"Mangkang Menua,Mangkang Dunya,Ngetan Ke Bansa!!"

August 29, 2011

No Dam For Baram!!


 

Peter Kallang

Representatives of communities from Baram

 

Peter pointing out the proposed location of the Baram Dam

PRESS STATEMENT

 29 August 2011 

Besides the colossal environmental devastation and severe consequence on the ecosystem that the dreadful Baram Dam will bring, it will also rage a permanent degeneration of the ethnic identity and heritage of the populaces who live in the region. Based on the number of villagers, the most affected are the Kenyah followed by the Kayan and Penan population. These are also the same majority groups of people who are most affected by the Bakun Dam which was just commissioned. The same like it was done in Bakun, the decision in building the Baram Dam seems to be in total disregard for all those who area affected. It is built for the benefit of others rather than those who live in Baram and for the long term good of the Baram.

As one of those affected I just can’t understand this injustice and this outrageous and abusive exploit. This seems to be a senseless exploitation which is primarily driven by avarice coupled with immorality. For us who are directly and adversely affected parties, no one can blame us in thinking that this is a calculated, intentional and purposeful manoeuvre to wipe out our races. Why it could be seen as an act in complete disregard for our wellbeing and opinion could be proven by the priority given to the preparatory construction activities done even before the proper Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) are completed or perhaps not even started and made accessible to affected and interested parties. In doing this, it seems the construction of the dam is to be implemented whatever the findings or recommendation would eventually be available if and when the EIA or SIA is done.

The Baram is the least developed part of Sarawak and arguably the least developed area in the whole of Malaysia. So far, the only so called “development” which are seen in Baram are the colossal and exhaustive exploitation or extraction of the Baram natural resources; these are like reckless harvestings of the timber, extraction of lime stone, sand dredging, vast oil palm plantations and now the dam for hydropower electrical generation. So far, practically all the beneficiaries of these so called developments are big companies owned by big tycoons from outside the Baram. Most of the workers employed at these facilities are also from outside Baram and a lot of them are foreigners. So to say that these “development” bring employment is a fantasy. Like all the past exploitation of the Baram resources there is little doubt that employment spin-off from the proposed dam is “just a pie in the sky” for the Baramites. As seen at the construction stage of the Bakun and Murum dams, the locals are not employed in significant numbers during the construction or their involvement in the operations after completion of the construction. We do not see how the dam can bring significant economic opportunities for the locals.

Recently, I had a conversation with the headman from one of the village which is within the proposed reservoir area of the Baram Dam. He criticised those who do not plant rubber or not building new longhouse for fear that these would be flooded when the dam is completed; he said that he did not believe that the government would build such a dam. He said that if such a dam was to be built, the government would have already been busy consulting the affected people and getting their consent. The reaction by this particular headman reflects the effectiveness of the discreet process practiced in building the dam. The dam construction although it will affect a lot of people, at the moment is one dark secret kept away from those living in Baram. If it is occasionally mentioned by the proponents, the subject would be down-played, watered-down with downright euphemism. However, the reality as we learnt from newspaper reports and information dripping from the project supporters speaks of an affected area covering 38,900 hectares (389 sq km) or ½ the size of Singapore Island. It will be constructed of around 180 metres above seal level and will generate 1,200 MW of electrical power. So, with these realities no one can blame the fear which was noted by the headman. This fear is shared by many in the whole of Baram whether they are living above or below the proposed dam site.

At least 90% of the land mass which will be flooded by the dam’s reservoir will be the Native Customary Rights land (NCR). The foreseeable fiasco resulting from this will no doubt be contributed by the now famous government’s interpretation of NCR which differ from that of the native’s custom (Adat). The native’s interpretation is recognised by the judiciary as proven by the various court cases where the native claimants have won. This will again result in more cases of dissatisfaction among the people affected. With the single mindedness of the government in constructing the dam, the people, for whom they are supposed to bring development, will unavoidably be marginalised. For the Orang Ulu their very survival from generation to generation has been based on the land. They are basically farmers and gatherers. To disregard this fact would be to purposefully disorientated and thus destroy the harmonious way of life. Flood from the dam and the infrastructure associated with the construction will definitely bring irreparable damage to the whole environment. It will destroy a heritage for which all Malaysian or human race should respect and harness.

Relocation of the people to make way for the Baram Dam will definitely result in a permanent social damage. The Kenyah and Kayan people traditionally live in longhouses. Even the very structures of the longhouses are traditional in nature, reflecting the social structure of the communities and thus keeping the Kenyah and Kayan together from time immemorial, enabling them to face famine, wars, epidemics and natural tragedies. These structures are delicate and are now facing a lot of challenges from modern lifestyles and globalisation. Mass relocation of the people will no doubt spell the end of the traditional social structure.

In the traditional Kenyah and Kayan community, each longhouse normally comprise a group of people who are of the same dialect. For the Kenyah they could be Lepo Tau, Badeng, Lepo Aga, Jamuk, Long Sebatu etc. For the Kayan they could be Uma Baluvah, Uma Kelep, Uma Pu etc. The people of each dialect have from generation to generation, their bonds to each other make it possible for them to live in a family like attitude towards one another. Even in the face of large rural-urban migration, the Kenyah and Kayan consider their ancestral villages as their real home. They maintain their houses in the Baram and they normally go back on festive occasions like Pusau Anak, Christmas or Suen. Relocation of the people for the dam would also pose a direct challenge to this bond that is part of the social structure.

The social structure of the dam will not bring development but severe and permanent damage to the whole environment and the people. Development must be for the immediate and long term good of all the people with minimal, repairable or no damage to the environment. The decision for major project like the construction of massive dams should be made by the people. It must be a collective decision, which is made based on well informed decision. The people must know the pros and cons of the dam. Information must be made available freely to them and only after that can they decide. So looking at the proposed Baram Dam, none of these are met. Baram Dam is not required to bring development to Baram.

 

Press Statement release by:

Peter N. J. Kallang

Chairman Orang Ulu National Association Miri (OUNA)

Chairman Persatuan Kenyah Association Miri

 

For more information, please contact Peter Kallang 013-8331104, Philip Jau 016-8597738

 

August 26, 2011

Insidious Plantation Activities in Tanjung Upar Destroy Iban Communities’ Livelihood and Sustenance


SAHABAT ALAM MALAYSIA PRESS STATEMENT

26 August 2011

SAM would like to express our shock over the progress of plantation activities that are being carried out at a fast pace in Tanjung Upar, Baram Sarawak, which are affecting a group of landowners without their consent. The company involved obtained a Provisional Lease (PL) over Lot No. 1210 of the Puyut Land District several years ago but it has yet to issue official notice to the community regarding their intention to plant oil palm.

This PL was issued by the Sarawak State Government along with those on Lot 197, Lot 1207 and Lot 1200 within the Puyut Land District, measuring about 21,913 ha and affecting three communities including Rumah Chabop and Melayu Narum. These PLs will soon consume the native land that has been timelessly worked by the people to sustain their livelihood and to ensure their daily sustenance – a way of living that has been in existence since Rajah Brooke days and beyond.

Despite having substantial proof of native customary rights on the land, development companies have already taken over the communities’ communal forests and farmlands. The Iban community of Rumah Vincent in Tanjung Upar is reportedly being pressured to stay away from their own farmlands that have been insidiously encroached into by an oil palm company beginning July.

The community, made up of 292 persons, has lost most of their fruit trees and cash crops on their farmland despite pleading the company to stay away from them. They fear that the perpetuity of this project will eventually wipe out their last remaining farmlands and their ancestral graves that are situated near Loagan Tujuh. Already another company has destroyed their communal forest and covered the land with straight rows of oil palm with no compensation being paid to them.

Due to the merciless intensity of the oil palm development in Tanjung Upar, the community staged a protest across the plantation road on Aug 7, 2011. They held up banners that read `Tanah adalah jiwa dan sumber kepenghidupan kami. Harta musnah, pampasan tiada’ (Land is our life and source of livelihood. Our property’s destroyed without compensation). SAM is alarmed that the company’s unfettered actions have resulted in the community being cut-off from food resources and in the loss of their livelihood obtained from lakes that are now heavily silted and contaminated with chemical spray run-off from the plantations.

Time and again, calls have been made to respect the rights of the natives and for the State Government to improve the transparency in land and forestry governance. Therefore, we urge the Sarawak state government to investigate the complaints that have been lodged by the community and to respect the rights of its indigenous communities. We also call upon the Sarawak Land and Survey Department to implement the free, prior and informed consent process in all their decision-making.

Taking all the complaints and hardship suffered by affected communities into consideration, as well as their legal rights to their land, we urge the Sarawak State Government to ensure that all indigenous community village territories are excluded from all plantation licences and any development on such land should only proceed with their free, prior and informed consent.

S.M.Mohamed Idris President of SAM

July 9, 2011

CONFIRMED NCR PERIMETER SURVEY ACCORDING TO LAND AND SURVEY MAP


Taken from Borneo Independent News Service

I am Lake’ Jaro’ calling from my jungle lair to all my anak-anak, cucu-cucu in Telang Usan.I am very very worried looking at the trend the BN Government is subtly legalizing their claim over our NCR land through the  NCR initiative.

For the information of all, as I understand it the Land and survey Department will carry out perimeter survey on our NCR land. This survey must be approved by the BN government by issuing a letter of approval for Lot Block Alienation Scheme (BAS).

After the completion of the survey work, the land will be gazetted as NATIVE COMMUNAL RESERVE under section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code. The gazette will be kept at the Land and Survey Department, District Office, and  a copy extended to the relevant community heads.

According to the GOVERNMENT THE GAZETTE ITSELF IS LEGAL PROOF THAT THE SURVEYED AREA BELONG TO THE NATIVE LAND OWNERS. The rights over the land gazetted as Native Communal reserve under section 6 is administered by native system of personal law.

I bring your attention to the statement at item No. 4 below. This is the clearest indication so far to indicate that the government is only planning to enforce the NCR land boundaries according the government claim. Once this boundary is gazetted and becomes Native communal reserved Land,  the orang ulu has no right to claim their NCR lands outside the  surveyed and gazette area.

My Brothers and Sisters, anak-anak, cucu-cucu, if you recall, the BN State Government agreed to the survey after tremendous pressure from the Prime Minister just before the last State Election, to boost up support from the poor, marginalized and  uneducated Dayak voters. But the Dayaks NEVER LEARNED and stay loyal to the BN Government that has been keeping them poor so that they can be manipulated and bought with RM15.00, a pig and cases of beers.

ON THE SURFACE, the program look good. So I am sure that the stupid Dayaks will now be appreciative of this new “initiative”, thinking that the BN State Government has finally recognized and take steps to safe guard our NCR lands.

IN MY OPINION, I really think that the Sarawak BN State Government under the able leadership of “PEHIN SRI YANG KITA KASIHI” is actually legalizing their claim on our NCR land. HOW ?

1. The BN State Government will identify the NCR area and approved it to be surveyed. Their statement to ask the NCR land owners to help identify the boundary is utter nonsense because during their briefings they already identify our NCR land boundaries according to the government claim.

2. Owners and demand that the native land owners give their full cooperation.They give the poor dayaks only 2 weeks or a month to make a decision. This is a way to  pressure the land owners to giving in to their demands.

3. THE AREA TO BE SURVEYED WILL BE ACCORDING TO THE LAND AND SURVEY MAP AND NOT ACCORDING TO THE NATIVE CLAIM OF THEIR NCR AREA. THIS IS WHERE THE TRAP IS SET.

4. During one of the dialogue sessions with the land and survey department in Kapit (Borneo Post Friday July 1, 2011), the Land and Survey Officer Vivilyn Wesly Kapi explained that before the NCR land was handed over to the natives in Sarawak, the measurement of  perimeter to segregate NCR LANDS from that owned by the government, and also to verify boundaries between longhouses in the area need to be carried out.

5. The question the Natives should ask themselves is “WHY DO THE BN GOVERNMENT ONLY SURVEY THE NCR LAND ACCORDING TO THEIR DEFINATION OF NCR LAND?” The answer is crystal clear and very simple. The BN Government NEVER intended to recognize the natives claim of NCR land!. If they do recognize our NCR claim then thousands and thousands of hectares of OIL PALMS and TREE REPLANTING ESTATES belonging to the BN YBs, and their cronies will be included under the surveyed NCR lands.

6. The Natives should never agree with the Land and Survey/BN Government to survey their NCR land according to the Land and Survey Map. Because by doing so you have agreed to give your NCR lands outside of the surveyed area to the State Government and their cronies.

7. So our only course is not to survey our NCR land if it is not surveyed according to the area that we claimed as our NCR land. However we would be very grateful to the Government if the perimeter survey is according to claimed NCR area.

8. According to the Borneo post Friday, July 1, 2011 and Wednesday July 6, 2011

The government has approved perimeter survey to be carried out at the following areas:

a. Perimeter survey of sungai Patah and Batang Baram area containing an area of 9346 hectares belonging to 1455 land owners. i.e an average of 6.4 hectares per land owner. Don’t tell me that after many generations our fore fathers only managed to clear 6.4 hectares (15.36 acres of NCR land)!

b. Perimeter survey of Lio Matoh batang Baram area containing an area of 1095 hectares for some 1187 land owners. i.e 0.92 hectare per land owner. Don’t tell me that the people of Lio Matoh batang Baram only owns 0.92 hectare (2.25 acres) of  NCR land. Even the people at Sungai ASAP are given 3 acres per family for moving away from Bakun Hydro Dam.

c. Perimeter survey of NCR land Long Bedian (Lg. Bedian, Long Atip, Long Wat, Long Bemang) in the Apoh area containing an area of 9710  hectares belonging to 1500 NCR land owners from 200 doors.  One can only ask how many NCR land owners are there from the 4 main longhouses at Long Bemang, Long Wat, Long Atip and long Bedian in the Apoh river. Long Bedian and Long Atip alone has more than 200 doors. And what about the poor Penan lands?

9. According to the Land and survey map there is no inclusion of “pulau galau” (tana lung) and “pemakai menoa” (tana kaso’) even our temuda (ba’e, sepiteng, kaharah uk, kaharah aya’) are not all included.

So dear brothers and sisters in Telang Usan, I hope you understand what I am trying to explain. If I, an old penan man from deep in the jungle can anticipate what the BN Government is trying to do to steal our land further, the rest of you settled Kayan, Kenyah, Penan, Berawan, Kelabits, Ibans etc..etc.. should know better. You will be cursed by your anak-anak, cucu-cucu if you do not fight for your right to your land, better education, infrastructures, opportunities for your children. Your soul will know no peace!

Any way, for the Kayans, Kenyahs, Penan, Kelabits Sebob, Saban above the Baram DAM; you have voted for the BN GOVERNMENT in the last State election. Once the Baram DAM is completed you do not have to worry about your NCR lands, your long house, your ancestors graves, your gardens etc. because all that you have will be wiped out. YOU HAVE NOTHING !. Let Yang di Kasihi take care of you. Your BN representative Datu Seri TAMA PUYANG has assured that The Baram DAM is the best gift of untold Development by Tuan Yang di Kasihi, Pehin Seri  Taib Bin Mahmud.

Our YBs Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan and Brand new YB Dennis Ngau Jok are both mum about the Baram Dam. They keep opening Minor Rural Project left and right at longhouses above the Baram Dam. They are wasting tax payers money, our  money, because their area will soon be under 600 feet of water.

I am appalled by the realization that the people above the Baram Dam seem not to realize what is going to happen to them, including Datuk Seri Tama Puyang. They seem to take it easy, unbelieving that they are going to be displaced and lose everything under the name of Development for Pehin Seri Yang Kita Kasihi. Taib Mahmud.

For those of us Penan in the Apoh Area we look forward to the swarm of wild boars, deers, kijang, pelandok being displaced by the Baram DAM catchment area.

We are only worried that the Apoh and Tutoh river water level will recede and become too shallow for any river navigation. This is what is happening down river of the great three gorges dam in China where there was marsh land / swamp land before is now desert, depriving the locals of fish for their livelihood.

Thank you all.

Lake’ Jaro’

Penan Long Late

Ulu Apoh.

March 1, 2011

BRIMAS & TAHABAS willing to assist Baru Bian in providing evidence in debate with CM


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MIRI – The Borneo Resources Institute, Malaysia (BRIMAS) an indigenous peoples and environmental NGO in Miri together with the Sarawak Native Customary Land Rights Network (TAHABAS) has welcome the recent announcement from the Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud that he is willing to take the challenge to debate with State PKR Chief, Baru Bian on the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land issues.

We in BRIMAS together with TAHABAS are willing to provide the evidence and proof to assist Baru and to back our claims that the current State Government is taking away NCR lands from the indigenous peoples in Sarawak.

We ask Baru to name the date and venue of the debate and also to urge the government to air the debate publicly in radio and television.

May we remind the Chief Minister that the debate is not about the State Government seizing title lands but about the State Government seizing NCR lands, which of course are untitled lands.

We welcome this debate as an important event to educate the people (rakyat) on the NCR issues which are currently affecting the indigenous peoples of Sarawak. We hope that the rakyat can judge for themselves whether the NCR issue is a current and relevant issue or it is an out-dated and a non-issue.

Signed by:

Mark Bujang

Executive Director, BRIMAS

Ramould Siew

President, TAHABAS

February 24, 2011

Masing,have your memory corrupted?


Did you sign away NCR land, Masing?

KUCHING: Land Development Minister James Masing has come under fire for his alleged involvement in converting a native customary rights (NCR) property into state land, which has resulted in a legal dispute between the natives of Rumah Ranggong in Ulu Niah and BLD Resources Sdn Bhd.

BLD Resources is suing the natives from Rumah Ranggong for trespassing on its property. The natives, who are claiming their NCR right on the land, are counter-suing and the case is pending in the Kuching High Court.  

Masing, when contacted by FMT, said it was a “serious allegation” against him.

“I can’t recall (signing the deed). I will check with my officers. It is a very serious allegation. I will take to task anybody involved including the media,” he said. 

Masing had allegedly signed a deed of rescission on Oct 29, 2008 declaring the NCR land belonging to the residents of Rumah Ranggong, Ulu Niah, as state land.

Masing admitted that the land was declared state land in 2002 but maintained that it was not by him. 

“Yes the land was declared state land, but not by me. I don’t have the authority.

“Consequently, as minister in charge-cum-chairman of the Sarawak Land Development Board (SLDB) which was the managing agent then, I rescinded the joint venture (JV) in October 2008 because my authority deals only with NCR land,” he said.

Other signatories to the deed were Chaiti Bolhassan who is the general manager of SLDB, Henry Lau  and Wan Abdillah Hamid, who are both directors of BLD Resources.

It is learnt that because the deed was signed without the knowledge of the landowners to rescind the JV agreement, it had sparked a dispute between the natives and the company.

Where’s the money?

According to Changgai Anak Dali, chairman of the longhouse development and security committee, it was for this reason that he was sued by BLD Resources.

“I was sued by BLD Resofor trespassing in my own land and this triggered our land dispute, and we filed a counter suit which is now undergoing trial at the Kuching High Court.

“Last year, we wrote a letter to BLD Resources to demand our land back and also to settle our long overdue dividends from the project, but we received no response and this is when we decided to erect our blockade in January this year,” said Changgai.

Meanwhile, blogger and activist, John Brian, said Masing must explain the revocation of the status of NCR land in Ulu Niah.

In his posting on the Dayak Baru blog, Brian alleged that the land was bought by the KTS group of companies for RM1 million plus, but the money had never reached the Ulu Niah Ibans.

“Who is keeping the money?” asked Brian.

He also asked Masing why he extinguished the NCR status of the land.

“Is it for personal reason or does Masing, who claims to champion the rights of Dayaks, play traitor to his own community?” he asked.

So Masing,do you really cant recalled it back?Its ok then,we guess this would help you to refresh your corrupted memory

September 14, 2010

Leaked Samling document acknowledges timber group’s role in sexual exploitation of Penan women


Leaked Samling document acknowledges timber group's role in sexual exploitation of Penan women

“All staff are forbidden to visit Penan villages”: Samling directive over Penan rape allegations (Picture: BMF)

MIRI, MALAYSIA. An internal document from Sarawak’s logging giant, Samling Global (HKEX 3938), leaked to the Bruno Manser Fund, acknowledges for the first time that the timber group is concerned about the involvement of its staff in the alleged rape of native Penan girls and women in Sarawak, East Malaysia.

On 9 July 2010, Chin That Thong, General Manager of Samling’s Forest Operations in Malaysia, sent a directive, entitled “Kes Rogol Wanita Penan” (Rape Case of Penan Women)”, to all Samling timber camp managers, drivers and employees in the Baram river region. The letter informs the logging group’s staff that they are “forbidden to visit any Penan villages or transport any Penan except with the permission of the Camp Managers concerned.” Chin threatens employees who are found to have disobeyed his orders with expulsion from their jobs without compensation.

The letter was sent three days after the Malaysian Penan Support Group published a study that unearthed systematic patterns of sexual violence by loggers against native women in Sarawak’s interior. While Samling had previously denied the involvement of its staff in the sexual abuse cases, this letter indirectly acknowledges that Samling staff are indeed involved and that the group management is concerned over their insufficient control of their employees’ conduct.

Ten days ago, Penan from the Upper Baram region complained that Samling officials had threatened to suspend all the transport services provided for them unless they retracted the sexual abuse allegations.

The leaked document provides strong evidence of the fact that the presence of Samling staff in the Penan areas constitutes a continuous threat to the native communities, and particularly to girls and women. The Bruno Manser Fund is asking the Sarawak state government to halt all logging operations in areas where Samling and other companies operate without the consent of the local communities. The Sarawak government is also being asked to provide free public transport services for the rural communities and, in particular, for schoolchildren.

Samling is a globally operating Malaysian timber conglomerate with an annual turnover of US$ 480 million. In August 2010, the Norwegian Government Pension fund excluded Samling from its portfolio because of the company’s responsibility for illegal logging and severe environmental damage.

(14 September 2010)

Samling_directive_translation.pdf (130KB)

Read also MISSION REVEALS MORE SEXUAL ABUSE CASES

September 6, 2010

Blatant disregard for native customary rights


By Joseph Tawie

SEBUYAU: A group of villagers have accused the Sarawak forestry department of blatant disregard of their native customary rights (NCR) over their communal forests.

Activists Nicholas Mujah and Numpang Anan Suntai who are helming the group said the department was refusing to suspend the license issued to logging company, Quality Concrete Holding to stop harvesting of timber in their ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest)

“The department has been informed by the land and survey department through a letter that the area is confirmed to be native customary rights land.

“Yet the department does not want to take action against Quality Concrete Holdings, which continues to log trees in the communal forest,” said Mujah, who is the secretary general of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) in a letter of complaint to Suhakam.

“The logging activities have destroyed a large number of our rubber and fruit trees and cash crops,” he said, pointing out that such activities will also disturb their shrines, graveyards and their sources of incomes.

He added that the the logging activities was also polluting the people’s source of drinking water as well as disturbing the habitat of some of the protected animals such as the proboscis monkeys, orang utan, hornbills, deer and peacock.

The area is also the home of some of the rarest species of timber such as belian (iron wood) and selangan batu which fetches up to RM4,000 a tonne.

Five longhouses namely Kampung Entangor, Kg Sungai Ijok, Kg Arus, Kg Tungkah Dayak and Kg Ensika are directly affected by the logging activities.

“All these are clear violations of the rights of the villagers and environmental hazards,” he said, calling on Suhakam to carry out an immediate investigation into the violation of human rights by the forest department and the company.

Longhouse chiefs getting ‘kickbacks’

Meanwhile, Sadia has also received complaints that certain Penghulu and longhouse chiefs had allegedly received ‘kickbacks’ from the company for their cooperation.Read more here


DESTRUCTION OF SEBANGAN & SEBUYAU RAINFORESTS DUE TO LOGGING ACTIVITIES

Taken from Borneo Independent News Service

By Numpang Suntai

Kampung Sebangan, 30th August 2010

1. Introduction

Quality Concrete Holdings Bhd has a license to extract timber issued by the Director of Forest Department, Sarawak. This is for a period of one year effective 20 November 2009.  The license covers the bulk of the last of remaining rainforest between Sebangan and Sebuyau rivers.

The areas covered by the license are in the interconnected mountain range starting from Kpg Mensika to Kpg Entanggor in the Bahagian Samarahan and including areas next to Kpg Lunying in the Bahagian Sri Aman. Sadly, the areas covered by the license are the cultivated lands under Native Customary Rights (NCR) Land and Communal Forests reserve (Kampong Galau) for of the Dayak Iban natives in that area. Evidences to authenticate these claims were submitted to the Land & Survey Department, Sarawak on the 15th & 26th July 2010. In addition, logging will cause extensive permanent environmental and social damages to the area.

This report calls for the Director of Forest Department, Sarawak is to immediately withdraw the license to extract timber in the Sebangan & Sebuyau Rainforests.

2. Opposition to Logging

The local Dayak Iban natives oppose the logging in the Sebangan and Sebuyau areas because:

(more…)

July 25, 2010

Sebangan and Sebuyau Iban hold miring to protect their territory


 

Taken from Borneo Independent News Service

Sebangan, Sarawak- Local indigenous peoples of Sebangan and Sebuyau, initiated a traditional action in the form of Miring ceremony to deploy spilt to any encroachers over native customary land. Performed by local shaman Ason from Kampong Ensika, the ceremony was a warning to encroachers to stay away from their forest.

Despite a letter from a government agency, Sarawak Forest Corporation, loggers again drove 8 tractors in an attempt to build a logging road in the communal forest.

Iban shaman, Ason, performs the ceremony

 

Villagers erect a barrier to their forest

 

Ceremony performed in view of the trespassing loggers and equipment
Taken from Free Malaysia Today
Logging woes:Ibans seek Supernatural help
 
SEBUYAU: The native Ibans of nine longhouses in Sebangan and Sebuyau have resorted to performing a traditional “miring” ceremony which involved summoning their “petara” (gods) and the spirit of their ancestors to help them resolve their dispute with the Quality Concrete logging company over their communal forest. But the company which received its licence from the Sarawak Forest Corporation to log timbers in the area thinks it is a virgin jungle not owned by anyone.

The 3,305 hectares is home to many rare species of timber, flora and fauna. It is also the primary source of drinking water for this native community.

“Today we held a ‘miring’ ceremony and called upon our ‘petara’ and the spirits of our great grandfathers to cast a spell on those who cross the line of blockade.

“We have to do this as a last resort after our meeting with the company and authorities failed to stop them from going into our sacred forest,” said Nicholas Mujah, a leader from the nine longhouses.

“Anyone who dares pass through the line of the blockade will suffer the consequences either by the spirits or by us,” he warned.

‘We can be violent’

The Ibans mounted a blockade yesterday to stop Quality Concrete Holdings’ workers from entering the area.

“It was just like a ‘cat and mouse’ game when the natives chased after the loggers who were using eight tractors to construct roads to the forest.

“Today is the second day running that we have mounted the blockade,” said Mujah who is also the secretary-general of the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association.

He said for the past four days the company had been carrying out activities such as making camps and constructing rails or roads into the forested area and in the process many of their rubber and fruit trees have been destroyed.Read more here

 

Read also Sebuyau Iban,in direct action,confiscate logging equipment and Iban demonstrate outside District Office, Sebuyau to protect communal forest, home for orangutan,proboscis monkeys and hornbills

Pengayau comment

Below are subsidiaries wholly owned by Quality Concrete Holdings Berhad.
Click here for their  Annual Report 2010
◦Agrowell Sdn Bhd
◦Hong Wei Holdings Sdn Bhd
◦Kutex Sdn Bhd
◦Lee Ling Timber Products Sdn Bhd
◦Polyflow Pipes Sdn Bhd
◦Polyflow (B) Sdn Bhd
◦Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd
◦Quality Concrete (Mukah) Sdn Bhd
◦Seri Bumijaya Sdn Bhd

Board Of Director

Dato Tiang Ming Sing
(Executive Chairman)

Tiang Ching Kok
(Managing Director)

Edmund Goh Chze Jin
(Executive Director)

Datuk Hajjah Raziah @ Rodiah Binti Mahmud
(Independent Non-Executive Director)

Michael Ong Kee Tuan
(Independent Non-Executive Director)

Robin Lo Bing
(Independent Non-Executive Director)

Henry Law Kah Kwong
(Independent Non-Executive Director)

July 23, 2010

On the Bakong shooting court win:Borneo INS celebrates! – Opinion


 

Taken from Borneo Independent News Service

Sarawak – This opinion celebrates, of sorts, two occasions. The first is that as a facebook page, at some time early this week we reached 1000 fans. We at this purely adhoc and voluntary effort thank you for what really started as a pilot for citizen journalism in Sarawak, trying to focus on issues around indigenous peoples. Without your ‘liking’ we probably would have not tried to keep it going for this long.

The second is really a more meaningful celebration. On 20 July 2010 the Court of Miri ruled in favour of an Iban woman Ndukmit ak Egot, widow of Enyang ak Gendang who died thirteen years ago after being shot by police in the head during a confrontation between the police and the longhouse community in Bakong.

For those who are familiar with Sarawak’s long, almost unrecognized struggle between the oil palm companies and Dayak communities who have constitutionally protected rights to their lands and territories, the Bakong incident is a low point in history. There are those of you who may wonder what our FB profile photo is about. It is a photo taken during that incident where Enyang was killed. For those of us who support Borneo INS, Enyang’s death is an incident we will never forget and we would like to share this history with our readers as a reminder of how, without dialogue and respect for NCR of Dayak, how things can go so tragically wrong.

It started with the issue of a provisional lease to Empresa, an oil palm plantation company in which the native territories of the Iban community of Rumah Bangga were included. They only found out about it when two subcontractor companies, Segarakam and Prana started destroying their lands. The longhouse chief, Banggau ak Andop lodged police reports and wrote to government departments to no avail. After a month of inaction from the authorities, the villagers decided then to confiscate and remove the companies’ bulldozers to their land. They gave the keys to the police who, up to then, had continued to ignore the villagers. Unable to get their bulldozers back, the company called the police who immediately responded.

On December 18 1997, a lorry full of police arrived at the longhouse.

The Iban refused to return the machinery.

The next day, the Police Field Force returned in greater force, both in plain clothes and in uniform but without identification and armed with guns, M16 rifles and batons.

The villages thought that the police were there for a meeting to discuss compensation for the damage to their land by the companies. They gathered outside the longhouse to welcome the company and the police. A ‘miring’, a traditional welcome ceremony where offerings are made to the ancestors was held.

A case report on the incident writes ‘Photographs from the site site show the people smiling and joking with each other. Villagers held a banner that said ‘Land is our life’. The banner was to act as a line over which negotiations with the company and the police officers could take place.’

The police, however, were interested only in arresting Banggau, the headman. After asking who was the leader, Banggau replied that he was. The police then rushed forward to arrest him and all Iban present. The Iban tried to prevent the arrests. At the same time the Police Field Force officer gave the orders to the other PFF officers to charge and to open fire on the unarmed villagers.

Without any warning or warning shots, three Iban were shot. Enyang ak Gendang was shot by one Corporal Hussaini bin Sulong in the head. Several Iban were beaten up with batons or punched and kicked. Several Iban were arrested.

Five days later, on December 24th Enyang Ak Gendang died in hospital where a postmortem revealed a bullet lodged inside his head. Ndukmit, the widow, had to pay for the transport to bring her husband to the hospital.

Thirty Iban were arrested over the incident and the longhouse chief was arrested again in 1998, without immediate explanation. The coroner’s verdict was misadventure but the fact remained that the police had shot and killed villagers who were there to welcome the company and them to a dialogue.

Those who heard about this incident found it shocking. Internationally the death of Enyang Gendang made enough news that the Malaysian government had to account for itself to the UN Human Rights Council. The report said only that the police recommended that the company compensate the villagers for the land as they wanted originally, making no reference to who was accountable for the death. The police, at some point, also accused the Iban of being armed.

In 2000, his widow took action and filed a civil action against Corporal Hussaini, his superior and the Malaysian government. The case was heard in 2003 and there was a long silence. In 2010, it was announced that the case would finally go to trial. Yesterday, after thirteen years, justice was finally served. While there will be a cash compensation for Ndukmit, it surely cannot be enough for the years of suffering such injustice and denial by the authorities. For many, the case was strong evidence that the authorities were not neutral in conflicts between the oil palm companies and the people. In 2010, the court cases continue to pile up and the conflicts continue. It would seem that little has changed in terms of violations of our rights. But we must never forget Enyang Gendang and honor Ndukmit Egot, Banggau Andop and their longhouse for their strength and determination to protect their land and their heritage

After 13 years,an indigenous woman wins justice for her dead husband


 

Taken from Borneo Independent News Service’s

After 13 years, an indigenous woman wins justice for her dead husband
Court rules Malaysian police and government negligent in 1997 killing of Dayak farmer
20 July 2010
Victorious Dayak community after a 13 year wait for justice. Iban heroine Ndukmit ak Egot, stands in the middle, bottom row, fourth from left (wearing glasses). Her lawyer Harrison Ngau stands directly behind.

Miri, Sarawak — Iban woman Ndukmit ak Egot today found justice in Miri civil courts for her husband Enyang ak Gendang, who was killed by Police Field Force Personnel over a conflict between the indigenous Dayak villagers and the oil palm company. The court ruled that the police were negligent in firing the shot that hit and killed Enyang and that the Malaysian government was vicariously liable for the negligence of the police.

After thirteen years, this judgement is a victory for Ndukmit, her family and the villagers of Rumah Bangga in Bakong. On 19 December 1997, 50 Police Force personnel armed with batons, pistols and M16 rifles opened fire on Dayak Iban community.

Three Ibans were shot. Enyang Ak Gendang, 40, was shot in the head and died after five days in a coma. Eight villagers were injured. About 30 Ibans were arrested and detained.

The police were not held accountable and in 2008 an inquest was conduct. The coroner then found the police were not negligent, that the shooting was a misadventure and there was no further case for investigation.

When called to account for the death by no less than the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1999, the Malaysian government had this to say:

Regarding the case of Enyang Ak Gendang, the Government stated that following the incident in which the victim was killed, the police suggested that the Sarawak Land Custody Development Authority and the Empressa company arrange a dialogue with the Iban indigenous community with a view to compensating the Ibans as promised. The Government reported that since the incident Empressa and its subcontractors had ceased their operations.

A single paragraph on a life lost and a family abandoned. Enyang ak Gendang was the sole breadwinner in the family.

In 2000, the widow of Enyang, Ndukmit ak Egot filed a civil case against Corporal Hussaini bin Sulong, his superiors and the Government of Malaysia. Ten years later, the court decided to proceed with the trial.

Earlier in 2010, when it was learnt that the case would be brought to trial, Mark Bujang, Executive Director for Borneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS) said, “The widow wants justice to be done to her late husband. It has been more than 12 years yet, those who shot Enyang were never charged with any criminal offence. What is worse, the police tried to say that the Ibans were violent and started the fight where the police were force to use their firearms. While I don’t know why the case was delayed for so long and I was disappointed when twice the case was brought for inquest and twice the coroner gave an open verdict, I am very happy that Ndukmit will finally get her trial.”

And her supporters will be very glad that today justice, for so long delayed, has, at least, partly been served.

June 28, 2010

Sebuyau Iban,in direct action,confiscate logging equipment


 

Taken from  Borneo Independent News Service’s

 

In a mass action on 24th June 2010 , Sebuyau Iban travelled upriver to confiscate the keys of logging vehicles and equipment found on their territory. The vehicles are the property of Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd, a logging company who had entered into their forests without the consent of the landowners. The keys have been surrendered to the local police.

Travelling upriver from village to area of tresspass

Taking action as a community

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