Sunday, June 28

Formation of Parti Dayak Iban (PADI)?

While Prime Minister Najib Razak has been advocating for Malay/Muslim unity between PAS and UMNO in the spirit of 1Malaysia concept, is it wrong for Dayaks to call for Dayak unity between Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Parti Pesaka (which is now a branch of Parti Pesaka Bumiputra) and Sarawak National Party (SNAP)?

William Mawan SPDP president, as reported in The Borneo Post today (27 June) called on the people (I am sure he means Dayaks, as they were the main audience in Gawai Ngiling Bidai in Kapit) not to allow themselves to be separated politically.

Instead they should be united and focused on the spirit of ‘segulai sejalai’ (moving forward together) to progress and develop with other races.

To me moving forward together is not enough, we should be ‘segulai sejalai sepenemu’ (moving forward together in united voice). What is the point for us to move forward together if we do not share the same aspiration, the same objective, and the same destination?

Anyway, Mawan’s call should be food for thought. But the only problem towards achieving this “segulai sejalai” is that SPDP is being controlled by big towkays whose objectives are dissimilar with those of the Dayaks’ aspirations. In other words, the non-Dayaks are the stumbling block to Dayak unity.

No doubt there are also other obstacles to Dayak unity. SNAP tried it (Dayak unity), but the party failed. PBDS tried it, it also failed. Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC) tried to revive the spirit of Dayak unity, but it was not allowed to be registered.

So what then should we do? Like the call for the Malay/Muslim unity, perhaps the Ibans should organise themselves first before talking about Dayak unity, so are the Bidayuhs and the Orang Ulu.

By this I mean, we should form our own political party before we can have a loose coalition in the spirit of Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat among the Dayak parties and call it Pakatan/Barisan Dayak Sarawak.

For the Iban, I am thinking of Parti Dayak Iban. In short, PADI and the emblem should be a paddy stalk to symbolize our farming and rural background.

What is or are your comments on this? - The Broken Shield

Source:
www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com

Friday, June 26

100 families against DD Plantations developing their land

A 64-year old grandmother, Daha Ak Penghulu Nunsang has been having sleepless nights since 29 April 2009, the day when DD plantations and Pelita holding announced that they had signed agreement with 94 longhouse chiefs to develop some 9,629 hectares of land in the Kpg. Samalatong/Kpg. Isu/Kpg. Kepayang area.

The wife of the late school teacher Adun anak Buang, Daha is not the only one worried, as there are over 100 families from six longhouses having the same worry – that their lands have been signed away by a few community leaders to DD plantations for the planting of oil palm without their knowledge and agreement.

What makes Daha very angry is that Temenggong Anthony Ngipa, the leader who signs the people’s land with DD plantations is her brother-in-law, who is married to her younger sister.

It is understood Daha confronted Temenggong Anthony and asked him why did he want to “sell” their land to DD Plantations? She asked him to go back to his own village at Sebangan and not to speak on their behalf regarding their land.

“You have no right to sell our land,” she was reported to have told him in front of so many people.

There are five or six persons believed to be involved in this scheme whose real aim is targeting the communal forests behind the longhouses. These communal forests are part of the NCR land as decided by the Federal Court. Any one taking away these communal forests is committing a serious offence against the interests of the natives.

Colluding with Temenggong Anthony are Tuai Sebeli of Kpg. Sibau Rumbau, Tuai Rumah Najib of Kpg. Samalatong (Melayu), Pemanca Muit and Tuai Rumah Uja, both of Kpg. Kepayang.

They are not only PBB members, but the “kaki” (side kicks) of YB Naroden, the state assemblyman for Simunjan who is allegedly owned DD Plantations together with a Chinaman from Sebauh, Bintulu. Naroden is known in Simunjan as the local “oil palm king” owning several companies to plant some 50,000 acres of land, the bulk of which is NCR land.

Temenggong Anthony, a retired teacher, is ardent supporter of Naroden who appointed him as a councillor for Simunjan and when a vacancy existed for a Penghulu, he was also appointed a penghulu at the same time. After three years or so as a Penghulu, he is now promoted to be the Temenggong.

Daha has approached a lawyer to write to Pelita and DD Plantations that she did not want her land in 10 places totaling some 100 acres to be developed by them, and if they persisted of getting her land she would sue them in court. The strongly worded letter was copied to her brother-in-law.

Meanwhile, six Tuai Rumah (longhouse chiefs) had sent a joint letter to the minister of land development, Dr. James Masing and the chairman of the NCR land development task force, Alfred Jabu ak Numpang, saying that they did not want their land to be developed by DD Plantations and Pelita.

A copy of the letter was sent to SALCRA general manager, Vasco Sabat Singkang inviting him to have a dialogue with them in order to open their land for oil palm cultivation.

The six Tuai Rumahs represent some 100 families owning some 2,000 hectares of NCR land. There are other longhouse folks from Keniong, Sangkalan, Munggu Ai, Gayau and Kepayang who refuse to surrender their land to DD Plantations.

All these longhouse chiefs are watching the DD Plantations and Pelita closely before making further moves including holding demonstrations and bringing them to court. – The Broken Shield

Source: www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 21

Najib's assurance on NCR land 'too little, too late' ~ Malaysiakini

Taken from http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/106904

Sarawak’s leading NCR lawyer Baru Bian has described Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s assurance that the Sarawak Barisan Nasional government will not take away NCR land from the Ibans as coming “too little and too late”.

“The fact and the truth is that the people’s land, in particular the native customary rights land have already been taken, grabbed and snatched under the BN government," he said in a press statement to Malaysiakini today.

A local English daily The Borneo Post quoted the prime minister as saying in its front page report on June 19 that the BN government will not take away the native customary landsof the natives of Sarawak.

The prime minister was also quoted as urging the people to “... have confidence in the Barisan Nasional government. We have no intention of grabbing anybody’s land. The Ibans should not worry. The BN government will not snatch your property.”

Baru, who is also a member of PKR political bureau and supreme council, said that the fact that Najib had to make the statement shows that the people, in particular the natives, are complaining that their NCR lands had been taken away summarily all these years.

He added: “The fact that my legal firm is handling over one hundred cases of NCR - related cases show proof that NCR land have been taken, grabbed and snatched all these years, under the BN government, headed by the present Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.”

Baru said despite the landmark decision in the case of Nor Anak Nyawai which was affirmed by Madeli Salleh’s case in the Federal Court, the present state BN government of Sarawak refused to accept the said court’s decision that NCR land includes not only “temuda” (secondary forest) but it extends to their “Pemakai menua” (territorial domain) and “Pulau” (reserved or preserved virgin forests).


Return NCR land to the people

“This refusal to accept the court’s decision is reflected in the state Attorney-General’s chambers’ defences representing the state government, in the cases now pending hearing in the various High Courts throughout the state of Sarawak," he pointed out.

He urged the prime minister to order, instruct and/or at least advise the present Sarawak BN government through the chief minister to return to the people all the NCR land that had been “taken, grabbed and snatched” summarily all these years by revoking timber licences, provisional leases and replanting permit or other licences that includes and/or encroaches onto NCR lands.

Secondly, order that an independent Land Commission of Inquiry be set up to investigate all these violation of claims of NCR lands in Sarawak, including the abuses by the police force of complainants relating to NCR disputes with companies, to show to the people of Sarawak, and Malaysian at large that the prime minister walks the talk.

Baru said this Land Commission of Inquiry should also look into all the hundred over cases now pending in the High Courts in Sarawak, thus helping in the backlog of cases in the High Court.

“If the above proposal is not done within one month from today, I am afraid these statements are mere political gimmicks just to mislead the people, in particular the natives of Sarawak that this BN government is now concerned with their affairs and problems", he said, adding that these are but signs of the impending state general election now looming in the horizon.

It was also reported that “the prime minister said from his discussions with the chief minister, he was convinced that the state’s model of native customary rights land development would ensure a better future for the Dayaks, particularly the Ibans”.

The Orang Ulu NCR lawyer said the state’s model of native customary rights land development referred to is the “new way” of developing NCR land popularly referred to as “The New Concept” or “Konsep Baru” - the idea of the present chief minister.


No confidence in 'Konsep Baru'

Under this “Konsep Baru”, the landowners would have 30 per cent shares equity, the developer 60 per cent and the state government 10 per cent.

“I am sad to say that the very first project launched in Kanowit based on this concept is a total failure. After 10 years of its launching, the developer is still unsure whether they can break-even in the years ahead thus causing much anxiety and trepidation to the natives who were lured into participating in this project years ago.”

He had been instructed by some of these natives to take legal action against the state government to protect the natives’ right over their NCR lands, as they have no confidence in this so called “Konsep Baru”.

“I dare say in the light of my knowledge of these issues, the statements made by the prime minister are mere political rhetoric, unless and until we can see in one month’s time, my suggestion referred above are implemented; i.e. the return of NCR lands that had already been taken away and the setting up of a Land Commission of Inquiry to investigate these complaints of violation of NCR land in Sarawak.”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

PRESS STATEMENT

It was reported as front page news in the Borneo Post on the 19th June 2009 that the BN Government will not take away the native customary lands of the natives. The PM was quoted to urge the people to “...have confident in Barisan Nasional (BN) government. We have no intention of grabbing anybody’s land. The Ibans should not worry. The BN government will not snatch your property.”

In reply I wish to say that this assurance if true, come too little too late. The fact and the truth is that the people’s land, in particular, the natives’ customary lands had already been taken, grabbed and snatched under the BN government. The fact that the PM made this statement today shows that the people in particular the natives are complaining that their NCR lands had been taken away summarily all these years.

The fact that my legal firm is handling over one hundred cases of NCR related cases show proofs that NCR lands had been taken, grabbed and snatched all these years, under the BN government, headed by the present CM Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. Despite the landmark decision in the landmark case of Nor Anak Nyawai which was affirmed by Madeli Salleh’s case in the Federal Court, (the highest court in Malaysia), the present State BN Government of Sarawak refused to accept the said Court’s decision that NCR Land includes not only “temuda” (secondary forest) but it extends to their “Pemakai menua” (territorial domain) and “Pulau” (reserved or preserved virgin forests). This refusal to accept the Court’s decision is reflected in the State Attorney-General’s Chambers’ defences representing the State Government, in these cases now pending hearing in the various High Courts through out the State of Sarawak.

I therefore urge the Honourable Prime Minister, to order, instruct and/or at least advise the present BN State Government through the CM Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to return to the people all the NCR lands that had been “taken, grabbed and snatched” summarily all these years by revoking timber licences, provisional leases and replanting permit or other licences that includes and/or encroaches onto NCR lands. Secondly, order that an independent Land Commission of Inquiry be set up to investigate all these violation of claims of NCR lands in Sarawak including the abuses by the police force of complainants relating to NCR disputes with companies, to show to the people of Sarawak, and Malaysian at large that this PM walks his talk. This Land Commission of Inquiry should also look into all the hundred over cases now pending in the High Courts in Sarawak, thus helping in the backlog of cases in the High Court. If the above proposal is not done within 1 month from today, I am afraid these statements are mere political gimmicks just to mislead the people in particular the Natives of Sarawak that this BN Government is now concerned with their affairs and problems. I believe these are but signs of the impending State General Election now looming in the horizon.

Lastly, it was also reported that “The Prime Minister said from his discussions with Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud he was convinced that the State’s model of native customary rights land development would ensure a better future for the Dayaks, particularly the Ibans.”

I believe that the State’s model of native customary rights land development referred is the “new way” of developing NCR Land popularly referred to as “The New Concept” or “Konsep Baru” the ‘brain-child’ of the present CM. Under this ‘Konsep Baru’, the landowners would have 30% shares equity, the developer 60% and the State Government 10%. I am sad to say that the very first project launched in Kanowit based on this concept is a total failure. After 10 years of its launching, the developer is still unsure whether they can break-even in the years ahead thus causing much anxiety and trepidation to the natives who were lured in participating in this project years ago. I have been instructed by some of these natives to take legal action against the State Government to protect the natives’ right over their NCR lands, as they have no confidence in this so called “Konsep Baru” or as the PM said the “State’s model of native customary rights land development” referred in the news report.

I dare say in the light of my knowledge of these issues, the statements made by the Honourable PM are mere political rhetoric, unless and until we can see in one (1) month time, my suggestion referred above are implemented; i.e. the return of NCR lands that had already been taken away and the setting up of a Land Commission of Inquiry to investigate these complaints of violation of NCR over lands in Sarawak.

So Honourable PM, prove to us natives of Sarawak, that you walk your talk in these matters!

Dated this 20th June 2009

MR. BARU BIAN

NCR LAWYER CUM PKR POLITICAL BUREAU & SUPREME COUNCIL MEMBER

PM not told the truth about NCR ~ Malaysiakini

The Sarawak government has been accused of deliberately misinforming the prime minister on the row over native customary rights (NCR) in the state.

“I am sure the prime minister has been ill-informed on the true situation of NCR land issues,” said Sarawak National Party’s Stanley Jugol in responding to a statement made by Najib Abdul Razak on the issue.

Najib, who was on a two-day visit to Sarawak, had assured the Ibans in Lubok Antu that the government would not snatch their land away.

“We have no intention of grabbing anybody’s land. The Ibans should not worry. The BN government will not take away your property,” he had told a huge gathering in Nanga San, Lubok Antu, about 250km from state capital Kuching.

“We want to ensure the future of the Ibans and we will solve the land problem that I know you are concerned about. You can have confidence on the BN government.”

However, Stanley pointed out that there are currently hundreds of disputes over NCR land before the courts.

“What will happen to the NCR land that has been taken away from the natives? The proof of this is the fact that there are more than 200 cases of NCR land filed by the natives against the government and companies. These cases are pending hearing.”

“I am sure the state government leaders are not telling the truth when they briefed the prime minister,”
he said.

Native customary rights to land in Sarawak is a system of land tenure based on ‘adat’ (native customary laws), allowing the natives the right to cultivate the land and to benefit from the produce of the jungle, including hunting and fishing.


Stringent opposition to state’s NCR model

Under a government scheme, more than one million hectares of land - the bulk of which is NCR land - have been leased to companies for 60 years for the planting of oil palm.

Najib said that from his discussions with Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, he was convinced that the state’s NCR model would bring development to the Dayaks, particularly the Ibans.

But what Najib was not told was that there has been stringent opposition from the natives to the NCR land development promoted by the state government.

Under that scheme, only 30 percent of the equity is given to landowners, while state government-linked company Pelita Holdings has 10 percent, and the lion share, 60 percent, goes to investors.


Moreover, although the landowners hold 30 percent, they are in the dark about the management of the plantations as they are not included in the decision-making of the company.

“The Ibans are against this concept,” said Stanley.

Thursday, June 18

Sale of Python meat – where are wildlife enforcement officers?

In Sarawak, a python meat is not only considered as a delicacy, but one that it is believed to have some medicinal values particularly among the Chinese such as purifying our blood, arthritis, skin diseases, etc.

It is little wonder that pythons are a common sight especially in a town like Serian. I never missed seeing pythons that have been cut into pieces weighing a kilo or more every time I visit Serian.

During my “balik kampong” for the Gawai Dayak celebrations, I noticed at least two pythons – one weighing about 100kg that had been cut into pieces and another but smaller one.



I saw a big crowd watching piles of python meat at the Serian Open market (see pictures above) and asked them where the slithery animals had come from. They told me that some Dayaks had sold them to the towkay at RM3.50 a kilo and the towkay in turn sold the meat to willing buyers at RM15.00 a kilo. So the towkay made a profit of RM11.50 a kilo.

They told me that this open sale has been going one for some time. But what baffles me is: where are the enforcement officers from the Wildlife Department? Don’t tell me they do not know about it.

Under the Sarawak Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998, Section 29 (2) any person who hunts, kills, captures, sells, offers for sale, or claims to be offering for sale, imports, exports, or is in possession of, any protected animal, or any recognizable part of derivative thereof, or any nest thereof, except under and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a licence, shall be guilty of an offence. Penalty, imprisonment for one year and a fine ten thousand ringgit.


The Nabau or python?

Since we are on the story of python, let me relate to you some bizarre story of a big snake being circulated in Kapit. During our recent visit to Kapit, this story of a big snake eating a human being in Belaga causing my hair standing on end.

Could the big snake be the “Nabau” that was seen swimming in the Baleh river several months ago? Or could it be a python?

I tried to contact the Police in Belaga to confirm the story and to find out what has happened to the snake. Some how or rather my calls could not get through. Now look at the video. – The Broken Shield

video

Source: http://www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, June 17

Dayaks in S'wak BN 'should join PKR' ~ Malaysiakini

Taken from http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/106472

Sarawak PKR leader Augustine Liom wants Dayaks in Barisan Nasional (BN) to join Pakatan Rakyat to change the state government, so that native customary rights (NCR) to land can be protected.

“It is a matter of urgency that we put into power a government that is kind to us and which is protective of our rights especially land rights and the rights to property as guaranteed in the federal constitution,” he said.

“Any support to the BN and its component parties means only a support to maintain a status quo. We get nowhere. A handful of seats to Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party, a handful seats for Parti Rakyat Sarawak and a handful of seats to Parti Bumiputra Bersatu and Sarawak United People’s Party. That is all.

“We continue to be split, divided, ruled and manipulated and to gradually lose our lands. So we have no choice but to go for a radical or revolutionary change in our political approach.”

Liom, a former judge, was recently appointed to head the land and human rights bureau of the state PKR. He was speaking at a Gawai Dayak dinner organised by the PKR women’s wing in Kuching.

“Our Dayak friends in BN ought to now join us to make this happen to change the state government. Otherwise posterity will not judge then too kindly [...]

“Do not be overwhelmed by your comfort of office that you forget where you have come from. I say ‘comfort of office’. I don’t say ‘comfort of power’ because we know that they do not have that much power.

“Real and meaningful power is in the exclusive domain of chief minister and his handful of inner circle of confidantes. They will not be so kind as to share that power.”

Liom said the results of the March 2008 parliamentary elections have led Sarawakians to realise the political reality.

“The Dayaks now need a national party as their political vehicle. Sarawak National Party is nominally alive. Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak is dead and gone. Malaysian Dayak Congress has not seen the light of the day.

“What we need is a political vehicle, that is PKR, and we need Malays like Anwar Ibrahim (right) to champion the Dayak cause, not Malays who will divide us or who will rob us of our NCR land.

“We place our trust in PKR and Anwar to champion the Dayak cause. This is a stark political reality we have to come to accept and to live with. There is now no alternative to that.”


‘Daylight robbery’

Liom said BN leaders have denied that the state government had robbed the people of their NCR to land.

“But when longhouse folks wake up one day to find tractors ploughing through their rubber or fruit trees on land they have toiled for generations and are told that the government had granted lease to their land to a logging or plantation company usually connected to people in power - is that not daylight robbery? That is what is happening in our midst,” he said.

He said the government would then tell the landowners to prove that it was NCR land, but that this is difficult when the original settlers have died and because landowners could not acquire NCR by purchase.

“So in effect, it means gradually and eventually NCR land will be no more. And that is the policy of the BN government,” he added.

“Have we heard any BN Dayak leader calling for a survey and for the issuance of titles to NCR land? No one in BN dares to make such a call. On such matter, only one man decides.”

PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who was present, said: “If we want to change Sarawak for the better, then it is now or never.”

At a press conference after declaring open the Batu Kawa PKR service centre earlier, she said the party had held discussions with a number of past and present BN leaders to join the party before the end of the year.

“I am not going to reveal names. Let there be an element of surprise,” she said, without dismissing the possibility that some of these leaders are from Sarawak.

Monday, June 15

Sarawak parliamentarians under fire ~ Malaysiakini

Sarawak Barisan Nasional parliamentarians have been accused of neglecting their duties when they failed to speak up for the welfare and the interests of the local people in the state.

'If they have any honour or self-respect they should resign. If not they should be sacked by the people.

"We elected our members of parliament to represent us vigorously in Parliament," said Padungan state assemblyperson, Dominique Ng.

The people of Sarawak have nothing to be happy about, he said, adding: "Despite being the richest state in terms of natural resources, we are the least developed and have the poorest people in Malaysia.

"We were not so bad comparatively at independence, but 47 years on, instead of progressing forward, we have steadily fallen backward due largely in part to non-performing BN members of parliament who have failed miserably in their solemn duties to make our voices heard at the federal level," said Ng, who is Sarawak's PKR leader.

He said that they have even failed to raise the issue of the five per cent oil royalty. It was only by electing Pakatan Rakyat parliamentarians that the state has any hope of increasing it to 20 per cent as promised by the PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim himself.

"It is now the national policy of PKR," he said.

The non-performance of Sarawak's MPs was revealed by the deputy speaker of Dewan Rakyat, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.


Very low rate of involvement

"Sarawak MPs are among the least active when it comes to speaking in parliament, thus they have very low rate of involvement during parliamentary debates." he said.

He said that when it came to attendance, theirs was said to be among the best. Unfortunately, their mere presence is hardly noticed because they were not as vocal or aggressive as their counterparts from the peninsula and Sabah.

"I dare say Sarawak MPs are the least interested to speak. They seldom speak. More often than not their presence in the Dewan Rakyat is never felt because they do not seize the opportunity to be noticed," he had said this to reporters.

However, he had a lot of praise for the sole DAP MP for Bandar Kuching, Chong Chieng Jen for being very vocal.

DAP state assemblyperson for Batu Lintang, Voon Lee San, said that Barisan Nasional MPs by not performing or under performing have done a great disservice to the state.

"By not performing or under performing, they have caused slow infrastructure development and restriction of funds and foreign investments into the state as relevant ministries could not plan for the needs of the state.

"Issues on oil and gas royalty and the plight of the Dayaks being left behind from the mainstream of development including protection of native lands will not be solved," Voon said.

He added: "They should take political responsibility and resign. Parliament is a place where the voices of people should be heard and MPs should not take their tasks lightly. They are to lead the nation and should be very knowledgeable and capable to impart knowledge without fear or favour.


'Sarawak useless people's party'

"These MPs from Sarawak are under the political class known as Sarawak useless people's party (SUPP)," he said.

A Parti Rakyat Sarawak supreme council member Joseph Allen said that Dayak MPs did not speak in parliament because they lacked the materials for their speeches.

"What they should do is to make use of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA), Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU), NGOs and Dayak bloggers as their 'think tank' and to give them some issues. Not all that these people say are wrong," he said.

Allen said that they should mix more with these people so that they would know what were the needs and the problems faced by the Dayaks.

"They should raise issues like NCR land and environmental problems caused by oil palm plantations so much so that there are no fish in the rivers. Bring these issues to parliament. Let the prime minister know about them," he said.

He said that there seemed to be a tendency to leave the thinking to one man only, in the case of Sarawak, to Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.


Infected with the 'culture of fear'

After Taib had said it, the rest would follow suit and heaped praises on him, said Allen.

SDNU publicity chief John Anthony Brian shared the sentiments expressed by Allen and said that the Sarawak MPs did not have a clear master plan for the state and did not do what was relevant.

Further more, they had this "culture of fear" and anything controversial they said might jeopardise their chances of being renominated in the coming election. They knew that all issues were tightly-controlled by the chief minister and they were scared of him, he said.

Brian said that they, therefore, preferred to make up for the number only, but then they looked like idiots.

Another PRS leader Tedewin Ngumbang described the MPs' non-performance as tantamount to betraying their electorate and the parties they represented.

"Party presidents should call their MPs and strategise on what to bring up in parliament each time a session is on. Now the MPs have no clue what to bring up except routine matters only," he said.

Sarawak has 31 MPs, including one from DAP. Out of the 30 BN MPs, there are 14 Dayak MPs. Two of the MPs are made full-fledged ministers and nine deputy ministers.

Friday, June 12

Kapit is growing?

After an absence of more than two years, it is good to visit Kapit again where we met many relatives and friends. Although Kapit is perhaps the only town which is not connected to any town and other divisions, it is fast growing not only in terms of physical development, but also in other forms.

Kapit 'water front' project now under construction

The Kapit water front is believed to be one of the biggest projects now under construction in this little “Hong Kong” of Malaysia. (At night Kapit is very much like Hong Kong, where we can see many beautiful lights coming from houses built on top of hills.)

Cost of living is one of the highest in Sarawak. Fish like “ikan empilut”,ikan padi”, “ikan Labang” are now very expensive. Not to mention “empurau” which costs RM500 a kilogram, “tengadak” and “semah” cost between RM100 and RM300 a kilogram. Wild boar meat which was used to be a common dish in those days has now become a rare item. So are other jungle meats.

Fish like 'Ikan Empilut", "Ikan Padi" & "Ikan Labang" are now very expensive in Kapit

Prices for vegetables and jungle produce have also increased tremendously. Hotel accommodations and costs of houses have also soared up as a result of high costs of petroleum. A double storey house which cost RM250,000 per unit two years ago now costs RM320,000 and more.

On Sunday, Kapit is really packed with people and vehicles. It is said that there are more than 400 van “sapu” and 4,000 Kapit registered cars and several thousands other cars. As there are very little roads in Kapit, you can imagine cars and vans coming to the town, making Kapit the town of cars and vans.

Express boat is the only mode of transportation to Kapit

The people of Kapit put their blame on Dr. James Masing, Minister of Land Development for the lack of roads in Kapit especially a trunk road leading to other towns like Kanowit and Sibu. Masing, according to them, did not agree for the construction of the trunk road as there were no economic activities.

Actually it was not Masing who did not want the trunk road to be built. Like you and me Masing wants the road to be built. I am not defending him. As a loyal BN minister he has to toe the line. It was and now the State government policy under Abdul Taib Mahmud not to build the trunk road from Kapit to Sibu.

In a recent cabinet meeting, Taib argues that such a trunk road will make Kapit a “dead” town as everyone will not spend the night in the town. Secondly, the road has no economic value even though it will pass through literally hundreds of longhouses and will likely open up thousands of acres of NCR land for agricultural activities. And thirdly, the state government does not want the express boat and tongkang businesses to suffer.

But the State government will carry out upstream development and has in fact come up with a master plan which is part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy (SCORE). Three roads will be constructed: one from Kapit to Baleh dam and Putai which is about 56 km, another to Murum dam which is about 45 km and the third road to Bakun, another 68 km.

The construction of the roads, dams and other projects are expected to cost some RM 7 billion. Rumours being spread around are that the road to Baleh is allegedly given to Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), to Murum to Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and to Bakun to PBB.

Another road is being planned from Mukah to Nanga Merit, Ulu Kapit where there are coal deposits. These coal deposits are expected to run the only coal generated electric power in Sarawak. The mining of the coal is to justify the construction of nearly RM1 billion coal-generated electric power station in Mukah.

Although early this year, deputy minister of works, Yong Khoon Seng, announced that the trunk road will be built connecting Kapit to Kanowit and Sibu; initially the people of Kapit were happy, but it seems now that the proposal remains a proposal.

But the people in the interiors between Kapit, Song and Kanowit are just unlucky as they have to be contented with using rivers as their main communication and transportation. Can they wait for another 46 years for their dream road to be constructed?The Broken Shield

Source: www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 9

When will we ever learn?


The sad story of 200 folks from three longhouses – Rumah Anchoi Abit, Rumah Melaka Gana and Rumah Samsudin Sumping – located three and half kilometers from Machan Bazaar, Kanowit, is very well highlighted by The Borneo Post page 6 dated 8 June 2009.

These longhouses are accessible by boat through the Kanowit River which is their main source of water for sanitation and washing purposes. Most of the longhouse folks cast off their junk into the river as they have nowhere else to dispose them.

“We have been waiting for so long for the government to bring clean water supply to our longhouses,” said Ringgit Injing to the paper.

Sometimes, he said, they would go to Machan with big buckets to ask their relatives for clean water.

The folks of Rumah Samsudin Sumping claimed that in 1996 officers from the Kuching Water Board went to take samples of the water in Sungai Kanowit to determine its quality.

Said Ringgit: “They said that within six months after taking the samples, clean water supply would be possible, but until today, after 13 years, we have yet to see it.”

He said that every time there were events or festive occasions like gawai, the folks would walk to the nearby river bank to get water for washing and to go to Machan to get their drinking water from shop house owners or relatives residing in the area.

According to a villager, Mad Injing, 68, they have been doing this for last 50 years. “We asked through our YBs to provide piped water to our longhouses, but somehow our request went unanswered. Our YBs had sent hundreds of letters requesting for clean piped water from the authorities with no response.”

“How many more Malaysia plans (MP) would we have to go through before piped water can be channeled to these longhouses?” the people asked.

Yes how many more elections the people of the three longhouses have to vote for the Barisan Nasional candidates/YBs?

Being BN strong supporters, you know that you have been cheated; you know that they have broken their promises? But why are you continuing to elect your YBs, and in directly, elect the State government?

When will you, the people of the three longhouses, ever learn?

Even the newly elected YB for Batang Ai Malcolm Mussen Lamoh has started to worry that the BN State government may not fulfill its by-election promises.

According to The Borneo Post page 6 dated 9 June, Mussen said: “As the newly-elected representative in the area, it is my fervent hope that all the projects promised during the election be implemented as quickly as possible as a gesture of saying thank you to the voters.”

He said the projects totaling more than RM70 million would definitely give a great impact to the people in the area.

Why Mussen is getting worried is because the state election is around the corner. It may be held any time between year-end to mid-2011. So if the BN fails to deliver its promises between now and 2011, it may affect his chances in the State election.

But will they also ever learn after being cheated election after election?The Broken Shield

Source: www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com

Friday, June 5

A memorable Gawai Dayak

This year’s Gawai Dayak was one of the most pleasant and memorable occasions in several years for members of our family, although we missed our dear parents/grandparents – my father who was a pillar of strength and a beacon of hope for the family passed away on 1 July 1996 and our loving mother who had become a source of inspiration and love passed away on 28 February 2005. During Gawai they were the centre of our love and affection.

For me personally, it was a happy gathering of family members. My youngest son, an engineer with Shell, came all the way from Miri. His wife and a three-month old daughter were unable to come. Except for my third son, my two other children and their families were with us. However, my third son, who was in South Korea for his PhD studies, managed to call us that night before we “ngirup ai pengayu”.

As tradition would have it, our celebration began in the evening with a BBQ session and at the stroke of mid-night we prayed to God the Almighty and thanked Him for His protection and blessing. We also sought His guidance and blessing for the coming Gawai. Only then we drank “ai pengayu” and wished every one “gayu-guru gerai-nyamai”.

Celebrating Gawai at Kampung Keniong Jaya, Simunjan where I was born more than 60 years ago

As we do not live in a longhouse, but in a Malay-style of a village of 26 houses that make Kampong Sungai Samabang, Simunjan, the heads or representatives from the 26 houses have to assemble at the house of the Tuai Rumah to pay our first Gawai visit the first thing on the first day of Gawai (1 June). Then they next visited our house.

As agreed, 13 houses were to receive visitors (pengabang), while the other 13 houses would receive their guests the following day. This arrangement would enable every household to reciprocate each other’s Gawai visit. Visitors from other villages or longhouses could come any time, as the “ruling” only applied to folks of Kampong Sungai Samabang.

During the Gawai visit it was an opportunity to have met and talked to some of my relatives and friends whom I have not met for years. Some of them returned to the village once a year or once in two years as they worked in far-flung places like Johor, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

Later in the evening some of my family members went to another longhouse, Kpg. Keniong Jaya, where we met literally hundreds of relatives and wished them “gayu-guru, gerai-nyamai”. It was in this kampong where I was born more than 60 years ago.

For me this year’s gawai was just like walking down memory lane full with nostalgic feelings and sweet memories. It was indeed a memorable and pleasant one. – The Broken Shield

Wednesday, June 3

Sarawak PKR revamps leadership to face polls ~ Malaysiakini

Taken from: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/105715

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) today has announced a new list of leaders for Sarawak, an effort to strengthen the party in view of the upcoming state elections, which may be called any time between year-end and mid-2011.

The emphasis of the new leadership is on rural areas where Dayaks, after the March 8, 2008 parliamentary election, have now become significant numbers in the party, said Mustaffa Kamil Ayub, the newly appointed chief of the state liaison in a media conference today.

"The number of Dayaks in the party has increased significantly, especially after the last parliamentary election," said Mustaffa, who took over from Anwar Ibrahim last month as the liaison chief.

"It is important, therefore, we give an emphasis to the participation of the Dayaks in the party," he said, pointing out that PKR is now a real multi-racial party of Dayaks, Chinese, Malays and others.

He added that the initiatives taken by certain Dayak leaders to join PKR have opened the minds and eyes of their supporters so much so that they too have now joined the party.

To date, about 30,000 people had joined PKR and more applications are being processed, he said.


State leadership council to unify members

In line with the latest development in the party, it is therefore important for the party to reorganise its leadership at the state level with the formation of a State Leadership Council and various sub-committees, he said, adding: "This new structure is made more important in view of the coming state election.

The State Leadership Council, which would consists of leaders from various ethnic groups, would act as the state ‘think tank' responsible for implementation of policies and activities of the PKR Sarawak.

"It is hoped also that the formation of this council will bring the people of Sarawak closer to the party," he said.

Various working committees, Mustaffa said, would implement programmes and activities that have been assigned to them.

Appointments would take effect as of June 3, 2009.

Meanwhile, PKR Sarawak has now formed 14 divisions: Santubong, Petra Jaya, Stampin, Bandar Kuching, Kota Samarahan, Serian, Batang Sadong, Betong, Saratok, Sibu, Miri, Bintulu, Baram and Julau.

Another 14 divisions which are waiting to be approved include Batang Lupar, Sri Aman, Lubok Antu, Sarikei, Ulu Rajang, Lanang, Selangau, Kapit, Sibuti, Lawas, Mas Gading, Mambong, Kanowit and Limbang.

Discussions are also in progress for the formation of Mukah, Matu and Tanjong Manis divisions.

PKR Sarawak is forming its divisions based on the number of parliamentary constituencies, of which Sarawak has 31.

The following is the leadership and management structure of PKR Sarawak:

Overall adviser: Anwar IbrahimAdvisers: Hafsah Harun, Michael Bong and Dominique Ng

Chairman: Mustaffa Kamil Ayub

State leadership council: Gabriel Adit, Baru Bian, Nicholas Bawin Anggat, Granda Aing, Wan Zainal Wan Sanusi, Baharuddin Mohsen, Dr. Michael Teo, Jawah Gerang, Augustine Liom, Jimmy Donald and Abang Zulkifli Abang Ebgkeh (secretary)

Working committees: Piee bin Lin (Secretary), Mexlian Gombek and Zulhaidah Hadie @ Suboh (Assistant secretaries), Wong Huan Yu (treasurer), George Chen (Assistant treasurer), See Chee How (Information Officer) Norhanim Mohsen and Zulrusdi Hol (Assistant Information officers), Ibi Uding (Women chief), and Rahmat Aidil (Youth)

Election bureau: Mustaffa Kamil Ayub (chairman), Haji Baharuddin,Voon Shiak Ni, Boniface Willy Tumek, Munan Laja, Dr. Manssor Husin, Loo Chao Min, Harrison Ngau, Granda Aing, Zulrusdi Hol and Wan Zainal Wan Senusi

Strategy bureau: Granda Aing (chairman) and Wan Zainal Wan Sanusi

Education bureau: Dr. Mansor Husin (Chairman), Stanney Embat and Zurinawati Zaidel

Training bureau: Lokman Aba Ibrahim (chairman), Mumbang Hillary Mukit, Zulhaidah Subuh, Bobby William and Tan Tian Mine

Integration bureau: Paul Raja (chairman), Dr. Francis Ngu,Dr. Idwar Bakarudin and Lawrence Dick Sakalai

Policy bureau: Dr. Christopher Kiyui (chairman), Angela Baginda, Frankie Bedindang Manjah, Abang Zulkifli Engkeh, Dr. Lau Liak Koi and Mod. Said @ Beti Gapur

Welfare and health bureau: Abang Othman Abg. Gom (chairman), Dr. Michael teo, Vincent Sijem. Lina Soo, Hung Soon Hu and Cecilia Stanney

Land and human rights bureau: Augustine Liom (chairman), Ali Basah, Henry Joseph, Desmond Khoo, Arif Ameran and Ahmad Nazib Johari

Environment Bureau: Harrison Ngau (chairman) Simon Tiong, Maxlien Gombek and Ong Fook Fong