Hornbill Unleashed

October 7, 2013

Police to arrest 40 more Penans

Dukau Papau

The government has dispatched more police personnel including 43 members of the Public Order Riot Unit (PORU) to the Murum dam site in Belaga in an effort to arrest 40 Penans said to be involved in putting up blockades to protect against the impoundment of the dam.

Last Wednesday, their leader Ngang Buling, was arrested and detained, but was released on Friday on police bail.

He is to be charged under Section 448 of the Penal Code for trespassing and is expected to appear in court on Nov 4, 2013.

In arresting Ngang, chairman of Peleiran Murum Penan affairs Committee, there was a commotion as about 300 Penans rushed to the police wanting to be arrested.

The police had to fire warning shots in the air.

Belaga Police Chief DSP Bakar Sebau said the police are looking for 40 Penans in connection with the Murum dam blockades.

NONE“We are in the process of identifying them for a similar offences as their leader Ngang Buling.

“If we find them at the site, we have to arrest them,” Bakar was quoted as saying.

He also confirmed that the police had dispatched more personnel including the 43 PORU personnel to the dam site.

Meanwhile, Sarawak PKR today warned the state government that it is worsening the already critical situation at the Murum hydro-electric dam site by sending more personnel to reinforce the presence of the police already there.

“The sending of more police personnel including 43 PORU members is intimidating but will not solve the problem at hand.

“If the authority thinks that they can cow the Penans by the presence of the police, they are wrong,” said Baru Bian, state PKR chairperson when asked to comment on the government’s move.

“The solution is for the government to engage directly with the Penans, not any Tom, Dick and Harry.

“The government must pay equitable compensation according to the law,” said Bian, who has been asked by the Penans to represent them in the event they sue the government.

Doing their duty

Commenting on the same issue, Land Development Minister James Masing said the police are simply doing their duty to ensure that work on Murum dam is carried out peacefully.

“If more personnel are required so be it,” he said, adding: “I am confident that the authorities involved in Murum hydro-electric project will not shortchange any community affected by the Murum dam.”

“I hope that local NGOs do not just make noise or appear to look busy just to be seen as working by their foreign counterparts,” he said.

Following the impoundment of the dam two weeks ago by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), the owner of the Murum dam,  the Penans have intensified their demands by mounting blockades as they fear that their demands are just being ignored.

Among the demands are RM500,000 per family for the loss of their properties, 25 hectares to be allocated to  each family, 30,000 hectares of forested area be allocated for their hunting needs and 10 percent royalty from SEB profits.

The Penans have lodged a police report against SEB for not informing them about the impoundment of the dam, which they believe threatens their safety and their properties.

More than 1,500 Penans are forced to relocate to Tegulang and Metalun.

So far 89 families have moved to Tegulang, while the remaining 264 families from six Penan villages and one Kenyah village have yet to move out although the water level in the dam is rising very fast.

The RM4 billion dam is expected to submerge their villages and more than 24,000 hectares of the heartland of the Penans.



  1. Police who had been going after the gangsters had received payment to allow them to escape and now they also received payment to harass the Penan protestors?

    Comment by Sabri Yaman — October 8, 2013 @ 8:25 PM | Reply

  2. It is your right and duty to defend your home and property, sometimes with your life. After all that is all you have. If you do not succeed then future generations cannot blame you for not trying. Let it be known to all the world.

    Comment by kocokoco — October 8, 2013 @ 7:15 PM | Reply

  3. “I am confident that the authorities involved in Murum hydro-electric project will not shortchange any community affected by the Murum dam.”

    Well, mr masing, have the gov’t fulfilled their promises to those resettled in Sg.ASAP yet? Have they been fully compensated for the lost of their lands and properties submerged forever by Bakun Damned dam? They have been short changed were they not?

    These poor Penans folks wants to be fully compensated first before you and taib start to drown their lands and properties like you did in Bakun. These Penans want to feel the hard cash in the palm of their hands before they are forced to move into a settlement where they will suffer. Put yourself in their shoes before you make promises that you cannot fulfil.

    masing and taib are only thinking of the money they are going to make but what about the poor Penans? What they are asking for is pittance, duit kopi compared to what masing and taib have made and going to make for eternity?

    Masing has said nothing good about the Penans, only condemning them for standing up against the injustice done to them and their lands. He will be remembered for nothing good but as a oppressor of his own people especially the Penans. That wouldn’t be a great legacy to be remembered by?

    Comment by brian — October 8, 2013 @ 3:28 PM | Reply

  4. Shameful to arrest people armed only with blowpipe ( and those blowpipes were never used on human beings).The Penans have every right to protect their jungle (homeland) with all their ancestral burial grounds.

    Comment by robinhood — October 7, 2013 @ 9:49 PM | Reply

  5. The police have been acting like licensed gangsters Are they motivated by extra cash incentives from some invisible hands? The Dayak National Association and all right thinking Malaysians and Sarawakians must protest against the high handedness of the police .

    Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — October 7, 2013 @ 6:45 PM | Reply

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