Sunday, May 13

Penan headman demands full apology

KUCHING: Penan headman Juwin Lehan of Long Win village in Tutoh, Baram demands from a local newspaper, the Borneo Post  a full apology and retraction of the article with the headline ‘Penan sever ties with rights, environmental groups’ which was featured in the page two of the paper on May 8, 2012.

Juwin in an telephone interview today with BRIMAS (Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia) said that what was written in the paper were false and he never knew there were journalists present recording his meeting with the Miri Resident, Antonio Khati Galis and the Penan Community leader Temenggong Datuk Hassan Sui at the former’s office.

“I was invited to the Resident’s Office by Temenggong Datuk Hassan Sui for a meeting with the Resident and himself and initially, I was not sure what the meeting was about,” said Juwin.

Later, when Juwin and his wife went to the Resident’s Office, he learnt that the meeting was to inform him that his name has been short listed as a candidate to be a Community Chief or Penghulu.

“During the meeting, apart from the Resident and the Temenggong there were a few other people present whom I do not recognise.

“They asked me questions about my involvement with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and warned me that I would not be qualified to be Penghulu if I continue to work with NGOs,” Juwin said, denying that he ever made a statement that said that he was misled by local and foreign human rights groups including Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth Malaysia).

He also denied that the Penan communities had not benefited from the funds raised by the groups to assist their community.

“All I said was the Penans are still lagging behind other communities. However we are not against development and we are willing to work with anyone who is willing to assist our community be it the government or the NGOs.

“I am very disappointed with whoever was the mischievous reporter who had very irresponsibly and unethically put words into my mouth and distorted what I had actually said during the meeting.

“In any case, I am not desperate for any position, Penghulu or otherwise,” added Juwin.

Meanwhile, BRIMAS Executive Secretary Mark Bujang alleged that Juwin was misled and trapped by the Resident Antonio Khati Galis and Temenggong Hasan Sui to come to the office and to condemn NGOs.

“They wanted to make use of him to say bad things about NGOs in exchange for a Penghulu appointment.

“They have their own reasons and motive for doing so,” said Bujang, pointing out that BRIMAS was disappointed with the article in their daily alleging that the Penans were being manipulated by the NGOs.

“The media should be more responsible in their reporting and should not distort the truth to benefit certain people in power,” he added.

It is understood that some NGO lawyers are studying the statement made by Juwin to the Borneo Post and are trying to get his full details  before deciding whether to take legal action or not.

In the article, Juwin was quoted to have said that the Penan community in Baram had now realised that local and foreign human rights groups never really cared for their plight when they claimed to champion their rights locally and internationally.

He said that the community from Apoh Tutoh in the interior of Baram had now realised that they had been taken for a ride and misled by these groups including Sahabat Alam (Friend of the Earth).

He said that they were showered with many promises and they said they would bring changes to their community.

They were all just empty and sweet promises as nothing good had come out from their promises, he said, pointing out that they were fooled by the groups to erect blockades in the interior of Baram.

“Funds were raised internationally by the groups but none was given to the community and they had not benefitted from the funds raised,” he added.

The Penan chief said that his community no longer wanted to have any connection and relation with those organisations.


FairviewBetong said...

If my memory serves me correct, there is an umbrella organisation called FORUM that holds the small tribe organisation together. YBhg Usay Murang is the chief of Saban Association, Likewise the Kayan, Kenyah and other ethnic Orang Ulu groupings do have their own association under FORUM. I believe that the Penan do have one themselves. Datuk Hassan Sui has been linked to the Penan affairs consistently. The advisor of FORUM when it was formed was our Hogansiau YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Alfred.

Having said that, it would have been more appropriate if this so called Penan Headman could have consulted YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Hogansiau Alfred instead of expressing his "denial" in this blog.

My point here is, the dayak race must continue to respect and practise our culture-of-loyalty and prior consultancy and consent of our leaders.

Let this message be also a reminder to the Dayak Iban that no matter what your political linkage belongs, where it involve issues that affects the community, a wise and wisdomful advise from YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Alfred and his two assistants should be first sought.

Bejalai Betungkat Ke Adat, Tinduk Bepanggal Ke Pengingat.

Idup Tan Sri(s).

Apai Semalau said...

The Borneo Post like the New Straits Times and Berita Harian are run by opportunistic BN propaganda writers. They put the journalists profession to shame by their malicious tendency to cook up stories and garbages to please their political masters. Deception is their tool of trade. They can fool us once but they can't fool us all the time!

Anonymous said...

saman aja surat khabar pengampu nya.

Surat Khabar Lama said...

Who wants to read 'good news' in local news? Nobody..!
Everyone wants to read 'bad news', 'manipulate news', 'khabar angin'. Our local news reporters are expert in manipulating the truths though they very well know that it is all LIES..!
You can manipulate the truths, but the real truths are out there. And you can't stop the truths.
I don't trust our local news or damned fool pathetic reporters.

Apai irau said...

The basic principle of journalism is to dessiminate information without fear or favour.Nowadays,that principle is just a mere theory appeared in the books.Press nowadays are only interested in sales of their papers by reporting one sided story which,most of the time is to damage certain parties especially if the papers are owned by politicians.Even if the papers are not owned by politicians,the reporters can earn from unfair reporting.

No bend, no ringgit no sen said...


No wonder real Sarawakians can never move forward. You have the government, community leaders, newspapers all bending under the weight of the BN government.

If you want to make somebody leader, invoke the adat ...there are traditional ways of doing this...what are these people ...? Scums or waht? Own adat no good. Money good? This is genocide!

On TV and in news they blah blah adat!

Kuhing people said...

Sarawak , Sabah should just get the hell out of Malysia

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