Thursday, December 30

Who will look after the Dayaks?

According to The Borneo Post dated 30 December 2010, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) is setting up a special unit at its headquarters in Kuching in a move to help get more non-Bumiputra, especially Chinese, into the public sector.

Deputy Chief Minister George Chan, who is also SUPP President, said it was the party’s hope that a racial balance in both the state and federal civil services would be attained with the setting up of the unit.

He said it was time that members of the Chinese change their perceptions that they could not good returns and incentives in the public sector.

“This may be the case in the early days but now as the country is getting more advanced, the civil service including in Sarawak, is changing very fast where people with skills and experienced are much sought after and the salary scale has also improved compared with those days,” he said.

He said that this was indeed the correct approach the government should take to attract talented people to join the civil service.

“To me this is the correct way to go because if we want to engage the best people we must be able to give them good remuneration,” he said.

He said this was the model that Singapore had been using and it had enabled the country to manage both its public and private sectors very efficiently and effectively.

“Based on statistics previously, for whatever reasons, very few Chinese applied for jobs in the public sector.

“We don’t know if there was any racial discrimination involved because no specific study was ever carried our prior to this and probably once we start the unit, we may be able to establish exactly what is happening.

“With the setting up of the unit, we hope more jobseekers will come forward and register with us. We are not doing the recruitment but we will assist them in every way possible how they should go about with their applications.

“At the initial stage this unit will be set up at our headquarters and if the response is good we will also bring it to other divisions,”
Chan said.

The unit here would start operation this Sunday (9.00 am to 12.00 noon) and would be open during office hours on week days, he said.

Now The Broken Shield asks: Who will speak on behalf of the unemployed Dayaks? The Dayaks especially the Ibans are also interested to work in the civil service. But their applications have been rejected for unknown reasons.

I remember what Bernard Dumpok from Sabah said a few years ago that out of 186,000 applications made by Ibans for jobs in the civil service, only 24 were shortlisted. We do not know how many were finally accepted into the civil service.

What is most regrettable was none of the present Dayak ministers and YBs said something about it.

No wonder you hardly find any Iban working in the civil service in any government department nowadays. Who are to be blamed?

Saturday, December 25


To all readers and followers of The Broken Shield

Merry Xmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. May 2011 bring better luck, joy and happiness to all of you and families.

From Jetty and the administrators of the blog.

Friday, December 24

Penans sue Samling, state government

The Penan community of Ba Jawi in Sarawak's Upper Baram region is suing a giant timber company, Samling and the state government over 15,000 hectares of primary rainforest in order to protect their livelihood from being destroyed by logging.

The case was filed on Tuesday morning (21 Dec 2010) by lead plaintiff Lija Agan, headman of the tiny village of Ba Jawi, and three others who are claiming that the Ba Jawi forests have been used since time immemorial by their ancestors and urgently need to be protected against logging.

The case was filed in Miri High Court by Messrs Baru Bian Advocates and Solicitors.

In their statement of claim, they say that about 200 years ago, their ancestors were living in and around Ba Jawi, exercising native customary rights over the land in Ba Jawi and its vicinity.

"They hunted and gathered food from the forests and lived on sago (uvut) as their staple food. The plaintiffs are presently exercising these rights over that same land," the statement says.

The Penans are claiming that a logging licence held by Samling Plywood, a subsidiary of the Malaysian Samling group of companies, should be rescinded, since it was issued by the Sarawak government in an "unlawful, improper, unconstitutional and therefore null and void" manner.

The new case is the fifth native customary rights case lodged by Eastern Penan communities from Upper Baram since 1998. It has been prepared with assistance from the Bruno Manser Fund.

The area covered by the Ba Jawi claim is a key region of the Penan Peace Park, a self-administered conservation region in the Heart of Borneo, which was proclaimed a nature reserve by 17 Penan communities in November 2009 and covers twice the size of Singapore.

In February 2007, the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei signed the tripartite "Heart of Borneo Declaration" in which they committed themselves to protecting the rainforests of central Borneo.

However, the declaration has not been followed by much action on the ground. In December 2009, Sarawak's director of forests, Len Talif Salleh, even condemned the Penan Peace Park as an "illegal" project that "tainted Sarawak's image".

Monday, December 20

Barisan Nasional’s secret weapon

It is reported in The Borneo Post dated 19 December that Deputy President of PBB and Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu anak Numpang has been quoted as saying that village and longhouse headmen can be relieved of their positions if they do not do their job responsibly.

They should therefore be efficient and active, and knowledgeable about their village and longhouse dwellers such as their education level, economic status, jobs and number of families.

“The district office or resident’s office has the right to sack leaders whom people feel failed to carry out their responsibilities,” he said when launching the ‘State Community Leaders Development and Leadership Seminar 2010’ at Sri Aman Civic Centre on Thursday.

A total of 498 community leaders attended the seminar.

Jabu told the community leaders not to entertain opposition members during the coming state election.


For the past three months or so, more than 5,000 Tuai Rumah and other community leaders have been ‘indoctrinated’ with the Barisan Nasional’s politics, the latest one held in Sri Aman. Kuching, Mukah, Miri dan Sibu have organised the seminar. Tuai Rumah from other divisions and district will attend the seminar for the next two months.

We are given to understand that what the community leaders were told was to hate the Opposition politicians, to bar them from going into their longhouses and to keep watch over their followers so that they would not support the Opposition.

Those found to be supportive of the opposition, the Tuai Rumah has the power to ‘sack’ them from the longhouse and has also the power not to give them ‘shares’ in development projects or in ‘corruption money’. This had been effectively used in previous elections and it is certain such dirty tactics will be used again in the coming election.

The effects are many: one is that not all the people in a longhouse support the BN and the Tuai Rumah and this may lead up to deeper disunity and hatred against the BN and the Tuai Rumah. Some may break away from the longhouse.

Regrettably, there are ex-senior civil servants, ex-Police officers and retired teachers who have been appointed Tuai Rumah. During their days as civil servants and teachers, they know that this BN government has taken away their fathers’ NCR land and given to crony companies; they know that their own children were deprived of scholarships, places in universities and refused to entry to the civil service or deprived of promotions. Many of their children find their ways to Johor, Singapore, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and overseas. Why? No job opportunities.

And yet because of the initials ‘TR’ and the RM450 allowance per month, they are willingly accepted their appointment. Where is their conscience, if there is any left?

Now, they have not only betrayed their forefathers, parents, brothers, sisters and their own children and their children’s children, they have also now become the secret weapon of the Barisan Nasional to further suppress and oppress the already down-trodden Dayaks – Dayak Ibans, Dayak Bidayuhs, Dayak Kayans, Dayak Kenyahs and the Dayak Penans, and etc. – The Broken Shield.

Saturday, December 11

“Ignorant” Minister draws flak over NCR land

By Joseph Tawie

(The story was first published by Free Malaysia Today)

KUCHING: Sarawak’s Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Michael Manyin has come under fire for saying that community leaders do not have the authority to endorse native customary right (NCR) lands.

Sarawak PKR leaders Baru Bian and Nicholas Bawin accused him of being “ignorant” of the Land Code.

Bian (photo), who is chairman of Sarawak PKR, said that community leaders had an important role to play in confirming whether the land was NCR land or not.

“It will be a serious abdication of responsibility for headmen to shy away or be prevented by certain political powers or individuals from discharging their important duties. It is irresponsible of them not to exercise their rights. I smell something fishy,” he said.

Manyin had reminded community leaders not to assume that they had the authority to validate the rightful owner of a NCR land.

“Only the Land and Survey Department has the authority to do that,” he said, adding that he came across cases of community leaders, especially in Bidayuh areas, certifying individuals as the rightful owner of a piece of land in their village.

“I would like to remind them that they have no power to do so. Even the chief minister who is also the planning and resource management minster can only endorse the land as NCR upon the advice of the department,” he said.

Government is worried

Speaking to FMT, Bian said: “I think this is political. It is the pressure from the political masters. The natives are getting more educated and aware of their rights and willing to make a stand.”

“The government is worried. Because at the end of the day who do you expect to confirm our rights over land? Certainly you don’t expect (Chief Minister) Abdul Taib Mahmud and non-natives to come forward to decide for our rights.

“It is we who should decide our right on our land. If it is left to the government to decide it, then it will be dangerous,” he warned.

Bian, a well-known NCR land lawyer, said that it would appear that native leaders were succumbing to a third force which was higher than them.

“Our Tuai Rumah (village chiefs) should be elected by the people and not appointed by the government as many of them are not qualified on the customs and adat of the Dayaks,” he said.

Bian said that under the Barisan Nasional government the Dayaks had no future, pointing out that under Pakatan Rakyat, the people would get a better deal.

'If I was him, I'll shut up'

Meanwhile, PKR election bureau director Bawin blasted Manyin for his ignorance with regards to the customs and adat of Dayaks.

“Under the adat, the Tuai Rumah, Penghulu, Pemancha and Temenggong are custodians of the adat. They are appointed because they have substantial knowledge of the land," he said.

Bawin, a former deputy president of the Council of Native Customary Laws, said land was an integral and important part of the native community.

"Land means so much to the natives. It is where the people do their farming, planting fruit trees and foraging for food.

"If I was Manyin, I will shut my mouth. By reminding them of their role, you are actually threatening them. Later on they may not want to stand for the rights of the people under their jurisdiction.

“The community leaders are in the best position to know the rights of their people. It cannot be anybody else from outside,” he said, adding that community leaders’ land were also taken away.

Courts recognise NCR

Accusing the minister of lying that the government did not take away people’s land, he said: “The fact there are about 250 land cases brought by landowners is evidence to say that the government has been grabbing people’s land.”

“Even though the state government does not recognise our native customary rights over land, we are happy that the court recognises the ‘pemakai menua’ (territorial rights) of the community which has existed before any legislation on this land,” he added.

To the question that only the Land and Survey Department and the minister of planning and resources management had the prerogative of endorsing NCR land, Bawin said: “My fear and worry about this statement is that how far have they done the survey work. We know the attitude of the people in the Land and Survey Department. They do not want to go to the ground.”

“We have been independent for 47 years and it appears nothing much has been done regarding the surveying of the land. NCR land should have been given titles over 47 years ago,” he said.

Bawin called on the Land and Survey Department to respect the adat and rights of the people over land.

He said the deparment must work hand-in-hand with the landowners to get their views and not only seek the views of one party.

He said native landowners had no problem with their land when Sarawak was under the Brooke regime, the colonial government and even during the Japanese occupation.

“The problem only occurred when the BN state government took over the administration of the state and has since seized lands owned by the natives and leased them to their cronies under the concept of politics of development,” he said.

Tuesday, December 7

Senseless Arrests Reign in Sarawak

258, Jalan Air Itam, 10460 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: (6) 04 - 2286930 Fax: (6) 04 – 2286932
3rd Dec 2010

Senseless Arrests Reign in Sarawak

Sahabat Alam Malaysia is gravely concerned over the recent arrest, four-day remand and the subsequent charge under Section 307(1) of the Penal Code of an Iban Mr. Liam Rengga from Rumah Kilat in Sungai Senga, Pandan-Sebauh, Bintulu on Nov 23, 2010. We indeed have cause for serious concern over this latest arrest of a Sarawak indigenous community activist, as Section 307(1) carries the very serious charge of attempted murder. It carries a sentence of between 10 and 20 years jail, and a fine.

The arrest of Mr. Liam, 41, took place during the late afternoon of Nov 17, 2010 at his farm hut in Ulu Sungai Seplai which also saw his traditional parang, or the 'Duku Latuk', used for work on his farm, seized by the police. His arrest is believed to be connected to a police report made against him by a personnel of an oil palm plantation company, whose operations are said to have encroached into Mr. Liam’s traditional village territory.

In his police report lodged after his release on Nov 23, 2010, Mr. Liam alleged that a day prior to his arrest, he had bumped into two men whom he believed were agents of an oil palm company whilst putting up a no-entry signboard to outsiders on his land. Mr. Liam claimed to have spoken to the men on the communal hunting prohibition in the area upon catching sight of a shotgun in the men’s vehicles before being told off by the latter to not cause a ruckus (“lu jangan buat hal”).

According to Mr. Liam, the initiative to put up the signboard was primarily meant to deter outsiders from hunting in his village territory as well as for security reasons.

Mr. Liam has been fighting for the village native customary land that was encroached by the plantation company without the people’s consent. As a matter of fact, he and others are in the process of filing a legal suit against the company. Led by him, the Rumah Kilat community has set up a residents association last year, the Sungai Senga Residents’ Association (SSRA) in order to better protect their collective interests in this regard.

Since the association was registered on July 20, 2010, regular campaign work to defend their native land rights has been carried out. They include informing the company and government authorities in an official letter dated Aug 31, 2010 of the environmental pollution and health of his village and villagers, respectively, being affected by water pollution from the plantation. SSRA also issued a warning letter to the company on Oct 24, 2010, urging its workers to refrain from using the private road that runs through his village native customary land.
On Sept 15, 2010 letters on SSRA’s objectives and functions were sent to the plantation company and several government departments in Bintulu including the District Office, Department of Land and Survey, Health Department, Forestry Department and the Police. The letter also included a copy of their SSRA registration with the Registrar of Societies, and Sungai Senga’s boundary map.

Mr. Liam’s plight brings to mind the spate of criminal charges and detention of an almost similar nature that over the years have befallen other indigenous persons in Sarawak engaged in land rights defence of their traditional territories against logging or plantation corporations in the state.

One such case is the charge against Penan villagers from Long Lunyim, Mr. Semali Sait and his father Mr. Sait Kiling, who were detained for alleged criminal intimidation under Section 506 of the Penal Code on Sept 4, 2003. A year later following numerous court adjournments, the charge against them was withdrawn but the experience proved to be a highly intimidating one for the two villagers.

Given the existence of such a trend, we fear that Mr. Liam may experience a similar injustice like that of Mr. Semali Sait and Mr. Sait Kiling, where credible evidence failed to be adduced by the state during the trial, leading to the eventual withdrawal of the charges.

In mid-October this year, seven community leaders in Sebuyau, Simunjan including NGO Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) secretary-general Mr Nicholas Mujah were arrested based on allegations of arson to a timber camp. Although they were eventually released on Oct 25, 2010, the allegations were unjust particularly where evidence was unsubstantiated. These arrests similar to most detentions of indigenous people speak of harassment and intimidation on NCR landowners to halt the campaign to protect their rights to life and land.

Therefore, we are indeed very concerned that the arrest and charge may possibly be undertaken in order to intimidate and silence Mr. Liam. He is due to appear in court on Jan 6, 2011 and is currently out on bail. He has been asked to report himself to the Bintulu Police Station every first week of the month.

Mr. Liam categorically denied that he and his people had ever engaged in criminal behaviour in their fight to defend their traditional territories. He finds the charge of attempted murder extremely outrageous, illogical and way out of line – it certainly has the effect of tarnishing his good name, although he vows not to let his current predicament affect the community land rights struggle.

“I will continue championing our rights. If anything, I am more spirited now than I was before and will fight till the end,” he said. He added that he was prepared for an assault because of the hostility between his villagers and the company workers resulting from the dissatisfaction over the plantation licence and its occupation over their land.

Taking into account all of the above, we therefore strongly urge that the charge against Mr. Liam, who is the sole breadwinner of his family, be dropped if the state is unable to gather concrete and comprehensive evidence.

We also call the Sarawak State Government to affirm the native customary rights of the Rumah Kilat community and to positively engage them by providing meaningful responses to their grievances, as communicated in the letters mentioned above.

Finally, we strongly urge the authorities to stop the intimidation and persecution of native leaders who are fighting for their lawful rights.

S.M. Mohamed Idris

Sunday, December 5

Biggest dividend payout by SALCRA

The Star reported on 1 December 2010 that Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) which manages 18 oil palm plantations in the State’s southern region, is to reward its participating landowners with the biggest ever dividend payout of RM74.3 million.

Chairman Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said the dividend this year was more than doubled last year and would be paid to some 20,000 landowners in two phases – the first 50% between January and February and the second by July 2011.

The dividend that the landowners will receive will be based on the performance of the plantations and their maturity status.

SALCRA is the first to develop the vast native customary right (NCR) land, which covers an estimated 1.5 million ha statewide.

Under a new development model, the Sarawak government is getting major plantation companies to team up with the landowners via joint ventures to open up the idle or under-utilized NCR land on a big scale.

SALCRA’s earnings have been boosted by the soaring prices of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) and crude palm oil (CPO).

The FFBs now fetch nearly RM600 per tonne while the average CPO price this year is around RM2,550 per tonne compared with RM2,196 last year.

Jabu, also Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, said that as at September, SALCRA had nearly 48,000 ha oil palm plantations, of which 41,000ha are matured.
The Broken Shield: On paper, the dividend appears to be big. In fact, according to SALCRA, it is the biggest dividend payout – RM74.3 million to some 20,000 landowners.

Let us look into it mathematically: RM74, 300,000 divide by 20,000 landowners equals to RM3, 715 per participant per year. RM3, 715 divide by 12 months equals to RM309.50 per participant per month. Again we divide RM309.50 by 30 days, the result will be RM10.31 per landowner per day.

As Jabu said, 50% will be paid between January and February, the amount each land owner receives will be around RM5.16 per landowner per day. Assume, the average family is four, and then each person is entitled to RM1.29 per day. It is just enough to buy a cup of coffee.

It appears that the SALCRA landowners belong to the hardcore poor in the state earning an income of RM309.50 per month, if we take the RM750 as the poverty line.

I would have thought that some Dayak women selling “paku-tubu” would earn a profit of RM50.00 a day. In a month, the smart ones could earn between RM1,000 and RM1,200 a month.

So to me, the SALCRA’s dividend is pleasant to the ears and for the ears of rural voters. You know the State election is coming. But it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signify nothing.


Tuesday, November 30

THE NEW DEAL: Ibans will become instant millionaires if Pakatan Rakyat takes over Sarawak

Tucked away in the back pages of Saturday's Borneo Post was a small and innocuous looking news-clipping about a Land Commission (see above). It is no surprise that this news report was buried away and did not get the headline news it deserved. In fact, it is a surprise that it was even reported at all!

You see, the heading should have actually read, ‘Ibans will become instant millionaires if Pakatan Rakyat takes over Sarawak.’ But of course the editor of the Borneo Post cannot do that. If he did, he would suffer the same fate the editor of the New Sarawak Tribune suffered a few months ago and end up being reprimanded, suspended and worse still, sacked. In fact, we congratulate the editor of the Borneo Post for having the balls to even publish this news.

The reason we congratulate the Borneo Post for publishing this news is because the setting up of a Land Commission will have far reaching repercussions and consequences for Sarawak and the natives in particular. It will make many, if not all of them, millionaires overnight. Impossible? Not at all. Let's look at what Baru Bian has exactly in mind when he mooted the idea of the setting up of a Land Commission.

According to Bian, the commission will “investigate claims over issuance of land titles and also gazetted areas as the party (PKR) had all along been fighting for recognition of the rights.”

“We are offering in particular the rural folks of Sarawak a solution for their NCR issues. I've said this in the past and I am going to say it again. PKR is reiterating its stance on NCR matters. We are not only looking at natives in rural areas but also at urban Chinese and the Malays in the coastal areas as well.”

What exactly is Bian offering? Baru Bian is offering the setting up of a Land Commission. What is a Land Commission? A Land Commission is a special body set up by the State Government to look into matters and issues concerning land.

Will this body have the authority and power to act independently? Yes. All commissions do. That is why they are called commissions because they have been commissioned and empowered to do something about a problem.

If Bian is elected and Pakatan Rakyat takes over power in Sarawak and replaces the current BN government, we are promised a Land Commission. So how does this Land Commission benefit, in particular, the Dayak natives of Sarawak?

A Land Commission would survey whole areas of native customary lands in Sarawak. This is what PM Najib instructed Taib to do with the recent perimeter survey exercise. However, will the BN government go one step further and issue titles (pala tanah) for these surveyed lands? And who decides the garis menoa or boundaries of these lands? According to Bian, his Land Commission will not only survey the NCL but also have the power to grant titles to the NCL! This means that the pemakai menoa and pulau galau claimed by the Iban will be fully recognised by the Land Commission and titled. Within these boundaries, especially within temuda areas, individual titles will also be granted to individuals, not just communal titles.

If Bian's Land Commission will do this, then this will be the major break-through that will empower the Iban at long last. Ownership of their lands will be recognised and with titles, the Iban can finally go to banks and financial institutions to apply for loans with their land titles as collateral for mortgages. This means Iban will have the same opportunities as other communities to start their own business with seed money from bank loans guaranteed with their land titles. But will this make Ibans instant overnight millionaires? Of course not. Business is always a risk, but the potential to reap huge rewards will be possible.

Once landowners are granted titles, they can sell their lands. This is how the Iban can become rich. By selling their lands. But if they are smart, they will not sell their lands. They will develop their lands. This is how they can become millionaires. They can invite oil-palm plantation giants like Samling and WTK to joint-venture with them on their own terms.

Currently, these oil-palm plantations call the shots and dictate to the Iban how much they get paid for renting their lands from them. That is because the Iban do not have bargaining power. They do not have bargaining power because Taib and Jabu refuse to grant the Iban land titles. So the Iban are no better than slaves on their own lands. Thanks to Taib and Jabu.

However, when Bian's Land Commission is set up, the Iban will have the solution to their land issues. And this is exactly what Taib and Jabu are afraid of. They are afraid that the Iban will finally realise how much economic and political power will lie in their own hands when they have titles to their lands.

Who owns the most tracks of lands in Sarawak? The Iban. Not the State. However, Taib used his Land Code to convert many native lands into State Land. Then he gave these State lands to Samling and WTK to plant oil-palm. So in actual fact the Iban are the largest landowners in Sarawak, not the State. But Taib changed it all. His BN YBs, including the Iban YBs, agreed to vote in the Land Code which stripped the Iban of their rights to their own lands. So now vast tracks of land previously owned by the Iban under the pemakai menoa and pulau galau have become State lands overnight for Taib to give away to his family, friends and cronies.

However, did you know that the High Court, the Appeals Court and the highest court in Malaysia, the Federal Court, disagreed with Taib? Yes, they disagreed with Taib and said that the Iban do indeed own their pemakai menoa and pulau galau. They said that the Land Code in Sarawak is misinterpreted by the Director of Lands & Survey. The landmark case of Nor anak Nyawai, which every lawyer in Malaysia knows, once and for all settled the issue and grants ownership of pemakai menoa and pulau galau to the Iban. Recently, the Hj Ramli Case further extended the same principle to coastal lands owned by Malays. But the State government still refuses to grant titles to these lands despite the court rulings.

Instead, the State government is stubbornly fighting the precedent created in the Nor Nyawai Case. It is fighting so that it can continue to rob the Iban of their lands, which has been recognised by the law since 2007!

So now that we have discovered that the courts and the laws of Malaysia do indeed recognise that the Iban own huge tracks of lands in Sarawak and that the Land Code enacted by Taib's Dewan Undangan Negeri is practically useless and has no legal standing, does this ownership of lands make the Iban instant overnight millionaires? No yet.

What will make Iban instant overnight millionaires is when Samling and WTK and all oil-palm giants surrender the lands leased to them by the State back to the original owners of the lands, with all the palm oil growing on these lands. All these oil palm will then be automatically owned by the Iban, as Samling and WTK would be recognised as trespassers on lands owned by the Iban. In common law, trespassers have no rights over their cultivate crops.

This ownership of hectares of oil palm planted by Samling and WTK and all the other oil-palm giants will revert back to the poor Iban and make them instant millionaires! Instant overnight millionaires by the stroke of a pen! Just like how Taib made himself and his family, friends and cronies instant overnight millionaires.

And who will have the authority to decide this with a stroke of the pen? The Land Commission promised by Baru Bian. Baru Bian's promise of a Land Commission is not just empty talk. He has put his words into action. The Star on Friday January 22, 2010, reported this: Oil palm firm told to return land to Ibans.

If we vote BN out and Pakatan Rakyat in, Baru Bian will have the political power to set up a Land Commission and then the Iban, Orang Ulu, Bidayuh, Malays and even urban Chinese will all become instant millionaires. With the stroke of a pen! It is now up to us to decide if we want to become instant millionaires or not.

You can be as rich as Jabu and Taib. All you have to do is vote Pakatan Rakyat (PKR, DAP, PAS or SNAP) and let Baru Bian set up a Land Commission when Pakatan Rakyat takes over the Sarawak government.

Thursday, November 25

Baru Bian takes Dayak leaders to task

KUCHING: The Dayak leaders in the Barisan Nasional have been taken to task for failing in their duties towards the community that they are supposed to represent, and yet they dare to question the role Dayaks are playing in Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

“PKR is not a racist like Barisan Nasional; it fights for justice of all Malaysians including Dayaks. This is why I am attracted to PKR,” Baru Bian (pic), chairman of Sarawak PKR said in reply to President of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party, William Mawan Ikom.

Mawan had accused PKR leaders of closing their eyes not only on Sabah and Sarawak, but also on Dayaks.

Mawan said: “Baru, being a Dayak representative, is not being appreciated in the party. Baru always focuses on the struggles of the Dayaks and their rights, especially the NCR land issues.

“This struggle does not speak well of PKR. Now that the Dayak community does not have a representative in PKR, my advice for them is to rely on the ruling BN government,”
Mawan said.

“We don’t want to follow their racist policies,” Bian added, pointing out that the absence of the Dayaks in the top leadership does not mean that the rights of the Dayaks are not protected.

He said: “We have Dayaks as President of SPDP, President of PRS, and the Deputy President of PBB. And what have they done to help the Dayaks?

You can put hundreds of Dayaks as leaders; but if they do not fight for interests of the Dayaks and have never protected their rights. Why should we support them, because they are useless?

“But if you have a non-Dayak leading a party and fights for the rights of the Dayaks, then he should be given all around support,”
he added.

“Ask them why are they not looking after the interests and the rights of the Dayaks? Why are the issues of NCR land faced by the Dayaks are are still not solved?

“Only yesterday (Land Development Minister and PRS President) James Masing suddenly woke up and found out that the common law and the Adat are so important than the Land Code.

“He and other Dayak elected representatives should long time ago know about it, and should have done something about it. We in PKR all this while know about it,” said Bian, who is a prominent NCR land lawyer.

“PKR in Sarawak has been emphasizing on the importance of native customary rights over land in Sarawak. We have been fighting for the recognition of these rights for many years.

“You know that this is an area where I am very passionate about. And I made a statement in my website and now I am issuing a similar statement that we are offering in particular to the rural folk of Sarawak a solution for the NCR land issues.

“I have said it in the past and I am going to say it again, reiterating our stand on the NCR land that we are going to form a land commission which power is not only to investigate claims on NCR land, but also the power to issue titles, gazette the area and of course issue individual titles.

“Now we are not only looking at land owned by the rural natives but we are equally concerned with land issues affecting the Malays and the Chinese,”
he said, pleading on them not to be misled by the Barisan Nasional which has been in power for the last 47 years in Sarawak.

The state BN government has reduced Sarawak into one of the three poorest states in the country, and the people of Sarawak should put a stop to this.

“Let us change the state government, and the time is now,” Bian added, lashing out at Masing who said that PKR had nothing to offer to the people of Sarawak, so they should not take the party seriously.

Explaining why he attracted to PKR, he said that the most important thing in PKR is its platform, the policy and what it is fighting for.

“I am attracted to PKR because it is fighting for the justice of all Malaysians including Dayaks. Dayaks’ interests and rights are protected.

“If that is the case then, we would ask all the Dayaks in Sarawak to come over and support PKR instead of PBB, SPDP and PRS if you want your land to be protected,” he said.- The Broken Shield

Tuesday, November 23

Masing: Common Law takes precedence over Land Code

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak has expressed concern over the ‘quarrels’ between native land owners and the state government over claims of native customary rights land.

“The quarrels between native land owners are not a big problem; it can be settled. What concern us are the quarrels between the native land owners and the state government.

“The quarrels over what constitutes NCR land and what is state land, “
said PRS President James Masing.

Laterally, there are hundreds of claims and counter claims over the status of land between the land owners and the government.

So far more than 200 cases of land disputes are now pending hearing in the court.

Explaining PRS’ position after chairing its supreme council meeting on Saturday (20 Nov), Masing believed that the current exercise by the state government to survey NCR land and State land is a move in the right direction.

“Once we know which one is NCR land and which one is state land, and then the issue of conflict between the NCR land owners and the government will not arise anymore,” said Masing, who is also the Land Development Minister.

“We are concerned, because we are a party that represents the native communities and we want to ensure that the security of their land must be protected,” he said.

Masing said that one of the things they discussed in their meeting was a land report presented by its Land committee which had made a number of recommendations and observance.

“What I found out the most interesting in the report is that the Common Law takes precedence over the Land Code. This Common Law has the support of the Federal Constitution and the International Law.

“Common Law means the acquisition of land by traditional means. At the moment we may have slight problems that the Land Code does engender.

“How best we put them together so that we do not in conflict with the Common Law. And we have to tread on it carefully,”
he said, adding that some of the amendments to the Land Code seemed to be in conflict with the Common Law.

“As a party representing the rural communities, this is our concern. We are not saying that the government is wrong. Let us synchronize the conflict.

“We must look into this seriously,”
he added.

On the proposals recommended by the report, Masing said: “We have a long discussion on this report and how best we can develop NCR land. We have to look at it in terms of the concept and the proposal from the legal point of the land code that governs the NCR land.

“On the concept and the legal aspect, what I found the most interesting is that thereis a lot of inadequacy that the NCRland concept that we have.

“And they did the comparison of the NCR land concept with SALCRA. Even though SALCRA may not give that much as compared with FELCRA or FELDA, yet according to the report more people are agreeable to SALCRA than with the NCR land development that we have.

“As I told you before that my ministry is looking for ways and means as to how best we can improve NCR land development and giving more beneficiaries to the land owners,” he said.

Thursday, November 18

Radio Free Sarawak -

Radio Free Sarawak is the independent radio station that brings you the news you want to hear, not what others want you to hear. No one controls us, except you, the listeners of Sarawak . So tune in and enjoy the news, interviews, reports and comment that you will never get to hear on any of the other government-controlled radio stations in Sarawak. There will be plenty of our best music too, all presented to you in Iban by Papa Orang Utan, our own man from the jungle of Sarawak!

Please listen in and send us back your comments and views, so we can be in touch with you and bring you the radio programme that you like. If you have an issue, a problem or a story that you would like the rest of Sarawak to hear about, message us on this site or ring us on our Radio Free Sarawak local number [DUE SHORTLY] and leave us details of your story or your comment on our answer bank.

We may play out your comments or we may even ring you back so remember, leave your number if you want!

And for further independent news and reports on Sarawak go to

Wednesday, November 17

Left-wing retirees worrisome

By Churchill Edward

The Borneo Post carried a story entitled “Left-wing retirees worrisome” dated 17 November 2010:

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) youth Chief Mong Dagang said that there are government retirees who have turned into political left-wingers.

Mong said he was very sure of this as far as his state constituency of Bukit Begunan was concerned. Speaking over the phone yesterday, he said the retirees could be frustrated lot, thus had become easily influenced by negative elements.

He said he was saddened by this because as retirees they were expected to make positive contributions to their respective communities.

Mong said these left-wingers were not easy to quantify even in his constituency.

“We cannot deny that they are among us, but we do not know how many. As far as my constituency is concerned, I know there are some,” he said.

“They should be helping to improve the quality of life in their respective areas after being civil servants from 20 to 30 years. They should be supporting the government of the day instead of inciting people to go against it,” Mong said.

He said his only advice to them was to remember that as retirees they were supposed to be role models and thus should behave accordingly.

“They must return to the way it should be. Help the community by helping the government put positive input into society. They must not poison the minds of the people,” he said.

On the apparent frustration of the retirees with the government, he said: “Of course no government in the world is perfect. Our government is no exception. It has its shortcomings and there are bound to be miscommunication. But it is not dead.”

Having said that, Mong said most of the retirees were gentlemen and some had gone on to become community leaders and respected people.

Mong said the left-wing politics of some of these retirees was a disappointment to the government.
The Broken Shield: The Reader’s Digest Oxford defines “left-wing” as “the radical or socialist section of a political party.”

In the 1960s, that is, during the height of communist insurgency in the State, many members of Sarawak United People’s Party were labeled as “left-wing elements” and were arrested. Some escaped into the jungle to carry out armed struggle and terrorist activities against the state.

If you are retirees, is it fair to label you as such?The Broken Shield

Sunday, November 14

A letter from an Orang Ulu

By Burak Sem
My Brothers & Sisters,

I am now on my 'time-off', back to my second home, Bintulu with my family for about two months. In fact, I am already recovered from 'jet-lag' two days ago, and nevertheless, not forgetting of the delays in my emails, which have have fallen behind for almost 9 days.

It's great to be home again, with the weather, foods, friends, relatives, culture and driving on the left side of the road. I am planning to go back to my kampung in Telang Usan in couple of days and hope to catch up with the situations and get myself to well prepared for the upcoming state election.

Disgustingly, the Sarawak political system, from other countries has been tagged to be corrupt, hopelessness, vague and primitive since 29 years under the Barisan National government. Political system in this state of Sarawak is obviously unhealthy and people's rights are abused single-handedly by 'one evil man'. Social justice seems to be a far away dream. And the observance of the law seems ruthless.

It is a sad fact that Sarawak, although it has abundance in natural resources, vast area of lands, mighty rivers that could have placed abreast amount the world's richest countries have remained cellar dweller as among the poorest.

The reason is another sad fact, political career in the country is a very lucrative business that engrossed a lot of "greedy-white devils" lead by the “Old-Goat Father Abdul Taib Mahmud” and they spend a fortune, pour and mobilized out his greed just to grab posts, then recover their expenses with gargantuan profits out of Dayak's coffers and money spinning deals once elected. The end result, true welfare of Sarawak and its people for real leaps of progress does not happen, instead, the deplorable wealth these politicians amassed in just a few years becomes a common scenario.

As long as these traditional politicians in Barisan National reigns in power. As long as corruption is permitted by the top leadership and the political dynasty system continue to dominate, this country will continue to be buried under the ground. A country in misery, a country without hope, a country without future.

Hopes only prevail when we all Sarawakian decide and chooses a new and trust worthy leaders who struggle for our causes and who understands where we are at, this country Sarawak will have hope.

In a democratic society like in America and European countries, governance is always at the hands of the people. But, the state Barisan National lead by “Old-Goat Father Abdul Taib Mahmud” do not want us to know this facts about democracy, but continue to manipulate our minds to think, 'without Barisan National' there will be no hope of developments', 'maintaining stability and prosperity in the country', 'opposition cannot bring development to the people',

The Barisan National lead by “Old-Goat Father Abdul Taib Mahmud” and their dirty policy is slowly, but surely changing our cultures towards supporting their greed, regardless of our strong cultural background. They change our land codes in order to support their family members, elites' business empire, they change our traditions, cultures and corrupting our mindsets, to give us no choice but continually supporting them.

So why do Sarawakian keep silent? The simple answer is we have been taught by Barisan National on 'education and fear' and 'education depending their lies'. Our entire system and way of life are based on producing a feudal society, where the “subjects” are ruled by the “overlords.”

The overlords are the politicians in power, start from those small "Mao Ze Tung" in the civil service, the timber tycoons who benefitted from the "award-negotiated timber licenses”, "family members on free-share contracts".

I don't think it is necessary to change the culture of Culture and Tradition of Sarawak, what is necessary is to change the system within (governance) itself. Unless we will not change our attitude, this country will remain to be at the hands of opportunists, politician with self vested interests and robbers. What is happening in Sarawak, in my own view and what is happening in the state is not just a result of corrupt system and of poor managed government.

Therefore, the change must start within us, especially our youth, younger generations. The youth is said to be the catalyst of change. It is said that the youth is the hope of changing and bringing an ideal system. But how exactly can the youth change the present system when he is surrounded by a corrupt system? How can we do it when not all can study and get themselves involved in worthy activities? How can we do his advocacies when his freedoms are suppressed? How can the youth fight the pain of a corrupt system and maintain his idealism for an ideal system?

Choose Trust worthy YB

Soon we will go to the polls and select our new representatives; we must choose our candidates/YB wisely. We urge all eligible voters to consider their choices carefully because this is a crucial election.

The new set of candidates who will be elected into DUN or Parliamentary will be the ones who will guide this state through the major healing on the damages had caused by the incumbent governance.

Thus, voters must carefully assess the competence and track record of those running for the YBs. And not only that, we must assess their characters, honesty and background check as well.

Those who will be placed in positions of power must not only have the skills to govern but also the character, God-fearing, moral fortitude to be responsible and responsive to the needs of the people.

We urge voters to look beyond the candidates, the party's policies, principles and scrutinize the candidates on what they actually have to offer and what the candidate have done in improving the lives of the people.

We are hopeful that we have learned from our mistakes during the last state-election by voting a 'impersonator', 'thief', 'robber' and 'conman' in as our representative in Telang Usan, and will be better prepared this time.

Remember the following Ten (10) Rules, of a Poor and Immoral Candidate (YB):

1. Do not vote for candidate who cheats and taking monies from his people's MRP and use God's name to cover his guilt;

2. Do not vote for candidate who have track-record, swindle the school funds during his days as ruiral SRK teacher, that made the candidate being suspended by the Education Dept for a priod of time before posted at Ubong Emang School in Long Lama;

3. Do not vote for candidate, who hijacked people's 'belian licenses' and re-issue it under the wife's name;

4. Do not vote for candidate who involved in selling of Rumah Orang Ulu Kuching, (together with Abu Bakar @ Tom Belarek), God knows, how the money being divided between them?;

5. Do not vote for candidate who swindled Rm4 million, already allocated for Long San, Long Semiyang and Long Beruang's micro (mini) dams (needless to mention other monies swindled within the last 8 years);

6. Do not vote for candidate who caused disunity among his own people, even at his own long house in Long Bedian, which result they are having 2 Tua Kampung, 3 chapels, etc.;

7. Do not vote for candidate who swindled away part of the money suppose to be for the prices of 'ngajat' competition performed by our poor OU during Baram Regatta. The fist price suppose to be RM3,000 but somebody along the line gave to the 1st winner RM2,000. The same goes to 2nd & 3rd prices, etc. Again, God knows, where are the balance amount of the prices?;

8. Do not vote for candidate who never prepared his speeches and always talk 'rubbish', and also bluntly-challenged the people in Ulu Baram to build mega hotels at Usun Apau, without knowing there are no road excess to the plateau;

9. Do not vote for candidate who encourage 'Baram dam', in order to benefit his own pocket and personal interest, personal investment. That may cause major destruction to the people of the whole of Baram. Including drowning people’s NCR, cultures, traditions (languages/dialects), cemeteries, ecology/environment, etc.; and

10. Do not vote for candidate who is timid, suffering from inferiority-complex and who is also good "ball-polisher", "suka memuji dan memuja" the senior ministers in order to gain personal favor, which results in humiliating and despising the people who are under his constituency.


This is not the time to be blinded by 'the voice of serpent of Eden about 'building Baram dam', before major roads will be build. We should be voting for the "best" candidate in lieu of political dictates. We must choose wisely and ensure that our interests — not the YB self interest. We must be reminded all the times that the incumbents, who are a bunch of conman, career opportunist, business politicians, got us into this total mess.

It is time to break the habit of the party line and open our eyes to what is best for this state. We need a government that wants to listen to the people. This is an election that could determine where our state of Sarawak will go in the near future.

Let's vote to ensure we can maintain our cherished Freedoms, Liberties and Rights. We pray, may GOD pours His Blessing upon us and guide us in the right path and show us His Lights and entrust us with His Wisdom.

The future of Sarawak is in our hand

DO NOT put our future in the hand of corrupt Barisan National YB, the “Old-Goat Father Abdul Taib Mahmud”, not YB Lihan Jok, Alfred Jabu or James Masing, because these names are no worse than "Nyihu-Aso-Menga Sihai" in Kayan, or in Kenyan "Cuk-Asu-Nganan Siyai", with similar meaning in BM "Harapkan-Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi".


This verse is dedicated to the PR candidate of Telang Usan;

Psalms 1: 1; Blessed is the man, who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

This verse is dedicated to the incumbent BN candidate of Telang Usan (YB Lihan Jok);

Psalms 1:4; The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

To: Dennis Ngau, Baram PBB Youth Chief:

I am referring to your upcoming Seminar/Forum/Dialog or whatever your intention with our brothers/Pastors from SIB church in Miri, on November 15, 2010.

This verses is for you to reflect, look at yourself 'inside-out' before you bears false witness and sin against our brothers (SIB Pastors);

Proverb 25:18; "Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow Is a man who bears false witness against his neighbour".

Colosians 3:9-10; "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him".

Leviticus 19:12; "And you shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD".


Burak S. Sem

Monday, November 8

Another blunder by the Forest Department!

The following story confirms another blunder by the Forest Department, which has been ignoring the plight of the natives. It is only interested to make the cronies and families of ministers rich, richer richest, and the people poor, poorer and poorest. It happens in Sebangan and Sebuyau and everywhere. The Batang Rajang logjam is one of the aftermaths of indiscriminate logging.

Read the following story which appeared in The Borneo Post on November 6, 2010:

Revoke two timber licences – Malcolm

MALCOLM Mussem Lamoh (BN-Batang Ai) has appealed to the Forest Department to revoke two timber licences with immediate effect.

He said the licences issued had violated the native customary rights (NCR) over land in his constituency.

“The issuance of two timber licences on NCR land under Peranan Megamas Sdn Bhd and Mastika Jaya Plantation Sdn Bhd has affected SK Nanga Aup and six longhouses namely Danau, Ng. Kumpang, Bukong, Kandis, Kampung Paoh and Kampung Langgir.

“As those longhouses residents have been there for 13 generations, definitely some of their ‘temuda’, ‘pala umai’ and ‘tembawai’ may look like primary forests,”
he said when debating the Supply (2011) yesterday.

Mussem pointed out that not much timber could be extracted from these areas except for isolated ‘pulau galau’ within the licensed areas.

“The revenues that can be collected by the government would not be enough to compensate for the physical damage to their land and crops.

“Moreover, disturbance will be brought about to the river ecosystem and pollution that will seriously affect the gravity-fed water supply for those longhouses,”
he said.

He added that most of the affected land had been earmarked by the landowners for oil palm plantation with Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) and development of rubber estates with the Sarawak Farmers’ Organisation.

He also urged the department to be more prudent in issuing timber licences within NCR land where prior field verifications and consultations with the landowners should be done.

The Forest department must not solely rely on aerial photographs and outdated maps over the intended areas, he said.

“The special conditions attached to these types of licences should be properly explained to the affected communities and rigorously monitored by the relevant authorities to ensure the rights of the landowners would not be violated,” Mussem said.- The Broken Shield.

Sunday, November 7

Dr Jeffrey disagrees with PM take on autonomy for Sabah

November 4, 2010

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) today disagreed with the many contentions of Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak's statement today on autonomy and democratic processes in Sabah.

PKR Vice President, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the Federal Government under Barisan Nasionalto (BN) rule for almost a half-century had not only disrespected Sabah autonomy but had at times trampled on the Malaysia Agreement and the 20 Points which laid the conditions for Sabah to agree form Malaysia in 1963.

"What autonomy? Even Borneonisation of Federal Departments in Sabah has not reached 10 percent until now," he said in a statement here.

Dr Jeffrey, who is also Chairman of Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF), said, the UMNO-led BN rapped Sabah State Constitution when it came to Sabah in 1991 by doing everything to bring down a democratically elected government then.

"UMNO, using a divide-and-rule tactics did everything to change the political equation by changing election boundaries, and then took more than half of the 60 state constituencies to itself, usurping the rights of the state and disenfranchising the genuine locals in the end.

"The Federal Government has not respected Malaysia Agreement and the 20 Points by downgrading Sabah and Sarawak from equal partners to merely one of the 13 states, resulting in a diminished revenue for the state.

"That is why we want a review of the Malaysia Agreement. If they are sincere, the Federal Government should agree to a review,"
he added.

MEANWHILE, deputy chairman of Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMa), Daniel John Jambun, in a separate statement took to task Najib for misleading the world about the autonomy for Sabah being respected and democratic process duly upheld here.

"Kuala Lumpur wants to control everything in Sabah. They even took away our rights to elect and appoint our Chief Minister and also our High Court Judges.

"Capable locals are denied the opportunities to head Federal Departments. Appointment of high ranking officers in the state now only favours the Muslims, resulting in untold discriminations against Christians especially the Kadazandusuns and Chinese,"
he said.

"They did the gerrymandering of Sabah's election boundaries and they issued fake identity cards to Muslim foreigners and they registered them as voters in Sabah.

"All this were done so that the Christian natives would be disenfranchised. The world must be told of this dirty tactics by the Federal leaders. It stinks to heaven, and Najib cannot hide this facts behind his sweet talking to the world about what has been meted to Sabah.

"Is this what Najib means by due democratic process being respected in Sabah? The people of Sabah and the international community do not think so,"
Daniel said in one of his terse statements so far on the issue.

Daniel said Najib's cry that the Federal Government had never sidelined Sabah from development does not hold water as Sabah, though the richest state, is now the second poorest after Kelantan, after near a half-century in Malaysia Federation.


Friday, November 5

Two interesting news items

Two interesting news items appeared in The Borneo Post and in the Star on 4 November (Thursday) which the readers of this blog may want to comment.

(1) Bayoi warns Opposition not to raise land issues

In The Borneo Post, Frederick Bayoi Manggie (BN-Kedup) yesterday issued a stern warning to those still raising land issues to fish for votes and support.

According to him, land was no more an issue and those who persist in raising the issue to incite hatred against the BN government face the risk “of being chases away from the kampongs”.

“I suggest that those who always use land as an issue to stir the people’s mind to hate and reject Barisan Nasional to stop it right away because once you use this issue of this nature, you will be chased away from that kampung,” Bayoi said when debating the 2011 state budget which was tabled by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on Monday.

He commended the initiative of the federal and state government to survey native customary rights (NCR) land which will start at the end of this year.

“All the owners of native customary land in the state have all these years been waiting and expecting the government to survey their land which is very precious and dear to them,” Bayoi said.

“It is hoped that there will be no or fewer land problems in the rural areas.”

Bayoi also appealed to the government to get rid of red tapes whenever villagers apply for their lands to be surveyed.

“Our people now have high expectation of BN to survey their native customary right land. Please kindly do not fail to meet this high expectation.

“If there are technical problems which may cause delays in surveying their land, please help them to rectify the problems in a very diplomatic manner so that the people will always be happy and have high confidence in our government to them.”

(2) Verify land with dept first

In the Star, Community leaders or “tuai rumah” found certifying transactions for native customary rights (NCR) land without verifying them with the Land and Survey Department will be taken to court.

Planning and Resource Management Assistant Minister Mohd Naroden Majais told the State Assembly yesterday that these community leaders would be charged under Section 210(e) of the Land Code which carries a fine or a jail term.

“The worst scenario is when these “tuai rumah” certify the wrong land which could belong to others, causing disputes and quarrels,” he said during question time.

He said for joint venture projects, landowners and investors should consult the department first to verify the status of a particular parcel of land to avoid running foul of the law.

“Investors would risk losing big,” Naroden warned.

“Furthermore, for any genuine NCR land, the investor must be either a native or have been deemed a native for the purpose of developing the land under the provision of the Land Code. Otherwise the agreement would not be proper".

Naroden said this was why the government encouraged NCR land to be developed under the new development concept in which the Land Custody Development Authority was entrusted as the managing agent. – The Broken Shield

Tuesday, November 2

Baru criticises district officers

PKR Sarawak has criticised certain District Officers who advise native customary rights land owners to withdraw their court cases if they want their land to be surveyed and to be issued titles.

“This sort of advice is misleading and deceiving the people,” said its chairman, Baru Bian to reporters.

“I receive several reports from the NCR land owners regarding certain district officers who advise them to withdraw their court cases against the government if they want their land to be surveyed and to be issued titles.

“I told the land owners not to withdraw their court cases as the district officers are misleading and deceiving them,”
said Bian, who is a prominent NCR land lawyer.

Currently there are more than 200 cases before the High Court of NCR land owners suing the government for allegedly grabbing their land and leasing them to cronies and families of politicians for the planting of oil palm.

Of the number, Bian is representing land owners in more than 170 cases.

“Don’t listen to these district officers or other civil servants; they are playing politics,” he said, pointing out that in the end they may lose all their land.

“Even you may lose your temuda (farm land), pulau galau (communal forests) and pemakai menua (territorial domain). The government’s lawyers have been arguing in court that the government does not recognise all these lands as NCR land.

“For temuda to be considered as NCR land, it must be planted with fruit trees and cash crops as evident of occupation.

“The government even refuses to adhere to the Apex Court decision that defines NCR land means temuda, communal forests and territorial domain,”
he said.

Bian said that the on-going so-called perimeter survey is politically motivated to coincide with the next state election.

“The amount of RM 20 million announced by (Prime Minister) Najib Tun Razak is to pacify the angry land owners. When the election is over, the perimeter survey will also cease,” he said.

And the whole problems will be back to square one.

Bian said that the only way to solve this (land grabbing) problem is to change the state government.

“Pakatan Rakyat has a definite and clear policy on NCR lands and other lands. Should PR form the next state government, the NCR lands that have been grabbed by the government will be returned to their rightful owners,” he said.

Friday, October 29

Stupid civil servants trying to bluff people!

Land Development Minister James Masing and Director of Forests Len Talif clash over the interpretation of the causes of the logjam that spread over 250 km of the Rajang River two weeks ago.

While Masing puts the blame on logging activities, much of which were carried out illegally in forests at Sungai Melatai in his constituency of Baleh, Len says the loggers should not be blamed as the causes of the logjam were due to the changing patterns of rain in the area.

Masing says heavy logging activities have caused landslides during heavy rains bringing with it logs and debris down the river right to the mighty Rajang River.

Masing wants the authorities to take stern action against companies which have been carrying out intensive logging activities in the area. According to him, this was the third incident of its kind.

In a direct challenge to Masing, Len said that logging activities in the upper reaches of Rajang River should not be blamed for the recent logjam.

“Many thought that logging was the main cause, but studies showed that it contributed minimally to the massive debris that clogged the Rajang River for several days.

“The changing pattern of rain in the area is the main culprit which has been changing in the last three years.

“According to the hydrographs report on Nanga Ga’at, the water level on October 3 at 4.48 pm was 8 metres. On October 7 at 7.00 am, the water level was 5 metres. At 9.00 pm on the same day, it rose to 11 metres.

“Through this study, we have concluded that the debris was caused by the concentration of rains within a short period,”
he said.

Most of the debris in the form of logs came from the forests of Sungai Melatai.

According to Len, the logging activities from Sungai Melatai had stopped since 2007.

Commenting on Len’s statement, Masing who is also the state assemblyman for Baleh said that the Forestry and he had a different interpretation of what has been described as “natural and man-made disaster.”

“I am not being polemical here. But it is interesting to note that where there are massive soil erosions in the upper reaches of Baleh River there are extensive logging activities.

“There are no massive erosions where there are no logging activities.

“What does this mean?” he asked.

“Let soil experts make their conclusion. I stand to be corrected on the cause of Baleh logjam issue,” said Masing, who is also the president of Parti Rakyat Sarawak.

It is obvious that Len is policing Taib’s balls at the expense of his professional integrity.

It does not take one to be a scientist to know that the debris consisting of logs and timber parts are the ones that have caused the logjam. These logs and timber parts have been piled up over the years so when heavy rains came, the logs and timber parts were washed away.

You cannot bluff all people all the time. Nowadays people are even smarter than Len Talif except that they are not given a chance to prove themselves.

What a stupid man he is!

Another “apple polisher” civil servant is divisional engineer of the department of irrigation and drainage, Ting Sing Kwong who says that the low water level of the Rajang River is due to dry weather. It is NOT due to the impoundment of the Bakun dam, he says.

Why that is all these years Rajang River has never experienced such a low water level? Why did it happen when we started to impound water into the dam? Don’t try to bluff people and make yourself look stupid in the eyes of the public.– The Broken Shield.

Monday, October 25

NGOs condemn the arrest of seven NCR land owners

SIMUNJAN: Four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have condemned the Police for the arrest of an activist, four longhouse chiefs and villagers on Thursday (21 October) and described such action as an act of intimidation and abuse of power by the authorities.

”We in Borneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS) view the recent arrest of seven Ibans from Sebuyau as an act of intimidation by the authorities. We believe that Nicholas Mujah and the other six villagers are wrongly accused of mischief.

“This is not the first time that the indigenous communities in Sarawak are accused of committing such a crime.

“Why do the police only decide to act now when numerous police reports were lodged by the villagers against the encroachment of the logging company, and no action was taken then?”
asked Mark Bujang, BRIMAS executive director.

Bujang called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to start investigating as to how the logging licence was issued to the company especially if it is true that Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud's sister, Raziah Mahmud is involved.

The Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) should also check whether any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study has been done and approved for the logging activities, said Bujang.

“We find it a bit suspicious about the burning incident when Quality Concrete logging licence is about to expire this November,” he said.

Romuald Siew, President of Jaringan Tanah Hak Adat Bangsa Asal Sarawak (TAHABAS) also condemned the arrest of the villagers.

"Our communities have been oppressed and our rights neglected and trampled upon for too long.

“This is just another example of where the rich and powerful are bullying the natives so that they can become even richer at the expense of the natives,”
he said.

"We stand in solidarity with the communities in Sebuyau, and demand that the authorities would release the seven Iban villagers immediately," said Siew.

Adrian Lasimbang, President of The Indigenous People Network of Malaysia (JAOS), while condemning the arrest, said that the non-recognition of their rights to NCR land will cause the loss of biodiversity and deforestation.

Wednesday, October 20

Machinery and quarters burnt down

SEBUYAU: Fire on Monday afternoon (18 October) destroyed a block of two storey quarters occupied by timber workers, a store, six tractors, two logging trucks, a pick up and an excavator belonging to a logging company.

Six tractors were left in the forest, while two logging trucks, a pick up and an excavator were in the camp site when they were found to have been destroyed by fire.

The destroyed properties are owned by Royal Billion Sdn Bhd, a logging contractor of Quality Concrete Holdings. Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s sister Raziah is a director of the company.

The amount of loss is yet to be estimated.

It is not immediately known how the fire started or who were responsible for it.

The logging company, Quality Concrete Holdings, has been in the centre of dispute after the Forest Department has given it a licence to carry out logging activities in the disputed 3,305 hectares of forests which the Ibans from six longhouses claim to be their NCR land.

When negotiations failed the Ibans have also brought their case with the Police, the district and resident offices, the lands and surveys and the Forest department.

When all these failed, the natives since last Friday have erected a blockade (see picture above) to stop the workers from the Royal Billion company encroaching into their native customary rights land.

They have also stopped a "tongkang" from loading timber that has been extracted from the disputed area.

Nicholas Mujah, one of the leaders from the six Iban longhouses, said the villagers were not aware of the fire as they have been stationed at the blockade.

He said that it could be the work of arsonists who want to put the blame on the villagers.

“The villagers who put up the blockade are about four kilometres from the camp site and they were not aware what was going on in the camp.

“It (fire) must be the work of people who want to put the blame on the villagers,”
said Mujah, urging the police to carry out an immediate investigation.

Sunday, October 17

Rundi condemned

Two non-governmental organisations have slammed Assistant Minister for Public Health and Utilities Stephen Rundi for discouraging the natives from exercising their legal rights by taking their native customary rights (NCR) land disputes to court.

“The statement from Rundi shows how the state government under the current Barisan Nasional regime is not sincere about respecting and recognising the natives’ right to their customary land and resources and continue to make statements aimed to confuse the natives for their own selfish political agenda,” said Romuald Siew, president of Sarawak Native Customary Land Rights Network (Tahabas).

He was commenting on the statement by Rundi, who is the state assemblyman for Kemena that the best and the most effective way for the locals to claim Native customary rights (NCR) land is by submitting their applications to the government.

“Doing it through the courts would only benefit the lawyers,” he said, pointing out that he does not deny that the natives have rights to use the legal channels.

“But the best solution, which involves only a minimal cost would be to apply to the government,” Rundi said.

Responding to this, Siew said: “The natives have tried time and time again to get the government to recognise and respect our NCR, but most of the time the government could not be bothered.

“We have tried all the possible official channels including writing numerous letters, petitions and memorandums to get the state government to solve our land disputes and to get recognition and respect for our NCR.

"Some communities even did direct actions such as erecting blockades on their land or demonstrating peacefully, but until today, the government either ignores us or dismisses our claims,” said Siew.

Now, where can the poor community seek redress for their NCR land problems? Of course, they have no choice but to engage a lawyer in order to seek redress through the legal channel.

“It is time consuming and costly for the natives, but what choice do they have when the government not only refuses to entertain their claims but keeps on arbitrarily issuing provisional leases to the big companies over their NCR land,”
lamented Siew.

The Tahabas president said: “If the government is sincere, as a start Rundi should first look at the document titled, ‘Composite Plan Showing Distribution of Farming Land in Suai-Niah-Sibuti’ and use that as a reference to gazette the communal land boundaries of NCR areas in the Suai-Niah-Sibuti areas.”

Mark Bujang, Executive Director of Borneo Resources Institute (BRIMAS), pointed out that in the Baram District, the Brooke and British Colonial Administrations had recorded the communal land boundary of the NCR lands of the longhouses there in the ‘Register of Land Boundaries’ kept in the District Office, Marudi until today.

Mark also echoed the sentiments of TAHABAS to urge the government to also gazette the communal land boundaries immediately based on the records in the Register.

“As for areas where the communal land boundaries are yet to be recorded, the government should make its own efforts to go to the ground and assist the natives to record and gazette their boundaries,” said Mark.

Mark added: “Since the Courts have already decided that the communal land boundary of the NCR lands of the natives is based on or defined by the ‘antara’ or ‘garis menoa’ of their longhouses, the government should therefore comply with the said decisions by the Courts and immediately conduct joint ground surveys with the natives to identify and then gazette the communal land boundary of their longhouses.”

Can the government be charged for contempt of court when it (the government) refuses to comply with the court decisions? – The Broken Shield.

Saturday, October 16


How a nephew of Tun Mahathir's sees Lee Kuan Yew - MUST READ *


* The writer is a nephew of Dr Mahathir.

Singapore's Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, who was Singapore 's founding father, has always been very direct in his comments. This was the man who outsmarted the communists in Singapore (with the innocent help of Malaya then and the willing help of the British) and who later outwitted the British and outpaced Malaysia in all spheres.

Singapore practices corrupt-free meritocracy and Malaysia affirmative action. The former attracted all the best brains and the latter chased out all the brains. The Singapore cabinet consists of dedicated and intelligent technocrats whereas Malaysia has one of the most unwieldy cabinets. Not only that, brain wise it was below par not even good for the kampong.

With that kind of composition, one that is very brainy, naturally Singapore, with no natural resources could outstrip Malaysia in every aspect of development. Malaysia, on the other hand, was too much preoccupied with its Malayness and the illusory 'Ketuanan Melayu' and was also more interested in useless mega iconic development rather than real social and economic development.

Whenever Kuan Yew utters anything that deemed to be a slight on Malaysia, voices were raised admonishing him. Malaysia would never dare to face reality. That Singapore had shown that it could survive was a slap on those who believed that Singapore would fold up once it left Malaysia. Therefore it was natural that these doomsayers would try to rationalise their utterances to be in their favour to combat on whatever Kuan Yew commented. Its political jealousy.

Singapore achieved its development status without any fanfare. But here in Malaysia, a development that was deceptive was proclaimed as having achieved development status. It was trumpeted as an achievement that befits first world status. This was self delusion. Malaysians are led to believe into a make believe world, a dream world. The leaders who themselves tend to believe in their own fabricated world did not realise the people were not taken in by this kind of illusion.

Lee Kuan Yew believed in calling a spade a spade. I was there in Singapore when the People's Action Party won the elections in 1959. He was forthright in his briefing to party members as to what was expected of them and what Singapore would face in the future. Ideologically, I did not agree with him. We in the University of Malaya Socialist Club had a different interpretation of socialist reconstruction. But he was a pragmatist and wanted to bring development and welfare to the Singaporeans. Well! He succeeded.

Malaysia was so much embroiled in racial politics and due to the fear of losing political power, all actions taken by the main party in power was never targeted towards bringing wealth to all. Wealth was distributed to the chosen few only. They were the cronies and the backers of the party leadership to perpetuate their own selfish ends.

Seeing the efficiency and the progress achieved by Singapore caused the Malaysian leadership to suffer from an inferiority complex. That Malaysia should suffer from this complex was of its own making.

In a recent interview, Kuan Yew said that Malaysia could have done better if only it treated its minority Chinese and Indian population fairly. Instead they were completely marginalised and many of the best brains left the country in drove. He added that Singapore was a standing indictment to what Malaysia could have done differently. He just hit the nail right there on the head.

Malaysia recently celebrated its 50th year of independence with a bagful of uncertainties. The racial divide has become more acute. The number of Malay graduates unemployed is on the increase. And this aspect can be very explosive. But sad to see that no positive actions have been taken to address these social ills.

Various excuses were given by Malaysian leaders why Singapore had far outstripped Malaysia in all aspects of social and economic advancement. Singapore was small, they rationalised and therefore easy to manage. Singapore was not a state but merely an island.

There was one other aspect that Malaysia practises and that is to politicise all aspects of life. All government organs and machinery were 'UMNO-ised'. This was to ensure that the party will remain in power. Thus there was this misconception by the instruments of government as to what national interest is and what UMNO vested interest is.

UMNO vested interest only benefited a few and not the whole nation. But due to the UMNO-isation of the various instruments of government, the country under the present administration had equated UMNO vested interest as being that of national interest. Thus development became an avenue of making money and not for the benefit of the people. The fight against corruption took a back seat. Transparency was put on hold. And the instruments of government took it to be of national interest to cater to the vested interest of UMNO. Enforcement of various enactments and laws was selective. Thus a 'palace' in Kelang, APs cronies and close-one-eye umno MPs could exist without proper procedure. Corruption infested all govt departments, the worse is the police and lately even in the judiciary.

Singapore did not politicise its instruments of government. If ever politicisation took place, it is guided by national interest. To be efficient and to be the best in the region was of paramount importance. Thus all the elements like corruption, lackadaisical attitude towards work and other black elements, which would retard such an aim, were eliminated. Singapore naturally had placed the right priority in it's pursuit to achieve what is best for its people. This is the major difference between these two independent countries.

Malaysia in its various attempts to cover up its failures embarked on several diversions. It wanted its citizens to be proud that the country had the tallest twin-tower in the world, although the structure was designed and built by foreigners. Its now a white-elephant wasting away. It achieved in sending a man into space at an exorbitant price. For what purpose? These are what the Malays of old would say "menang sorak" (hollow victories).

It should be realised that administering a country can be likened to managing a corporate entity. If the management is efficient and dedicated and know what they are doing, the company will prosper. The reverse will be if the management is poor and bad. The company will go bust.

There are five countries around this region. There is Malaysia, and then Indonesia. To the east there is the Philippines and then there is that small enclave called the Sultanate of Brunei. All these four countries have abundance of natural resources but none can lay claim to have used all these resources to benefit the people. Poverty was rampant and independence had not brought in any significant benefits to the people.

But tiny Singapore without any resources at all managed to bring development to its citizens. It had one of the best public MRT transport systems and airlines in the world and it is a very clean city state. Their universities, health care, ports are among the best in the world.

It is impossible to compare what Singapore has achieved to what all these four countries had so far achieved. It was actually poor management and corruption, and nothing more. Everything is done for the vested interest of the few.

Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines and the Sultanate of Brunei need good management teams. They would not be able to do this on their own steam. I would advise that they call on Kuan Yew to show them what good governance is. Why look East to Japan when it is just next door across the causeway.

Editor's Note: The article is published the way we received it by email from another source...We do not know where it was published first.

Wednesday, October 13

Tuai Rumahs sacked

Scores of Tuai Rumahs (longhouse chiefs) and Tua kampungs (village chiefs) have been sacked after they have been found welcoming members of the opposition to their longhouses.

The latest victims are two longhouse chiefs in Sungai Poi, Kanowit, Tuai Rumah Philip Ak Amon and Tuai Rumah Sau.

Philip received the letter terminating his service effective 1 September 2010. The letter came from the office of the State Secretary (see attached letters above).

He was first given a show-cause letter following a complaint from supporters of State assemblyman for Machan Gramong Juna.

The show-cause letter dated 6 April was signed by the district officer, Kanowit, Bobbie Yamoh after he received complaints against Tuai Rumah Philip supporting the opposition members during the New Year celebrations on 25 January 2010 at his longhouse.

“According to our investigations, it has been found out by this office that the allegation was true.

“For your information, your action in supporting the opposition party is a serious offence under the Community Leaders Scheme of Service and a disciplinary action including the termination of your service as longhouse chief can be taken against you.

“You are hereby given the opportunity to give an explanation in writing within 14 days from the date of this letter,”
said the District Officer.

A similar letter was given to Tuai Rumah Sau, also of Sungai Poi, Kanowit.

Like Philip, Tuai Rumah Sau was also sacked last month.

Despite his dismissal as longhouse chief, Tuai Rumah Philip is still the longhouse chief elected by the majority of the people of his longhouse and they want him to lead them.

A pledge of support signed by 34 heads of families of the longhouse has been sent to the distract officer for his information.

Commenting on this Nicholas Mujah, secretary general of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) said: “Nowadays, warning and disciplinary actions against longhouse chiefs for supporting the opposition are common throughout Sarawak.

“This is particularly so when the general election is coming, but the longhouse chiefs who are elected by the longhouse folk just cannot be bothered.

“Only the longhouse chiefs appointed by the government upon recommendation by their respective assemblymen are scared.

“But the longhouse chiefs who have been elected by the longhouse folk according to Iban Adat (custom) are not afraid to welcome visitors be they from the Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional as that is their Adat to welcome them.

“And they do not mind if they do not receive allowance of RM450 per month,”
said Mujah.

Since politicians involved in the appointment of community leaders during the state election in 2006, many longhouses are not happy with the government appointees.

Some prefer their own longhouse chiefs who know the customs and traditions.

For example, Abok Pulau Batu longhouse in Sri Aman has two Tuai Rumahs: Tuai Rumah Suri Anak Nyaun was recommended by the State assemblyman for Balai Ringin Snowdan Lawan to be Tuai Rumah; and he has a few families supporting him.

And the other is Tuai Rumah Nyanggau Anak Gerang who has been elected by more than 20 families.

“We have two Tuai Rumahs, one for the government and the other for the rakyat,” said ex-councillor Augustine Mercer.

Mujah accused the government of trying to break the down longhouses into two in order for them to divide and rule the Iban community.

“It is really sad especially when the Ibans themselves are part of this policy,” he added.

Meanwhile, See Chee How, information chief of Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat wants to seek a judicial review against the decision to sack the longhouse chiefs.

“Give me the names of the sacked Tuai Rumah, so that we can apply for a judicial review,” said See, who is a lawyer with Baru Bian Advocates and co. – The Broken Shield.