Saturday, July 7

Guns, threats won’t scare us, say natives

If the government continues to remain aloof from clashes between natives and oil palm companies, then it should be prepared for a bloodbath.

KUCHING: Despite two attempts on his life by workers allegedly from Palm Raya Pelita, Semawi Anak Renang will not be intimidated in defending his native customary rights (NCR) land and that of 25 other families.

Instead the threats against him and the other landowners of Rumah Randi, Selangau, have made them more determined than ever to defend their 3,000 hectares of land

Last Wednesday, the landowners organised a “sandau hari” (a ceremony in preparation for war) invoking the spirits of their forefathers for assistance, strength and courage following the second attempt on Semawi’s life.

The latest attempt on his life was made on July 2.

According to Semawi, he was on the way to take his bath in a river near the longhouse, when he saw two 4WD vehicles, one of which was blocking the road.

He went to the driver to ask him to remove the vehicle, when suddenly another vehicle rushed at him.

He was hit and thrown into the bush. Both vehicles hurriedly left the scene.  Several people witnessed the incident.

His wife Leman Anak Senang claimed that one of the managers from the company met her, offering RM20,000 to pay for her husband’s medical expenses, and urged her not to report the incident to the police.

She turned down the offer and lodged a report with the Selangau police station. Semawi is now in Sibu General Hospital.

Semawi’s home shot at

The first attempt on his life was made in the early hours of May 25 when strangers fired shotguns towards his house. No one was injured, but his 4WD was damaged.

A report had also been made with the police.

Semawi believed that he was the target of the gangsters allegedly employed by the company as he and 25 others refused to surrender their land to the company after the company failed to adhere to the agreement between them and the company.

They have filed legal action against the company and the case is pending.

During the “sandau hari” hundreds of residents from other longhouses pledged to fight together with them.

“We must be united to defend our rights. When our rights are taken away, in this case our land, we must not retreat.

“Our forefathers defended their land with blood and tears,” they said.

Meanwhile, Joshua Jabeng, PKR’s potential candidate for the Selangau seat, has called on the government especially the police to arrest the culprits and take immediate action in order to prevent violence and bloodshed.

He said that the companies had to proceed with their activities as they had invested millions of ringgit in oil palm, but the native landowners had to defend their rights.

“So bloody clashes between the natives and the oil palm companies are expected if the government does not intervene,” he warned.

Jabeng also said the government should be held responsible for any consequences as the government was the one which gave provisional leases to these companies to take away the rights of the natives. – Free Malaysia Today.


Apai irau said...
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pelacur politikus said...

Correct move by the natives.If no body cares for us,especially the self-proclaimed Iban leaders in the persons of Jabu,Mawan and Masing,needless to say the present Taik government,then we should know what to do.

Anonymous said...

The gov't can ignore these prevailing problems between Natives and BN Crawlers at their own peril. Using gansgsters to solve problem is not problem solving at all. It is call barbarism, an act of uncivilzed nature. If they can employ that method so can the victims and what problems have been solved by using gangsterism. Remember ULU NIAH incident...some one died and someone had their day in prison but it solved nothing! Don't let that happened again.

Jambu Batu said...

The Ibans are the most hospitable race in Malaysia.They are humble and have a down to the earth attitude.Since forming Malaysia in 1963,still many Iban longhouses are not accesable by road,needless amenities like electricity and piped water.Nevertheless,the Ibans played a major role in supporting the present state government in holding to its power till today.By their nature of being hospitable and humble,the state government has ,by and by,abused these noble traits of the Ibans.Their land were robbed,development were neglected in their areas etc and these has continued for 49 years.So i do agree with the Ibans to look after for themselves,in particular in defending their NCR land in whatever manner they deem right. If the government fails them,their so-called leaders fail them coupled with persistent threats and bullies toward them,then the Ibans would not be left with any other option.