Tuesday, July 26

The legendary Tra Zehnder

KUCHING: Sarawak mourns for the loss of two of the most distinguished personalities – the death of James Wong on Monday, July 18, who was one of the founding fathers of Sarawak’s independence within the federation of Malaysia, and the other is Sarawak’s first appointed Council Negeri (State legislative assembly) member Tra Zehnder.

Tra passed away on Friday night, the day when Wong was buried in Limbang. A few hundred people attended her funeral service on Monday July 25.

Both Wong and Tra, who had contributed immensely to Sarawak’s social and political development, had created history one way or the other and had set up exemplary roles for young Sarawakians.

For Tra, she was best known for her fight not only against injustice and unfairness meted out against the Dayaks by the colonial government, but her crusade against the exploitation and degradation of Iban women depicted on postcards as bare-breasted beauties which were also used as tourism ‘materials’.

Born as Philomena Tra on October 25, 1926 to Inting Jemat and Sara Unang, both Ibans from Simanggang, she married a Burmese Eurasian who was a colonial government officer. Through her marriage, she was placed among those in high society, an opportunity not many women, less of all Dayak women were able to enjoy.

Tra’s leadership quality was first spotted in 1957 by Mr. Jakeway, chief Secretary to the Sarawak Colonial Government when she was actively involved in Serakup Indu Dayak Sarawak (SIDS) which she used as a vehicle to fight against injustice and oppression against particularly the Dayaks.

She was the secretary of the association and later became one of its longest serving presidents whose tirade was against the exploitation and manipulation of Iban women posed bare-breasted as tourism materials and pictured in post cards for overseas “consumption”.

After repeatedly calling for such cards to be banned, the government finally gave in to her demands when pictures of bare-breasted women were removed from the walls and postcards containing the same were banned.

Known among the official circles as a fighter, it was not surprising that Tra was appointed to be the first woman as a member of the council Negeri. In the council which was dominated by men, she managed to make her presence felt through her oratorical skills and her eloquence in English which was the only language used in the Council.

One of her first demands was to call on the Colonial Government to recognise the existence of the Dayaks, their contribution to Sarawak’s economy, racial harmony and stability by declaring one day in a year as Gawai Dayak preferably to be on June 1 every year.

Although her request was rejected, she had, however, paved the way for Stephen Kalong Ningkan’s government to approve it.

Today, 46 years later Gawai Dayak has always been observed state-wide, and recognised nationally.

All these years, I have been giving and continue to give free and voluntary service. I have never thought of any reward to do my bit for the Dayak community. What I want is to see that the Dayak people especially the women to go side by side with the others. This is what I try to do”, she said to a reporter after the Council sitting.

Following Ningkan’s dismissal as chief minister of Sarawak in 1966, Tra was inspired by him into politics and was naturally chosen to lead the women division of Sarawak National Party until she resigned together with other leaders to form Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) in June 1983.

Like in SNAP, Tra used PBDS as a platform to travel state-wide in trying to instil political awareness among the Dayaks and self-respect among the womenfolk. As a result of her tireless efforts, thousands of Dayaks joined PBDS making it the second largest political parties after Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB). By 1990 PBDS was reported to have nearly 200,000 members.

Partly due to her age, Tra resigned from PBDS after helming the women division in 1988. Also leaving PBDS together with her were Vida Bayang, YB Gramong Juna and YB Mikai Mandau. Juna and Mikai joined PBB and brought with them their seats.

Tra was rewarded with the 'Temenggongship' for the Iban community in Kuching Division from July 1988 to March 1996. Upon the expiry of her term as Temenggong, she was appointed as the president of the Sarawak Natives Council of Adat which was tasked to codify all the natives Adat, culture and heritage. She held the post for six years.

For all her contributions she was honoured with Datukship and became the first recipient of Laila Taib award.

Monday, July 25

DAP cares for Dayaks?

KUCHING: Encouraged by the support given by the Dayaks in the recently concluded state election, Sarawak DAP has formally formed the Dayak Brain Trust (DBT) with the aim to understand the needs of the Dayaks, their concerns and their culture as it expands its activities into the rural areas.

Dr. John Brian Anthony, a Kuala Lumpur-based consultant has been appointed to chair it.

The idea of forming the Trust came about in the wake of the strong support of the Dayaks for DAP candidates in the last state election, resulting in some constituencies where DAP candidates winning with bigger majorities.

DAP’s six of the 12 seats were won due to the swing of Dayak support between 30% and 34% in mixed constituencies.

The Dayaks comprise the Ibans, Bidayuhs, Kayans, Kenyahs, Kelabit, Penans and other non-Muslim natives who form about 60% of Sarawak’s 2.4 million populations.

Sarawak DAP Secretary Chong Chieng Jen, who revealed this today, said that Dr. Brian is expected to recruit at least 10 more Dayak intellectuals to sit in the Trust which objective is to act as a ‘think tank’ for the DAP.

"The members of the Trust are not necessarily members of DAP. Intellectual Dayaks who have the interest of the Dayaks and the State are allowed to join.

“This Trust is set up for the purpose of giving advice to DAP on issues affecting the Dayaks and making recommendations and proposals to help the Dayaks,” he said.

“It is a consultative council to look at the welfare and concerns of Dayaks working in Peninsular Malaysia who are forced to leave Sarawak to work in Johor Bahru, Klang Valley and in other parts of the country.

“There are 45,000 Ibans in Johor Bahru and 40,000 in Klang Valley. Altogether, there are 125,000 Ibans working in various capacities in Peninsular Malaysia,” Chong said, pointing out that some of them are faced with hardships and are separated with their families.

Chong related a sad story of an Iban worker from Bawang Assan who worked in Johor Bahru. Due to his own problems at work, he was unable to look after his wife and children who were left behind in the longhouse. His wife had to divorce him.

“This man told us of his plight,” he said, pointing out that the majority of them are earning between RM1, 200 to RM1, 500 a month.

“It is a sad thing that they have to leave their longhouses to look for jobs in Peninsular Malaysia because Sarawak’s economy is stagnant.

“They are young and productive workers who can contribute to Sarawak’s economy if they remain in the state. Imagine, if more than 120,000 workers return to Sarawak, they can contribute around RM120 million to the state economy,” he said.

“These are some of the issues that the Trust can discuss and recommend to DAP which will in turn raise them in the Dewan Undangan Negeri or in Parliament,” he said.

Chong, who is the state assemblyman for Kota Sentosa, recalled that he tried to raise the plight of Iban workers in Peninsular Malaysia at the recent sitting of the state assembly and why they were forced to seek jobs away from home.

“I was debating the amendment bill to Land Custody Development Authority (LCDA) and attacking the state government’s development on native customary rights (NCR) land which only benefits the cronies and not the landowners.

“The fact that there are thousands of young and productive Iban natives going to Peninsular Malaysia to earn a living shows the failure of the government’s land development policy.

“This was when BN state assemblymen shouting at me and so rowdy were they that the Speaker forced me to sit down saying that I was touching on a very sensitive issue.

“They were really scared to hear the truth,” Chong said.

Thursday, July 21

Health problems of rural people ignored

KUCHING: Rural people in Bau district have to spend at least one day or even more to attend to their dental problems at polyclinic at Tanah Puteh, Kuching or to Kota Sentosa bazaar just because there is no dental unit at the Bau district Hospital.

“They have been doing this for the past 19 years since the opening of the hospital,” said Boniface Willy Tumek, a member of PKR Mas Gading Division.

“This arrangement is very inconvenient to patients from Bau especially those who are poor and have to depend on public transport,” he said.

He said that the government has approved a proposal some time ago to construct a two-storey building partly to house a dental unit in Bau, but for reasons undisclosed the construction of the building has been delayed.

“As a person coming from the area, I am inclined to ask what has happened to the project. Can our three elected representatives – Peter Nansian (state assemblyman for Tasik Biru), Ranom Anak Mina (state assemblyman for Opar) and the MP for Mas Gading Tiki Lafe do something about it?” Boniface asked.

“Tiki should be in the forefront in the health problems in the area, not because he is the MP for the constituency, but more so that he is a specialist doctor,” he said.

This is the second major project that apparently has been abandoned in the Bau and Lundu districts; the other abandoned project was the RM500,000 bridge which was supposed to be constructed across Batang Kayan near Kampung Selampit.

On the condition of the 68-bed Bau hospital, which was officially opened in 1993, Boniface said it is woefully inadequate to fully meet the medical and health needs of the growing population of the district.

“Currently there are five resident doctors serving at the hospital, comprising the hospital director and four other medical officers to serve the needs of more than 50,000 people of the district,” he said.

Due to lack of space, he said that the physiotherapy unit is housed at one of the buildings originally intended as a living quarter for the doctors.

“Equally pressing needs at the hospital are to have separate wards for the paediatrics and the maternity units.

“There is no separate government medical clinic in Bau town so health screening and out-patient treatment, including mother and child health (MCH) services are conducted from the A&E unit of the hospital.

“This has caused severe congestion at the A&E unit on most days, causing inconveniences to the patients and making working conditions a lot more stressful for the staff,” he added.

According to Boniface, the average occupancy rate of the hospital is at low of about 37% but this is not because of low numbers of the sick needing in-house (warded) treatment,

He said the availability of relatively good roads has made it easier for the sick to head directly for the Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching to seek specialist treatment and by-pass the Bau hospital, thus contributing, in no small way, to the severe congestion in the wards at the Sarawak General Hospital and under utilisation of the wards at the hospital.

Boniface said: “There is every reason to upgrade the Bau hospital to accommodate these much needed services in proper settings and the rakyat in Bau are now demanding for such an upgrading.

“In fact the government should upgrade this hospital to a specialist grade hospital. Such a hospital will serve as a referral centre for patients from Lundu District Hospital, who are in need of specialist treatment and this will help ease the congestion at the Sarawak General Hospital.

“The Lundu district hospital currently has a patient’s referral rate to Sarawak general Hospital of 63%,” he added.

He said that the people in Bau have been loyal ‘fixed deposit’ supporters of the BN government and giving them a specialist grade hospital will be one fitting and meaningful way for the government to reciprocate and to reward them for their fervent and untiring support.

“Towards this end, the people now call on the Federal Minister of Health Liow Tiong Lai, and their three elected representatives especially Dr. Tiki to take immediate and appropriate actions so that soon they may have a specialist grade hospital in Bau to serve them,” he said.

He urged the government to commence on the construction of the dental clinic as soon as possible, preferably before the year end.

He said Tiki who is a medical doctor and a native son of Bau should be able to help especially he was a deputy federal minister possessing the necessary network needed to deliver the hospital.

Sunday, July 17

Another victory for native landowners

KUCHING: The High Court in Kuching last Friday (15 July) declared as null and void the issuance of the Forest Timber Licence No. T/8329 to the Standard Point Sdn Bhd in native customary rights lands which are owned by more than 500 Ibans of Kampung Sungai Merah, Pantu.

The court presided over by Judge Sangau Gunting further ordered that the plaintiffs’ NCR precludes the first defendant (Standard Point Sdn Bhd) and second defendant (Roundtree Timber Sdn Bhd), from impairing or abridging the plaintiffs’ rights and a prohibitory injunction against both companies restraining them from trespassing, entering, clearing, felling and/or occupying the plaintiffs’ said NCR Land.

The court also declared that the 4th defendant (the Superintendent of Lands and Surveys Sri Aman) and the 5th defendant (Sarawak State Government) take cognizance of such NCR and to enter and record in their Land Registry such right and thereafter to issue title to the said Land in accordance with the Sarawak Land Code.

The companies were ordered to pay agreed costs of RM20,000 to the plaintiffs within one month from Friday July 15, 2011.

On the other hand, costs by the Superintendent of Lands & Surveys Sri Aman, the Sarawak State Government and the Sarawak Forest Director were ordered to be taxed by the Court unless parties come to an agreement on it.

The order was made following a legal suit filed by the plaintiffs, Martin Ak Lindang, Biju Ak Nyelang and Buang Ak Jala and 500 natives from two longhouses of Rumah Musih and Rumah Usek, against the two companies, the Director of Forests, the Superintendent of Lands and Surveys Sri Aman and the state government for encroaching into their ‘pemakai menua’ which has been ruled as their NCR land.

The order was also based on consent order that was entered on February 25 before Datuk Linton Albert for a declaration that the plaintiffs had acquired native customary rights (NCR) over the Land known as ‘pemakai menua’.

In their statement of claims filed in 2007, the natives claimed native customary rights over the said land as their ancestors were the first settlers in the area.

In March 2006 the plaintiffs found out that the first defendant had encroached into their land to extract timber destroying their farms, which are the source of their livelihood, and causing extensive damages and soil erosion on their land.

In Friday’s hearing, after six witnesses of the plaintiffs had given their evidence the two parties have decided to settle the matter amicably.

Judge Sangau then recorded a consent judgment and made his ruling for the NCR land case litigated earlier before Datuk Linton Albert (now a judge in the Court of Appeal).

Commenting on the case, See Chee How of Baru Bian Advocates who acted on their behalf said that the native landowners have added their names to the list of proud native plaintiffs in Sarawak who have successfully defended the native customary rights land.

“It is not only another victory, but a great victory of the natives,” he said.

Esther Wong Zhi Hua represented the companies while State Legal Officer Zainuddin Bin Hussaini represented the Superintendent of Lands & Surveys Sri Aman, the Sarawak State Government and the Sarawak Forest Director.

There are more than 200 NCR land cases that are pending hearing at the High Court, and many more are waiting to be filed.

The Baru Bian Advocates alone is handling more than 100 cases.

This victory should serve another eye-opener to the state government which has been accused of taking away NCR land which also includes ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pulau galau’.

Monday, July 11


Message from William Leong, PKR Treasurer

Dear ALL,

Fellow country-men/women & all,

Please pass this important message to all your relatives, friends and contacts (who are still Malaysians). Those living overseas please help to fwd this e-mail.

This message below is directed to All Malaysians.

If you are not a Malaysian, then take it for information sake. Politics itself is not dirty, but it’s people who make it dirty.... so it depends on which side of the fence you are in.


All Malaysians are duty bound to help each other to achieve a better life in our country. With the performance of the UMNO/BN for the last 52 years, especially the last 28 years, the country has been raped by politicians and their cronies. You know how arrogant they are; let us have look.

1. They are extending the APs to 2015! They are giving themselves free money.

2. This is daylight robbery. We are talking big bucks, billions from the rakyat (including Malays).

3. The taxes and duties on cars continue to be high to protect Proton but we the public pay through our nose. If the PR government comes into power we can expect prices to drop by at least 50% for imported cars.

4. Why are we paying these cronies our hard earned money so that they can drive around in their new and latest Ferraris, BMWs etc.

5. Have you noticed that they appoint themselves to high paying jobs and positions where they can also earn additional side income? Again these side incomes run into billions.

6. The Accountant General reported that RM 28B was wasted by you know who and for who. These figures probably do not involve the highly secretive arms contracts which run into billions.

7. Look at the way they snatched the Perak State government.

8. Look at the way they treated Teoh Beng Hock.

9. Look at the way they are trying to get Anwar.

10. Look at the Lingam's Royal Commission.

11. Look at the PKFZ delaying tactics, get one report after another, and then another and if necessary another and then only the small fish get caught and hauled to Court.

What a way to fool us? Either they are stupid or we are stupid. The abuse and cheating has been going on for far too long. Only you and I and together with all Malaysians who care can stop them.

Between now and the next General Elections we have to campaign now as if the GE is just 6 months from now.

Not only do we campaign, we must get our friends to get others and others to do the same. Let us not be fooled again and again.

Please start now, if 10 of us can each get 10 we will have 100 and if each of the hundred gets 10 we will have 1000. If we keep going, we will reach more than 10M active Malaysians to force a change.

This is a legacy we must give our children/grandchildren, they deserve better. The alternative is too horrendous to look at.

Look at Indonesia, Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan, all their old and corrupt parties have been replaced.

Malaysia is next.

What Independence ? On this August 31st, we shall celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the British leaving our country. I did not say we are celebrating the 52nd anniversary of our independence.

This is because our people have not enjoyed real liberty, democracy or justice. Without liberty, democracy or justice there is no independence. In these 52 years the oppressive rule of a foreign colonial master has been replaced by the oppressive rule of a local master... They rule with an iron fist.

They use the same instruments of oppression as the British did. They use the ISA, the Sedition Act, the Printing Press & Publications Act and detention without trial.

The freedom of assembly, the freedom of expression and the freedom to live a life of dignity free from fear and oppression are illusions. In these 52 years the yoke of a foreign colonial master has been replaced by the yoke of a local master.

They use the same policy of "divide and rule". They survive by feeding off racialism. They survive by fostering divisiveness. They survive by preaching religious intolerance.

What Teoh Beng Hock died for Malaysians will not know real independence, will not be free and will not enjoy democracy unless this oppressive regime is thrown out.

They must be thrown out just like Teoh Beng Hock was thrown out from the 14th floor of the MACC office. We must not forget Teoh Beng Hock. We must not forget what he stood for. More importantly, we must not forget what he died for.

He lived to help Malaysians in the struggle against corruption and oppression. He died so that our struggle can live. He died fighting for justice.

What Justice? Without justice we cannot say we have liberty or democracy or equal rights. We cannot say we have liberty or freedom when Tamil schools have no tables and chairs.

When in Sabah and Sarawak, schools have no electricity. A child that is illiterate is not free. We cannot say we have democracy or equal rights for women, when a Chinese girl with 9A1s cannot enter a university. A girl without a job has no rights. We cannot say we have freedom of choice when a man cannot feed his family.

A starving man has no choice. Liberty , democracy and freedom are meaningless words when there is no justice. Justice is political liberty. Justice is economic independence.

Justice is equality. There is no political liberty when you vote out of fear. There is no economic independence when you give your support out of fear your son's scholarship will be withdrawn or your license will be withdrawn.

There is no freedom of choice when you elect a party out of fear for your contract or your business. This is what has been happening in these 52 years and this will continue if we do not act.

There will be many more Teoh Beng Hocks and many more Port Klang Free Zones if we do not stop them.

What One Malaysia ? Najib says he wants One Malaysia.

Teoh Beng Hock’s death has shocked us back to reality.

We cannot just listen to rhetoric. We must look at the deeds.

When we look, we see what has been done, is a far cry from what has been said.

The Perak government has been stolen from its people.

Najib has now declared his intention to grab the Selangor government. The MACC is a tool. It is used to de-stabilize the Pakatan Rakyat government. Teoh Beng Hock was interrogated throughout the night.

He was grilled for buying RM2,400 worth of Malaysian flags. No one has been grilled when PKFZ loss RM12.6 billion.

The MACC officers are raiding the Pakatan Exco members’ offices so often they are becoming fixtures. Cars, cows and Malaysian flags have become a fixation of the MACC. MACC has not shown the same enthusiasm when it comes to BN assemblymen who used up their annual allocation of RM500,000 in 2 months before the general elections.

The MACC has also not shown any interest in the trips by the former chief minister and his family to study the river system in Disney Land. There is no investigation into how the former chief minister can afford to purchase a multi-million ringgit mansion that is beyond the means of a chief minister's salary.

Barisan Nasional machinery is now on the move.

Books attacking Anwar Ibrahim and Khalid Ibrahim are being distributed. The authors of these books are sowing the seeds of hatred and contempt.

They desecrated the Hindu's sacred cow in a protest filled with bigotry. They protested against a Hindu temple built 150 years ago when the area was a plantation that today, just like its devotees, the estate workers, had been left behind by development.

They have forgotten Muslims were invited to practice their religion amongst the people of Yathrib. They are beating the drums of racial and religious hatred and the tone is becoming harsher with each beat.

The people must now decide. There cannot be any fence sitters.

There is no middle ground.

When Teoh Beng Hock was thrown out, the people of Malaysia were thrown together with him into the sea of political troubles.

Whether Malaysia will sink or swim is now up to the people. The people must decide once and for all what is right and what is wrong. There cannot be a neutral ground.

Dante said: “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis.” Today in Malaysia there is no place for neutrality. Malaysians must make their choice now. If we want to know what is evil and what is right, we must use our moral compass. It is only when we know the direction where justice lies can we know where we must stand.

Do we want to choose liberty and justice which are always right or do we want to choose corruption, hatred, arrogance and oppression which are always wrong?

The choice is clear.

Every Malaysian must make his stand.

I want to tell you that when you stand for liberty, we will stand with you.

When you defend democracy, we will be your shield.

When you fight for justice, we will be your sword.

We will always be with you.

They assaulted *Anwar Ibrahim.

*They threw him in jail for 6 long years...

They call him a traitor and worse.

But Anwar will always be here to fight for you.

They hounded and harassed *Lim Kit Siang. *They detained him in Kamunting.. But Lim Kit Siang will always be here to stand by you.

They attacked *Tok Guru Nik Aziz *and tried to humiliate him. But Tok Guru Nik Aziz will always be here to protect you.

We have been tested. They have thrown everything they have at us but we are still standing and we are still here.

We were here in November 2007 when a sea of yellow marched for a free and fair election. This was *BERSIH*. We were here in December when thousands in orange marched for equality. This was *Makal Sakthi*. This was the ripple that started the tsunami.

Barisan Nasional was swept out of 5 states. Since then Barisan Nasional has become more extreme in their policies. They have become more brutal with the people. On 1st August, the lovers of justice and liberty marched again.. Again Barisan Nasional responded with violence and brutality. 638 people including women and children were arrested. Despite the police shutting down the city, despite the many road blocks and barricades, despite the arrest of those wearing black, the number who succeeded in gathering far exceeded my expectations.

But the size of the gathering cannot be bigger than my hope for Malaysia.

My hope is for every one that braved the tear gas and water cannons there will be many thousands more.

We want hundreds of thousands to march with us.

We will march from under the shadow of fear into the light of justice.

My hope is that the flame burning in each who gathered that day will kindle the hearts and minds of many thousands more.

Malaysians will find the courage to stand-up for principles and convictions.

We must stand up for what is right.

This is my hope and this is the hope of all Malaysians.

Truth, love and justice will prevail over the forces of hate and oppression. This will only happen when the silent majority refuses to remain silent anymore. This will only happen when the voice of the majority is finally heard.

We must be confident that oppression and corruption cannot endure. We must take comfort that truth and justice will always prevail. But this can only be achieved if we fight for it.

We must fight today for a better tomorrow.

Looking into the future, let not our children look back and say that these are dark days. Let them say that these are great days. These are the most glorious days that our country ever had. These days will be remembered as the days that when we were called, we answered. We stood up. We stood together shoulder to shoulder irrespective of race or religion. We fought and we prevailed. Each of us played our part according to our strength.

Our children and their children will look back on these days and celebrate it as the days we became *ONE NATION*..

These days will be etched in our Nation's history as the days we won over injustice and oppression. These will be the days we celebrate *THE TRUE MERDEKA.*

Thank you, Xie xie , terima kasih, vanakam...

Have a blessed day.








Sunday, July 10

DUN speech by YB Chiew Chiu Sing

Speech by Chiew Chiu Sing ADUN N59 Kidurong on the debate of Motion of Appreciation on Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri’s Address on 24th of June, 2011 in the Sarawak State Legislative Council, Kuching, Sarawak.

Mr. Speaker,

I rise to take part on the debate of Motion of Appreciation on Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri’s Address which was so graciously delivered by His Excellency the Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri in this august House on Tuesday, the 21st of June, 2011

Mr. Speaker,

I stand here today, humbled by the greater support which I obtained during the 10th Sarawak General Election from people of all races in Kidurong. I am grateful for the trust that had been bestowed, and I am mindful of my role to serve the people not just in Kidurong but all the peoples of Sarawak, from this oldest parliamentary institution in the country.

Mr. Speaker,

So many had been elected to serve in this Sarawak Legislative Council in the past 144 years of the history of our Legislative Council. We have been able to carry on, not just because of those before us , but because of the people of Sarawak who have remained faithful to the ideals of our parliamentary democracy, in our strife for freedom, justice, equality and that, all deserve a chance to pursue our full measure of happiness.

As we continue on with our journey today at the start of the second decade of the 21st century, it has become more and more important to me that the government from this oldest parliamentary institution must do better in upholding our parliamentary democracy, to help our young men and women to find job at a decent wage so that they do not have to go so far away just to make a living, helping our businesses to survive and grow, helping us to get ownership that we can have and afford or a retirement that will be dignifying- etc etc because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Let us be reminded that the success of our economy is not just on the success of a few big companies or foreign investments, but on the depth of the reach of our prosperity, on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart- not out of charity, because that is the surest route to prosperity for all. A nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous.

Mr. Speaker,

I mentioned about helping our people to earn a living, extending opportunity to every willing heart. But unfortunately, there had been much neglect especially with our women from the rural, trying to start their own little business to find a decent living here in the town.

All what many want to do is to sell some vegetables or food, so that they can earn some money at places where there are people around, in Bintulu they sell near Tamu, at the ABF housing beach, in front of the shops at MLNG Shop House near Fair Choice, Sg. Plan road side, outside the SK Kidurong , the open space in front of Sg Plan Shop Houses or even those at the Junction of the Bakun and Bintulu/Miri road and others.

These women sat for hours under the hot sun each days selling vegetables and sundries just to earn a few dollars. I cannot understand why the government cannot and had not been implementing more decent places, say, with a roof over their heads, or provide some fans for those at the Tamu, to let them do their businesses to make a living.

Life for them is already hard enough yet they have to face the constant fear of the enforcement officers coming ,chasing and snatching away their goods with no mercy, Or not even giving a bill of goods so taken, how would you feel when the things you try to sell is being taken away like that.

There is a Chinese saying, Women holds up half of the sky. Today in so many parts of the world, evidence has mounted that helping women can be a successful poverty – fighting strategy. Women are indeed a linchpin of development strategy.

Women starting business or working, contribute to the gross national product and when they made the money they help the education of their children, a brother or a sister, or younger relatives and when they have money to spare, they save their money and boost national savings rate. In a nod to the female chromosomes, this is called, ‘The double X solution ‘ in fighting poverty.

In 2001 the World Bank produced an influential study, Engendering Development Through Gender Equality in Right, Resources, and Voice, arguing that promoting gender equality is crucial to combat global poverty. UNICEF issued a major report arguing that gender equality yields, a ‘double dividend’ by elevating not only women but also their children and communities.

Mr. Speaker,

Longhouse folks living at 38 km from the Mukah town, near the Aluminium Smelting plant, in Mukah Division are experiencing health, environment and social problems . Nothing of this sorts of things ever occur to them for all their 20 odd years of stay there.

The longhouse folks there told me that when they go into their farms to find food, it is becoming harder and harder these days, their vegetables are not growing well as compared to the past, and when they try to sell them, people do not want to buy, and so, what can they do, they eat them themselves. Their fruits trees like the coconut, mango, star fruit and others are not fruiting well also like before.

Women staying in these longhouses, complain of dizziness, uneasy breathing, frequent coughing, pain in the bones and just generally not feeling well. The rain water which they are using have a different odour to it, bathing with it makes one’s body itch and drinking it could cause diarrhea to children. At times in the morning, smelly air would come gushing into their rooms not telling what they are breathing in over the night and day as well.

Bathing and washings in the ponds also causes much itching and when scratched, red dots appear over the body. One said that when the plant first started, fish in his fish pond also died. Today, there is hardly any more fish in there.

Longhouse folks there had gone in and out of the hospital about their suffering and medical people had come visiting them also but their problems still persists, nothing happens.

Mr. Speaker,

How can this be ? I mean the people had been staying there happily for so long already, and nothing like the above mentioned, has ever happened, but, when the Aluminium smelting plant is built, all is changed. Farms produce are not growing well, folks are not feeling well, water for use is becoming a bigger problem.

Government have to do something to help these people before things get even worst and whether the problems so faced by the folks there, is actually a direct result of the gas and water emission from the smelting plant. And to what extend is fluoride being leaked into the air.

If the answer is in the positive, like I have talked many times before in this Dewan about the ill effects of the aluminium smelting plant, shouldn’t the plant then be closed down pending further investigation, because we are talking increased production in the near future, from the present 50kt of aluminium ingot per year, to eventually 115kt per year, 2 times of the capacity now. And the greater problems that it will bring to the human lives and lives of the community of people in Mukah, plus also the implications that it is going to have on the people in Nyalau and Bintulu for the proposed few other aluminium smelting plants to be built at the Samalaju Industrial Park, Similajau, Bintulu. I know the eventual capacity of one of the proposed aluminium smelter is 1.5 million tons a year. That is 30 times that of the present Mukah plant capacity. And what about the capacity of the other two ?

Mr. Speaker,

The sweet promise that the the aluminium smelting plant which started about two years ago in the Mukah Division will create good employment for the local and downstream industries is not true. Most of the works there now are being done by people from other countries. There are no extrusion plants either.

Mr. Speaker,

Folks of Kuala Similajau who had been staying there since time immemorial, precious their way of life, the Similajau river and the sea. their precious their land , their culture and their civilization that they have wanted to stay on. Presently the river is giving them much fish and prawns and the bounty catches of fish and others from the sea, Kuala Similajua is giving them a living, had been giving them life.

They believe that development must benefit the people on the grounds also and we know that developments that harm the environment, land, water and life should not be implemented. There are so many developments projects which one can choose, let’s take the good ones. So the folks asked that the land near the bank of the Similajau river from the mouth of the river going in wards for about one thousand acres be earmarked to be Kampong Kuala Similajau.

Mr. Speaker,

In Sebatu, Suai and along the Bintulu/Miri road, many longhouses are still without pipe water supply. It is urged that, they be quickly connected with it. And I hope that this time there would be enough water trucks on standby to bring water quickly to these longhouse folks when they run low on water and this is not just for Bintulu only, but all divisions in Sarawak.

However there are some longhouses along the Bintulu/Miri road which have the pipe water supply, but the water cannot get up to their longhouses, like Rh Robert area, Rh Janting at the Mile 15, 16 Bintulu/Miri road and other places also. I therefore urge that the government to look into this matter immediately to resolve the situation.

Grid electricity supply is another thing. Some Kampongs and longhouses in Sebatu and the Bintulu/Miri road areas are still not connected to it.

The Suai road, leading from the junction at coastal highway near Niah going towards the Suai Bridge at the old Bintulu/Miri road need up grading and tarring. Let us be more caring for our rural also and give them a better road tar sealed and all. And let’s repair the holes on the roads, those that come off the main road, leading to the door steps of the long houses.

And what about the bridge over the Kerong stream for the Suai road, when is it going to get done. It is taking so long that even the access road at the side of the bridge is so damaged that smaller car can hardly passed at times.

Mr. Speaker,

During the May 2010 DUN meeting, I had raised concern on the extend to which beach development works at the Tg. Batu beach condominium is affecting the monsoon drain water flowing from the Assykirim area to the sea.

But during the end of last year there was a quite a heavy rain one time. The situation of the monsoon is then tested and it did not carry the water fast enough out to the sea, as had been supposedly slowed down by the embankment at the condominium beach development, as a result serious flooding occurred at places that had never been flooded before, like the road between Farly and Sing Kong super markets, Kpg Assykirin Ph one and Fortune park housing areas.

And would the Ministry let us know what is the present status of the situation as we would be approaching the monsoon rain again soon.

Mr. Speaker,

Big earth filling and other trucks, going through residential estates must slow down and make sure that they do not make a mess or damage the road badly. For example, folks at the MLNG Housing living along the inner 4 lane residential road (sorry no road name there) could actually feel the tremor in their houses, of the trucks passing by, not to mention of the dust and damage done to the road. The tremor had already caused hair line crack in the house at this early stage of the nearby sea filling works which could take many more years !

Similar problem is also true of the road from SMK Baru going down the hill to the Nyigu road.

The U turn after the traffic light near Sibiew Bridge, Btintulu/Tatau road, in the BBC Industrial estate, mile 5 B/M road is also damaged by the earth filling trucks, making it almost inaccessible for smaller cars. This side of the road there is often flooded, damaged and need urgent repair.

Talking about the road, folks travelling between Sibu, Bintulu and Miri on the old trunk road had been very unhappy with the road situation for a long time already. Many parts of the road are not only bumpy, of patches of repair and repair, causing much damages to ones cars, especially the smaller cars. The condition of the road is also making driving unsafe on this road.

Being the only road linking the whole state and with so much money being taken by the Federal Government from our oil and gas. The people feel that it is high time that giving us back a proper road or making the road into a 4 lane highway must be given high priority by the Federal Government. They have done some many many good roads in West Malaysia already, why can’t they do one good one here.

Mr. Speaker,

Land Owners of a large area of land of over 6000 sq. meter at Kampong Jalan Masjid, Bintulu are very concerned as their kampong land are going to be acquired by the Government for a Kampung Heritage Project.

They are weary because they have seen other private lands in Bintulu said to be acquired for public purposes though compensated, ended up for commercial buildings etc fetching in a lot more of the compensated price for the new owner.

It is therefore urge that whatever compensation to these land owners at Kampung Masjid, it must be reasonably and done with their interests in our heart also.

And with that Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

Thursday, July 7

DUN speech of YB Ting Tze Fui

June 2011 DUN Speech of DAP YB for Meradong Ting Tze Fui

Mr. Speaker, I am much obliged for this opportunity to participate in this debate in appreciation for the address of Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Dipertua Negeri Sarawak delivered in this August house on 21st June 2011.

First of all, I wish to record my heartfelt thanks to all the voters in Meradong to vote for DAP and yes, I am back! The Honourable Member for Bawang Assan, the “Motion King” of this State Assembly, your futile effort in suspending Opposition members one after another has enabled our leader, the Honourable Member for Bukit Assek to bring a strengthened troop of 12 to this State Assembly. Be assured, our leader shall lead perhaps, 24 of us back to this State Assembly in five year time, if you persist in your effort to expel some more of us from this sacred Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, this State Assembly housed in this grand RM300 million building sits for a a period of 16 days only per year, i.e a total of 80 days over the next five years. Therefore, there is so much wastage and under-utilization of this very grandiose DUN building. I do hereby strongly suggest that this State Assembly should sit at least 3 sessions a year so that the voice and plight of the people can be brought to this State Assembly more often.

Local Issues

Mr. Speaker, unlike the BN backbenchers in this August House who always start their speeches by giving the BN State Government or Chief Minister the most glorifying compliments they can ever think of, I would like to raise some local issues pertaining to my constituents in Meradong.

a. Water Disruption Problem

Mr. Speaker, water supply is most essential to all lives living.The frequent water disruptions occurring in particular in Sg Petai, Selidap, Sg. Bakong, Jalan KJD and Lemayong areas in my constituency have been particularly acute in the past year. Residents in these areas have been put to tremendous inconvenience, due to disruptions and insufficient supply of clean piped water. Many folks have been forced to buy drinking water at a great financial burden to the residents, especially to the lower income groups.

The persistent water supply disruptions reflect not only the serious internal problems of the local Water Board but they have demonstrated clearly the sheer incompetence of the staffs of the Water Board. Perhaps it is high time for all the staffs of the Water Board to cooperate and work together so that they may be able to find the root causes and the solutions to the water supply disruption problems which have been ongoing for all too often in Meradong for the past many months. It is also high time for the Honourable Minister for Public Utilities to get the staffs of the Water board to buck up.

The State Government has consistently claimed to have spent millions and millions on infrastructure developments and other amenities, yet on the other hand, there are numerous substandard and inferior services and problems such as water supply disruptions, regular electricity blackouts, poor roads and drainage conditions which remain long unresolved.

Therefore, if a country is unable to provide satisfactorily the very basic necessity such as water supply to all our countrymen, how is Malaysia going to achieve Wawasan 2020, and be elevated into an advanced nation in 2020?

  1. Rejang Bridge

Mr. Speaker, I wish to speak out on behalf of all the people in the Central Region of Sarawak that it is high time to abolish the Rejang bridge tolls.This is an utmost and earnest appeal, not a rubbish suggestion deserving to be dumped into a Trineken rubbish bin prepared by Minister for Land Development!

Since Woodville Sdn.Bhd, the concessionaire of the bridge toll has been fully paid in kind, doesn’t the State or Federal government have sufficient fund to buy back the bridge and let all bridge users free access? A Pakatan Rakyat government would promise to buy back the concessionaire’s right to collect bridge tolls and it would provide unrestricted access to all bridge users. The abolition of the bridge toll should spur faster economic growth of the West bank of the Rejang River.

Land issue

Mr. Speaker, in view of the many NCR landowners, whose land has been grabbed over the years by big corporations with the cohort of the State Government, it is just so sad to hear from the Government Ministers, especially Member for Layar to persistently condemning the Opposition as against development. But how ironic has it been for the Member for Layar, on several occasions, to lambast the Opposition to be so effective in suppressing and oppressing the natives?

When the Opposition does speak out, on matters relating to NCR landowners, rest be assured that we are all the way for all of you. We have your vital interests over your land in our heart. We want to protect your very legitimate claims over your land by speaking out loudly and clearly on your behalf and against indiscriminate and wanton land grabs by big or dormant companies.

I produce herewith a copy of the letter dated 20th November 2008 and signed by the permanent secretary of the Ministry for Land Development. The said letter has granted an approval to one company called Vertical Drive Sdn. Bhd. to invest and develop a total of 48199 hectares of NCR land in which 26596 ha. Is situated at KJD/lower Julau area in Meradong where many longhouses folks are being adversely affected.

How on earth can this dormant company, which was incorporated on 3.6 2008 beg ranted 48199 ha. of NCR land in less than 6 months time on 20.11.2008.

Does the Minister for Land Development agree that when more than 100,000 acres of land are being grabbed, there would be hundreds, if not thousands of NCR landowners who have inhabited on the said land for decades, who shall be displaced from their homeland permanently and unconscionably?

When large tract of land are being converted to large-scale cultivation of oil palms, inevitably there is little regard by the authority to the adverse environmental impact, in particular the effect of tree-felling in the water catchment area in Meradong which fall within the above stated 100,000 acres of land. Moreover due to widespread use of fertilizer it is unavoidable that the water supply would be polluted and poisonous thereby rendering long-term consumption of water from these areas unsafe.


Nowadays, the price of fertilizer, pesticides, and other agriculture chemicals have gone up drastically. In Meradong, farmers can hardly get any form of subsidy from Jabatan Pertanian. Yet they have to virtually beg for the supply of fertilizer through BN elected representatives.

When the Agricultural Department’s role as administrative department has been usurped by BN elected representatives, who are supposed to be lawmakers, what function does the Jabatan Pertanian serve really? It seems the agriculture department only exists in name!

Mr. Speaker, Sarawak has millions and millions of hectares of fertile land laying in waste and idling. If the State Government has been more pro-small farming, Sarawak would not have to import 70% of its rice requirements while West Malaysia is 70% self-sufficient in rice consumption.

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken at length before in favour of granting small acreage of farm land to small farmholders for the purpose of cultivating rice, fruits or vegetables. To-date, hardly any small plots of land have been granted to smalltime farmers while thousands and thousands of acres of valuable land are one after another, alienated to big corporations or CM related companies. In the process, millions and millions of RM are being made by greedy middlemen, family members or brokers.


Mr. Speaker, the gentlemen across the Bench may gloat about the fact that you still have an absolute number of 56 and that there are only 15 of us on the Opposition Bench. But rest be assured that our number may be small but we shall speak out without any fear for all Sarawakians.

Now that the 10th Sarawak State Election is over, there are some pertinent facts which are clear and emerging. The opposition has gained 45% of the total votes cast and yet there are only 15 of us here. But the BN with 55% of the votes have 55 seats in this State Assembly.

Why? Pure and simple, it is the grossly unfair gerrymander found in our electoral system that has been blatantly manipulated and perpetrated by this BN government to entrench its stronghold of political power. The concept of 1 vote 1 value and proportionate representation have long been thrown out of the window. Many young people who are residing and working outside the State have all been robbed the right to vote and disenfranchised unreasonably.

Under the present gerrymandered electoral system, 7 out of the 71 seats have more than 25,000 registered voters while 26 seats have less than 10,000 voters each.

Mr. Speaker, how to justify the seat of Pending having 29,488 voters while the neighbouring seat of Satok has only 10,431 voters? How do you justify Palawan comprising 28,808 voters while the neighbouring seat of Nangka merely has 14,197 voters? There are such seats, eg. Daro having only 7,305 voters and Layar merely 8,109 voters.

**Mr. Speaker, we cannot continue to have these grossly gerrymandered and distorted electoral boundaries to persist. SUPP has been marvelously silent and completely incompetent on the issue of electoral reforms for the past 40 over years. It has utterly failed to fight for extra seat allocations or to have the electoral boundaries redrawn so that more seats could be created justly in favour of the urban voters.**

Mr. Speaker, we need to urgently introduce vital reforms to the current state’s unfair, unrepresentative and undemocratic electoral system to reflect the true essence of democracy, i.e 1 vote 1 value. We genuinely require a fairer and truly representative electoral system that is not biased against any particular ethnic group or geographical location.

Mr. Speaker, if the Chief Minister is truly sincere in upholding real democratic principles and ideals, he shall without hesitation and strongly endorse my calls for genuine electoral reforms. The Chief Minister’s claim of being the Chief Minister for all Sarawakians would run into the smack of the face of democracy and his so-called vision of all inclusive politics to look after the interests of all races in Sarawak would only sound like a smokescreen, if he is against bona fide reforms.


Truly, the Chief Minister has been the longest serving CEO of this sizable state of Sarawak which has tremendous wealth and natural resources, from water, land, timber to minerals, oil and gas etc. On the other hand, Singapore, the size of the Bakun Dam and without any natural resources is such a great contrast to Sarawak undeniably.

Mr. Speaker, 30 long years at the helm of the political power in Sarawak should have enabled the Chief Minister to turn Sarawak into the richest state in Malaysia. What is so sad for the Chinese community has been to hear from this longest serving Chief Minister to utter a regretful statement to the effect that after 30 years in power, he did not know what the Chinese community really wants.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to tell the Chief Minister loud and clear the Chinese community wants things like open tenders, less nepotism or cronyism, elimination of corruption and crimes, equal treatment of all races, automatic renewal of all expiring land leases with a nominal sum as premiums together with the lifting of Section 47 impositions soonest possible; to help to achieve the full recognition of Unified Examination Certificate; the reintroduction of local council election and to assist to eliminate the perennial controversy over the award of scholarships; to fight for extra oil royalties from 5% to 20% which would generate extra yearly RM6 to 7 billion for Sarawak; to abolish the Rejang Bridge tolls and to achieve a truly Malaysian’s Malaysia, People First, and not Family First. These are the important things which are dear in the heart for which the Chinese community wants the Government to display greater understanding, redress, concern, assistance or concrete actions to be taken.

Mr. Speaker, the Chinese community has repeatedly urged the Government to provide annual financial grant to Chinese Independent schools. Yes, Chief Minister has given a token gesture by granting 2,000 hectares of land prior to the 416 state election, possibly in the most remote part of Kapit Division.

Sarawak belongs to all people of Sarawak. If the Honourable Chief Minister as the Minister of Planning and Resource Management was able to grant hundreds acres of prime land to a dormant company ' Monarda Sdn. Bhd.' In which CM's son owns 52 percent of the total shares, why can’t he just endow 27 acres out of 270 acres of prime land to all the Chinese independent school in Sarawak which would benefit not just one person only but thousands and thousands of students statewide?

Generally, Mr.Speaker, people want a fairer and more egalitarian society wherein they are being treated equally like all other races, to be given more business and public service opportunities and equal distribution of natural resources and wealth.


Now, one thing both the Opposition and the Members of the Government Bench can share joyfully is to position ourselves together for the final countdown of the century and to witness the historic grand finale of this undoubtedly the longest serving Chief Minister of Sarawak, after all of us have been waiting an eternity for the last curtain to be drawn.

Brain Drain / Labour Outflow

Mr. Speaker, the problem of brain drain stems from social, economic and political injustices embedded in this society plus a system of perpetuated built -in discrimination. Whatever awards, tenders or privileges given out should be based on merits irrespective of race, religion and gender.

Mr. Speaker, it is a fact that Government revenue comes from various avenues of direct or indirect taxes imposed or derived from all tax-paying Malaysians and companies with registered businesses in Malaysia. The caretakers of the public funds are the Government of the day and the public bureaucrats who are supposed to utilize and dispense the public funds fairly and prudently.

Sadly, we are faced with the yearly and persisting situation of Malaysian Public Services Department in bungling and thereby denying the JPA scholarships to 363 top scoring 8A+ students in the SPM examination this year.

**This State Government has failed year after year to show any care and concern towards this never-ending problem by failing to make any effective representations to the Federal Government to redress the balance so that the perennial and unjustifiable scholarship awards can be rectified to the satisfaction of all concerned.**

Mr. Speaker, regrettably may other countries such as Singapore would be glad to offer our disappointed bright students to their countries for further studies of their choices, many of these top students, upon completion of their tertiary studies would unlikely return to serve Malaysia or Sarawak.

Mr. Speaker, when so many of our young professionals leave our country, our state, where are we going to find qualified staff and skilled labourers to serve our labour needs of our schools, hospitals and industries, especially SCORE which the State Government claims is going to generate thousands and thousands of job opportunities?

We have been a good net exporter of skilled and qualified professionals, but even a bigger and greater importer of unskilled labourers which number amounts to about seven million nationally, which is equivalent to a quarter of the nation’s population. So what is the State Government going to do with our industries so dependent on the influx of unskilled labourers from Indonesia, Bangladesh or the Philippines and so forth?

There is no wonder that in the past 20 years, a million Malaysians have emigrated overseas. In Sarawak the worst hit is the central region where Sibu, Bintangor, Sarikei and the peripheral towns are more and more like retirement towns because most of the young and able-bodied people are working elsewhere overseas or in West Malaysia.

Mr. Speaker, this is not caused by the Opposition! This sorry state of affairs is the direct consequence of the BN unfair rule for the past half a century.


Mr. Speaker, the result of the recent Sarawak State election clearly demonstrated that people are demanding changes, real changes! It is hoped that with this in mind the State Government will show genuine care and concern for all the people in Sarawak. As the Opposition members have been duly elected by more than 45% of Sarawakians, it is further hoped the Government shall treat us with due respects.