Hornbill Unleashed

February 8, 2014

Over 100 days, villagers continue protest to stop Baram Dam

Anna Chidambar

It has not been easy for the Baram villagers but they are determined to continue the protest to halt the construction of the Baram Dam.

(Jan 30) is the 100th day of their protest and they are staying put at the sites where they had mounted two blockades. The blockades were first erected on Oct 23 last year, just as a key meeting was held in Geneva to discuss Malaysia’s human rights record where UN member states had urged Putrajaya to respect the rights of the natives.

Vowing to protect their ancestral lands from the construction of the proposed RM4bil hydroelectric dam in Ulu Baram, hundreds of villagers have, on rotation basis, manned the two blockade sites – KM15 and Long Lama for the past 99 days with only one common objective in mind – stop Baram Dam. (more…)

December 4, 2013

Penan blockade lifted after additional RM8,000 paid to protesters, says lawyer

A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. - The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.DESMOND DAVIDSON

A young Penan mother and her baby leaving their old longhouse at Long Tangau to their new resettlement village at Metalun last Sunday. – The Malaysian Insider pic, December 3, 2013.The 77-day Penan blockade of the Murum hydroelectric dam has been lifted, following an extra RM8,000 offered to each family.

The end of the blockade was announced yesterday by one of the state’s Native Customary Rights (NCR) land lawyers, Abun Sui Anyit.

Anyit, who is also offering legal assistance to the protesting Penans, said they had been “strong-armed by the state government into accepting a token compensation package”. (more…)

November 27, 2013

Baram Dam: Tengah plays with words

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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FMT Staff

Senior Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan claims the compensation demanded by the Penans is unreasonable and illogical.

The Sarawak government claims it has “not finalised” the implementation of the Baram project and has urged the communities not to listen to rumours and be unduly worried.

Public Utilities Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said feasibility studies were still underway but no decision have been made. (more…)

November 21, 2013

Penans want Najib, IGP to intervene in Murum

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Vignesh Kumar

The Penans have hit a stalemate on their negotiations with state government and the Murum Dam main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) over compensation and resettlement issues.

Thirteen members of the Penan tribe in Murum, Sarawak travelled all the way to Bukit Aman today to handover a memorandum to the Inspector General of Police demanding that the police “stop immediately any intimidation and provocation” towards the Penans who have erected bloackades at the Murun dam site (more…)

November 15, 2013

Bakun’s Sg Asap re-settlers sue govt

Winston Way

The natives want the government to pay interest on delayed payment of compensation.

Residents of the Bakun Resettlement Scheme (BRS) in Sungai Asap and Sungai Koyan in Belaga, Kapit have filed a suit against the Sarawak government for failing to pay interest on the compensation for the loss of their original longhouses.

They named the Kapit Land and Survey Department superintendent and the Sarawak government as the first and second defendants. (more…)

November 14, 2013

Protesting Penans claim police were drunk

William Mangor

A Penan lawyer-cum-activist has called on the IGP and the federal government to intervene in the Murum issue.

MURUM: Penan protestors mounting blockades at the Murum Dam site here claimed policemen who intimidated and harassed them were drunk.

Penan activist cum lawyer Abun Sui Anyit said based on ground reports from the blockade site, the police officers stationed in the area were allegedly being provided alcohol by the dam’s main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB). (more…)

Sarawak natives deserve social justice

Alyaa Azhar

Save Rivers chairperson Peter Kallang claims that police had stopped the supply of food, water, medicine from entering Murum.

Social justice must be meted out to the thousands of indigenous community in Sarawak who have reportedly been at the receiving end of the state’s ambitious project to develop 12 dams to support its Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy (SCORE) aim.

Alluding to reports of poor and inadequate compensations to native communities who have suffered grave losses as a result of the Batang Ai, Bakun, Baram and Murum dam projects, Sibu-based NGO, Ideal, has called on all Malaysians to back calls for social justice. (more…)

November 13, 2013

Do You Believe Your Eyes And Ears Or SEB?

Do You Believe Your Eyes And Ears Or SEB?

Sarawak Report

Sarawak Energy made a great presentation to the United Nations in Geneva last month, boasting about their plans to resettle the Penan, after forcing them from their homeland in Murum to make way for the latest controversial dam project.

It seemed they were going to be moved from a deprived existence (true, especially since Taib took their forest) and placed into a modern settlement with schools, clinics, training, lands, comfortable accommodation and a great compensation package!

As SEB’s statement to the UN put it: (more…)

November 12, 2013

Penans vow to continue blockade until govt agrees to talks

Penan longhouse residents during an earlier protest against Murum dam last month.Chen Shaua Fui

  • Penan longhouse residents during an earlier protest against Murum dam last month.

The arrest of 10 Penans last week at the blockade site near Murum Dam has not deterred them from continuing their fight to stop the inundation of their land before compensation is paid.

They went back to the site upon their release on Sunday.

The state coordinator of Borneo Resources Institute (Brimas) Raymond Abin said that the Penan will continue to stay at the blockade site until the government promises to talk to them on the compensation. (more…)

Torstein Should Apologise To Penan!

Torstein Should Apologise To Penan!

Sarawak Report

On November 7th, the Norwegian head of Sarawak Energy took great care to make his accusations against the Penan tribespeople at the Murum Dam blockade as public as possible, by insisting on broadcasting them in full on our site.

In an email to the Swiss NGO BMF, which he copied into our comments section, he claimed that these families had been extorting money from members of the public, by setting up a toll on the public road. (more…)

November 9, 2013

SUARAM condemns Penan Arrests

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 16.07.38Suram

  • PRESS STATEMENT – SUARAM Condemns Crackdown in Murum : Protesters, Including Children, Arrested and Detained

SUARAM condemns ongoing harassment of Penan communities in Murum and Baram. Yesterday (7 November 2013), saw another action from the Royal Malaysian Police which clearly shows the failed role of the police force. Eight Penan who have been blockading against the Murum damsince August were arrested yesterday and brought to the Belaga Police Station. (more…)

October 28, 2013

Fresh blockades, warnings to SEB workers

FMT Staff

  • Heavy police presence in downstream Long lama and fresh blockades by natives in upstream Baram has turned the area into a hotspot of demos.

BARAM: Native protestors who chased out 30 Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) workers doing geological studies at the Baram dam site last Wednesday, have set up fresh blockades on the access road into the construction area.

The indigenous landowners set up two blockades and appeared to have successfully prevented workers in the area from returning and pursuing their work on the proposed dam.

Swiss based Bruno Manser Find (BMF) in a statement today said the native are demanding an immeidate halt to all planning and costruction works at the dam site and its access road. (more…)

October 17, 2013

Norway’s Ethical Stance Shames Its Citizens In Sarawak

Sarawak Report

Logging disaster – Norway blacklists the culprits WTK

Once again Norway’s massive public pension fund has reviewed its investments in Sarawak and blacklisted two more unethical companies, both closely linked to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.

Having vetoed Samling Global because of its destructive and illegal practices back in 2010, the so-called ‘Oil Fund’, which is the world’s largest institutional investor, has now produced detailed reports outlining why it has decided to also reject Ta Ann Holding Bhd, and WTK Holdings Bhd.

Ta Ann is controlled by Taib’s close cousin and effective nominee, Hamed Sepawi, whereas WTK is a well-known crony company that has been convincingly identified as being responsible for the shocking 30 mile log jam along the Rajang River in 2010. (more…)

October 15, 2013

Ethno-capitalists and police action: a criminal record

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 10:00 AM
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Pak Bui

Now that the 13th general election is safely out of the way, the ruling BN coalition has evidently discarded most of its concerns about public opinion.

The police have been set loose to remove any obstacles to the profiteering of crony companies. Companies linked to BN’s warlords have used the police as proxies to inflict violence, harrassment and forced evictions on Malaysians of all races.

We have seen the police using live ammunition at the Penan blockade at the shameful Murum Dam in Sarawak,  We have witnessed them brutalising and stepping on impoverished residents, disregarding their Temporary Occupying Licences, at Kampung Hakka in Negeri Sembilan.  (more…)

October 7, 2013

Spotlight On Murum……

Sarawak Report

At the weekend Taib Mahmud bemoaned that the recent ‘spotlight of publicity’ on Sarawak has created negative perceptions of his government of the state.

So, clearly he wants no further light shone on the disgraceful treatment of the Penan at the Murum Dam site.

The tribe are still holding out in protest against his authoritarian command to start filling the dam before compensation has been agreed or even the government’s own promises fulfilled.

However, one team of observers has just made the tortuous 9 hour journey to see the beleaguered community, who are maintaining their blockade at the site, despite a heavy and menacing armed police presence and the arrest of one of their leaders last week. (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)

October 3, 2013

Murum Dam blockade: Penan protestor arrested

FMT Staff

A tense situation prevailed at the Murum Dam blockade when 30 police officers confronted 300 Penan protestors who offered themselves for arrest.

MURUM: Police moving in to stop the ongoing blockade by Penans on the road to the Murum Dam construction site arrested a protestor and fired a shot in the air to “stop” the people.

Ngang Buling, a Penan from the Murum region, was arrested this morning for reasons as yet unknown. Police are holding him at the Belaga station for questioning.

Quoting Ngang Buling, Save Rivers Network, a coalition of NGOs said the police are likely to hold him for four days. (more…)

Foreign Troublemaker Causes Anguish In Murum

Sarawak Report

Native people of Murum say they are being bothered by a foreign troublemaker and have lodged a police report against him.

Torstein Dale Sjotveit is a Norwegian, who yesterday caused complaints after shouting in the faces of Penan indigenous people, whom he is ejecting from their ancient homelands.

It is also alleged that he berated the police, calling them ‘cowards‘ for not taking harsher action against the protesting natives. (more…)

October 2, 2013

‘Dam workers’ lives threatened by protesters’


Workers at the Murum hydroelectric dam had their lives threatened by protesters who were instigated by “foreign troublemakers and anti-government NGOs”, Sarawak Energy Bhd says.

It said in a statement that the incident involved a “small” group of protesters who on Sept 28 allegedly threatenedits workers, using machetes.

This halted work on the  powerhouse and tunnel, which only resumed this afternoon.

However, in a press conference after lodging a police report against SEB this afternoon, Penan protesters said that SEB’s CEO Torstein Dale Sjotveit and police were “rough” towards the protesters and verbally abused them. (more…)

September 26, 2013

‘Sarawak Energy workers committed arson’

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Winston Way

SAVE Rivers Network chairman claims workers from state electricity board burnt down a village and sunk boats of the villagers.

An NGO leader today claimed workers from the Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) committed arson on a Penan village in Belaga while several boats belonging to the natives were sunk, prior to the unexpected impoundment of the Murum Dam.

SAVE Rivers Network chairman Peter Kallang made this allegation through his latest Facebook post yesterday. (more…)

September 20, 2013

Court rules Penans free to move on their NCR lands

Cheerful landowners from Kampung Jambatan Suai together with their lawyers.

Ng Ai Fern

Cheerful landowners from Kampung Jambatan Suai together with their lawyers.

Some 150 Penan families can breathe a sigh of relief after a plantation company failed in its bid to restrain them from entering the native customary rights (NCR) land in Suai Niah.

High Court judge Stephen Chung Hian Guan, after a full trial, today quashed SPB Pelita Suai Sdn Bhd’s application to order the landowners to deliver and surrender vacant possession of the plantation area.

“This is the greatest news for the native Penans. They are relieved that they are the rightful owners and reassured of what they did in the past to defend their rights,” the community’s lawyer Abun Sui Anyit told fz.com. (more…)

August 20, 2013

‘Gov’t owes Penan rape survivors an explanation’

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

Two members of a national taskforce that had investigated complaints of sexual abuse by Penan women in Sarawak have welcomed a federal minister’s pledge to meet them to review the situation.

Representatives of the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) and Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) suggested that this would return the focus to implementation of the recommendations of the taskforce.

WAO executive director Ivy Josiah(left) said she looks forward to meeting Women, Community and Family Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim, who said late last month that she wants first-hand information on progress of implementation. (more…)

August 15, 2013

Women’s minister to ‘revisit’ inaction on Penan rape

Keruah Usit

Rohani Abdul Karim, the new minister for women, family and community development, has a greater and more urgent task than simply to “revisit” Penan communities in middle Baram “soon”.

She intends to study the outcome of recommendations of the ministry’s 2008 task force that had confirmed Penan girls had been sexually violated by loggers.

Rohani (left) appears clueless regarding the systemic failure to address the socio-economic plight of rural women from the Penan and other ethnic groups in Baram.

“During the revisit, we will be going through all the recommendations and see how many have been implemented. For those recommendations that have not been implemented, we will take it from there,” she promised the Borneo Post on July 30. (more…)

July 28, 2013

Rep’s remarks on Penan rapes elicit disbelief

Keruah Usit

The first-term Sarawak state assembly representative for Telang Usan in Baram, Dennis Ngau, has spread ripples of disbelief and laughter in the social media following his remarks on the rape of Penan women and schoolgirls.

Ngau made his remarks in response to a PKR accusation that Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim, had misled a regional forum by making a verifiably incorrect claim. The minister had said that the recommendations of her ministry’s Task Force Report, on sexual violence by loggers in Baram, had already been carried out. (more…)

July 24, 2013

Minister ‘misled’ Asean commission on women, children

Joseph Tawie

According to Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How the federal government has done nothing more that fund a woman empowerment programme in Sarawak.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim had allegedly lied when she told the 7th Meeting of the Asean Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children that the recommendations listed in the National Taskforce Report had been executed.

Pointing out Rohani’s “embassing mistake”, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said: “I regret the minister was misguided and wrongly advised into making an embarrassing statement that most of the recommendations listed in the National Taskforce Report were executed. (more…)

June 20, 2013

No better life for the Penan, four years after study

Tharshinaa Chandran

The Penan of Baram in Sarawak thought their lives would change for the better after the National Taskforce was set up in 2009 to study their problems.

However, four years later, Amelia Balan, 22, and other Penan women continue to suffer the same problems plaguing their village in Baram Tengah.

The promises of the government to offer them protection from sexual attacks, birth registration and citizenship problems and water and healthcare facilities have yet to be fulfilled.

Disappointed with the stagnant developments in her village, Amelia (left), has come forward with four other Penan women to ask new Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim to deal with the matters affecting her people. (more…)

June 19, 2013

Sarawak’s Penans still left in lurch

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Leven Woon

They said despite a government’s task force having recommended specific actions in the areas of sexual abuse, citizenship registrations, healthcare and education in 2009, nothing has been done.

When 22-year-old Amelia Balan first heard about the recommendations put forward by the federal government’s Penan Task Force report in 2009, she thought that her life in the remote Long Itam village in Sarawak would improve.

However, four years later, she and Penan folks in the Baram Tengah region are still stuck with the same old problems – the lack of protection from sexual abuses, water supply, healthcare facilities, education opportunities, with many of them not having  identification cards. (more…)

March 15, 2013

Penans face double threats

Joseph Tawie

The state and federal governments must pay swift attention to NCR land issues and welfare of the Penan community.

More than 2,000 Penans from seven Penan villages in Sungai Patah and three in Long Akah in Baram are facing simultaneous double threats – indiscriminate logging and the proposed construction of the Baram Dam.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) president SM Mohamed Idris said that SAM has been informed by Penan villagers in Sungai Patah, Baram, that loggers have encroached into their native customary rights (NCR) land. (more…)

February 26, 2013

Penans crash Taib’s party

Lu Wei Hoong

Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s recent visit to the sleepy hollow of Long Lama, a remote logging outpost in Sarawak’s vast Baram region, was met with protests from indigenous groups over many issues plaguing their community.

Some 70 people took their protest right up to the doorsteps of Baram MP Jacob Dungau Sagan’s office, which played hosted a function featuring Taib as the guest of honour last Saturday.

The protesters were armed with the placards which read, “stop Baram dam!”, “return our traditional land” and “listen our heave”.  (more…)

February 22, 2013

Penans question Najib’s 1Malaysia clinics

Joseph Tawie

What’s the point of having 1Malaysia clinics in cities which already have so many hospitals and private healthcare facilities?

Puzzled members of the Penan community in Upper Baram today visited the Sarawak Health Department to ask why there was no 1Malaysia clinic in their village.

“We have heard many times about 1Malaysia clinic. We thought that 1Malaysia clinic is to be built in every village including a Penan village. It is pointless to build 1Malaysia clinics in cities and towns where there are already health services available,” said Stanely Petrus, a Penan from Long Lamai. (more…)

December 9, 2012

BN needs to do some serious soul-searching

Jeswan Kaur

Najib’s role is to protect the rakyat, not stand at the sidelines as he is fond of doing and watch them get abused at the hands of corrupt authorities.

It is a tragedy in the making if the race-based Barisan Nasional coalition wins the 13th general election, contrary to the constant assurances by its leaders that only it can determine the fate of this country.

Claims after claims were made by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who is also chairman of BN and Umno president respectively about the feats BN can achieve for the rakyat if only it is given the mandate to rule the country yet again. (more…)

December 5, 2012

Living Like “Tarzan”, “Poachers” And “Cavemen”! – SEB Man’s Outburst Against Sarawak Natives

Sarawak Report

Idris Buang – foot-in-mouth spokesperson for SEB

Freedom of information requests in Australia have recently brought to light the full, unedited interview of SEB Board Member and spokesman, Idris Buang, by the TV programme Dateline, about Sarawak’s mega-dam plans.

And his arrogant and incautious remarks, which disparage the native way of life of many of Sarawak’s indigenous tribes, have brought gasps of amazement and outrage.

Among a series of slurs, he says on behalf of SEB: (more…)

November 29, 2012

Sarawak gov’t, developers urged to learn Penan ways

Dukau Papau

 Sarawak Land Development Minister James Masing has warned his colleagues in the government and large-scale developers they need a “human touch approach” in dealing with the Penan community as the eyes of the world are watching the government’s moves.

“If we approach big development projects affecting our people in the future in this manner, I am confident that we will be successful and (will be left) with less problems.

“That kind of development approach, with human touch, is the way forward for Sarawak,” Masing (left) said in his winding-up speech on his ministry. (more…)

November 24, 2012

No safe water, food for displaced Bakun natives

Joseph Tawie

For the displaced natives in Bakun, Sarawak, its a case of ‘water, water everywhere, nary a drop to drink’.

All sorts of woes are bedevilling the people living on their “jelatong” houses which are floating on the Bakun dam lake. Their woes range from a foul smell emanating from rotting organic matter submerged at the bottom of the dam to the river’s declining biodiversity and lack of safe drinking water.

The foul rotten egg-like smell is indicative of the presence of hydrogen sulfide and reports of high turbidity and low pH levels are killing off fish life in the dam and tributaries. (more…)

November 23, 2012

No safe water, food for displaced Bakun natives

Joseph Tawie

For the displaced natives in Bakun, Sarawak, its a case of “water, water everywhere, nary a drop to drink”.

All sorts of woes are bedeviling the people living on their ‘jelatong’ houses which are floating on the Bakun dam lake. Their woes range from a foul smell emanating from rotting organic matter submerged at the bottom of the dam to river’s declining biodiversity and lack of safe drinking water.

The foul rotten egg-like smell is indicative of the presence of hydrogen sulfide and reports of high turbidity and low pH levels are killing off fish life in the dam and tributaries. (more…)

November 13, 2012

‘Penans asked for clinics, they got dams’

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

The Sarawak government took away their forest and land to build dams but left the community in Sungai Asap with ‘chicken feeds and crumbs’, claims an assemblyman.

KUCHING: The government has failed to look after the needs of more than 10,000 people who were resettled in Sungai Asap as a result of being displaced by the Bakun Dam.

Said Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian: “It’s shocking… there is no public toilet in Sungai Asap despite the fact that there are markets and shops. I was shocked when told about this.

“I asked an elderly woman who was selling vegetables where I could pee. She told me that since there is no public toilet, I could pee in the bush. (more…)

November 9, 2012

Penans want Suhakam to help in compensation talks

Lu Wei Hoong

The Penans displaced by the Murum dam project are seeking the help of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to press home their demand for at least half a million ringgit in compensation to each family from the state government.

The demand was made in a memorandum dated Sept 25 signed by Jawatankuasa Hal Ehwal Penan Peleiran-Murum (Pemupa) secretary Suie Bunyau.

“(We demand) at least RM500,000 compensation per household due to the submerging of our ritual land including agricultural land, temuda land, orchard and ‘pulau hutan’ (forest island by the dam),” read their 10-point open memorandum. (more…)

October 25, 2012

The gov’t has rejected us, say Murum natives

Ahmad Fadli KC

It is a four-hour journey by 4WD from Sarawak’s gas and timber capital of Bintulu if one wants to head for the tropical rainforest of Murum in the interior of the Kapit division.

To spur development in Murum, the Sarawak government has approved logging licences, permitted palm oil plantations and is also building the Murum hydroelectric dam at a cost of RM3 billion.

The locality holds eight longhouse communities, accommodating some 1,400 Penan natives. (more…)

IGP must stop his boys from provoking Penans

FMT Staff

The Royal Malaysian Police force needs to be educated on human rights and perspective of the people’s struggle, claims Suaram.

Human rights NGO, Suaram, has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ismail Omar to warn his men not to interfere in the Penan tribe’s rights struggle in the Murum dam issue in Sarawak.

“In order to bring the credibility to the force, they should be seen as a neutral party and not to take the side of the oppressor. (more…)

October 24, 2012

Life’s a chicken coop for Penan with kids in school

Ahmad Fadli KC

For the sake of their children’s education, a group of Penan parents have decided to hang up their hunting tools and set up home in an abandoned chicken coop.

These Penan parents made their heart-wrenching decision to move away from their longhouse in the interior of Murum in the Belaga district of Sarawak’s Kapit division, because there is no primary or secondary school there.

Labang Paneh, 35, said he initially made the daily two-and-a-half hour journey with his children to the school in Kapit dvision’s sub-district of Sungai Asap, but the travel proved to be too much. (more…)

Police Claim Humanitarian Aid For Murum Is “Incitement” As Fears Grow Of Crackdown

Sarawak Report

The Penan are holding out on their blockade into its 4th week. They need food.

Police numbers are being increased around the Penan blockade at the Murum Dam. Yesterday, they announced that they had detained an NGO sympathiser, who was bringing food and declared that this humanitarian act was ‘incitement’.

“It is not wrong if he had sent the items to the Penans at their longhouse”, stated the local police commander.  This was possibly in recognition that the Penan have received no government support since their hunting grounds were logged in preparation for the dam and that half of their children are officiallymalnourished. (more…)

Don’t arrest Penans, assemblyman warns police

Joseph Tawie

The Penans are peaceful people and if there is any riot, it would be as a result of provocation, says senior lawyer Baru Bian.

Increasing the number of police personnel in Murum Dam where the Penans have been relentlessly mounting blockades to demand that the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad respect their rights and demands, smells of provocation, according to local lawyer Baru Bian.

Bian, who is also Sarawak’s PKR chief, was concerned with reports that the police will be sending reinforcements to the Murum dam construction site. (more…)

October 23, 2012

Battle of airwaves in Sarawak


Radio Free Sarawak is taking on BN’s massive artilleries of RTM, TV3 and Astro NJOY in the fight for the hearts and minds of the rural people.

Most evening before 6pm housewife Indai Limau makes sure that dinner is cooked and laid on the table for her husband and their two children. The less urgent chores will have to wait.

Precisely at 6pm and after her bath, she retires to her favourite settee in the family living room, reaches out for her China-made transistor radio and tunes in to 15420 KHz channel on the short wave band. (more…)

NGO: Help us stop mega dams in Sarawak

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

It’s time Peninsular Malaysians know what’s happening in their backyard, says Sarawak NGO Save Rivers.

A coalition of NGOs in Sarawak is seeking to reach out to fellow Malaysians in the peninsular to support a campaign against the injustices being meted out to the native communities affected by the construction of mega dams in Sarawak, and the ensuing destruction of the rainforest.

Save Rivers Network (Save Rivers) which kicked off its roadshow in Kuala Lumpur today is urging Peninsular Malaysians to rise and say ‘NO’ to mega dams and polluting industries in Sarawak. (more…)

October 20, 2012

International Solidarity Builds Behind The Murum Penan

Sarawak Report

No engagement, just one demand that Hydro-Tasmania pull out of Sarawak!

As the Penan people of Murum enter the fourth week of their blockade against the Murum Dam, local and international NGOs have rallied to their support.

On Friday protestors, surrounded by news reporters, gathered outside Hydro-Tasmania’s impressive tower block headquarters in Hobart to demand that the company cease its lucrative partnership programme with Sarawak Energy.[click for video] (more…)

October 19, 2012

‘Penans protesting against dam since 2009′

Joseph Tawie

Senior Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan’s claim that NGOs with ‘ulterior motives’ are misleading the Penan community has showed up his ignorance, says SAVE Rivers Network.

SAVE Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) a coalition of a number of non-governmental organisations, has slammed the Second Resource Management and Environment Awang Tengah Ali Hassan who claimed that the Penans in Murum have been led astray by certain quarters with ulterior motives.

“It is utterly false to say that the Penans are being made use of by NGOs,” said Peter Kallang, chairperson of SAVE Rivers, adding that it showed up his ignorance. (more…)

October 15, 2012

Penan resettlement sites: ‘Why notify only now’?

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 2:47 PM
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Joseph Tawie

A ‘first’ notification on resettlement sites issued by the state government to Penans affected by the Murum dam which is 75% complete has raised more questions.

Save Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) has ridiculed the first notification of the Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) Report for the proposed resettlement sites and service centre for the Penans affected by the Murum dam project.

The notification was released on Oct 11 by the State Planning Unit (SPU) and involved the Metalun and Tegulang Resettlement sites as well as the Murum service centre. (more…)

October 14, 2012

Murum resettlement land ‘taken’ by plantations

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 1:07 PM
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Whistle-blower website Sarawak Report has claimed that the two areas earmarked for the resettlement of 1,417 natives affected by the Murum hydroelectric dam project had been taken over by palm oil plantations.

“Maps already show that the poor quality lands that have been chosen for the two so-called resettlement zones of Tengulan and Metalun have already been taken over by oil palm plantations,” it said, based on map comparison of the resettlement area published in the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the Murum dam project.

According to Sarawak Report, the RAP also revealed that contrary to proper procedures, the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) had only been conducted after the Murum dam project commenced. (more…)

October 13, 2012

TAIB SHOCKER! Leaked plans to resettle Penan surface as blockade continues 12 October 2012

Survival International

The Penan's blockade of the Murum dam road began on 26th September.

The Penan’s blockade of the Murum dam road began on 26th September.

Leaked plans to resettle Malaysia’s Penan have surfaced, as the tribe continues to hold atwo-week blockade on the road leading to the controversial Murum dam.

Anger is growing within the tribe, which says it has been ‘manipulated’ and ‘cheated’ by the Sarawak government as it makes way for the dam.

The Murum Penan say they have been kept in ‘complete darkness’ about the resettlement plans, despite the dam’s construction starting four years ago, and only months remain until their ancestral lands will be entirely flooded. (more…)

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