lose sight of the harmonious co-existence of people in the state.
“We must jealously guard this most precious spirit of kinship and affinity, which is deeply felt by Sarawakians at home and abroad,” he said in his Chinese New Year’s message.
He, however, said that the people cannot be blind to the events of the past few decades, including a deliberate plan to divide and rule by politicising religion.
“My stand on religion is very clear. We are a secular nation, and Sarawak does not have an official religion,” he said, adding that the Federal Constitution guarantees the people freedom of religion. (more…)
Sarawakians must be wary of BN’s divdie and rule policy and their inaction over the Bible burning issue, says Baru Bian.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s deafening silence in face of Perkasa’s call to burn the Malay version of the Bible shows that the Barisan Nasional government had a ‘deliberate plan’ to politicise religion and ‘contain’ Christianity.
Reminding Sarawakians to be wary of BN’s divide and rule policy, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said: “Witness the ‘Allah’ issue, the deafening silence by the prime minister in the face of Ibrahim Ali’s call for the Malay Bible to be burnt, Dr Mahathir’s association with Perkasa and most recently, the revelations of the ongoing RCI in Sabah into Project IC. (more…)
Sarawak PKR has slammed the state BN for spreading rumours in certain constituencies that PKR candidates have either been withdrawn from contesting or have been bought over.
“They have to resort to playing dirty politics because they feel threatened by the presence of Pakatan Rakyat,” Sarawak PKR head Baru Bian (right) said.
“When they feel threatened, they try to confuse the people especially our members and voters by saying that our candidates have withdrawn. (more…)
WHAT’s in a name, especially the name of God?
The debate in Malaysia over the word “Allah” in Malay-language Christian texts is a current case in point. No matter what changes occur after the next general election, the issue looks likely to continue bubbling over thanks to politicians who barter religious opinions for partisan gain.
Indeed, the “Allah” issue is likely to spark partisan jockeying and deep division until we build consensus on a fundamental question. Is our national language of Bahasa Melayu — or is it Bahasa Malaysia? — the language of all Malaysians or does it just belong to those who profess Islam and practice Malay customs?
Thousands of natives are stateless in Sarawak bcause there are those ‘who make the rules and directives’ and those ‘who take it upon themselves to decide who deserves citizenships’.
The ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) hearing on illegal immigrants in Sabah has rankled many people in Sarawak.
Former civil servants who served under then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, illegal immigrants and refugees have all revealed how citizenships had been given out clandestinely.
These revelations have left a bitter taste in Sarawak where thousands of Christian natives are still stateless. (more…)
The authorities must immediately investigate former Sabah Election Commission (EC) director Wan Ahmad Wan Yusof for allegedly instructing the state EC to provide unqualified immigrants with identity card numbers in the 1990s.
Sarawak PKR chairperson Baru Bian (left) said Wan Ahmad’s role in this “scandalous treachery” in altering Sabah’s electoral demography, if indeed true, only served to justify the rakyat’s distrust of the EC.
“The rakyat’s distrust of the EC has been justified by revelations on Project IC.
“Bersih’s demands now take on an even more urgent note and the EC must implement the measures demanded before GE13,” Baru Bian said in a statement. (more…)
Sarawak PKR Chairman Baru Bian today demanded transparency over the management of oil and gas deposits found in the State of Sarawak and pledged that under PR all profits would be placed in a transparent Trust Fund for the people of Sarawak to help develop the state.
Recent explorations have found on-shore oil and gas reserves potentially worth billions of ringgit and experts now expect that much more oil is likely to be found beneath the landmass of Sarawak. As the law stands permits for the extraction of any on-shore resources are under the legal control of Sarawak. So the State is fully entitled to demand the lion’s share of the royalty for onshore oil and gas, particularly as 95% of its off-shore oil has gone straight to PETRONAS for the past 3 decades. (more…)
“Their job is to teach our children,” said Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat chief Baru Bian, adding that they should be neutral when it came to politics.BN must not use teachers as part of BN campaign teams in Sarawak in the coming election.
Bian, who is the Ba’Kelalan State Assemblyman, was commenting on a statement made by the MP for Serian, Richard Riot, also the Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister.
He had called on teachers to give their full support to BN in the coming election, given their strong influence among the rural people. (more…)
A Sarawak assemblyman says it is “unacceptable” to force “a religion to change words in their Holy Scriptures simply to satisfy believers of another religion.”
Both Barisan Nasional and opposition leaders have been urged to restrain from making comments on the use of the term “Allah” in reference to God and to allow the Court of Appeal to rule on the matter.
The government appealed a 2009 High Court decision favouring the church based on the the Federal Constitution.
In making this appeal, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said: “Political expediency should not and must not dominate the debate.” (more…)
According to Sarawak PKR, Taib Mahmud had indicated during the State Legislative Assembly sitting that Hydro Tasmania was “signed on for the long haul”.
Sarawak Energy Berhad’s (SEB) recent assertion that Hydro Tasmania’s phased withdrawal from Sarawak’s dam project was “pre-planned” contradicts Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s exasperated outburst during the last State Legislative Assembly sitting.
According to Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian, Taib’s “unscripted comment” at the sitting indicated that Hydro Tasmania had been contracted for the long haul and not as suggested by SEB. (more…)
The construction of the RM40 million road connecting Ba Kelalan to Bario in Sarawak, at the cost of an essential water catchment area has angered local villagers.
KUCHING: Angry villagers in Ba’Kelalan have threatened the Malaysian Royal Army Engineers Regiment with a court injunction if they persist in building the Ba’kelalan-Bario road.
“If need be, we will apply for a court injunction to stop the army contractors from proceeding with the road construction,” said Baru Bian, a lawyer and Ba’Kelalan assemblyman. (more…)
Putrid and dangerous – there is nothing clean about the waters of the Bakun Dam or the corruption that swills round Sarawak’s dam projects.
The people advising Sarawak Energy (SEB), in particular Australia’s Hydro Tasmania, have taken every opportunity to portray the dams planned for Sarawak as a ‘clean’ and ‘sustainable’ energy source.
Hydro Tasmania in fact frequently implies that dams are “carbon neutral” and has declared that the company itself will become a “carbon neutral company” by the end of this year, after decommissioning gas powered electricity plants.
However, representatives of the growing anti-dam movement in Sarawak are touring Australia with a very different story. (more…)
Baru Bian denounces the government for restricting the definition of native customary rights land.
Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian has denounced the state government for its refusal to recognise “pulau galau” (communal forest) and “pemakai menua” (territorial domain) as native customary rights land (NCR), saying it cheats tens of thousands of landowners of their rights.
“Pulau gawau” translates as “communal forests” and “pemakai menua” as “territorial domains”. (more…)
For the displaced natives in Bakun, Sarawak, its a case of “water, water everywhere, nary a drop to drink”.
All sorts of woes are bedeviling the people living on their ‘jelatong’ houses which are floating on the Bakun dam lake. Their woes range from a foul smell emanating from rotting organic matter submerged at the bottom of the dam to river’s declining biodiversity and lack of safe drinking water.
The foul rotten egg-like smell is indicative of the presence of hydrogen sulfide and reports of high turbidity and low pH levels are killing off fish life in the dam and tributaries. (more…)
~ The Borneo Post
Are ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pulau galau’ part of NCR land?
THERE is no clear indication yet whether the ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pulau galau’ are recognised as part of the native customary rights (NCR) land in the parameter survey initiative.
When raising the issue at the assembly sitting yesterday Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian was told by Deputy Chief Minister that the condition in which NCR could be claimed by NCR landowners was clearly contained under the provision of the Land Code. (more…)
Any bid to revive deregistered Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) will only allow the “powers-that-be” to further split the Dayak community, says Baru Bian.
KUCHING: The estimated 100,000 hardcore members of the deregistered Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) should not “look back into their past” and push for the revival of the race-based party.
Former PBDS supreme council member Baru Bian said the days of race and community based politics were no longer relevant in a new era of politics in Sarawak and Malaysia.
“I do recognise that political parties in Malaysia started by representing various communities such as MIC representing the Indian community, Umno the Malays, MCA the Chinese, and PBDS the Dayaks, and even PBB. (more…)
An angry group of Lun Bawangs has blocked the construction of a Ba’Kelalan-Bario road project, accusing the federal government of failing to listen to the wishes of the community.
The road project, under the Malaysian Army’s Jiwa Murni programme, is already about one kilometre long stretch into the Muda river catchment area when the Lun Bawangs stopped the contractor engaged by the Malaysian army.
“We have told the army’s contractor and its workers to stop constructing the road and to move their heavy machineries away,” Paren Padan said in a recorded statement emailed to the media.
Picture: The Lun Bawangs at the blockade side at Pa’Patar which is near the Muda catchment area. (more…)
We just returned from a very tiring campaigning trip up into the deepest reaches of Sarawak, almost near the border with Kalimantan, Indonesia.
We had to travel in four-wheel drive vehicles from the airport to the first point of departure. Yes, the roads are that bad; pot-holes every few metres caused by trucks overloaded either with timber or oil-palm for the mega-companies. A journey that should take less than two hours took us an incredibly bumpy four hours.
We finally arrived our point of departure and you can see one of our four-wheel drives parked right at the water’s edge, dislodging supplies. The men are extracting gasoline from yellow drums to power our boats’ motors. (more…)
Just why does BN/Umno find delight in playing the racism card when the issues beleaguering the rakyat are one too many?
The Barisan Nasional government is doing its worst to prevent the opposition alliance of Pakatan Rakyat from setting foot in Putrajaya and calling the shots.
Much castigation and accusations have been thrown upon Pakatan and its leaders by Umno, BN’s patronising arm.
Still, the rakyat seem eager to give Pakatan a chance to administer the nation, having had enough of ruling government BN’s domineering and rhetorics post-1957. (more…)
Some 2,000 villages in Ba Kelalan are worried about the impact a RM42 million road project will have on their lives.
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) secretary-general Nelson Balang Rining has broken ranks and, together with opposition assemblyman Baru Bian, is demanding that the state government conduct an “immediate” Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study on the RM42 million Ba Kelalan-Bario road project.
Some 2,000 villagers from six highland villages appear to be stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, to quote an old English adage. (more…)
The Royal Malaysian Police force needs to be educated on human rights and perspective of the people’s struggle, claims Suaram.
Human rights NGO, Suaram, has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ismail Omar to warn his men not to interfere in the Penan tribe’s rights struggle in the Murum dam issue in Sarawak.
“In order to bring the credibility to the force, they should be seen as a neutral party and not to take the side of the oppressor. (more…)
The Penans are peaceful people and if there is any riot, it would be as a result of provocation, says senior lawyer Baru Bian.
Increasing the number of police personnel in Murum Dam where the Penans have been relentlessly mounting blockades to demand that the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad respect their rights and demands, smells of provocation, according to local lawyer Baru Bian.
Bian, who is also Sarawak’s PKR chief, was concerned with reports that the police will be sending reinforcements to the Murum dam construction site. (more…)
Survey native customary rights land under Section 18 of Land Code.
Opposition PKR wants the state government to survey native customary rights throughout Sarawak under Section 18 of the Land Code and not under Section 6.
Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian said the people wanted individual titles issued on the native customary rights lands surveyed.
“In my area of Lawas, the people have been asking the Land and survey Department to survey their native customary right land and then issue titles individually. (more…)
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian has described the ruling coalition’s media blitz accusing international pro-democracy organisations were out to destabilise the government through local NGOs as a case of “overt paranoia”.
“This feeble and desperate attempt by the BN to pooh-pooh legitimate businesses, civil societies and organisations by insinuating that Malaysia is being secretly undermined by foreign countries is not only ridiculous but it shows how the BN is resorting to scare-mongering on an international scale.
“Such scare tactics in fact expose the BN for its fear of real democracy and even more importantly that it is seeing demons where none exist,” he said in a statement yesterday. (more…)