Hornbill Unleashed

November 12, 2013

Sarawak logging company ordered to stop operations for causing pollution

PKR’s  See Chee How said there is a dispute between landowners and the two companies. 17 of the 18 villages have filed their case at the Kuching High Court. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 12, 2013.


PKR’s See Chee How said there is a dispute between landowners and the two companies. 17 of the 18 villages have filed their case at the Kuching High Court.

One of the two logging companies in dispute with native customary rights (NCR) land owners over log extractions has been ordered by the Sarawak government to stop operations.

The company is alleged to have engaged thugs and gangsters to settle the disputes, but the suspension was for flouting the Forest Department’s guidelines and procedures on extracting timber. (more…)

November 5, 2013

Muslims, Christians come together in Kuching church in show of “Sarawak’s religious harmony”

Herald AllahTMI

It was a show of religious harmony by Christians and Muslims in Sarawak yesterday even as the debate over the October 14 court ruling on the word Allah raged on.

The Borneo Post reported that non-governmental organisation Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak and the Islamic Information Centre organised a forum called “Tweeting Up Unity: Social Cohesion Through Social Media”, under the Soul2Soul 2.0 interfaith forum series, at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre in Kuching.

The event’s keynote speaker was social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, who was also a panellist. It was attended by over 200 youths from higher learning institutions and government agencies. (more…)

September 14, 2013

Sarawak a special place for Brookes


Anthony Brooke, the last white rajah will have his wishes fulfilled when his remains are privately interred at the Brooke family graveyard, beside Fort Margherita in Kuching.

Sarawak will always be a special place for the Brooke family but for the widow of the last ‘white’ Rajah Muda, Gita, the state has an extra special place in her heart.

Gita is the wife of the late Anthony Walter Dayrell Brooke. Anthony who died in 2011 was the last of the Brooke clan to rule Sarawak before it was ceded to the British Crown after the Second World War. (more…)

July 7, 2013

Only in Malaysia: lawyer under travel ban for supporting Suu Kyi even after she walks free


Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is the famous face of democracy. After years and years of house arrest in Myanmar, she now goes anywhere she wants in the world.

Not so much the Malaysian lawyer who went to Suu Kyi’s homeland 14 years ago to campaign for her release then.

His forced restriction to Malaysia was invisible to the world until the past week when British activist Clare Rewcastle Brown highlighted it after she was thrown out of Sarawak, when she tried to enter the state. He was her lawyer for the defamation suit she was flying in to defend.


May 1, 2013

PR wants ‘Allah’ Bibles returned to prisoners

Joseph Tawie

Political parties in Sarawak have also been urged to state their stand on the seizure of bibles from the Sibu prison.

The issue of “Allah” and the Malay Bible is far from over. It has cropped up again when prison authorities seized hundreds of Malay and Iban-language Bibles with the word “Allah” from a prison in Sibu over the past few weeks.

This has not gone down well with the Christians who make up 44% of the state’s population. (more…)

November 16, 2012

Chinese traditional medicine

Sim Kwang Yang

Growing up in Kuching as a boy, my first contact with medical treatment was of the herbal Chinese type. The services of Western medical science were expensive, and unaffordable in my youth, so Chinese medicine was the only medical care that we could have access to.

We never had enough money to see the handful of doctors in practice in Kuching, in those days. Of course, modern private medicine can also be hugely expensive today because of the burgeoning cost of healthcare, even though we now have many more doctors around us.

Now that I am grown up, and older, I suppose I have more faith in Western medicine. But I still retain a lingering love for Chinese medicine. (more…)

October 30, 2012

Happy Families? Taib Gets A Public Kicking From Ragad!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 4:00 PM
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Sarawak Report

Has Ragad now got the upper hand?

Earlier this month, Friday 12th October, onlookers in the Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Kuching were treated to an astonishing scene.

The elderly Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud and his very young wife Ragad indulged in a public row in the foyer of his office building.

Ragad had apparently turned up at the building and demanded to see her husband, for whom she waited until he came downstairs. As one person reported: (more…)

September 1, 2012

Purge the ‘enemy within’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Joseph Tawie

Leaders who betray the trust of the people and the country are the ‘enemies’ that the opposition wants purged.

Sarawak PKR has sent out a plea urging Malaysians to purge “the enemy within”.

It claimed that “rampant corruption, cover-ups, betrayals” and power abuse were enough reasons for right-thinking citizens to review their loyalties to the current government.

Said state PKR chief Baru Bian: “To my mind, our enemies are those from within this country who betray the trust given to them to govern the country. (more…)

August 7, 2012

Keep politics for later, Sarawak undergrads told

FMT Staff

Sarawak BN-SUPP fears a backlash from rising youth involvement in politics.

Undergraduates in Sarawak have been advised to focus on their studies and not get distracted by the politics of the opposition.

While agreeing that the young are “free to chose” their political affiliations, Deputy Works Minister Yong Khoon Seng said they should, however, prioritise their studies and future.

Yong’s comments at the opening of the National Undergraduates Fellowship at the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) headquarters recently speaks of its concern with the political alliances of the young voters in Sarawak. (more…)

July 15, 2012

Crime statistics: Who cares?

Justin Santiago

The recent attempted attack on a high-profile target in a high-profile location — no less than Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya — puts the debate on the perception that crime rates are rising in Malaysia to rest.

Forget about the statistics and who has got it right or wrong or whether they have been obfuscated or not. The plain fact of the matter — as the above reported incident has shown — is that criminals have become bolder and that even the prime minister had better look over his shoulder lest he becomes part of the statistics.

Crime is no longer confined to dark alleyways at odd hours of the night. It is increasingly happening in public places — car parks in malls have been a hot favourite recently — and in broad daylight. (more…)

July 3, 2012

‘A third in Sarawak interiors denied voting rights’

Aidila Razak

About one-third of the people election observer group Malaysian Election Observer Network (Meo-Net) has met in the interiors of Sarawak cannot register as voters because they are not documented.

This is despite the fact that they are born in Malaysia, have lived in the country all their lives and are of the eligible age, Meo-Net coordinator Ong Boon Keong said today.

“We registered about a couple of thousand people as voters last year. They represent two-thirds of those we met, while the others are undocumented,” Ong said when contacted. (more…)

April 21, 2012


Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Efforts to better the lives and break the cycle of poverty among the city’s forgotten poor will be better resolved through a two-way consultative process.

Efforts to better the lives and break the cycle of poverty among the city’s forgotten poor will be better resolved through a two-way consultative process. KUCHING, as I’m sure most of us will agree, is a rapidly growing, bustling city. There are signs of affluence everywhere, from the number of cars on the roads to new housing and commercial developments.

Feeding the hungry: Some of the squatters collecting food parcels from the SKUP van. SKUP distributes food to the squatter families in Jalan Desa Wira every Monday to Saturday. (more…)

September 13, 2010

Dayaks do not trust BN over NCR Land

In the coming state election, issues regarding native customary rights land are certain to be exploited by both the Opposition and Barisan Nasional parties.

Already the government has taken the initial step in order to gain advantage of the situation when Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced an allocation of RM20 million to carry out as a “first step” to do perimeter survey of some 1.5 million hectares of NCR land in the state. Starting from the end of the year, it is an obvious part of the government’s strategy in order to minimize its exploitation by the Opposition.

The Opposition Pakatan Rakyat is aware of the government’s strategy in trying to win back the hearts and minds of the people especially the natives who own the NCR land. But the natives are no longer fool as the problems have been there for about three decades. Nor do they believe what the BN leaders have promised them any more. (more…)

September 6, 2010

We want Taib to contest elections

By Pak Bui

We want Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud to contest in the upcoming state elections.

We want Taib to contest and win his own seat uncontested as usual, after a hefty sum is spent (but not one he will miss, since it would still be an infinitesimally small fraction of his wealth) on ensuring that any potential opponents are not a threat.

We urge PR to put up a trustworthy candidate against Taib, a candidate who will take any windfall that might come his way on nomination day. We would want the PR candidate to then withdraw with a smile, and promptly contribute the windfall to party funds to supplement the campaign war chest for the surrounding constituencies. (more…)

August 28, 2010

Small town justice leaves boy in a fix

NONEBy Keruah Usit

Football, the ‘beautiful game’, can turn ugly at times. An altercation over an ostensibly friendly game of football has led to disturbing allegations of police brutality in the small rural town of Lawas in northeastern Sarawak.

Salutan Buayeh, a village committee member in the Lun Bawang community of Long Pengalih, has reported that his nephew, a schoolboy, had been arrested, beaten and threatened by policemen in Lawas, following a seemingly innocuous argument over football.

Salutan (right) told the Sarawak Indigenous News website on Aug 10 that his nephew had been kept in a police cell for two nights, but had not been investigated nor charged with any crime.

“We villagers are not satisfied because the schoolboy did not commit any wrongdoing,” he remonstrated.

July 13, 2010

MP submits emergency motion on Penan rape

By MalaysiaKini

PKR Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin submitted an emergency motion today to discuss whether the damning report by NGO Penan Support Group (PSG) alleging the sexual abuse of Penans in the Baram valley is symptomatic of a larger pattern of exploitation of the indigenous community.

An excellent Chinese article:-


June 8, 2010

Dr M mum on Taib and wants Samy out

mahathir cyberjaya lecture 220409 q&a sessionBy Joe Fernandez

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad thinks that MIC president S. Samy Vellu should quit his post altogether and vamoose “if he knows what’s good for him”.

The only reason he gave is that he (Mahathir) is no longer in government and neither are the others who were once with him.

So, by this simplistic logic, Samy should do the same disappearing act as well and not unnecessarily clutter Mahathir’s (right) neat picture of the world.

Not that Samy quitting MIC would be the end of Umno’s political problems in winning back its two-thirds majority in Parliament and the states that it conceded to the opposition in the last general election.  (more…)

April 22, 2010

Why rural Sarawak realities work against reform

By Apang

This piece is going to be a hard one. This is because Sarawak is the general context for this analysis, with rural Sarawak the particular focus, along with an examination of the various key factors working against the people and their aspirations.

Notice I am not saying these factors work against the opposition Pakatan Rakyat, for one simple reason – it will not be the opposition or the government who wins or loses in any election, but it will be the people of Sarawak whose future is at stake.

For those who know the socio-economic, physical, political and legal context of rural Sarawak, perhaps this knowledge is the first clue to what not to expect in the upcoming Sarawak elections. No, I am not a pessimist, but a realist, endowed with limited knowledge. True, I have only been to some small parts of the vast reaches of rural Sarawak, but it is not hard for me to identify the inhibiting factors working against the people. So I am able to offer some generalisations, but also certain specific observations. (more…)

March 27, 2010

Go dark for an hour to-night!

Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:22 AM
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By Sim Kwang Yang

Dear all out there,

Let’s join the whole world and observe the World Earth Hour to-night by switching off all our lights in the house between 8.30 and 9.30 to-day.

The spectre of global warming is now threatening human kind.  We are Anak Sarawak, Bangsa Malaysia, but we are also citizens of the global village.  Pollution and Carbon emission know no national border, so we have to do our bit in our daily life to live a greener existence.  We must learn to reuse, reduce, and recycle.

Unfortunately, environment destruction on a massive scale is occurring in our backyard in the form of indiscriminate logging all over Sarawak.  Forests are heat pumps of the Earth, absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and releasing life-supporting oxygen back to mankind.   (more…)

March 25, 2010

Malaysia’s invisible identity crisis

the antidote article sarawak natives life in interior sarawak  050509 01By Keruah Usit

One of Philip’s happiest days last year was when he finally received his identity card (IC). He had applied three times over the space of nine years, and had received a reply only to his last attempt. Altogether, he made six long, and expensive, trips from his remote home village to the nearest district office.

The Sarawak Gazette records that Philip’s Orang Ulu ancestors had settled in a valley in Sarawak for over a century. His parents showed me their marriage certificate provided by local village elders, dated before the formation of Malaysia. But they could not obtain a birth certificate when Philip was born.

Philip’s concern is not for himself, given that he is already 43, and a life-long farmer. He is not likely to follow the growing exodus of young people from his village seeking work in the towns, in factories in Johor or Kuala Lumpur, or on offshore oil rigs in Sarawak and further afield. (more…)

January 13, 2010

Sarawak Lawyers: Support judicial independence, condemn arsons

By HU Editor

A group of practising lawyers in Sarawak this morning gathered outside the Kuching Courts Complex calling for respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. They also called on all responsible and conscientious Malaysians to condemn violence and acts that incite racial tension.

The group of more than 10 lawyers handed out a joint declaration to passers-by said that the demonstration, church arsons and escalating tension arising from the current “Allah” controversy will jeopardize peace and nation building, tarnish Malaysia’s international image and discourage foreign investment, that the failure of the BN Government to stop demonstrations against the Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment on the use of “Allah” by the Herald had fanned the emotions and sentiments of certain quarters to turn the matter into serious religious conflict.


November 1, 2009

Sarawak PKR’s new chief faces BN mud-slinging

By Maximus  Kho

baru-bianFinally, it is done. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or the People’s Justice Party, has appointed a Sarawakian to head its Sarawak Chapter. Yesterday, at a press conference at the Telang Usan Hotel, Mr Baru Bian, a well-known, well-liked, and widely-respected Land Rights lawyer, announced his assumption of the leadership of PKR Sarawak.

This is after much clamouring from within and without the party for a local Sarawakian to head the party. Amongst the most frequently expressed views was the concern that Sarawak’s interests demand the leadership of a Sarawakian. Even George Chan ventured in with his two cent’s worth, when he was quoted as saying that the PKR could not represent Sarawak’s interests because it was headed by a West Malaysian.

Baru’s appointment therefore comes as a breath of fresh air to many. However, not all is well in Sarawak.


October 28, 2009

SKY: Reason versus emotions: part two: feeling the feelings

By Sim Kwang Yang

feeling the feelings balanceFrom a very young age, we have been taught by parents, teachers and the society at large to control our emotions and feelings with our reason.  The head and the heart are always set in opposition to each other.

But how well do we know our own feelings and emotions though.  A useful game will be for you to write out a list of all the feelings that you have ever felt throughout your life.  If you are good with words, you will be amazed at how rich your emotional life is.

By now we know some emotions and feelings are bad for us and bad for others.  The feelings of hatred, envy, jealousy, and fear can poison our soul, while the feelings of passion, love, compassion, hope, and happiness can enrich our lives.

But we know sometimes we cannot always control our feelings.  They seem to spring out of nowhere and continue to burn in our nadir.  For instance, whenever I read about reports of rape, including and especially the rape of the Penan girls by logging workers in Sarawak, my nameless moral outrage just bursts forth, and I wish I can do something about it.


October 14, 2009

Law, trust, and justice

Kaypo Anak Sarawak is a Columnist  of  Hermit Hornbill at The Borneo Post Online , His article is  published  in The Borneo Post every Sunday. (Used by permission of the Author )

lawWHY do we obey the law? What makes a law-abiding society?

The common sense answer to those critical questions is: “People obey laws because they fear detection and punishment. That is why we have the police and the courts”.

In The Republic, Plato recounts a dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon, Plato’s older brother. Glaucon argues that only fear of detection and punishment prevents people from disobeying the laws of the land. He demonstrates this view of human nature with the Myth of Gyges.

Gyges was a shepherd who one day found a ring that could make him invisible when he wore it. (He found the ring on the corpse of a bronze horse, which was exposed when an earthquake broke up the ground below his flock.) Using the magical power of his invisibility, Gyges seduced the queen, murdered the king, and took the throne.


October 8, 2009

Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia in Sarawak – You must be joking!

By Sim Kwang Yang


So Gabriel Adit and some other like-minded people are going to form a new party called Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) in Sarawak.  Dr. John Brian Anthony even claimed on his blog Dayak Baru that the new party had been registered with the Registrar of Societies a few days ago.

I know Gabriel personally.  A long time ago, I used to drink in the same pub in Kuching with him, sometimes every afternoon.  It is hard for me to bad-mouth him, though Internet commentators are beginning to bad-mouth him already.

Some fair comments on this latest development are still apt and possible.

First of all, it is very difficult to form a new political party in Malaysia, and Sarawak is no exception.


October 7, 2009

THE REAL PAKATAN RAKYAT IN SARAWAK: Sarawakians’ Victory in sight?

By Apang

pakatan rakyatIt is here with us again: the hype among ordinary Sarawakians about the impending state election. Yet it is clear the publicity only highlights Sarawakian voters’ feeling of helplessness, and their conviction that nothing fundamental will change, beneath the cosmetic surface of politics.

The rhetorical pledges, fake concern, and high-ranking “support” touted by the Barisan Nasional (BN) should be viewed in the light of the governing coalition’s abysmal track record in Sarawak.

BN’s record is especially foul when it comes to Native Customary Rights (NCR) lands and development. The BN uses its might, threats, bribes and the people’s own money to arrange for the select few to be elected to form the government.

This provides the BN the “legitimacy” to first deny the indigenous communities their NCR lands. Then the ministers and elected “people’s representatives” go about “representing” their own selves and their families, partnering up with corporate elites to rip their fortunes from the stolen lands. (more…)

October 5, 2009

China dolls in Cat City, miew!

By Sim Kwang Yang

kutching-cat-statueI have just returned to my Cheras home after about a week’s visit to my home town of Kuching.  This time around, home coming was a very ambiguous experience.

Of course, I used to know Cat City inside out, having lived there most of my life, and served three terms as the MP of the people there.  One grows deep roots in the local community that way.  It is a small town of about half a million where everybody knows personally or hears of everybody else anyway.

All the good things about Kuching have remained unchanged.

The old city centre has not changed much.  The people are still very friendly, and racial alienation does not exist.  The weather is really agreeable, and a bowl of kolok mee still costs RM2.50.  There is no traffic jam to speak of, though local drivers complain about the worsening traffic — they have not lived and worked in KL.  Parking is never any problem, and the parking fee is something like 20 cents per hour. (more…)

October 4, 2009

Murum Dam misery for displaced Penan

by anilnetto.com “with permission of author”

Dr. James Dawos

A few days ago, The Star reported that the relocation of seven Penan villages affected by the proposed RM3 billion Murum Dam in Belaga, Sarawak would be carried out according to the findings of a social and environmental impact assessment.

State environmental adviser  was reported as saying that the government had appointed consultants to conduct the study, expected to be completed by year-end, and would consider their report before coming up with a resettlement plan. The villages affected are Long Wat, Long Luar, Long Tangau, Long Menapa, Long Singu, Long Malim and Long Uba. Long Wat villagers face double jeopardy: they are to be “temporarily relocated” (to enable the construction of a cofferdam to divert the river) before later resettlement.


October 1, 2009

“Balik kampung tanam jagung”

By Maximus  Kho

baru-bianFinally, it is done. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or the People’s Justice Party, has appointed a Sarawakian to head its Sarawak Chapter. Wednesday, at a press conference at the Telang Usan Hotel, Mr Baru Bian, a well-known, well-liked, and widely-respected Land Rights lawyer, announced his assumption of the leadership of PKR Sarawak.

This is after much clamouring from within and without the party for a local Sarawakian to head the party. Amongst the most frequently expressed views was the concern that Sarawak’s interests demand the leadership of a Sarawakian. Even George Chan ventured in with his two cent’s worth, when he was quoted as saying that the PKR could not represent Sarawak’s interests because it was headed by a West Malaysian.

Baru’s appointment therefore comes as a breath of fresh air to many. However, not all is well in Sarawak.


September 27, 2009

Hornbill Unleashed six months later……

By Sim Kwang Yang

panicHornbill Unleashed was launched on March 26, and so to-day, we passed the first six months of our existence.

We are very grateful for the many readers who have visited our site and left their comments.  Apart from the few odd balls, most of our readers have been thoughtful, courteous, positive, and engaged.

We have tried to keep our site updated everyday, and keeping to deadlines is never easy.  But we have managed somehow.

We have had over 238,000 hits so far.  But getting hits is the not the sole reason for this communal blog.  We do want to offer something different, in accordance with our guiding principle of Anak Sarawak, Bangsa Malaysia.

We also want to speak a new language, the language of reason, compassion, and positive engagement.  We will continue to fight the racial narrative that has imprisoned our country for six decades. (more…)

September 6, 2009

Why Sarawak’s emergency airlift service matters

By Pak Bui

cut footJau, a 19 year old Penan man from a remote village, was chopping open a coconut one day, using his foot to steady the coconut. Jau’s foot slipped and he suffered a cut on his left foot.

The wound was small and shallow, but painful. James bound it to stop the bleeding, and bore the pain, as the stoic Penan usually do. He went on farming and hunting. Hunting is Jau’s greatest love, as well as his means of making a living.

Two days later he noticed his wound had become infected. Jau walked five hours to the nearest government clinic. The medical assistant there gave him some painkillers and penicillin tablets, saying he had no other antibiotics. (more…)

September 5, 2009

2Malaysia; Sarawak rural healthcare, how?

By Sim Kwang Yang

img_healthcare_dsIf you are sick, you go to a neighbourhood clinic to see the local GP, get diagnosed, and with a jab and some pills, your minor problems will disappear after a few days.

If you are very sick, you can check into a public or private hospital, and prompt attention will be given to you.  Medical expertise and expensive equipment are at your finger tips, as long as you can pay the bills.

You tend to take urban health care facilities for granted.

But imagine this: if you are a Malaysian citizen living in the remote regions of Sarawak (or Sabah), what do you do when you get sick?

You try the old ways through consultation with the old folk and the local healer, and you will be treated with folk medicine made from herbs and roots.  Then, you try to sleep off the sickness. (more…)

August 31, 2009

1 Black Merdeka Day

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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1bmd-new-poster-sn-fb (2)


August 30, 2009

The Police give us food for thought

By Pak Bui

lcct_airportA fortnight ago, as I was waiting in transit at a local airport, I found the small snack counter at the departure gate had closed. I was hungry, having endured a glass of mystery fruit juice on my previous flight, and not much else the entire day.

I approached the police officers on duty at the security checkpoint, and asked for permission to leave the gate for a few minutes to buy some food. The two police officers sitting at the X-ray machine, a man and a woman, appeared relaxed, and were chatting with each other.

“You want to go out?” the policeman asked. “Are you leaving the terminal?” (more…)

August 29, 2009

On Merdeka, the nation-state, the Brookes, and endo-colonialism

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:47 AM
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by Bunga Pakma

231823932_8277e9e239Merdeka Day 2009 comes in under a cloud.  In one sense literally—the Haze creeps back in though damped by the rains of the past week.  Figuratively, what could be gloomier than the cloud of events we have been enduring since July?  We are no closer to finding out the circumstances of poor Mr. Teoh’s death at this point in the investigation than at its beginning.  More people than myself recognize in this delay a tried and true tactic in the organized burying of truth.

0013729e48090bfc44940fMalaysia has been publicised around the globe for one bigot’s decision to have a Muslim woman caned for drinking beer. No, she didn’t get totally pissed, rev up her Pajero, and skid into a crowded night-market and kill 30 people. It is a peculiarity of Malaysian justice that it likes to make major examples out of petty offences. (more…)

August 26, 2009

Time for some secular aggression

By Sim Kwang Yang

Kartika Sari Dewi SukarnoThe caning of former model Kartika Sari Dewi Sukarno has been postponed till the Ramadan month is over.  She has been sent back home for another month of emotional anguish.

The news has since become the fifth most popular story on both the CNN and BBC websites.  There was even a Facebook account listed as “Help Kartika Sari Dewi Sukarno”.

I feel boiling mad with her sentence, because the caning punishment is barbaric and out-dated for any crime.  It should have been outlawed long ago.  It does not serve as a deterrent, and neither should it serve as punitive punishment.  It belongs to the Dark Ages.

I was thinking of writing about religious overzealousness, at the risk of offending some religious sensitivities, when I came across the article entitled “Time for secular aggression” by Wole Soyinka. (more…)

August 21, 2009

Nazri proud of “e-court”, but not Sarawak BN MPs

By Apang

Mohamed Nazri Abdul AzizThe de facto law minister from UMNO was in Kuching last week. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, was given widespread coverage by the local papers, on several issues.

Nazri’s trip was full of praise for Sarawak indeed. The Sarawak BN must be delighted that the Umno minister was praising the state so effusively. The Sarawak BN leaders’ faces were splashed all over the local papers, beaming because of Nazri’s compliments.

Nazri’s e-nthusiasm for technology


August 19, 2009

A Long Hard Journey to School

By Chee How

Bull shit

The persistent international outcry over the alleged rape of Penan women and schoolgirls by logging company workers seems to have spurred the Sarawak government to take steps to improve the safety of Penan schoolgirls traveling to and from schools.

Deputy Chief Minister, and Chairman of the Steering Committee on Penan Affairs, Alfred Jabu, continues to dismiss allegations that Penan women and girls were sexually abused by workers from two local logging companies. (more…)

August 11, 2009

Mother Nature, Human Nature and Politics

itun-semban010509By Apang

Mother Nature is terrible, merciless, cruel and yet is, of course, natural. In our current Sarawak context, the dry spell is drying up our taps. Mother Nature is blamed yet again.

When our “god-given” rights to live are interrupted, Mother Nature cops it. So it is rather consistent that the “almighty” human blames others, almost always, for anything and everything. It is even easier when the “others” are like Mother Nature, when there is no possibility of the “others” responding to the blame and accusations.

So as Sarawak is suddenly in “crisis” mode again during this dry season, El Nino is blamed, again. Google this term and you will find out that this is a “natural” phenomenon. That elite group called “scientists” tells us so. (more…)

August 9, 2009

Cawat remark hard to digest

HU Liumx1By Liumx

Can a cawat remark hurt my “native Sarawakian” feelings?

I must confess that I am not good at reading minds. I am even worse at reading a “mindset”.

This reflection is, of course, a reaction to the cawat comment by the honourable PAS president, Hadi Awang.

PAS jargon is hardly easy to digest. Terms such as “muktamar” or “muzakarah” are strange to the minds of those who are unfamiliar with Arabic, or rather romanised Arabic – maybe even, to some extent, a Malaysianised, and inauthentic, Arabic.

Ask any ordinary passer-by, say on the streets of Miri, the meaning of these phrases. The number of people who can give a satisfactory description of “muktamar” or “muzakarah” may add up to zero.

Therefore, why use this peculiar jargon? (more…)

August 5, 2009

UMNO and Utusan: stuck in their time-warped narrative of race

By Sim Kwang Yang

discover_team_shotAfter March 8  last year, we began to hear the new political language of a new era that expresses inclusive, universal values such as justice for all, democracy and human rights.  We even hear calls for the People’s Dominance, as an alternative to Malay Dominance.

As Michel Foucault would tell you, any public discourse is a platform, in which various different narratives are engaged in a war for power to dominate the political conversation.

I truly do not know to what extent the new inclusive narrative of universal justice and people power has succeeded in capturing the public imagination.  Malaysia is in a state of transition, and small battles and scuffles are fought on many fronts all over the country between the two warring elephants, the BN and the PR.  The battlefields are very confusing. (more…)

August 4, 2009

To resist is to win: ten years of public uprising in West Malaysia

By Apang

ISA PootestTen years ago, West Malaysians took to the public space on the streets, to challenge a dictator openly. Then on Saturday, August 1, the power of Malaysians was unleashed yet again in the public space of Kuala Lumpur. Thinking Malaysians continue to roar against injustice, and to struggle for human rights.

The symbols of the Malaysian authorities’ injustice, and abuse of Malaysians’ rights, go beyond the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA). But this infamous and unjust law remains the most prized among all prime ministers of Malaysia. Despite the usual authoritative threats by the BN and their extended family, the BN Police, tens of thousands of people took back the public space in KL on August 1.

This latest public show of people’s power against UMNO and the BN confirms that the spirit of ten years ago is still very much alive. Ten years ago, Anwar Ibrahim’s sacking and imprisonment (and his subsequent beating by Rahim Noor, then Inspector General of Police) revealed clearly to the Malaysian public that UMNO in particular, and the BN in general, abused anyone and everyone. (more…)

August 2, 2009

Absolutely NO to ISA…on a lazy Malaysian Sunday

By Sim Kwang Yang

Abolish ISAAs I write, at 4.30pm on Saturday afternoon, following news of the anti-ISA protest in down town Kuala Lumpur on the Internet, I can imagine how the city centre 8 miles away from my Cheras home has turned into a war zone.

The protesters numbering in the tens of thousands must be playing hide and seek with the massive police presence there.  In the past few hours, the Police have arrested hundreds of protesters in various parts of the city.  The chemical-laced water canons and tear gas have been deployed, but the crowds do not seem to have been intimidated.

The hectic chaos in KL city centre is reminiscent of the massive protest about 10 years ago after the arrest and detention of Anwar Ibrahim.  The happy days of POLITIK JALANRAYA are back again. (more…)

July 28, 2009

“People First”? Najib, meet the poor Malays when you are in Kuching

By Chee How

P7180044The sun is setting on a housing estate with extensive open spaces with grass and trees, a flowing river and animated butterflies fluttering across the screen…

Prestige amidst nature’s bounty

This is how CMS Property Development Sdn Bhd described Bandar Baru Samariang in its website promoting its houses.

How wonderful … but is it really?

Yasin is certainly not impressed by the advertising gimmicks.

He has lived in Bandar Baru Samariang for the last 10 years, one of the pioneers in the ‘new’ township. But he has been living in the ghetto, very much shielded from the high-end housing estates –  even if the high-end estates themselves have little prestige to boast about. (more…)

July 16, 2009

Change in NCR land-grab policy? What’s the difference from the 20-year con job?

By Apang

james masingIn yet another big sweep, James Masing, the Sarawak Land Development Minister was willing to witness yet another large-scale land development scheme on Native Customary Rights (NCR) lands in Julau, about 55 km from Sibu. Masing was in Sarikei, about one hour’s drive from Sibu, to witness the signing ceremony between Sime Darby and the landowners who were again represented by the state agency, Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA).

Masing is obviously right to state the fact, as reported in The Borneo Post Online  on 10.07.2009 that Sime Darby is a “very well established and leading multinational conglomerate which has about 100 years’ experience in developing not only oil palm but also rubber plantations in Sabah and the peninsula.” Thus, he said the people must not doubt Sime Darby’s ability. Of course the history of Sime Darby’s practice in Malaysia and Indonesia can be googled for one’s own interpretation if huge conglomerate means a trustworthy partner, especially one with NCR landowners. (more…)

July 11, 2009

Letter from Semenanjung? Notes from Nowhere?

Filed under: Education,Uncategorized — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
Tags: , , ,

By Bunga Pakma

the earth’ rotation at a thousand miles per hourEven as we lie asleep in our beds or sit in our chairs we are moving, carried by the earth’s rotation at a thousand miles per hour. Then too, we all ride on the earth as it swings around the sun, the sun orbits the center of our galaxy, and the galaxy itself is moving out from some unknown centre.

We do not merely directly observe the first two of these grand circles, the deepest part of our beings are directly tuned to them.  A rhythm of day and night cycles inside us, and the seasons of the year touch instincts in us in the tropics or the higher latitudes just as they do in animals

So one might say that the normal condition of life, whether we like it or not, is motion.  That life is a voyage is one of the oldest metaphors. (more…)

July 9, 2009

MP Sivarasa granted Leave for Judicial Review

By HU Editor

In a decision delivered in Kusivarasaching High Court this afternoon, Justice Datuk Linton Albert granted leave for Sivarasa A/L K. Rasiah, to commence judicial review proceedings pursuant to his Application made in March 2009.

In his Application, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat Vice President and Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah applied to the High Court for an Order of Certiorari to quash the decision of the First Respondent refusing the his entry into Sarawak by the issuance of the Notice of Refusal of Entry dated 14th February 2009 against the Director of Immigration Sarawak.

The Keadilan activist lawyer also asked for a declaration that the decision of the Director of Immigration to refuse his entry into Sarawak by was mala fide unlawful unreasonable and or irrational and or ultra vires the Immigration Act and Immigration Regulations, is in excess of his jurisdiction and in breach of the Applicant’s legitimate expectation to enter the State of Sarawak.

Granting leave for the Application, the High Court Judge ruled that the application is by no means frivolous and that there is clearly an arguable case which ought to be heard on a full inter parte hearing.

Mr Baru Bian and Mr See Chee How acted for Sivarasa while Senior Federal Counsel Puan Azizah Nawawi represented the Attorney-General’s Chambers

Click here for the full decision in pdf format


July 7, 2009

A tribute to SJS Kuching and the La Salle brothers – Part 2

Kaypo Anak Sarawak is a Columnist  of  Hermit Hornbill at The Borneo Post Online , His article is  published  in The Borneo Post every Sunday. (Used by permission of the Author )

St Joseph

STUDYING in St Joseph’s Secondary School was an exciting experience that would probably remain with you for life.

Sarawak under the British colonial rule was in a state of emergency fighting a communist armed insurgency in the 1960s. Newly formed political parties were something new and confusing to our parents. (more…)

July 5, 2009

Letter from Sarawak 4 – Concrete boxes we call home

Filed under: Alternatives,Uncategorized — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:03 AM
Tags: , ,

By Bunga Pakma

trellick towerThe last time you saw me, reader, I was zooming through Kuching to catch a bus. As I watched shopping complexes, flyovers and houses whizzing by, my mind snapped back to a memory of a trip to Kuching six months before.  At that time I was with a friend.  We looked round at the new buildings going up, and looked at each other.  “I am so bloody weary,” he sighed, “of seeing nothing but this damned concrete.”  Yes, then, and now, Kuching is stuffed with concrete, hectare after hectare of it.

Concrete is inherently no more ugly than any other thing to build with.  It’s gray, but so is granite and slate.  Concrete is simply everywhere, there is no relief, and the lack of variety struck me as dreary.

There’s plenty of concrete in the US, but the US has been building nearly 300 years longer than has Malaysia, and the legacy of structures is impressive.  In Connecticut, 18th century houses are not rare.  Most are of wood. The best timber—chestnut, for example, as lasting as belian—was once plentiful and cheap.  Beautiful brickwork exists from all era, and many large public (more…)

July 4, 2009

Taking Rights Seriously

An interesting tale in the courtroom

By Chee How

01.07.2009 002John looks not a day more than 30 years old. Looking handsome and proper in his long-sleeved shirt and slacks, he is soft-spoken but has good command of the English language.

John was standing in court beside the long table, which is usually lined with solemnly robed lawyers. John appeared calm and composed.

Razak, my respected friend, a Senior Federal Counsel, was seated behind the long table, with his files, papers and statute books spread neatly on the table. (more…)

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