Hornbill Unleashed

November 2, 2009

“To me, all these reports are not true”

By Rosita Maja

Cheehow-Barubian-yb-zuraidah-penan-support-groupAccording to the Borneo Post on October 29, James Masing said Shahrizat Jalil, Minister for Women, Family, and Community Development, and the Police are duty bound to let the public know the truth about Penan rape by loggers, and the police should call Shahrizat for details.

What is the truth? Isn’t it the truth that the Sarawak Government is in denial ?

The release of  the Penan Taskforce report by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development detailed the sexual abuse over many years.

The report confirmed the truth of the allegations of the rape of Penan girls and women which has taken place over 10 years ago, since the advances of logging activities in Baram area.

The evidence is in the taskforce report which outlined the sexual abuse visited upon the Penan girls and women.

Yet the Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, Daud Abdul Rahman, announced in the Eastern Times on October 30 that, “To me, all the reports are not true. They did not happen.” He is accusing Shahrizat’s ministry, a  Federal Ministry, of lying.

What is the Sarawak Government waiting for? Rape is one of the worst crimes against humanity and it is the responsibility of all the government agencies to fight it.


Affairs of the Sarawak State Government

The Sarawak Government has been in denial mode, despite the release of a Penan Taskforce report detailing the abuses over the years.

It is not only the responsibility of Sharizat and the police to look into the matter seriously. The Sarawak Government must take full responsibility. The state government should start coordinating with the federal government for the necessary measures to be taken to resolve the issue. This issue falls clearly within the affairs of the Sarawak Government.

On the other hand, the Selangor Government across the South China Sea has been following up the issue closely with the Penan Support Group.

The Selangor Government has been very concerned with the seriousness and urgency of the matter. It has called for the Sarawak State government to be more pro-active, to look into the issue with urgency and to take the necessary measures to prevent further abuse and rape of the girls and women in the community.

The Pakatan Rakyat Selangor Government has approved a fund of  RM50,000, as a contribution for the  necessary relief for the difficulties faced by the Penan community. The Selangor government’s fund is meant also to spur other organisations and individuals to lend a helping hand to the Penan, our fellow Malaysians.

It is painful and regrettable to know that some of our fellow Malaysians have to endure a life in fear and under threat, while others are living in luxury, in castles of abundance.

Is there ever going to be a 1Malaysia?

In the Eastern Times on October 30, one headline read “Penans should be grateful for Progress”. The press statement went on to read “The Penans had been advised to consider themselves a lucky lot because the state government cared for them … “.

The Sarawak government officials and the Chief Minister’s Department are only trained to speak for the government. What is progress to the Penans? What do they consider progress? Is the governments’ idea of “progress” carried out at the expense of the deprivation of livelihood and dignity of a community?

It is obvious that, until today, the Sarawak Government has not responded well to the allegations of rape of the girls and women in the community.

drainThe fact stands that the imbalanced “development” by the Sarawak Government and the continuing, unsustainable logging activities have destroyed the forest and caused hardship.

This “development” threatens not only the livelihood of the Penan community, whose survival is dependant on forest products, but has also contributed to worldwide environmental problems by destroying the forest and the ecological balance.

All eyes around the globe are looking at the Sarawak Government. We Sarawakians keep hoping something can be done as soon as possible, by the State government, to resolve all the problems faced by the rural communities, to enable us Sarawakians to live proud and honourably.

Is this living up to the slogan “People First, Perfomance Now”? Fat chance.


  1. […] Alfred Jabu, James Masing and Daud Abdul Rahman  all lent their voices to the onslaught on the Federal Ministry of Women’s damning report, but their dismissive remarks ended up as stinging slaps on their own faces, when their lies were […]

    Pingback by Sarawak BN Battered in Publicity Wars « Hornbill Unleashed — February 7, 2010 @ 12:02 AM | Reply

  2. […] BN gaining on Pakatan?” by Kenny Gan, “There is no such ‘thing’ as a race” by SKY, “To me, all these reports are not true” by Rosita Maja  and “I can eat with you at the same table” by […]

    Pingback by What Difference Can a Year Make? « Hornbill Unleashed — January 4, 2010 @ 12:05 AM | Reply

  3. ””’I pray and hope that PR Gov will grow stronger and bigger, the new development such as resignation of Jeffery Kitingan is worrying me.

    On Penan: The Penan should ‘open’ their hand and accept whatever supports from those who are give sincerely without put any ‘terms & conditions’…just get it, whether it from BN, PR, Logging companies or NGO’s, as long as it bring a BETTER FUTURE.., weaker peoples like Penan should be excluded from the politicals battles, all Politicals parties should help them even though the Penan will not vote for them during elections due to the I.C’s problems…

    Comment by Penan2020 — November 8, 2009 @ 12:57 AM | Reply

  4. […] The opposition have been harping on NCR issues in Sarawak,corruption,cronyism,abuse of powers,Penan rape cases and many others and BUT ULTIMATEDLY THIS IS THE BIGGEST SINGULAR THORN THAT WILL INFLICT THE CORE […]

    Pingback by “2+3=8″..Complications of Sarawak « Audie61’s Weblog — November 2, 2009 @ 11:55 AM | Reply

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