Hornbill Unleashed

February 8, 2011

Sarawak activist turns up in court, no sign of police

Joseph Tawie 

Two Sarawakian activists arrested on Jan 6 and then released turned up in court yesterday but were not charged.

KUCHING: Home Ministry officials failed to turn up at the Magistrate’s Court in Kuching yesterday to charge activist Nicholas Mujah for the alleged possession of uncensored CDs.

Mujah who is the secretary-general of the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA), had been told to appear before a magistrate to be charged under the Film Censorship Act.

According to Mujah’s lawyer, See Chee How, they waited until 10.00 am before he (See) contacted the ministry’s office and spoke to an officer named Ariff Mohamad.

When See enquired about the case, Ariff said that he received no instruction to charge Mujah. He added that the investigating officer in Mujah’s case was on leave.

See said that he will be writing to the ministry for the return of the seized CDs, other documents and equipment.

Mujah was arrested on Jan 6 this year, when several officials from the Ministry raided the SADIA office at Kota Sentosa, 7th Mile.

More than 1,000 CDs on land cases, affidavits, testimonies, records and preparations for court cases were seized by the officials.

One of the CDs, which contained a message from Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian to the rural people on the need for change, was also taken away.

The CDs were meant to be used as part of PKR’s campaign materials for the coming election.

Case not listed

The CDs talked about the need to change the state Barisan Nasional government which had been in power for more than 47 years.

It also talked about the abuse of power and the grabbing of native customary rights (NCR) land from the natives and leased to crony companies.

Meanwhile in Miri, another activist Abun Sui who was also arrested for alleged possession of uncensored CDs on the same night Mujah was arrested, was also caught by surprises.

Arriving at the Miri court yesterday morning Abun who is also an NCR land lawyer, discovered that his case was not listed.

Abun was supposed to have been charged under the Sedition Act.

When contacted, Abun said that he was told to report to the Miri police station on April 7. Abun was picked up by the police soon after arriving at the Miri Airport from Kuching on Jan 6.

Police rummaged through his luggage and confisticated about 300 CDs bearing Bian’s message to the voters.

Both Mujah and Abun are members of various non-governmental organisations that have been in the forefront in the fight for the rights and justices of the natives.

Bian had reportedly described the arrests of the two men as “shocking”, pointing out that the authorities were trying to intimidate and charge them with ridiculous charges and allegations.

Sarawak activist turns up in court, no sign of police

Native rights activist Abun Sui Anyit, who was detained by police early last month for carrying ‘seditious’ CDs and VCDs, turned up at the Miri court complex yesterday morning to answer the sedition charges levelled against him. 

He waited for more than an hour, but the police or those responsible for prosecuting the case did not turn up.

NONEThe Miri-based lawyer, flanked by 120 indigenous supporters, was told by court officers that his case was not listed in the court registry for hearing today.

Abun (left) later found out from the police that they had made a mistake in ordering him to appear in court today when releasing him on police bail.

The police investigating officer, who was away in Kuching, told him the matter was still under investigation.

However, Abun did not blame the police for the mistake, saying they were only following orders.

“We should question those who are in power on the abuse of their authority in order to intimidate people who are just asserting their rights and exposing the truth about their problems,” he said.

Abun, a PKR member, was arrested at Miri Airport on the evening of Jan 6, soon after arriving from Kuching.

Police seized a few copies of CDs and VCDs from him. He was detained and questioned and only released at 3am the next day.

Police also arrested three other native rights activists in Kuching the same day.

The CDs and VCDs contained video and audio recordings from Radio Free Sarawak, TV Sarawak Bebas and other political materials.

NONEAbun was informed that he was being investigated under section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and was told to report back to the police in one month. He believes the arrests were politically motivated.

The Sarawak state election must be held before July this year and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat is mounting the most serious challenge yet to long-time Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Taib is facing mounting calls to quit after an anonymous website, Sarawak Report, exposed incidents of corrupt practices on a massive scale.

The absence of electricity in much opf rural Sarawak being the basis for the lack of information, whether via radio, television or the Internet, has led native rights activists to produce and distribute CDs and VCDs to raise the political awareness of rural communities.

TV Sarawak Bebas is a DVD-based media targeting Sarawak’s vast rural communities.

It has recorded several stories from the rural communities on their their abject living conditions and their fight to defend their land rights.

Radio Free Sarawak is an independent station that started its daily broadcast on Nov 16 last year and sources its news from Sarawak Report as well as from Sarawak activists and communities defending land rights and against abuses by the Sarawak BN government led by Taib.

Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, who is widely known as RPK, is a regular commentator on the radio programme.

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5 Comments »

  1. We are with you Nicholas Mujah ! Sarawakians salute all brave hearts who stood their ground in defending the helpless poor from having their NCR land rights extinguished or their lands taken away by the power that be.

    I believe Sarawak and Malaysia are being watched by the international community for their blatant acts of indecent encroachment of native lands by the abusive and highly corrupted UMNO controlled BN.

    To uphold the integrity of our institution and rule of laws, Malaysians must be united to vote out the highly corrupted and abusive regime of UMNO controlled BN and Taib Mahmud in Sarawak and Musa Aman in Sabah to save our beloved country.

    Our national debts have shot through the roof with the mindless borrowing by the irresponsible and corrupted UMNO controlled BN. Hundreds of billion ringgit have left our nation and hid away by the corrupted regime in Putrajaya and the states of Sarawak and Sabah. Malaysian bonds have become a Ponzi Scheme.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — February 8, 2011 @ 7:46 PM | Reply

  2. FSIS: FOR YOUR INFORMTATION

    BREAKING NEWS

    INDEPENDENCE FOR SOUTH SUDAN SOON- 99% VOTE TO BE FREE FROM INDEPENDENCE & FREEDOM FROM FOREIGN RULE

    NEWS REPORT BY THE SUDAN TIMES 2nf Feb 2011

    February 2, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC), which organized last month’s vote on the region’s independence, today officially announced the full preliminary results of the exercise whose outcome is certainly in favor of independence.

    Southern Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) chairperson Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil speaks during a news conference following the end of referendum votes on southern secession as he prepares to announce the results in Khartoum January 25, 2011 (Reuters Pictures)

    Polls for south Sudan referendum opened on 9 January and closed on 15 January at 3000 polling stations domestically and eight Out-of-Country Voting (OCV) locations, including Uganda, Kenya, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, the UK and the US.

    The vote exceeded the 60% turnout required to validate the results and southerners voted massively for secession.

    In a press conference held on Wednesday at the SSRC’s headquarters, the commission’s chairperson Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil said that 3.851.994 out of 3.947.676 people who registered to vote had cast their ballots, putting the turnout at 97.85%.

    Khalil went on break down the figures saying that the total number of registered voters in the south was 3.770.600 voters out of which 3.724.194, i.e. 98.77%, turned up to vote.

    According to Khalil, 16.129 of southerners in the south, 0.43%, voted for unity while a vast majority of 3.697.467 voted for secession, 99.57%.

    In north Sudan, however, a relatively weak turnout has been reported. SSRC chairperson said that 69.597 voters out of 116.857 registered voters had cast their ballots, only 59.56%. He further noted that 27.918 people had voted for unity, 42.35%, while 38.003 voted for secession, 57.65%.

    In OCV stations, 58.203 out of 60.219 registered voters participated, 98.55% voted for secession, 57.048 voters, and 1.45% for secession, 841 voters, according to Khalil.

    SSRC chief confirmed that the final result would be announced on 7 February – if no legal challenges against the results are submitted – or on 14 February if legal appeals are lodged.

    He said that the Supreme Courts in Khartoum and Juba would open the door for receiving appeals as of tomorrow, Thursday.

    However he added that he did not expect any appeals to be submitted in the next few days.

    South Sudan referendum on independence is the culmination of the 2005’s peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war between north and south Sudan.

    (ST)
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    FSIS Comments: South Sudan has fought for its rights and now democratically decided that it will part ways with North Sudan and become independent.

    This historic event gives hope and inspiration to all patriots in Sabah and Sarawak that they can also achieve independence if they strive for this objective.

    The independence struggle of S. Sudan has much relevance for the people of Sabah and Sarawak. When the people have a determined leadership to lead them they can eventually achieve their aspiration for national independence.

    The power to change their colonial status is within their hands.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Comment by Free Sarawak Information Service — February 8, 2011 @ 6:55 PM | Reply

  3. Activists of this type should consider standing for elections.

    MCLM should have had them in their sights by now!

    Comment by Ah Boon — February 8, 2011 @ 4:24 PM | Reply

  4. Organisation like MoCS and other concerned NGOs should look into helping all these good and caring activists for unselfishly fought for the dignity and rights of the natives of Sarawak to contest and win in the coming state election.

    Perhaps they should focus on helping Pakatan candidates in all Bidayuh and Orang Ulu seats and coordinate assistance for other candidates as well. Pakatan Rakyat should set up a bank account for all who wish to donate to Pakatan State Election fund. Lets do it now and work for the convincing victory of Pakatan Rakyat.

    Comment by Irene Kana — February 8, 2011 @ 3:12 PM | Reply

    • Well said! Irene!

      Comment by Anak Sarawak — February 8, 2011 @ 7:49 PM | Reply


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