Hornbill Unleashed

November 21, 2013

Penan march to Parliament with ‘fair play’ demand

Ram Anand

Fourteen representatives of the Penan community marched to Parliament House today, demanding a stop their eviction from their ancestral land, which has been taken over for a mega-dam in Belaga, Sarawak.

They went to the Opposition Leader’s office to hand over a memorandum that also asks Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to ensure a consultation process between them and the authorities.

Two hours earlier, they had gone to Bukit Aman police headquarters to hand over a memorandum urging the police force to behave in neutral manner over the blockade they have mounted near the Murum Dam.

NONEIn the memorandum written to the inspector-general of police, the community demanded the police to stop the roadblock near where they are having blockades.

They also demanded that the police allow food, water, medicines, social workers and reporters into the area where the blockade is taking place.

“The inspector-general of police needs to interfere immediately in this humanitarian crisis and instruct his officers not to interfere in the Penan struggle,” the memorandum said.

The group, which was also accompanied by Suaram founder Dr Kua Kia Soong and PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan, then walked to Parliament for one kilometre to hand over a second memorandum to the prime minister.

NONELeading the group was Orang Asli rights activist and lawyer Abun Sui Anyit.

According to the group, they made the decision to come to Parliament because so far the state government and dam developers have never mentioned their promise on the relocation and compensation directly to the Penans.

“All this while they have only conveyed their grouses through the media,” Abun said.

The memorandum was handed over through the Opposition Leader’s office, demanding Najib to urge for the implementation of the Suhakam inquiry report into Orang Asli native land rights.

The memorandum was received by Seremban MP Anthony Loke on behalf of the Opposition Leader’s office.

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