Thursday, April 7

Why Lihan Jok did not want to contest!

KUCHING: Isn’t it rather unusual for an elected representative to decline defending his seat for the third time, if he is from Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), the party that is the backbone of the state Barisan Nasional government?

Unusual, because there are others in the party who have served five terms or even six terms, and yet they demand to be re-nominated; sometimes, they ask their supporters to demonstrate urging the Party President to consider nominating their “wakil Rakyat” to defend their seats.

For them, they believe there are bigger economic pies, more opportunities to be rich and wealthy and the likelihood to be appointed to government posts of prominence.

But for Lihan Jok, he seemingly does not want all these. Instead he wrote to the Chief Minister and President of the party Abdul Taib Mahmud requesting to be dropped from the list of candidates for the coming state election.

After the last election, Lihan’s fortunes seemed to rise especially after he secured the Telang Usan seat for the second consecutive time with a bigger majority of 2771 votes. In 2001 his majority was 1,029 votes. Certainly, in the coming election, Lihan is still a winnable candidate.

But why does he decline to defend the seat?

According to Harrison Ngau, a lawyer and activist, Lihan is scared of his own shadow that has been haunting him since the state government announced to build two dams – one in Tutoh and the other at Long Keseh, Baram River.

In a meeting with the people in September 2010, Lihan described the Baram dam as the “gift of God” and the people should not only be thankful to God, but also to the State Barisan Nasional government which is proposing to build the dam.

“I am not ashamed to say that the mega project is a gift of God because as a result of the project the government will build a 60 km road from Long Lama to Long Keseh, benefitting about 12,000 Kayans from nine longhouses along the river,” he said.

The proposed road to link all the longhouses along the Baram River before the dam was ever conceptualized, more a wish for a better life for the people.

“What I am saying is that if there is no Baram dam, there won’t be any road being built. It does not make economic sense just building a road like that. The proposed dam justifies the building of the RM500 million road,” he said.

Lihan’s remarks drew sharp rebuke from educated Kayans and Kenyahs, many of them were his former students.

One former student asked him if he has the brains of a monkey by saying that dam is the gift of God.

Another former student said: “We don’t want that dam. It is not a gift from God, but it is a curse from hell, and we ask him not to lie to the Kayan people. Does this ‘bloody idiot’ hope to get a timber licence or what?”

Another Kayan intellectual said: “Perhaps Lihan thinks Taib (Chief Minister) is God. This road is only marginally beneficial to the ordinary rakyat and will benefit timber robber barons.

The dam, which we don’t need and which the people will also have to pay for, is only an excuse for Taib, his family and cronies to clean sweep all the remaining timber in the area. Then they will take the remaining land for oil palm plantations.”

A Kayan himself, Lihan and the 12,000 Kayans whose longhouses are below the Baram dam may be happy with the “gift of God”, but if you look into a bigger picture, as Burak S. Sam, an Orang Ulu leader sees it, the dam will present a completely different scenario.

“Once the dam is built, more than 10 longhouses comprising more than 10,000 Kayans, Penans and mostly Kenyahs and their farms, crops, fruit trees, century-old graves, livestock will vanish under a big lake which will reach Lio Mato, the furthest Kenyah longhouse in the Baram River.

“Schools, churches, chapels, clinics and places of historical significance to the Orang Ulu community will also be wiped out. The heritage of their forefathers and the pride of the community like Temenggong Oyong Lawai Jau (one of the founding fathers of Malaysian), Penghulu Tama Bulan Lian, Penghulu Jok Ngau, Penghulu Kebing, and Penghulu Nyipa will just remain as fairy tales for our posterities.

“The resulting destruction and annihilation brought about by the flood from the dam is irrevocable and massive. So is this the fate that the so-called God-given dam will bring about?”
asked Sam.

With the proposed dam, there are no longer talks of perimeter survey of their native customary rights (NCR) land and all issues of minor rural development projects will no longer be relevant.

The proposed 1000MW dam which is to cost more than RM1 billion is expected to submerge more than half of the Orang Ulu “land”.

Memorandums after memorandums have been submitted to the government expressing the people’s fears and urge the government not to proceed with the Baram dam.

The natives even ask for reports of the studies such as environmental assessment impact, social impact assessment, and other studies to be discussed openly and debated, before the construction of dam begins. But the government refuses to oblige.

A signature campaign to oppose the construction of the dam is being conducted among the Kayan, Kenyah and Penan communities. Their target is to collect at least 20,000 signatures.

The signatures campaign will form part of a memorandum to be submitted to the Federal Government, state government, Suhakam and to the United Nations on human rights.

“Hopefully, this memorandum will exert great pressure on the state government,” said one of the organisers.

Apart from the Baram dam issue, Lihan Jok also faces problems on native customary rights (NCR) land that is being licensed out allegedly by his boss Taib.

Huge NCR land areas in Sungai Tutoh and Sungai Apoh have been licensed to Pusaka KTS Forest Plantation Sdn Bhd.

“He cannot question or ask Taib to cancel all these, even though at the same time the Telang Usan people want Lihan as their elected rep to speak out for them.

“Lihan realises that Telang Usan people are very unhappy with the present perimeter survey of NCR land there which fails to follow their ‘garis menua’ or ‘antara’ (boundaries),”
said Harrison.

“With all these problems confronting him and thousands of native people are against the dam, do you think Lihan wants to defend the seat?” asked Harrison, who is a potential candidate for Telang Usan.

Telang Usan used to be the stronghold Sarawak National Party from 1963 until 1987 when its elected rep the late Joseph Balan Seling leap-frogged to PBB.

Ever since then, it has become the stronghold of PBB.


Anonymous said...

Quite accurate write up. However to add, he is still in the picture in the form of the new BN Candidate in Telang Usan, Dennis Ngau, his mentee and nephew. Despite overwhelming request for Robert Laing to be the candidate by the locals and their community leaders, Jabu chose to overrule and endorsed Dennis because he is the other side of the coin of Lihan. ie. the ghost of Lihan will continue to haunt the Telang Usan voters over the coming years should he won!

tuai bilik said...

Just look at this person whose ideas in his various statements are not consistent.

" SNAP is dreaming. It would be difficult for SNAP to win any seat in the coming state election." Patau said (Borneo Post dated 22.1.11)

Yesterday, he said he would campaign for SNAP.

Anonymous said...

I solute u Lihan Jok. U have tried ur very best as a wakil rakyat Telang Usan. No matter how people criticise u. My ur future be bless. Thank U

Anonymous said...

Lihan Jok thank u for your services to the people of Telang Usan. You have tried your very best. There are always criticism but you have done well. Thank U God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Sorry just wondering why is dayakbaru blog suspended. No mirror image.
Suspended when it is wanted the most.

Mata Kuching said...

Spare a thought today for the plight of the Penans,Dayaks,Ibans,Bidayuhs and Sarawakians.

The multi billionaire thief minister of Sarawak Taib Mahmud who had robbed us for 30 years and refusing to go anytime soon, could even afford to pay up to RM2 million for three imported Bomohs to accompany him to file his nomination in Balingian on April 06 2011. While sipping your coffee and tea during your breakfast, it is time to reflect and think what you and Sarawakians have benefited from the UMNO controlled BN government?

What did the violent demonstrations and uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya ,Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and Iran teach us ? These countries also have developments, good roads, electricity, education, health care services and a elected government but why were the people so unhappy and angry? It is because the rural populations were neglected and marginalised. The ruling government had abused their power, massive corruptions by lawmakers, oppressive and repressive policies and there was no freedom of expression. And their leaders had enriched themselves, families and cronies like the thief minister of Sarawak and UMNO controlled BN leaders and lawmakers.

Sarawakians and all Malaysians must vote for change to save our Sarawak and our beloved Malaysia from been milked dry by Taib Mahmud and UMNO controlled BN government. We can no longer entrust our future, our children’s and their children’s future to UMNO controlled BN government anymore.

A vote for BN is a vote of approval for the thief minister TAIB MAHMUD and the highly corrupted , oppressive, repressive and abusive UMNO controlled BN regime.

PKR on hire said...

Dayakbaru is busy with his campaign activities in Meluan. During nomination day, Chua Jui Ming, Dato' SNG chee Hua and Mr. Ricgard Lias were there to lend moral support. Trust me that Sng does not come (to meluan) with empty hands)

Voters in Meluan believe that the PKR candidate (as well as all PKR candidates) are well financed by Tun Rahman through Haji Baharuddin and Baru Bian (being the PKR chief in Sarawak) as hinted by Dominique Ng's statement in the Borneo Post.

Of course their assignment are to SPLIT SNAP votes in Dayak Areas to ensure that BN wins the seat.

SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! THAT PKR IS FOR HIRE!!!!!!!!and being used by BN Sarawak to spoil SNAP votes.

Baru Bian is a hypocrite.

nqis said...

like your blog mate. Fight for ur right especially for our Rumah Panjai ppl

Lau said...

Kick out the two dirty old men !
Kick out the two dirty old men !

Anonymous said...

Hi guys, to tell you the TRUTH. LIHAN JOK is actually been DROP from the list to be re-nominated. He knew it earlier than the rest as he got the info from Jabu (as you know he is Jabu's bag carrier, which is his job now). So to save his face, he announced it before the people know it. Many leaders already know earlier than him,hey just don't want to humiliate him like how he did to others.
Reason is the top leaders had received so many complaints from kampungs on his very poor performance as "wakil rakyat" for many years. So STOP compliment him that he "has done a good job" as he still owe kampung in Telang Usan more than RM10 million of "empty promises" in the course of 10 years (just ask your TK) Actual truth, he's is a shame to Orang Ulu people as a very unwise leader who "Luck bring him to the top, his stupid character bring him down" (as oppose to "Charisma can take you to the top, but only character can keep you there"
Now, stupid Jabu still listen to him rather than listen to rakyat, he choose Dennis Ngau who is Lihan mentee, to pursue his crashed dream. But the question is, can he fooled the people of Telang Usan?

Anonymous said...

Dear all, please stop wasting your time gossiping around. Whatever it is, please let go your PHD (perasaan hasad dengki). Do something that benefit to your own self, family, community, at least. Else, Orang Ulu will never succeed because of the PHD. Grow up OU. YB LJ has done alot of developments for Telang Usan, and yet the Telang Usan people never even notice that (the real fact is, you people know but the PHD is too much).