Hornbill Unleashed

July 16, 2010

Penan woman gives birth following alleged rape

By KERUAH USIT

A Penan woman from Long Item, Baram, Sarawak, given the pseudonym ‘Bibi’ by last September’s damning National Task Force Report by the Women’s Development Ministry, has given birth to another baby in February this year. The father was her alleged rapist, an Interhill logging camp worker known as ‘Johnny’ or Ah Hing.

Bibi had made a police report of rape in Bukit Aman in 2008, and had been given refuge by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), a participant in the National Task Force. However, she later returned to Long Item to see her family, and fell back under Ah Hing’s control.

Ah Hing told the police and the Borneo Post, a local daily owned by a logging company, that he was Bibi’s husband and not her rapist. However, the Penan Support Group has documentary evidence that Ah Hing is registered with the government as the father of two sets of children born to two different mothers aside from Bibi: a Chinese woman and another Penan woman.

Bibi had told Bukit Aman police and the national task force that Ah Hing had raped her in 2005 after she had rejected his demand that she become his “wife”. She said she had refused him (Ah Hing) because villagers had said he already had two wives and two families.

Section 375(c) of the Penal Code states that obtaining a sexual relationship by pretending to “marry” a woman when the perpetrator is already married, amounts to “misconception of fact” and is in fact, rape.

Ah Hing claimed Bibi as his latest wife, and made her bear three children – in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Bibi appears unable to free herself from Ah Hing, despite her plea for help from Bukit Aman and the ministerial national task force.

The police did not arrest Ah Hing. Instead, Ah Hing took Bibi to police stations in Long Lama and Marudi last September to lodge new police reports denying she had been raped. Local newspapers trumpeted this “retraction” as front-page news, implying exoneration of logging companies. The PSG has said Ah Hing had coerced Bibi into making the new reports.

Even worse, villagers in middle Baram told the recent independent PSG mission that Ah Hing had accompanied police to another village in middle Baram to pressure another Penan girl, 18, to withdraw her report. She and her family courageously refused.

“The police and the newspapers did not bother to verify the facts, that Ah Hing was never Bibi’s husband,” a member of the PSG mission told Malaysiakini.

“NGOs do not have a duty to investigate these crimes – the police have a statutory responsibility to protect these rural people from the logging companies. Even so, we easily found out from the National Registration Department that Ah Hing already had two families before Bibi’s.

“As for Ah Hing’s employer, does its corporate social responsibility include employing someone who obviously has no respect for society’s norms?”

Cops interviewed loggers, not rape survivors

The police closed their investigations following Bibi’s retraction. Interhill also found no evidence of sexual misconduct in an internal investigation. Ah Hing remains free to claim Bibi as his “wife”, although bigamy is a serious crime for non-Muslims in Malaysia.

NONEAs recently as last week, Sarawak police chief Mohmad Sallehangrily denied that the police were shielding rapists from the politically-connected logging companies. “When I am asked about this, I become emotional. The police don’t hide facts. We have tried everything we could but the victims refuse to cooperate,” he claimed.

“So, where are the so-called victims? Tell me, where are their reports and when was it lodged? Please, if you’re a victim of a crime, come to the police, not the Parliament.”

According to Borneo Post, Mohmad declared the police had visited nine logging camps and had interviewed 72 witnesses, in the course of three visits to the “jungle” to investigate the findings of the national taskforce report. However, the police chief did not explain why the police had interviewed only loggers. The Penan communities say none of the survivors of alleged sexual violence have been visited by the police.

“The real problem lies with the victims themselves. They are not giving proper cooperation to the police,” Mohmad was quoted as saying.

The PSG has pointed out that two survivors of sexual abuse had travelled to the alien environment of Kuala Lumpur to make reports, and others had offered full cooperation to the police.

However, the police went back on a commitment made by the inspector-general of police in January 2009 to conduct a joint visit with the PSG to the affected communities. The police proposed to use logging camps as a base – bringing survivors of alleged rape to the same camps where some Penan girls had said they been abducted by loggers – and logging vehicles for transport.

However, in the end, the police withdrew, claiming they had no funds for the visit.

“The absence of positive support from state authorities in investigating and finding solutions to grievances has undermined the trust of communities like the Penans in the authorities, and has left them even more defenceless and vulnerable,” the PSG stated in its mission’s report on the free rein given to politically-linked logging companies in rural Baram, released on July 6.

On July 8, in response to the PSG mission’s findings, deputy Sarawak chief minister Alfred Jabu parroted the police chief’s demands for the Penan survivors to lodge further reports.

“We are open. Give us the proof… we will investigate,” he said.

Related Articles :-   Ministry refutes findings on Penan rape

Penan rapes: Police seeking NGO feedback

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5 Comments »

  1. !!Shocking!!

    Obviously the purpetrator will say anything to detangle himself from the rape. Even if they WERE married he can still be accused and tried for rape if Bibi was not a willing partner.

    Rape is still a criminal offence..fact!

    As an English lady obviously I do not understand Sarawak law.It should still be though that.

    At the time of the rape Bibi should have been examined by a police doctor. Any semen present should have been analized to determine the father. Then Ah Hing should have been tested and get his DNA after testing the semen inside Bibi.

    Then a court date.

    A rape case being questioned even in England is a very traumatic experience for the female, its my guess not all women in Sarawak will come forward. Then of course appeariance in court is also another trauma.

    No man has the right to enter a woman’s body without her permission, otherwise it IS indeed rape, married or not.

    If Sarawak police will do their job properly then they would not need to eat humble pie and go to the NGOS for rape imformation.

    Its bad enough the loggers have displaced these people without taking their bodies too.

    Comment by Kate — July 17, 2010 @ 7:16 PM | Reply

    • “As an English lady obviously I do not understand Sarawak law.It should still be though that”

      As an English…..you can the spread lies and deeds of the Malaysian govt especially the Sarawak govt in particular to your friends back home….and ask them to spread the news to their friends as well… Ohhh…not to only friends in the UK BUT the WORLD on how the govt mistreats the native of Sarawak….. the displacement of the native becuase of Oil Palm, Logging, Mega Hydro project…etc. Ask them to writes to the Malaysian govt…. Embassy…

      Show the world their true colours….especially the logging companies….EU nation has been acknowledging and accredting the MTC……meaning the EU nation are supporting the rape and displacement of sarawak native as well! So STOP IT and Boycot all timber product from Malaysian…..there such things as SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT IN SARAWAK….it’s only on papers!

      Comment by anak Baram... — July 18, 2010 @ 1:49 PM | Reply

  2. Long Lama Police? huhhhh…dont expect much from these guys….. as said before numerous reports were lodge againts loggers….fe. illegal logging, illegal immigrants, enroachment….but nothing done.

    Inhabitan of Long Lama and the surrounding areas are probably 50% local and 50% illegal immigrants employed by these timber companies…..so you guys sitting in he offices(Police Dept/Immigration/KDN) Just go to Long Lama yourself then you know the truth….

    Comment by anak Baram... — July 16, 2010 @ 10:41 AM | Reply

  3. What an animal is an individual when he can just go freely raping innocent penan girls as he likes. Then this individual can simply claim here and there these girls are the wives. This is another interesting happenings in this Bolehland 1Malaysia. I tend to quite agree with some public comments, why are they that stupid police roadblocks here and there in the city centre creating alot of unnecessary jams all over. Most publics ask for what? To get the criminals, to get culprits, to get rapist, or to get some tips? Why when it’s crystal clear they’re report made on raping, that so difficult to deal. What a miserable police force that we’ve.

    Well I do agree, the policemen are also humane. They’re not angels or malaikat. That’s why we do’ve policemen also involve in immoral activities alike murder, such as murder of Atanthuuya, thieving of jet engines and sold it overseas to Latin America, coorupted personnels, abused of powers, fabricating report statements made by selected individuals, etc..etc..etc. I wonder when shall we really hv a truely mmeaning of the police force for safety and public order when we know the one that we hv are otherwise. Let’s pray to God Allah SWT to bless us all for safer public environments.

    Comment by Minda Mandol — July 16, 2010 @ 8:31 AM | Reply

  4. So, from this and other alternative news, Ah Hing should be investigated and possibly charged for rape and bigamy. Instead, now it is known that not only he is free, police continue to claim no survivors’ formal report and those with reports, cases closed. In addition, Ah Hing is able to walk into and out of police stations, targeting the messengers who expose cases of rape. Then, police can have Ah Hing to bring them to try to force another police-report retraction from the second rape survivor who lodged police report in KL, in the name of investigation, of course.

    This is exactly the reason why survivors will no way be willing to lodge police reports because circumstances suggest strongly that the police is in cohort with perpetrators to intimidate survivors. But this old ah pek’s take is that it is definitely not the mechanic Ah Hing who has the cloud to sway police in such fashion. Only timber companies and their political masters can have the resources to turn the table against survivors and their messengers.

    Salam at the very least 3Malaysia,
    old ah pek

    Comment by ah pek — July 16, 2010 @ 8:29 AM | Reply


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