Hornbill Unleashed

November 16, 2012

‘I am not scared of threats’

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 1:31 PM
Tags: , , , ,

Joseph Tawie

Native customary rights (NCR) land lawyer See Chee How is still in shock over a Molotov cocktail that was thrown into his house.

Death threats and gangsterism is an occupational hazard for certain folks in Sarawak and lawyers who put their neck out to help locals with issues over their native customary rights (NCR) land are no exception.

NCR issues are a major problem in Sarawak where indiscriminate issuance of Provisional Leases (PLs) by state authorities to plantation companies, deforestation and displaced indigenous communities are a daily threat.

The latest reported incident was when a homemade Molotov bomb was thrown into lawyer-activist See Chee How’s home. See is also Batu Lintang assemblyman and state PKR vice president.

An initially shocked See said that someone had thrown in a green coloured beer bottle containing inflammable material into his house at Taman Samarax, Jalan Penrissen between 3am and 5am on Monday.

The Molotov cocktail left burnt marks and a dent at the back of his Toyota Fortuner vehicle.

Whilst the Molotov cocktail into his house is a first experience for See, threats to his safety were not.

“I am not scared of those threats and my firm will continue to take up cases against the government and companies. We have more than 200 cases before us,” said See who together with another senior lawyer Baru Bian, is well known for representing NCR cases.

See has lodged a police report of the incident.

Speaking to FMT, See confirmed that he received a number of calls before the incident giving ‘advice’ to him to drop certain NCR land cases.

“Some people and my friends advised me and Baru Bian (See’s partner and Ba’Kelalan assemblyman) that we should not take up certain NCR land cases. I have given the information to the police.

“I don’t know whether the Molotov cocktail incident was a warning to me, but I know it is the work of cowardice.

“I am not scared, because the next day I was in Serian defending the Milikin guys who were maliciously accused of intimidation.

“I was there the whole day in court in Serian,” he said, pointing out that he could not speculate who was behind the attack.

Gangsters and confrontations

See said that his firm had arranged for dialogues between affected villagers, who are hoping for a peaceful solution, and the plantation companies.

“These dialogues are to avoid taking matters to court. But there are the odd ones (companies) which are a bit nastier because of their connections with the authorities.

“We know these companies. There were instances when the native landowners were threatened by gangsters employed by these oil palm companies.

“Not only in Melikin and Sibu, but also in Miri, Baram, Bintulu and Sri Aman, where the villagers are threatened.

“In Melikin, there were confrontations, and a car belonging to one of the Iban leaders was torched.

“In Sibu, an Iban landowner had his house shot at and a few days later he was almost killed when a 4WD vehicle tried to knock him down.

“So it is very common for the companies to deploy gangsters. The sad thing is that we have not seen any action taken by the police against those people, even though reports have been lodged,” he said.

See was an activist long before he became a lawyer.

“I was detained a week in Burma several years ago. If I could face the military junta, what we have here is nothing.

“So there is nothing to be scared off and I will continue to defend the marginalised and downtrodden people,” he said.

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5 Comments »

  1. Dayaks have sold out their rights to Barisan Nasional. Now, the Dayaks are blaming their suffering on the Chinese? The Dayaks also blamed the British who tried to help them modernize and tried provided equal opportunities in education and development. Now the Dayaks and most Sarawakians are simply second class citizens in Malaysia. The plight of the Dayaks has nothing to do with race, but everything to do with the corrupt and immoral leaders of Barisan Nasional.

    Comment by james — November 16, 2012 @ 6:41 PM | Reply

    • Dayaks did not sell out, the chinese and taib wants everything for themselves. Why shouldn’t we blame the chinese when they are the ones getting dayak land from taib? Do you think we dayak get a fair teatment from the chinese? Do you think the chinese who log the forest and clear the forest for the huge plantations give a damn about us who live off the forest? We do not blame the British, its the chinese and taib who blamed the British for giving us Natives the rights over our NCR lands which he chinese and taib are taking away from us forcefully with the help of your gangsters! Now how did those corrupt and immoral leaders become corrupt and immoral if not because of the culture the chinese brought with them from china? Tell me, who do you think threw those Molotov cocktail at the lawyers house? Those whom he defence or the land grabbers? Blame the British?

      Comment by brian — November 17, 2012 @ 10:59 AM | Reply

      • “THE CHINESE”, “THE MALAYS” ALL WANT DAYAK TIMBER…. THE THE THE

        BUT IS CHINESE LAWYERS ONE OF “THEs”??? WHY BLAME ALL CHINESE WHEN SOURCE OF PROBLEM IS TAIB?

        Comment by Anon — November 24, 2012 @ 2:05 PM | Reply

  2. So the people behind these threats are cowards and scums, very much reflecting the PBB/BN whose interests are subjects of these cowardly intimidation.

    Sarawakians shud open their eyes and remember why they must for Pakatan …for sensibility, peace and a future for young Malaysians and all. Not scums and gangsters and bomohs!

    Have any of the BN denied their involvement yet?

    Comment by Sarawak for Peace — November 16, 2012 @ 4:43 PM | Reply

  3. Remember those cowards who thought they could intimidate the long house people in Batu Niah not too long ago? Remember what happened to those cowards? And Baru said a few days ago that we should do away with race based politics? How can the dayaks survive when the other side use their imported culture from china to grab,steal, drive off and forced the natives out of their lands with the help of certain corrupted people in the Gov’t. These people just want everything for themselves and make slaves out of the Natives lakia, as they call us. Now tell me how do we do away with race based politics if we natives are being given the wrong end of the stick?

    Comment by brian — November 16, 2012 @ 3:23 PM | Reply


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