Monday, June 20

A sad story of Iban primary students

According to The Borneo Post story today (19 June), primary school students from four longhouses in Sungai Pak about a 45 minute drive from Sibu go to school before dawn, walking through narrow jungle paths to reach their school before day break.

Accompanied by their elders, mostly their parents and grandparents, and armed with torch lights, they climb rugged terrains in their thick undergrowth and walk on poles across streams to reach SK Nanga Pak.

Each day the children wake up at 4.00 am to prepare themselves, and in half an hour they are off on the rugged paths with school bags on their backs, even in heavy downpour.

Dudong assemblyman Yap Hoi Liang, who has been visiting them for three years, has been making appeals in newspapers on their behalf.

Now that he has been elected their representative, he told the Sunday Post that he would be marching into the state assembly with their pleas.

He said he wanted the plight of these children heard, and he wanted immediate action taken to improve the infrastructure for the longhouse folk.

These children, who number more than 20, are from four longhouses built closely together in Sungai Pak – Rumah Shandom Ajang, Rumah Janang, Rumah Sebastian Igom and Rumah Iweng.

A primary three boy, who only identified himself as Austin from Rumah Shandom Ajang, said his grandfather walked him to school but after school the children would gather themselves and walk back by themselves.

“I am used to it already,” he said but added that it was troublesome when it rained.

“We have to walk through mud when it is wet, and worse the path at the foot of the hills is always flooded, and we have to wade through the water, even at 4.30 am.

It is cold,” he said.

Austin said that they also encountered wild animals such as snakes and wild boars

Parents of these children are grateful that the school allows their children to stay in the teachers’ quarters when floods pose danger to the children.

Yap said that there used to be a gravel road through the jungle to the school, but it was never maintained.

“It became a jungle path again. I am disappointed with the neglect of these people,” he said, pointing out that these people had also lacked ‘water and electricity supplies’.

“They drink from the murky water in the drains beside the road,” the DAP elected representative said.

Questions need answers

(1) What happens to the slogan ‘1Malaysia People first Performance now’ as espoused by the Prime Minister?

(2) What has the BN elected representative been doing all this while?

(3) What are the authorities doing about it?

(4) What are our Dayak leaders doing about it?

(5) Don’t you think that it is a good idea that we elected Opposition members to highlight our problems when BN leaders are trying to sweep such problems under the carpet?

This sad story to me is a tip of the iceberg, and there are many more such stories that need to be exposed for the betterment of our rural community.


Apai irau said...

Definitely there are hundreds of longhouses that still not acessable by road ,needless to talk about treated water and electricity.My answers to the questions here are as follow:-1) 'People First Performance now 'is a rotten antique, a mere rhetoric.Without this slogan the YBs should have known their duties.2) BN is a cheat,in particular Sarawak BN-good at lying and promising but end up nothing.3)Lack of political will,especially among the Dayak YBs to bark for their community will result in the authorities to remain stagnant.4)So-called Dayak leaders nowadays would not dare to fight for their community,even giving them TUN title they wouldn't change,their representation in state BN are just to fill the quota of a divide and rule policy of Taib.5)voting for opposition is a must looking at the present scenario of the Dayaks problem.

Chakui said...

Bring Jabu to the place for him to see with his own eyes, that was what he called the tempo of development brought by the BN.Politics of development" by BN.

Augustine said...

I was a witness to such hardship way back in 1991 in Mujong, Kapit. 20 years later, conditions is still the same. Fuh!..

Peng James 9 said...

You Iban better shut up. It is good there is already a school for you. Why complain?

You stay in the ulu where it take time for the government to build roads and bridges into JUST the four longhouses. No economic returns!!

At least when your people do not get proper education, the surrounding Oil Palm estate can provide you jobs. Why go to school??

Just be patient please and do not go to the press when you feel like it. You have Tan Sri Jabu, Tan Sri Masing and Tan Sri Mawan to talk to. They will bring up your small little problem to the cabinet for discussion but you must continue to support the BN government.

Anonymous said...

You Peng James 9 are just a bloody fucker.The Dayaks also pay taxes like the other races.The budget are for all races,not only for people or race like you.The allocation involve billions and we became part of Malaysia for almost 50 years.Your reasoning that the Ibans stay in remote areas and as such not entitled to development holds no water.You can lick Jabu mawan masing or taib's ass holes because you shared their views to deprive the Ibans of everything.One day,you will be burried in the oil palm estate as you like it very much,with ulat sawit sitting on your body.F..k you.