Wednesday, December 30

The future Dayak headmen

No one takes much notice of a statement made by Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Fadillah Yusoh appearing on The Eastern Times on 14 December 09, when he said that in future village chiefs and longhouse headmen (Tuai Rumah) including women would eventually be filled by younger people with qualification.

“Over in Peninsular Malaysia, only individuals with at least a diploma qualification are considered for the post. And they are paid allowance based on their qualification.

“In Sarawak, the issue of raising the allowance of Ketua kampung has been discussed, and eventually, when all have been settled and agreed upon, a standard allowance scheme would be applied to all,”
he said.

“But for the posts of Penghulu and Pemanca, we still need the elderly people,” he said.

The Broken Shield comments:

Yusof’s suggestion should be taken seriously as it has far wider implications and should therefore be supported by especially the Ibans. Firstly, we should go further to suggest the creation of a department for community leaders and a special scheme of service complete with salary structure and qualification.

For Tuai Rumah, he must have a diploma of any discipline with a starting salary/allowance of RM1,200 a month; a Penghulu, a Pemanca and a Temenggong should have a degree and should be paid salary/allowance RM1,500, RM1,700 and RM1,800 a month respectively.

They should serve at least six years.

For the Iban community, there are over 7,000 longhouses in the State and this would mean over 7,000 posts of Tuai Rumah and a few thousand posts for Penghulu, Pemanca and Temenggong.

The creation of a department for community leaders will give employment opportunities to our (Iban) graduates since they find themselves unable to compete with Malay or Chinese for government jobs or jobs in the private sector.

While it lessens the unemployment rate among the graduates, it certainly will provide effective services to the people in the longhouses and villages as well as acting as a “bridge” between the people and the government.

Currently, the Tuai Rumah is paid an allowance of RM50.00 from the State Government and RM400 from the Federal Government. Such allowance was introduced in the 2006 State election to induce them to support the BN.

As the appointment of Tuai Rumah is approved by the government, they have often been abused and misused by BN politicians to support the BN.

But with a proper scheme of service, salary, and etc. they are like civil servants and are therefore subject to general orders. In other words, they must remain neutral in politics. And anyone who is active in politics, must resign or has his appointment terminated. – The Broken Shield


Monday, December 28

Is it an Iban culture?

Despite Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak trying to promote 1Malaysia, there are certain people trying to practise the famous apartheid policy – segregation of the white and the black.

Let me give one example. On 19 December I was invited to attend a wedding dinner between a sergeant and one of my nieces at a hotel in Kuching. There were two types of tables – some were covered with white table cloth and the rest with red cloth.

I was seated in one of the “white” tables. When alcohol drinks started to flow, only guests at the “red” tables were served with beer and brandy. Several times we made requests for beer to be served at our table, and each time our requests were ignored.

We informed the “aki” (grandfather who is the writer’s uncle) of the bride, yet he could not help. Like other wedding receptions, slices of wedding cakes were distributed to all the guests, and the bride and bridegroom would also go from table to table serving brandy to the guests. We found out only the guests at the “red” tables were served.

One of the guests seated in my table went to the counter to seek inquiries and was told that beer was only to be served to guests seated on the “red” tables. And when he wanted to buy his own beer, only then that the beer was served on our table.

Not that we wanted to drink beer very badly, but the way we were treated, it was most embarrassing and insulting. As one of the guests said: “Rugi aku donate RM100.00”

But the questions I would like to ask is: Are we Ibans becoming class or rank consciousness? Or have we lost our sense of compassion, love and respect for one another? (Baru pangkat Sergeant udah ka rigang-rigang).

And to me what better time than Christmas is for us to show our love, respect and goodwill to one another? - The Broken Shield


Thursday, December 24

Emulate the Spirit of Rentap

According to The Eastern Times of 23 December 2009, the Deputy Director of (Administrative and Development and Transformation) of Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), Abdul Rahim Md. Noor urged all civil servants in the State to have the “Rentap Spirit” to bring the nation to greater heights.

He said that Rentap had a special character, who had the spirit and the courage to fight and to defend his people, and was thus worthy of emulation by all civil servants in the state.

“Rentap was willing to sacrifice his own life for the sake of his people. In fact there are many people in Sarawak who have this kind if spirit. The Sarawak Rangers and the Ngap Sayot are a few of the examples. They all have very strong fighting spirit.

“It is time for us to revive this kind of spirit and instill it into our civil service, and if we can do that, I am sure that we will be able to achieve a world class civil service by 2015,”
Abdul Rahim said.

The Broken Shield’s comment:

We have now and then been reminded by our leaders to emulate the spirit of Rentap, who was one of Sarawak’s earliest freedom fighters more than 160 years ago against the “evil and cruel” White Rajah and his army.

Despite the odds against him, Rentap had never surrendered and had for a time was able to defend Bukit Sadok, Ulu Layar, Betong Division in battles in 1857 and 1858 and in 1861, he and his army were over run. He retreated to Ulu Wak where he was believed to have died.

Branded as rebel, Rentap was a fearless fighter and fought gallantly defending his territory and his people against the intruders (the White Rajah and his army).

The natives especially the Dayaks should emulate Rentap’s courage and spirit to defend in Rentap’s case his territory against the intruders (the White Rajah) and for us our NCR land against Sarawak’s new Rajah and the intruders (big plantation companies).

Thousands of acres of NCR land are being declared “State land” and then are being leased to big plantation companies. The land owners not only lose their land, their fruit trees and cash crops, but many also have lost their longhouses. But the natives, like Rentap, fight back; some put up blockades against these powerful “new Rajah” and his big plantation companies. And many have landed in jail. And They are the real “Rentaps” .

Our YBs who dare not speak for the people who voted for them against the intruders are not “Rentaps”. They are only the great pretenders.The Broken Shield


Wednesday, December 23

Christmas and New Year Greetings

Jetty and the administrator of The Broken Shield wish all the readers of The Broken Shield “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”.

May the year 2010 bring more joy, wisdom, better health, greater harmony and prosperity to all the readers!

Sunday, December 20

Tajem: Dayaks must support PKR, if they want change

KUCHING - A prominent Dayak leader, Datuk Sri Daniel Tajem, has called on Dayaks not to hesitate, but to give full support to PKR in the coming election.

“My message to the Dayaks is that we must change. What is our direction and what is the methodology by which we must change? It is through PKR,” he stressed.

Tajem who was a guest speaker at the PKR convention last Sunday (13 Dec 09)

He said that unlike their counterparts in the towns who read newspapers and internets and blogs, the rural Dayaks have been fed with propaganda of lies through government Radio day in day out.

“It is propaganda of deceit and fear. If you do not support BN, your children will stop going to school and pensioners have their pensions taken away.

“If you listen to their propaganda, and if you fear them, then we will not change and we will not get justices for all that they have done to us such as taking away our NCR land, oppression and suppression,”
he said.

“The very purpose of Keadilan is to get justices for every one. So do not hesitate in supporting it. The next election is the best opportunity for us to see change,” he said.

Although Tajem has not joined PKR as a member, he is an advisor to Sarawak PKR and is often consulted and invited to give his views on matters affecting the Dayaks especially on NCR land.

“Come next election, I will not hesitate to campaign for PKR candidates and tell the people why they must get rid of BN candidates.

“We have suffered under BN especially during Abdul Taib Mahmud’s 27 years of rule not only as chief minister, but also as white hair Rajah of Sarawak,”
he said and called on the Dayaks to vote the State BN out, if they really want change to be made in Sarawak.

Days later after Tajem had delivered his speech and had accepted to be an advisor to Sarawak PKR, several Dayak leaders as well as his Chinese and Malay friends in Sarawak and West Malaysia had contacted him.

Even a very senior UMNO man has tried to contact him. - The Broken Shield

Senarai Ahli Jawatankuasa MPN Negeri Sarawak

Penasihat -
- Datuk Hafsah Harun
- Datuk Daniel Tajem
- YB Dominique Ng Kim Ho

Pengerusi Negeri - Baru Bian
Timbalan Pengerusi - Wan Zainal Wan Sanusi
Naib Pengerusi - Dr Michael Teo Yu Kheng, Jimmy Donald & Granda Aing
Setiausaha - Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh
Timbalan Setiausaha - Piee Bin Ling
Bendahari - Wong Huan Yu
Ketua Penerangan - See Chee How
Timbalan Penerangan - Dr Ikwar Bakaruddin
Ketua AMK - Ahmadnazib Johari
Ketua Wanita - Puan Ibi Uding
Pengarah Pilihanraya - Nicholas Bawin Anggat
Pengarah Dasar - Augustine Liom
Pengarah Strategi - Dr Manshor Hossen
Timbalan Pengarah Strategi - Maxlian Gombex

Pictures at the Keadilan Convention:

Dato’ Seri Anwar speaking at the Convention

Delegates at the Convention
A group of native landowners presenting a memorandum to Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
On Dato’ Seri’s left is Datuk Seri Daniel Tajem

Sarawak has a new Rajah

KUCHING – Chairman of Sarawak PKR Baru Bian has claimed that Sarawak is now under a new “Rajah” who has controlled the State for the last 27 years where he gets almost everything from forests, land, government contracts, and prime city land like Batu Lintang area in Kuching city down to the collection of rubbish.

“We are under a new colonialism, far worst than before we joined Malaysia,” he said in a key note address at a one-day PKR convention on Sunday 13 December 2009.

“Because of this new colonialism, we, the sons of the Land of the Hornbills, must work together and dispose this dynasty.

Pointing out that Sarawak has come to a political cross-road, Baru said: “A new hope is dawning in Sarawak.

“Parti Keadilan Rakyat which is under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim is here and it will help us get rid of this new colonialism.

‘Notwithstanding the bleak situation that we Sarawakians are in today, I see hope, new hope rising in the horizon. This hope must be polished and nurtured by all the people of Sarawak.

“It is the hope promised by Pakatan Rakyat, aggressively promoted by PKR, a paradigm shift from inward and selfish attitude of championing a particular race and religion to a focus on the common people cutting racial and religious prejudices to birth a new Malaysia and a Malaysian race where none will be left behind where all shall be treated equal citizen of this beloved country,” Baru said.

He said that he had read the Cobbold Commission Report, which disclosed the findings of the commission on our people before the formation of Malaysia. And one part of that report stated that many of the people were weary and anxious to join the Federation because they feared that the wealth of this State would be siphoned to Kuala Lumpur and we the people of Sarawak be left high and dry.

“Today this is a reality. But the sad fact is this, that not only are we left high and dry by Kuala Lumpur, even our own leaders here in Sarawak have robbed us of the share of our wealth, robbed us of our land, robbed us of our opportunities in business by getting most of the big Government contracts for themselves and their family members,” Baru said.

He said that many people from Sabah and Sarawak saw their status today as no more than “anak angkat” (adopted children) of the federation because of the treatment given to them as compared with other States in the Peninsula.

“At other time we the people of Sabah and Sarawak feel that we are being colonialised,” he said. Forty-six years down the road of independence, he said the people are proud to say that Malaysia is a developing country, a democratic government, a civilized and opened society governed by the rule of law.

“Yet, today in the same breath we use draconian laws like ISA and the like to oppress our citizens, pervert justice and suppress the truth.

“Enforcement Agencies like MACC, the Police and the AG Chambers have lost all credibility because of their apparent unprofessionalism and selective prosecution focused only on the opposition, the weak and the defenseless while the politically linked, rich, powerful and mighty are free to instill fear upon the ordinary people like you and me.

“You are not permitted to speak your mind, to offer your opinion and to reveal the reality of things. So the truth is often times intentionally concealed, hidden and even manipulated by the power that be, to preserve the status quo or prolong the agendas of the corrupt and the unjust,”
Baru said.

He explained that one of the reasons why Sarawak and Sabah agreed to the formation of Malaysia was that our people of the eastern States could merge and flow together in the main stream of national development promised by the Federal Government then, with the sincere hope that they and the generations after them could better their lots in every sense of that phrase ‘national development’.

Our forefathers, he said, were promised that they would be elevated to a better life, improved standard of living, better educational opportunities and share equally the riches and wealth of our Nation.

“Today, after 46 years Sarawak joined Malaysia, the dreams of our forefathers to be on equal footing with Malaya, as it were, is far from being a reality.

“The Government builds one of the tallest buildings in the world, yet we are unable to provide homes and basic amenities for the poor and needy among us in particular the rural Dayaks of Sarawak. Studies show that many people in Sarawak in particular the Bumiputras are among the poorest in Malaysia.

“The Government boasts in sending a medical doctor and astronaut flying into space, yet they fail to continue and maintain the Flying Doctors Services to the rural places of Sarawak which has been a source of great relief to many of the frail and the sick deprived of proper medical assistance all their lives, due to greed and business rivalries at the expense of our poor and needy.

“The Government boasts in our national car-making achievements and records, yet many of our rural areas in Sarawak are still inaccessible by proper roads. Don’t talk about manufacturing national cars when the rural poor have yet to see any road to their villages.

“Vast areas of Sarawak after 46 years within Malaysia are still accessible only by the most expensive means of transport, air, the most dangerous, logging roads, the most arduous, rivers and the longest and time consuming, on foot.

“Our priorities are misguided, our focus distorted and our vision blurred; misguided because of insincerity, distorted because of corruption and blurred by material greed.

“We pride in the spirit of Malaysia Boleh, yet often time that spirit is motivated and inspired by racial and religious sentiments not towards a true spirit of 1Malaysia, but leading us down the path of national disintegration, polarization and suspicion. And those who advocate these despicable things are protected and sheltered by the present BN Government,”
he said.

Baru went on to say: “The Government boasts in the fact that we are on the road to a developed nation status stirred by a perfect Vision 2020, yet we are blind to the vast majority of us in Sarawak who have lost their only earthly possession, their very source of life, the land, the forests and the environment to rich logging companies, plantation owners and investors, and where poverty rates equal of that many African Nations.

“Where basic amenities are rare commodities and that the very existence of a community is threatened in the name of development,”
he lamented. – The Broken Shield


Wednesday, December 16

Bakun power for Sarawak and what does it mean?

It was reported in The Borneo Post of 12 December 09 (Saturday) issue that all power from Bakun hydroelectric dam, will be fully commissioned next year and will be fully operational 2011, will now go to Sarawak in order to serve the State’s own industrial needs.

This is following the agreement given by the Federal Government to the state’s request to have the power from Bakun dedicated entirely for local industries, especially under Sarawak Corridor Renewal Energy (SCORE).

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who revealed this, said the state government was now taking the next step which was to package a deal to ‘lease’ Bakun hydroelectric dam from the federal government.

“The prime minister has agreed with the state government that Bakun will be first used to supply the needs of establishing Sarawak’s heavy industries. All power from Bakun will be now available to us,” Taib said.

Bakun is expected to produce 1,776W of ‘firm’ electricity when fully operational in 2011.

With the announcement, it looks likely that the plan to ‘export’ power from Bakun to the peninsular Malaysia via submarine cables by 2015 will not be implemented as originally scheduled.

According to Taib, more dams will be built after Bakun, and construction work on Murum has started and is expected to be completed in 2013.

“We are doing feasibility studies for dams in Baram and Ulu Baleh. And that it is not the end of the story, because of our high potential to produce up to 28,000MW from the 12 hydroelectric dams planned for Sarawak.

“This is going to be the core of development in Sarawak in the next 20 years. It will give us development that is quite different from the past,”
said Taib.

The Broken Shield’s comment:

Firstly, it is understood Peninsular Malaysia does not need power from Bakun as it has an excess supply of electricity supplied to TNB through IPPs (Independent Power Providers).

In fact TNB is paying excess power supply for nothing. But it has to do it as agreement has been signed lasting 60 years. Furthermore, TNB operational costs have soared from RM9 billion in 2008 to around RM12 billion in 2009.

So Peninsular Malaysia does not need electricity from Bakun. Sarawak is therefore forced to take back Bakun hydroelectric dam which is worth more than RM10 billion to build.

By taking over it, it also means that Sarawak and the people of Sarawak have to take over the financial burden and as well as to pay back the costs (over RM10 billion) of the construction to the Federal government, which, I am sure, will be considered as loan.

But having Bakun alone, Taib is not satisfied as he wants to build 12 more dams in the State and the total amount of construction including infrastructures may run to over RM100 billion. Do we really need these dams to produce more than 28,000MW to generate our industries?

All these dams are to supply electricity to SCORE especially to be used by an aluminum smelting plant to be built in the Samalajau area in Bintulu.

For your information, not many countries in the world are keen to have an aluminum smelting plants built in their areas as the plants produce toxic that is harmful to the health of the people.

Anyway, Taib, dissatisfied with the construction of the 12 hydro-dams, is also building a RM800 million coal powered electricity plant in Mukah just because he wants to mine coal from Nanga Merit, Kapit.

And the question that comes to mind is: Who will benefit from all these dams?

The names of CMS, Taib’s family business is expected to provide building materials and the construction of roads; Naim Cendera will do the housing projects, Hock Seng Lee, Sarawak Energy and other crony companies are sure to benefit.

But who will lose and suffer?

Thousands of natives and their longhouses will be displaced, and thousands of their NCR land and their cultural heritage will be submerged and the people’s livelihood will be uprooted.

And for the people of Bintulu and those nearby, they will suffer from toxic coming from this smelting plant.

Reports from Brazil, a leading country in the aluminum smelting, say: “Emissions of dust consisting of clay and bauxite residue saturated with caustic soda (red mud) is the main problem, although emissions to the atmosphere of gases and particles from boilers, calcinations furnaces and bauxite dryers may also important. In aluminum smelting the emissions of fluorides from reduction cells and gases, smoke and steam resulting from pitch distillation are considered most important.

“Finally, in aluminum fabrication, emissions of gases and particles from smelting and re-heating furnaces pose the largest problems.”

The health problems associated with aluminum are cancer, respiratory problems, infertility, bone deformity, teeth decay, Alzheimer’s diseases, and etc.

In anticipating of all these health problems, should not the government build a big hospital in Bintulu fully equipped with cardiac, cancer, eye, nose and throat, dental and Alzheimer’s diseases units?

What do you think? - The Broken Shield


Saturday, December 12

Write this, they are Bumis

From The Malaysian Mirror

KUCHING –The Ministry of Higher Education has informed all public universities that the Government has issued an administrative order recognising as “bumiputras” the people of Sabah and Sarawak where either parent is a bumiputra.

In a two-paragraph circular dated on 23 November 2009 distributed to public universities, government agencies and departments, the Ministry said: “For general information, the government has agreed to recognise as ‘bumiputras’ the people of Sabah and Sarawak where either parent is a bumiputra.

The government has also directed all ministries, departments and government agencies to implement the said decision,” said the Ministry.

The circular clearly mentioned that if one of the parents is a bumiputra and the other is a non-bumiputra, the offspring from the marriage are considered as bumiputras as far as going to higher education is concerned.

It is not clear, however, if such offspring are entitled to privileges and rights of natives as spelt out in 161A (6) (a) of the Federal Constitution which says “in relation to Sarawak who is a citizen and either belongs to one of the races specified in Clause (7) as indigenous to the State or is mixed blood deriving exclusively from those races;”

Clause (7) says “the races to be treated for the purposes of the definition of “native” in Clause (6) as indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kalabits, Kayans, Kenyahs (including Sabups, and Sipengs), Kajangs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs and Kanowits), Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanaos, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.”

“While we welcome the Government’s decision to accept children whose parents either one is a bumiputra as bumiputras for the purpose of admitting them to education of higher learning, we are still not quite comfortable unless the Article 161A (a) is amended,” said a veteran lawyer whose children come from a mixed marriage.

“Can my children be entitled to privileges and rights as spelt out in Article 153 of the Constitution such as in business, housing, loans, permits, ASB investments, etc?” asked the lawyer who did not want to be identified.

He added: “The reason why we are still not comfortable is because any time the government feels it wants to revoke the order, it can do so.

“I believe it (order) has no legal binding,”
he stressed.

The administrative order came in the wake of the criticisms by politicians and public against the decision of the Ministry of Higher Education refusing to accept Marina Undau’s application for matriculation course on ground that she is not a bumiputra even though her father is an Iban. Her mother is a Chinese.

Marina has now been accepted into one of the public universities.


Tuesday, December 8

NCR Land owners’ biggest dilemma?

PANTU - Tuai Rumah (longhouse headman) Masa and 700 NCR land owners of Kampung Tekuyong, Empaling, Gayau, Isu, Abok and Kerangas have called on Land Development Minister James Masing and chairman of NCR land task force Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang to stop Tetangga Akrab Pelita Pantu selling their NCR land within the company’s plantation.

Tuai Rumah Masa has also lodged a Police report against the sale of their native customary rights land within the plantation belonging to Tetangga Akrab Pelita Pantu at the Pantu Police station on 2 December.

It was reported in the New Straits Times that a plantation group Kim Loong Resources Berhad plans to buy a 60 percent stake in Sarawak’s Tetangga Akrab Pelita (Pantu) to increase its land bank for oil palm plantation.

Some 2.02 million shares of RM1 each in Tetangga Akrab Pelita are being sought, while the remaining of 40 percent owned by Pelita (10 percent) and the rest by NCR land owners through a joint venture scheme.

The agreement is expected to be signed next month.

“Our NCR land is not for sale as it is on which we the natives will survive and work on for our livelihood,” said Tuai Rumah Masa angrily.

“Please help us to stop the sale,” he said, asking Masing, Jabu, William Mawan (Minister of Urbanisation and Social Development) and other Dayak elected representatives to help stop the sale.

“Without your help, we will lose our land to another peninsular company,” he stressed.

It is learnt that as of 31 October 2009, Kim Loong has made advanced payments totaling RM11.43 million for the acquisition of the Tetangga Akrab Pelita plantation.

It is also reported that for the past three years the company had been losing some RM3.151 million due to immature plantations.

The company which has planted about 6,283 ha of land, the bulk of which is native customary rights land, has been given licence to plant oil palm in some 10,471 ha of land held under NCR land in Sungai Tenggang and Bukit Begunan.

Jetty’s comment: Tetangga Akrab cannot sell NCR land. Firstly, the lands are still under dispute and they have filed a legal action against Tetangga Akrab in 2006 for planting oil palm in their land without their permission. The case is pending.

Secondly, any NCR land cannot be sold to non-natives. There is a law in the Land Code preventing the sale to non-natives. (I am not sure of the Section, but I know there is a law. Any non-native who buys NCR land will stand to lose as the purchase will not be approved or recognised by the Lands and Surveys Department. Usually non-natives used the names of natives to purchase NCR land.)

But Taib’s government is smart. First he declares that NCR land is a State land. After that the land is leased to their cronies to develop. These cronies, in the case of Tetangga Akrab will sell it to another company in order make fast money.

Anyway, once the NCR land has been declared State land, it is incumbent on a landowner to prove that the said land is NCR land. His Aki (grandfather), the creator of the rights, has long gone. He cannot defend on any Tuai Rumah and other community leaders to help him provide proof of ownership as they have been warned by Awang Tengah (aka as Awang Tanah), the most powerful second minister of planning and resource management not to endorse any claim of NCR land. Otherwise, they will lose their allowance of RM450.00 a month.

Isn’t this the biggest dilemma faced by NCR land owners nowadays? - The Broken Shield

See related links on this issues >

Thursday, December 3

Warrant holders are shivering?

KUCHING – Many warrant holders, the majority of them are district officers and secretaries of councils are now urinating in their pants following revelation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Sarawak that 60% of funds were diverted elsewhere.

So are some of the contractors, who conspire with the warrant holders.

That is of course if MACC is serious about the issues of funds being diverted elsewhere.

“Only 40% of the allocations were spent, while 60% are bocor (leaked out),” said Zakaria Jaffar, deputy commissioner (Prevention) of Sarawak MACC last week.

The Julau MP Joseph Salang, months back, had warned the State authorities not to divert federal funds meant for particular areas to elsewhere. “There are reasons why the funds have been allocated for the projects,” he had said.

The Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen had also complained to MACC of federal fund meant for the Bandar Kuching constituency has been diverted to places like Lawas.

According to a former secretary of a council, the warrant holders should know the financial regulations. Even if the Chief Minister wants funds for certain projects diverted to projects in other areas, the warrant holder should seek permission or authority from the one who allocates the fund to divert it elsewhere. Because in the end of the day, you as a warrant holder will be answerable. The politicians will wash their hands.

Cases of funds being diverted are common in Sarawak. For example, the then deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim who was minister of finance had allocated RM39 million to tar-seal the Simunjan-Punda Road in 1996. But the fund was hijacked to Kota Samarahan. Only 10 years later the Simunjan-Punda Road was fully tar-sealed.

Another case of fund being hijacked was the fund meant for the construction of a secondary school in Pantu. The fund was diverted to Betong. Until today Pantu does not have any secondary school.

Bayai in Simanggang was also robbed off a technical school when the funds for it were hijacked to Betong.

I receive an interesting email from a reader of The Broken Shield, which reads as follows: -
“A sum of RM12,000 is given to renovate and repair old house to make it better. What I found out the allocation given is nearly RM3,000 only. The rest was alleged to have been swindled by DO in this proportion RM6,000 for the DO, RM6,000 for the contractor.

Most of the houses were only given atap spandek, abestos wall and minor repairs.Whoever tries to report this, they (house owners) were threatened that they will not be given again in future allocation.

A sum of RM40,000 is given to those who don't have a house. What I found out the allocation is only RM21,000 to build a house. Actually, there is a spec to follow but the DO gave directives to follow other drawing which the allocation amounts to RM40,000. I found out that the allocation was distributed among the DO RM9,000, and the contractors RM31,000.

The contractor subcontracts the projects to other contractors at the price of RM21,000. So what we see now is RM21,000 project which is far less than its original spec.

Instead of minimizing the squatters, the DO is trying to invite more squatters. The Land & survey had come to see the DO but the DO refused to cooperate instead called other officers who ‘tak tahu apa apa'.For now, none of the contractor has been given payment. For the first batch of the projects, the projects were following all the spec given under JKR monitoring. The contractor was given based on 'cabut undi'. The projects were inspected by JKR officer. No problem for the 1st project.

For the second batch of the projects which were given without ‘cabut undi’ to mostly 'alibaba contractors' involved (one contractor given 10 projects), the spec is from the DO. The DO ordered the contractors to follow his spec so that they could swindle the money.

For inspection, he ordered other officers from other departments to verify his projects. Most of the time he asked this officer to sign the completion of the project since JKR don't want to be involved in his wrongdoing.The corruption is rampant in this district with no one daring including ACA to probe these matters.”

Jetty heard the district officer has been picked up for investigation by MACC officers coming all the way from KL. - The Broken Shield


Saturday, November 28

Native laws need to be reviewed

KUCHING - The Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Melanjun suggested that the current set of native laws should be reviewed in order to keep up with the time and modernisation.

He said that the native courts of Sabah and Sarawak are still active, but the laws need to be relevant in modern society.

“The native laws are good for the rural folks so that they do not have to go to town to acquire justice,” he said at the launch of a ‘Business Law’ textbook and stressed that the native laws must be maintained to preserve native cultural heritage in Sabah and Sarawak.

Native laws have been around for quite awhile, but they have not been taken care of, he lamented.

“We need to refurbish the native laws, keep the good ones and put aside others. If they are not reviewed or updated, people may not use them anymore one day,” he said.

The native courts in Sarawak were divided into Headman’s Court, the Chief’s Court, the Chief’s Superior Court and the Native District Court.

(a) A Headman’s Court may be constituted by a Tuai Rumah sitting with two assessors. It may impose fines not exceeding RM300 (three hundred ringgit).

(b) A Chief’s Court may be constituted by a Penghulu sitting with two Tuai Rumahs to assist him. It has power to impose imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months and a fine not exceeding (RM2,000) two thousand ringgit.

(c) A Chief’s Superior Court may be constituted by a Temenggong or a Pemanca, or both Temenggong and Pemanca sitting in either case with two assessors. It has power to impose imprisonment not exceeding one (1) year and a fine not exceeding RM3,000 (three thousand ringgit).

(d) A District Native Court shall consist of a magistrate and two assessors. It has power to impose imprisonment not exceeding two (2) years and a fine not exceeding RM5,000 (five thousand ringgit).

Jetty’s comment: We agree that the Native laws need to be updated and the Native courts to be given proper respect. I have bitter experiences with a Chief’s Court in Simunjan way back in 1996/1997. A Penghulu, who presided the case and assisted by two Tuai Rumahs, did not know his law. He told me “alah nuan” (you lost the case). No reasons were given why I lost the case. “Nuan enda puas ati, nuan tau ngapil” (If you are not satisfied, you can appeal).

Later I found out three things why I lost the case regarding our land, which was claimed by someone else. One, he was a PBB man as he was appointed by PBB to be a Penghulu and as a PBB man he would rule against those who were in the Opposition; two, he was given some money by my opponent and three, he was not conversant with native laws.

I lodged a complaint with the District Officer, Simunjan and his Penghuluship was terminated. Luckily he was not charged in court for corruption. My case was then heard by the Chief’s Superior Court. Of course I won, because the land is really ours.

In another case in the Chief’s Court, a friend of mine lost the case simply because the Penghulu did not dare to make a decision, so the case was neither win nor loss (sama-sama menang tauka sama sama kalah). The case happened in 1998. My friend appealed to the higher court that is the Chief’s Superior Court. He paid the deposit. Until today, more than 10 years nothing is heard of the appeal.

I have heard there are literary several hundreds of cases pending appeal in Simunjan alone. I am sure there are also unsolved cases in other districts.

Is this justice? How can we have respect for the Native Courts when those presiding such cases do not understand the native laws? No wonder the Chief Justice wants review to be carried out in the Native Courts and the native system of laws. – The Broken Shield


Tuesday, November 24

Dayaks have benefited very little

KUCHING - Dayaks have benefited very little from the special rights and privileges that have been enacted in the Federal Constitution, says Sarawak National Party Secretary general, Edmund Stanley Jugol.

Prior to the formation of Malaysia, he said Dayak leaders requested for various safeguards and constitutional framework to protect the interest of the Dayak communities who were lagging behind the various communities in Malaya.

“Among their worries were the rights over Native Customary Lands and a request for a special rights and privileges to entitle them to preferential treatment especially in socio-economy, education and employment in the civil service.

“The special rights and privileges were agreed to and therefore enacted in the Federal Constitution.

“However, until today not much of that special rights and privileges has been invoked to benefit the Dayak communities since independence,” Jugol said, pointing out that this has been the sore point that caused much dissatisfaction among the Dayak communities including Dayak members of SNAP and others at large.

He said: “They have always wanted us to bring up and highlight this issue for the attention of the government with the hope that a more affirmative action will be taken to address this matter.

“The recent case of Marina Undau is just a tip of the iceberg,” Jugol said when he expressed support for DAP State Assemblyman for Batu Lintang Voon Lee Shan who has become the target of complaints and a Police report lodged by BN State assemblymen.

The BN State Assemblymen led by Abdul Karim Hamzah (PBB-Asajaya) wanted the Police to investigate Voon for his remarks believed to be seditious when he (Voon) spoke on the interests and rights of the Dayaks under the constitution.

Jugol said: “There is nothing wrong in highlighting this issue as it is a social contract, guaranteed and enshrined in the Federal Constitution. Since SNAP has no elected representative or YBs and other Dayak YBs are reluctant to bring up this matter publicly, the Dayak members in our party agreed to ask YB Voon Lee Shan to bring it up in the recent DUN sitting.

“We specially asked YB Voon because of his deep understanding of Iban culture and the fervour for the socio-economic plight of the Dayak communities. He has many Dayak relatives and Malay friends and speaks Iban fluently.

“Dayak members in SNAP are thankful to YB Voon for bringing up this matter in the DUN and hope that the government will address the plight of the Dayak communities instead of condemning him,” Jugol stressed. – The Broken Shield.

Friday, November 20

Penan rape cases, who else to be blamed?

KUCHING – During the debate on the Supply (2010) Bill last Friday, Violent Yong (DAP-Pending) said that Alfred Jabu should be stripped off his position as minister-in-charge of Penan Affairs, charging that the minister has shown no compassion for victims of rapes and sexual abuse, but instead exhibited prejudice and insensitivity.

“The people want an answer. Who is the Barisan Nasional (BN) government protecting? Is the BN government trying to protect the logging companies who hired these rapists?

“Instead of spearheading the investigation when the rapes on the Penan girls and women were brought up, there was an outcry of denial from all quarters as rapists roamed the jungles free. Instead, the NGOs that broke the story ended up being the guilty one,”
Yong said.

She also claimed the government was trying to sweep the issue under the carpet with accusations that the reports were lies, calling the Penans good storytellers and asking newspapers to check their facts, and branding certain NGOs as liars and trouble makers.

In his winding speech on Tuesday, Jabu hit back, saying that the opposition has stepped on dangerous waters when politicizing the Penan issue by manufacturing lies and twisting facts.

“I know they manufactured lies and twisted the facts. They based them on hearsay. They do not know anything about the Penans, let alone where they live. They do not speak Penan,” he said.

Comment: Jetty fully agrees with Jabu that the Opposition members know very little about the Penans and their way of life. They started to know about the Penans after stories of blockades and rapes and sexual abuse were published. Of course nobody from the Opposition can beat Jabu.

Jabu is one of those who fully understand the Penans, their culture and their way of life. Jabu’s knowledge of the Penans started way back in 1960s when he was appointed Divisional Agriculture Officer, Limbang and later Divisional Agriculture Officer, Miri.

From Miri he went to Sibu where he was appointed Regrouping and Resettlement Officer with RASCOM (Rajang Security Command) during the height of communist activities in the State, before he resigned in 1974 to contest in a by-election.

During his tenure as Agriculture Officer, Jabu visited every nook and corner of Limbang, Miri and Belaga where he met Kayans, Kenyahs, Ibans, Berawans, Kelabits, Lun Bawang and including Penans.

In those days (and even today) many government officers (including Tuan Resident, Tuan DO, and Tuan Kunsil) took advantage of the innocent native girls and some continued to have affairs with them, resulting in some women giving birth to fatherless children.

As a young reporter with the Information Department (from 1965 to 1975), Jetty used to follow Ministers and these officers to the remote areas of Sarawak and saw with his own eyes what happened there. Some officers even abused their positions by doing things that were not official such as hunting wild boars, fishing semah and empurau and shooting punai (wild pigeons).

It looks like those perpetrators of rape and sexual abuse do not confine to timber workers only. Who else to be blamed? - The Broken Shield


Thursday, November 19

SADIA asks for help

KUCHING – The Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) wants the manipulation and violation of the native rights in Sarawak to be brought to the attention of a United Nation Convention to be held next month in Copenhagen.

“SADIA is not invited to the convention, but please help us to highlight the manipulation and violation of our native rights by timber and plantation companies in Sarawak,” said SADIA President Sidi Munan.

He made the appeal after briefing a high powered delegation from Bangladesh on problems affecting the indigenous people of Sarawak at the SADIA headquarters on Wednesday afternoon (11 Nov 2009).

As guests of the association, the 11-member delegation was in Kuching to study problems faced by the indigenous people in the State.

Led by State Minister Dipankar Talukdar, the delegation which included Members of Parliament, a judge and an UNDP representative had met native leaders in Sabah and Orang Asli in the peninsula for a similar fact finding mission. They will proceed to Jakarta and West Kalimantan on Friday.

Sidi said: “Since your country is going to attend the convention, please help us to highlight problems, the violation, manipulation and exploitation of our native rights which have become very acute in the last five years by plantation and timber companies.

“Not only our catchment areas and our rivers have been polluted, our NCR lands have also been encroached into. Many of our natives have been arrested and jailed for defending their land and their rights,” he added.

He said: “In the meantime, the natives have taken their cases to court, but for their cases to be solved, it would take one year to 10 years. And by that time, there is nothing left of native rights. Thus, the only way open for them is to put up blockades against these companies.”

Sidi said SADIA has been trying to help by highlighting and bringing to the attention of international bodies regarding the problems faced by the natives.

Speaking on behalf of delegation, Dipankar Talukdar said that not much was known about the natives of Sarawak but after they had been briefed and seen a documentary film on the plight of the natives they were now enriching their knowledge.

“Exploitation of natives is a world-wide phenomenon and nobody pays any attention to them,” he said, adding that his country did not have such a problem now as the present government’s policy to help the indigenous people was supported by the majority of the non-indigenous people.

“But let us all, the indigenous people of the world be united in order to ensure a better future,” he said.

After the briefing, they left for a longhouse, Kampung Temiang in Simunjan, where they stayed for the night.

(Note: The story was first published by The Malaysian Mirror and it is reproduced here for the readers of The Broken Shield)

Saturday, November 14

Taib challenges NGOs to form political parties

KUCHING – Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has challenged NGOs to form their own political parties in order to confront him over land and environmental issues.

Launching Sarawak Forestry Corporation’s Orangutan Adoption programme over dinner on Friday night (13 Nov '09), Taib said he was unhappy with some agencies and NGOs which had constantly raised issues pertaining to wildlife and environment in the State.

Taib particularly singled out Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) which is supposed to fight for human rights, has a lot of issues on land, which later jumped into orangutan talks.

“Why don’t they just form a political party rather than fighting in disguise?” he asked.

What the Malays say: "Cakap tidak serupa bikin". This expression is aptly applied to Taib. When a group of Dayaks wanted to form a political party way back in 2005, Taib, according to the Registrar of Societies was among Sarawak leaders who strongly objected to the registration of Malaysian Dayak Congress (MDC). Here he wants NGOs to form a political party.

His Deputy Alfred Jabu, who had earlier on welcomed any one to form “a political party, or any party or even a tea party ka” labeled MDC as “mai Dayak charut”. Apparently because of Jabu’s remarks, the Federal authorities refused to register MDC on grounds of security that it (MDC) would bring chaos to the country. What stupid reasons for the authorities not to register MDC!

The question we want to ask is: Does Taib really mean what he says and supports the registration of any political party in the State in the near future either by any of NGOs or a group of people? - The Broken Shield


Thursday, November 12

Jabu returns to his old ministry

Kuching - Glancing through the list of the Cabinet reshuffle announced by Abdul Taib Mahmud on Sunday, we notice that Alfred Jabu (pic above) has been returned to his old Ministry, the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture (MOMA), albeit the name is slightly changed. Previously it was known as the Ministry of Agriculture and Community Development. That was decades ago.

Hopefully this time Jabu, the most senior leader of Dayaks in the Cabinet, should really make use of his “power” in the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture as well as his “power” in the Ministry of Rural Development to modernise and transform the rural areas into high-tech farming land, where there should be in-situ development such as clinics, schools, and other amenities.

However to do this, Jabu must make friends with our graduates and invite some Dayak experts, especially those who are soil scientists, agriculturists, botanists, economists and so on for discussions and make them as members of his “Think Tank” and to formulate a development/agriculture master plan for the rural areas covering not only area in Betong, but also throughout Sarawak.

So when Jabu leaves the political stage he will leave a legacy, perhaps as the “Father of Rural Development” (Apai Pemansang Menua Pesisir).

The rural people have high expectation of Jabu. Hopefully he will not betray their confidence, as he did when he was the Minister of Agriculture. At that time he had fanciful ideas such as urging the people to plant “Kepayang”, releasing fish fry into rivers and distributing “anak manuk” (chicks), and “igi utai” (vegetable seeds). These are petty things that can be distributed even by a Tuai Rumah (longhouse headman) or a councillor. Why should a Dayak minister or even an elected representative be involved in such small things? As I said they should be involved in the planning and thinking to develop their constituencies as well as other areas in the interior.

Jabu should not also “pilih mata tauka pilih kasih” when carrying out his duties. It has known to us that Jabu would ask whether so and so was a PBB member, or a PBDS member or Opposition member. If he was a PBDS or Opposition member, agricultural subsidies would not be given. Many PBDS members had suffered because of this policy.

Now that Jabu has returned to his old ministry, we hope that he has learnt a lesson or two and hopefully he has now become a “better” man, especially when age is catching up with him. – The Broken Shield


Monday, November 9

Bumiputra Status in Inter-Racial Marriage??

Tabi Tuai,
Aku arap ke nuan ulih nulung aku ‘higlight’ ba blog nuan pasal utai ti nyadi ba batang tubuh aku empu.
Nyadi tengahari tu tadi (9 Nov 09) aku bisi bejaku ngau bala sida di Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN) Miri lemai tu tadi.
Ari ‘clerk’ biasa di ‘pass’ ngagai Timbalan Pengarah,di ‘pass’ ngagai Pengarah. Bendar ga aku majuh sida tadi. Jutanam soalan di tanya aku.

Adakah patut ‘clerk’ ngau Timbalan Pengarah nya enda tesaut ke aku? 'Last-last' bejaku ngau Pengarah iya empu. Nasib iya ‘explain’ enggau manah ngagai aku, enti enda sigi udah nurun ke upis nya alu beperak aku ngau sida.

Kelalu belik ngereja pengawa. Kati ke sida tauk madah ke diri enda nemu? Enti ‘clerk’ biasa nadai ga ngawa. Tu Timbalan Pengarah? Nyadi kes enggi aku tu jauh ‘complicated’ ari sida nya, tang aku arap ke aku mujur meh ngadu ke utai tu ila.
1. Aku Iban
2. Bini aku Cina-Iban
- 'Technically’ berbangsa Cina, even dalam IC
3. Entua Indu ku Cina Iban
- tang apai iya udah nukar status ngagai Bumiputra baru berapa taun ke udah laban ke sida diau ba rumah panjai ari mit alu sigi idup nitih ke pendiau kitai iban
- tang Entua Indu aku tu tadi bedau nukar status. Agi Bangsa Cina ba IC ngau Surat Beranak
4. Entua Laki ku Cina-Iban
- laban indai iya Iban alu Apai iya Cina ari Perak
- Entua laki aku tu endang status iya diatu Bangsa Cina lah
5. Nyadi anak aku diatu nemu kita nama bangsa?????? BANGSA CINA
- alasan iya laban ‘late registration’ alu terpaksa nitih ke bangsa indai iya
Nyadi maia ku nanya ngagai Pengarah JPN nya tadi, sida madah ke mesti ke kedua-dua apai ngau indai iya Bumiputra baru iya ulih ngena status Bumiputra nya.

Taja pan bangsa iya Iban ba IC tang enda semesti iya Bumiputra laban mesti ka kedua2 apai ngau indai iya Bumiputra.
Udah nya aku nanya iya, ulih enda aku nukar bangsa anak aku nya ila, iya madah ke endang sigi enda ulih. Belama-lama iya meh status iya akan ‘remain’ Bangsa Cina.
Udah nya aku nanya iya, bisi enda kini cara kena aku nukar bangsa nya ngagai Iban alu ‘of course’ lah Bumiputra, nya iya madah. Aku enda ulih nukar Bangsa anak aku nya alu nukar status iya ngagai Bumiputra.
Semina aku ulih ngagai ‘Native Court’ alu 'apply' ngagai sida din madah ke diri ka nukar status anak aku ngagai Bumiputra tang nya bepanggai ba sida di ‘Native Court’ nya.
Enti sema kitai bisi ‘strong case’ tauka ‘basis’ kena kita apply ke status Bumiputra nya, ‘then it should be no problem’ lah.
Semina ke ngaga Surat Akuan Bersumpah ngagai Tuan DO tauka Residen lah udah tembu ba ‘Native Court’ nya.
Tang udah tembu semua nya, anak aku nya ila agi ‘remain’ berbangsa Cina, alu ukai Bumiputra. Semina iya "Berhak mendapat Hak-hak Keistimewaan sebagai Bumiputra". Status Bumiputra nya semina automatik enti kedua-dua apai ngau indai iya Bumiputra.
Nyadi senentang kitai Sarawak nya, Pengarah nya madah ke iya setuju ngau penemu ari bala sida ba ‘Pejabat Peguam Negeri’ ti ‘suggest’ ke Article nya enti ulih di tambah ke siti agi ‘Clause’ ti nerang ke ngau lebih pansik ngau lebih silik pasal ‘pengiktirafan’ Status Bumiputra nya laban ‘Article’ ke diatu nya agi bisi ‘loopholes’ tauka ‘Grey Area’ ti ngasuh utai bakatu nyadi.
Nyadi reti ko iya nya tadi, ‘Article’ nya mesti ka di ‘ammended’ lah ngambik ke utai nya terang agi. Iya ti ngasuh aku alit endar ati, kati ke kitai enda kala ninga tauka sedar ke utai bakatu suba neh?

Ukai nya tak baru keterubah iya ‘Inter-Racial Marriage’ tu? Baru-baru iya tu meh kitai ninga, sedar alu nemu pasal utai tu.
Tang iya bisi madah, bidang kuasa sida JPN semina ba senentang bangsa. Enti semina Apai iya Iban, indai iya cina, anak nya berbangsa Iban laban nitih ke apai iya. Iya pan bisi ‘explain further’ ngagai aku, dalam ‘Inter-Racial Mariage’ baka tu, kelebih agi enti Apai iya Iban tang indai iya nya Cina, anak nya endang sigi Iban tang ukai automatik berstatus Bumiputra.
Laban status Bumiputra nya semina automatik enti sema kedua-dua apai ngau indai iya nya Iban tauka Bumiputra bukai lah.Iya bisi mega madah ngagai aku, sida JPN semina berkuasa ba senentang bangsa aja, enti baka kes ‘Inter-Racial Marriage’ tu, enti ka ‘apply’ ke status Bumiputra, ‘Native Court’ lah ti bisi kuasa nentu ke iya...ukai JPN.
Nya di ‘luar bidang kuasa’ sida iya. Nyadi ngelamatu kitai semua nyangka enti bangsa iya Iban tauka Bumiputra bukai, anak nya automatik lah Bumiputra taja pan indai iya Cina.
Aku empat kali maca ‘news’ nya tadi baru paham endar pasal ‘Article’ nya. Ba penemu aku utai tu semina ulih di ‘settle’ enti ‘Article’ nya di ‘ammend'. Nadai jalai bukai.

Engka nya kini kebuah Sijil Lahir anak aku sampai saritu alu bedau tembu. Udah 7 bulan lebih masuk ke bulan tu.’Plan’ aku udah tu aku ka nguji nanya ngagai aya aku Empeni Lang ti kala gawa nyadi ‘Chief Registrar’ ba Majlis Adat Isitiadat Iban di Kuching.
Ka nanya ke penemu ngagai iya bakani ka ngatur ke utai tu alu nanya ke ngau lebih silik, lebih pansik pasal tu lah. Laban munyi ko Pengarah JPN Miri nya tadi, pasal ‘Native Court’ nya nda nemu iya ka madah apa, laban sigi di luar bidang kuasa sida.
Udah aku bulih ‘feedback’ tu, ila aku bekunsi ngau kita ditu..Amat tak keketap asai ati maia ku maca ‘news’ nya pagi tadi. Parai anak ku ila dikumbai anak Cina sedangkan apai iya tu endang naka-naka ka iya Iban!!
P/S: Pagi tadi aku bisi ngagai ‘Native Court’ di Miri. Tu aja respons ke di ulih aku ari sida iya:-

1. They don’t know about the Article 161a of the Federal Constitution;

2. They had never handled Inter-Racial Marriage like me;

3. They just say that we don’t know how to comment about this issue;

4. They don’t know that State Constitution cant surpassed Federal Constitution;

5. I had to brief them on the issues lately; and

6. I’m the first one who came forward and made enquiries them about this issue. Note: I came back with nothing that can make me feel better or relieve....kumbai ku datai din alu sida ulih nerang ke aku pasal isu tu.
Nya aja. Terima kasih.

Leslley Kalom

Sunday, November 8

Taib’s New Cabinet line-up

KUCHING – Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud today announced the long over due cabinet reshuffle that is involved switching of cabinet posts between certain ministers.

Deputy Chief Alfred Jabu has been given his old Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture (MOMA) as well as retaining his Ministry of Rural Development. Jabu’s Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Communication has been given to Michael Manyin who was then the Minister of Urban Development and Tourism.

Deputy Chief Minister George Chan is now the Minister of Tourism and Heritage as well as the post of Minister of Industrial Development. Abang Zohari is now the Minister of Housing and Urban Development.

Six news faces have been appointed as Assistant Ministers and they are Abdul Wahab Aziz, Dr. Stephen Rundi and Talip Zulpilip (all from PBB), Mong Dagang and John Sikie (PRS) and Peter Nansen (SPDP). None from SUPP has been appointed Assistant Ministers, although a number seats for SUPP are still vacant.

The reshuffle will take effect from 1 December 2009 and the following is the full list of the State Cabinet:

Abdul Taib Mahmud
- Chief Minister
- Minister of Finance
- Minister of Planning and Resource Management

George Chan
- Deputy Chief Minister (1)
- Minister of Tourism and Heritage
- Minister of Industrial Development

Alfred Jabu
- Deputy Chief Minister (II)
- Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture
- Minister of Rural Development

Michael Manyin
- Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication

James Masing
- Minister of Land Development

William Mawan
- Minister of Social Development and Urbanisation

Abang Haji Zohari
- Minister of Housing and Urban Development

Wong Soon Koh
- Minister of Environment and Public Health
- Second Minister of Finance

Awang Tengah
- Minister of Public Utilities
- Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management

Assistant Ministers:

Larry Sng
- Assistant Minister in Chief Minister’s Office
- Assistant Minister for Industrial Development (Planning)
- Assistant Minister for Youth Affairs and training of Youth

Daud Abdul Rahman
- Assistant Minister for Islamic Affairs
- Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Development

Fatimah Abdullah
- Assistant Minister for Human Resources and Training
- Assistant Minister for Agriculture (Home Economics and Training)
- Assistant Minister for Women Development

John Sikie Tayai
- Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office
- Assistant Minister for Rural District Council

Naroden Haji Majais
- Assistant Minister for Entrepreneur Development
- Assistant Minister for Planning and Resource Management

Mong Dagang
- Assistant Minister for Tourism
- Assistant Minister for Agriculture (Research and Coordination)

Talib Zulpilip
- Assistant Minister for Tourism

David Teng
- Assistant Minister for Food Industries

Peter Nyarok
- Assistant Minister for Agriculture (Farmers Organisation and Cooperatives)

Abang Abdul Rauf
- Assistant Minister for Industrial Development Promotion and Development of Industrial Estates

Lee Kim Shin
- Assistant Minister for Communication
- Assistant Minister for Sports

Abdul Wahab Aziz
- Assistant Minister for Rural Development
- Assistant Minister of Housing and Urban Development

Gramong Juna
- Assistant Minister for Rural Development

Francis Harden
- Assistant Minister for Land Development

Sylvester Enteri
- Assistant Minister for Land Development
- Assistant Minister for Public Utilities (Water Supply)

Soon Choon Teck
- Assistant Minister of Housing and Urban Development

Peter Nansian
- Assistant Minister for Environment

Stephen Rundi
- Assistant Minister for Public Health
- Assistant Minister for Public Utilities

Three Assistant Ministers were dropped and they are Ambrose Blikau (Katibas), Bohhassan Di (Beting Maro) and Hamden Ahmad (Belawai).

PBB has five Ministers and eight Assistant Ministers; SUPP has two ministers and four Assistant Ministers; PRS has one Minister and two Assistant Ministers; SPDP with one Minister and three Assistant Ministers and Partyless one assistant minister. – The Broken Shield


Thursday, November 5

Let us discuss Dayak Dilemma

KUCHING – Former president of Sarawak Dayak National Union Datuk Daniel Tajem has called all Dayak non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU), Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA), Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA), Orang Ulu National Association (OUNA), Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) and Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) to organise a seminar on the Marina issue as well as on Articles 161a of the Federal Constitution.

“Let us discuss these issues and submit resolutions to the government especially on the clear definitions of Dayak, Iban, Bidayuh and Lun Bawang in the Federal and State Constitutions as well as in the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance,” said Tajem, who is a lawyer of some standing.

“We must come together and discuss these issues which are very important to our survival and the privileges and rights that should be accorded to us under the Constitutions.

“Otherwise we will be further marginalized, suppressed and oppressed in the country of our birth,”
he added and called on the Dayak NGOs to accept the challenge posed by him.

Marina Undau is not alone. Tens of thousands of other natives in Sarawak who come from mixed marriages cannot be classified as natives (bumiputra) even though their fathers are Dayaks, if the Article 161a (6) (a) Federal Constitution is to be imposed.

161a(6) says that in this Article ‘native’ means (a) in relation to Sarawak, a person who is a citizen and either belongs to one of the races specified in Clause (7) as indigenous to the State or is of mixed blood deriving exclusively from those races; and (b) in relation to Sabah, a person is a citizen, is the child or grandchild of a person of a race indigenous to Sabah, and was born (whether on or after Malaysia Day or not) either in Sabah or to a father domiciled in Sabah at the time of the birth.

(7) The races to be treated for the purpose of the definition of ‘native’ in Clause (6) as indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kalabit, Kayans, Kenyahs (including Sabups, and Sipengs), Kajangs, (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs and Kanowit), Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanaus, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.

Since Marina’s story was highlighted by a local newspaper on 29 October that she was not a native (bumiputra) even though she was born to an Iban father and a Chinese mother, thousands of the off-springs from these mixed marriages are worried as they will not (from now onward) be entitled to privileges as spelt out in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution. Their investments in ASB, their privileges of scholarships, applications to study in UiTM, special rates to buy houses, special consideration in business and contracts, native customary rights over land, and etc may not apply to them.

Debates and discussions on the issue in coffee-shops, in offices, in newspapers and internets, in some cases bordering sedition, have sprung up from various quarters including Chinese, Malay and Dayak leaders. While some have put the blame on the Ministry of Education, others put the blame on our political leaders. There are those who also blame the pioneers of the Malaysian Agreement.

Deputy Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Joseph Salang, described as “narrow-minded” the officers who rejected Marina’s application to enter a matriculation programme by citing the provision in the constitution.

Salang, who is Publicity Officer of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), said that Malaysia could do without these officers who were creating tension and disunity in the country.

“Whoever cited the provision does not understand it well. These officers need further education,” he told a local paper.

The MP for Serian, Richard Riot, used equally strong words to describe the rejection of Marina’s application as a “sick policy stuck in a time warp”, viewing the case as “very serious, because if the policy is allowed to remain in place it not only will make a big joke of the 1Malaysia concept, but many children of such mixed marriages are going to lose their Bumiputra status, despite the facts that they are Dayaks and live the life of Dayaks.”

“This is one unhealthy development that I see is a step backward, while the nation seeks to unite Malaysians through all kinds of means like creating the National Unity and Integration Department, celebrating open houses, encouraging Malaysians to mix and mingle and lauding the many mixed marriages among Malaysians.

“The Federal Constitution needs to be amended. Bidayuh people like me, who are proud of our race and are strong supporters of Barisan Nasional, will go extinct if this is allowed to continue,” he said.

PRS president James Masing, who is Land Development Minister said that it was shameful that admission into local universities is still based on race rather than merit.

“Such methods do not sit well with Prime Minister Najib Razak’s concept of 1Malaysia,” he said.

Peter Minos, chairman of Bun Bratak Heritage Association, on the other hand believes that Marina is an Iban and Bumiputra, saying “this is universally the case, law or law or if the law is silent. Someone in the Ministry of Education is very wrong.”

Marina is a Dayak Iban, Minos said, and she should be given access to the best education. She is able and willing, like all the struggling Bidayuhs and Orang Ulu from the rural areas, to further her education.

“It is scandalous to deny a poor Dayak kid a good life through education,” he said.

The newly appointed Chairman of Parti Keadilan Rakyat Sarawak and a lawyer, Baru Bian said that all Sarawakian children should be given free education up to university level irrespective of their racial background.

“It is a shame for Sarawak with its wealth and abundant natural resources that children of low income earning families are deprived of education due to financial constraints,” he said, accusing the Barisan Nasional’s racist policies they profess are causes of increasing racial division in the country.

Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that huge political and social-economic ramifications if the Bumiputra status of children in Sarawak, who are born to Bumiputra fathers and non-Bumiputra mothers, are not ratified.

These privileges included land purchases, holding Bumiputra shares in Amanh Saham Bumiputra (ASB) besides education, he said.

But Erang Ngang, Sarawak National Kenyah Association Vice chairman said: “Do not blame the Education Ministry’s officers for rejecting Marina’s application for university matriculation. It is the fault of the Federal Constitution.”

Erang who is married to a Chinese and his son who scored 8A1 and 1B in SPM 2003 was denied a scholarship for reasons which he suspected, is the same as Marina’s.

“The education officer who handled Marina’s application did nothing wrong as the definition of Bumiputra in Sarawak is very clear in the constitution. If this definition is not amended, children of mixed parentage will continue to suffer discrimination in terms of business, government jobs, promotions and other privileges reserved for Bumiputras alone,” he said.

Commenting on the Marina issue, former State Attorney General JC Fong highlighted three points: Firstly, that the Federal Laws are supreme and prevail over state laws. Secondly, the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance defines the term ‘native’ the way as the Federal Constitution. And his third point, he said that it is possible to change both constitutions through proper procedure.

What are the solutions?

Many talk about amending both the Federal and the State Constitutions as the way to ensure that children born from Dayak fathers and non-native mothers be considered as natives or Bumiputra. This should be easy if there is a political will as both BN and Pakatan Rakyat will certainly support the move. Parliament needs a two-third majority to amend that part of the Constitution.

Salang said that he had written to Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to recommend Article 161a of the Federal Constitution be amended, otherwise it may cause social and economic complications in the future.

“The time has come to amend Article 161a of the constitution. As society progressed and strived towards achieving the 1Malaysia concept, the issue of ‘Bumiputra’ and ‘non-Bumiputra’ should no longer arise in the future particularly in matters concerning educational opportunities and welfare assistance,” said Deputy Chief Minister George Chan.

Chan, who is also President of the Sarawak United People’s Party, said that if the country keeps on having these sorts of different directions, then our country cannot progress. As Malaysian citizens we must think like 1Malaysia.”

In Sarawak as revealed by Dr. Masing there exists a Cabinet Committee for endorsing Bumiputra status, and the committee which meets once a year and chaired by Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has so far approved hundreds of applications with the only criterion that one of the parents must be a native.

The committee gives final endorsement to the applications of those who applied to be natives. But the question is whether what the committee has done so far is in violation of the laws.

Another solution is through Native Court declaration. “We have done it before and many of my relatives who are coming from these mixed marriages have now become natives,” said Tajem.

“You apply to the Court to be declared a native,” he added.

He said: “Our problems today were the result of not properly looking into the contents of the Federal and State Constitutions by the British authorities when we first joined Sabah, Singapore and Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia.

“Our Attorney General at that time was a British and he should have seen that our rights are properly protected and
the word Dayak should be properly defined,” he said, pointing out that they could not blame Sarawak’s founding fathers for these “faults”.

“There is no clear definition as to who are Dayaks in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution. There are only words ‘Sea Dayak’ and ‘Land Dayak’. So whether Dayak part can be called Dayak and whether all natives can be defined as Dayaks?’ he asked.

“Dayak is a Bidayuh word means people, and so is the word Iban, a Kayan word, also meaning people,” he said.

The word ‘Iban’ was adopted in place of Sea Dayak during the 1957 Penghulu Conference.

Tajem said that the Federal and State Constitutions as well as the Sarawak Interpretation Ordinance need to be amended together, he said. – The Broken Shield


Sunday, November 1

Awang Tengah criticised

KUCHING – Sarawak Opposition leaders and activists today criticised Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management for asking the Auditor General to amend its Annual Report for 2008 as the report cited Sarawak along with Kelantan, Pahang and Johor to have poor forest management that led to river pollution, erosion, landslides and destruction of flora and fauna.

The report which also mentioned illegal logging, logging in forest reserves or national parks and poor enforcement as some of the factors responsible has made the minister unhappy and demanded that the report be corrected.

A DAP leader Voon Lee Shan, who is the Batu Lintang State assemblyman said that Police and MACC reports should be made against the minister for trying to influence the Auditor General to change the report.

“This is an abuse of power and intimidation against the Auditor General. Police reports as well reports to MACC should be made,” he said, pointing out that the AG made the report based on the principle of authority and accountability.

The AG, he said, should be firm and should not be influenced by any quarter.

A PKR Sarawak leader and State Assemblyman for Padungan Dominique Ng accused Awang Tengah of trying to fiddle with the report. The AG, he said, has certain procedures and guidelines to follow in making their reports

“Unless the Sarawak Government is saying that the reports are without any basis and are wrong, then the minister is questioning the credibility of the AG.

“The Sarawak Government should spend time and effort to find out the truth instead in a denial mode. Didn’t they also deny the Penan rape cases?

“They are only trying to cover up atrocities now being committed in our lands,” Ng stressed.

Harrison Ngau, chairman of Sarawak Indigenous Lawyers Alliance (SILA), said that Awang Tengah should not attempt to question let alone dictate how the AG which is an independent body carries out his works or functions.

“If Awang Tengah wants the AG to change or amend its reports on the subject of forest management in Sarawak, other parties such as the native communities who live within or around the logging areas would also want their views to be included in the AG reports.

“I would also want to suggest to the AG to look into the reasons why environmental impact assessment study on loggings in Sarawak as required under the Natural Resources and Environment Ordinance was never carried out by the logging companies in the State?

“I wish also to challenge Awang Tengah to furnish to the AG copies of all the areas in Sarawak which have been licensed out for logging since 1981 and to reveal the names of the companies granted the licences.

“He should disclose all these to the AG to enable him to also study and annex the maps and the names of the companies in the AG reports so that the public can also make their assessment and give their views to the AG concerning the management of our forest in Sarawak.

“If Awang Tengah is so confident that AG was wrong in concluding that the management of our forests is poor, he should therefore have the courage to disclose all these,”
Harrison said.

The Secretary General of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA), Nicholas Mujah called on MACC to investigate Awang Tengah as there seems to be fishy elements on his call on the AG to amend his report.

“MACC must look into Awang Tengah’s call,” he said.

Meanwhile, Awang Tengah who is the most powerful minister after Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, demanded the Auditor General to make correction with regards to its reports on Sarawak’s sustainable forest management as it was misleading and incorrect.
“The Auditor General has to make the correction for fear that outsiders may use the report to tarnish the image of the state,” he said, adding that the final report was based on their (AG’s) own interpretation and not based on the reports, findings and comments from the Forest Department.

“If they want the interest and image of the State not to be affected internationally, they should make the necessary correction,”
he said.

He said that the National Audit Department had actually requested for comments from the various departments before the AG made the final report.

“But in the final report they simply set aside whatever comments that we have gathered. The Forest Department was even not consulted when the final report was published.

“We do not question their competency on financial management such as how projects are implemented as that is their expertise. But to comment on certain things like sustainable forest management, I don’t think they have the expertise. They cannot come to the conclusion based on their own observation. For instance just because the water is muddy they blame it on illegal logging and pollution. You can’t make that kind of conclusion,” said Awang Tengah angrily.

“If they have the expertise to make the comment, it is okay, but I believe they don’t have it,” he said, pointing out that Sarawak had been practising sustainable forest management since the formation of the Forest Department and had been credited by international organisations, ITTO, and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has announced the setting up of a high powered task force to study the 2008 Auditor General report and initiate appropriate actions against those responsible for financial irregularities and abuse of power mentioned in the report.

“The committee will not only look at the abuse of power and initiate action against those found involved in financial irregularities but also take administrative actions against those found guilty but could not charged in court fro various reasons,” he said.

The task forced to be headed by the Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Sidek Hassan would also include the Finance Secretary General Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, Public Services Department Director General Ismail Adam and the Auditor General Ambrin Buang himself.

They would have the power to rope in Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail and the Malaysian Anti-corruption Commission (MACC) if the need arose, he said.

Following Awang Tengah’s complaints against the AG, don’t you think Awang Tengah or someone from the Forestry Corporation to be interviewed by the task force for possibly abuse of power? - The Broken Shield