Hornbill Unleashed

September 12, 2013

Penans move to new homes

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , , , , ,


Native communities affected by the Murum hydroelectric project have begun the shift to their new homes in the resettlement scheme in Tegulang, upstream Bakun

BELAGA: Eighty-nine Penan families from Long Wat who are affected by the impoundment of the Murum hydro electric project (HEP) have been relocated to a new village resettlement scheme in Tegulang.

Tegulang is in upstream Bakun and according to Belaga assemblyman Liwan Lagang the new village’s location was ‘chosen’ by the Penans themselves.

“The site of the new homes was selected by the affected residents during a SEIA (Social and Environmental Impact Assessment) process.

“Many of the residents were employed during the construction.

“The Murum Penans deserve our support and I am determined to ensure that the resettlement is a success.

“The process is off to a good start, but I will be working with the community to make sure all of the government’s promises are delivered,” said Lagang.

Yesterday’s relocation exercise was carried out with the collaboration of the Sarawak Energy Board (SEB) whose controversial chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit was also present.

The day began with villagers performing prayers and ritual ceremony before leaving their old houses at Long Wat, which former Penghulu Pao Tului described as the long-awaited moment.

The new settlement is complete with amenities such as treated water, electricity, multipurpose hall and other modern facilities.

Meanwhile, Murum Penan Development Committee (MPDC) chairman Labang Paneh, his father and siblings have also moved into their homes.

Waiting to move into their new homes is the communities in Long Malim and Long Wat.

Long Malim headman Asan Along his people are expected to move into their new homes at the end of next month.

Meanwhile Sjotveit said SEB accepted that it had a “special obligation” to the communities affected by its projects and was determined to be “good neighbours” in the long term.

“We recognize that yesterday’s relocation is just the first step in a much longer journey.

“Together with the state government, we are committed to support the Murum communities in their transition to sustainable economy and self-sufficiency,” he said.



    For decades, Barisan Nasional has deprived the rural communities of their basic rights and habitually uses pre-election handouts in exchange for their votes. We should do things differently to bring about genuine change to their lives.

    Under Impian Sarawak, we will provide basic infrastructure – roads, water and electricity. With basic facilities in place, the villagers can then focus on “Impian Sarawak” economic uplift projects such as cottage enterprises to earn stable incomes.

    At the same time, we’ll strive to educate the rural communities on their democratic rights as rightful Malaysian citizens.

    In short, we want to return to the rural communities the dignity to choose the government they want – a dignity that every citizen in a democratic country deserves.

    We believe that the winds of change are gathering momentum across rural Sarawak. That journey towards a brighter future starts now.

    Support “Impian Sarawak”. Join us today and be a part of this ground-breaking movement.


    Comment by Jam — September 12, 2013 @ 5:56 PM | Reply

  2. Sabah and Sarawak at 50, ignoring history at your own peril

    September 11, 2013
    Latest Update: September 11, 2013 11:04 am

    As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Federation of Malaysia, there will be a lot of articles about three things.

    First, Sarawak (and Sabah) did not “join” Malaysia but helped establish the Federation of Malaysia. Second, Sarawak (and Sabah) should be treated as equals, rather than merely a state in the Federation.

    After all, Sarawak became “independent” or “self-government” on July 22, 1963 while Sabah achieved the same on August 31, 1963.

    Third, the promise of autonomy in the “20 Points” was never kept. For example, how many of you know that there was supposed to be a review of the guarantees 10 years after Federation? As far as I know there was no formal review in 1973 although some letters were exchanged.

    Where you stand on the three things I mentioned above will largely depend on your political leanings. It is also dependent on how well you know your history.

    And this is where the problem starts.

    In general, Malaysians do not know their history because the “official” history taught in secondary school is a version of history that is supposed to shape you into a Malaysian nationalist, i.e. do not challenge Malay authority. It is not meant to provide an unbiased view of history.

    Also, as I understand it, the history textbook was actually written by a historian who also happens to be a supreme council member of Perkasa. Do I need to say more about the sort of history that is being taught in school?

    In short, Malaysians know little or next to nothing about Malaysian history and East Malaysians know even less about the history of Sabah and Sarawak.

    Each state was unique and before the federation, had little in common with the peninsula. Sabah was ruled for more than a century by a British company while Sarawak was ruled by the White Rajahs, an English family.

    I am not here to teach history but rather to question what is being done to document what really happened in the past? For example, the seminal event in Sarawak’s history is the cession of Sarawak to the British in 1946.

    Many people, especially the Sarawak Malays, did not want the White Rajah to give away Sarawak to the British.

    According to the “official” version, Rosli Dhoby, a young Malay Sarawakian from Sibu, Sarawak, stabbed Sir Duncan George Stewart, the second governor of colonial Sarawak in 1948. He wanted Sarawak to be independent. Rosli Dhoby is hailed as a hero who paved the way for Sarawak to be independent in the federation of Malaysia.

    Recent research undertaken overseas suggests something else. I am not going to give you any hints and suggest you listen to the full story here.

    I just want to make a simple point – how come there are no Malaysian historians studying their own country in an unbiased way?

    Must historians in this country show their “patriotism” by only studying non-controversial things? How come all the interesting bits of history are done by non-Malaysians?

    If I am not mistaken, there are four universities in Sarawak and two universities in Sabah. They keep producing ethnography work but little in the way of peoples’ history.

    It is as if historians in both states are afraid of telling the world what really happened during colonial and pre-colonial times.

    The “official” history is almost never challenged and after 50 years of Malaysia, Malaysians from Sabah and Sarawak only know the history of Malaya. How sad. – September 11, 2013.

    * James Chin writes on contemporary East Malaysian history, especially on governance issues.

    Comment by ali — September 12, 2013 @ 5:37 PM | Reply

  3. What exactly is this Norwegian outcast meant by “Sustainable economy and self sufficiency” of people forced out of their homes and lands? The Penans are forced to accept relocation to make way for a damned dam so that he and his master taib can make tons of money while the Penans are put on a transitory journey to a supposedly sustainable economy and self sufficiency?

    This is a load of stupid Norwegian lies and bullshit and the worst kind of shit to hit the Penans!

    Comment by brian — September 12, 2013 @ 3:19 PM | Reply

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