Hornbill Unleashed

October 4, 2013

Cops should protect Penans, not arrest them


Human rights NGO Suaram has condemned police action against Penan protesters fighting against the impoundment of the Murum dam, urging the police to instead protect the indigenous people.

Suaram coordinator R Thevarajan said that by arresting a protester and breaking up the blockade the community had put up to halt progress on the dam, the police are siding with the exploiters instead of the rakyat.

“We urge the Royal Malaysian Police to safeguard law and justice and to protect the interests of the Penan people instead of taking the side of the exploiters.


“Suaram urges inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar to intervene and tell his men not to interfere in the Penan people’s struggle for their rights,” he said in a statement.

He added that the Penan “have no choice” but to continue with their blockade, as the Sarawak Energy Bhd had “reneged” on the deal to halt the impoundment during negotiations.

The blockade was set up on Sept 18 after eight years of negotiations, while the Penan said the impoundment started on Sept 22.

He added that Malaysia is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which protects the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples.

NONEHowever, the country has not yet ratified International Labour Organisation convention 169, which legally binds the government to protect the rights of the indigenous on deals affecting their rights.

“Suaram urges the  Malaysian government to end all intimidation and harassment against indigenous people. We urge the government to ratify the ILO convention 169.”

Police yesterday arrested protester Ngang Buling and fired a warning shot into the air during the commotion surrounding the arrest.

Ngang, who was then taken to Belaga police station, was released this morning.

The 30-odd police officers yesterday also demolished some of the camps at the blockade.


  1. The Penan did not fire warnng shots or burn the property or belongings of SEB and its staff. The Penans were threaten to cooperate with SEB and to move out of their homes. They have every right to prevent trespassers from encroaching into their territory.

    Comment by SK Subramaniam — October 5, 2013 @ 12:02 AM | Reply

    • Only in Malaysia you get chased out from your ancestral land and everything that you ever had, gets threatened, branded as trespassers and arrested by the very authority that is supposed to protect you. Well done Malaysia.

      Comment by Aidil Yunus — October 7, 2013 @ 11:58 AM | Reply

  2. BP reported that masing said the Penans are not above the law and must be arrested if they breaks the law. The Penans in Murum have never said that they are above the law. They are just protesting the injustice done to them and how is that against the law when they want to hold on to what is rightfully theirs and be equitably compensated for properties forcefully taken from them.

    Perhaps it is masing himself,the police and the foreigner ceo who should be arrested for causing trouble in Murum. They are the real outsiders especially the foreigner ceo who dared called the very police who are now doing his dirty jobs as cowards. And since when do the police take orders from a foreigner like Torstein?

    Who is masing representing as a wakil rakyat? Was he elected to serve and protect SEB, taib, the foreigner ceo or was he elected by the rakyat to serve and protect the rakyat first and foremost?

    Maybe masing thinks that he is indispensable but not to the Penans and other natives he is now allowed to be bullied into giving up their lands, properties and to submit to a foreigners like Norwegian torstein!

    But of course we all know that Sarawak politic is politic of making business, of enriching the yang berhomat and never the politic of helping the rakyat to prosper. In another word, Sarawak politic is politic of slavery! As what taib said, Sarawak needs thousands of “slaves” to work in his score projects which he, his Chinese cronies and foreigners owned and therefor the need to flood huge areas of natives lands. Landless natives will then remain as slaves to them in their score factories!

    And masing and the rest of them dayaks leaders are happy with that fact?

    Comment by brian — October 4, 2013 @ 3:23 PM | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: