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Monday, April 14, 2008

The Voices from The Aborigines - Dedicated to Bruno Manser

Opposition represses Dayaks
By Lucas Jalong Bato, Borneo Post Press (Monday, 14th April 2008)

By opposing the devt of native customary land, opposition parties suppress and oppress the rural Dayaks, says Jabu

MIRI: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang slammed the opposition for opposing the development of native customary land (NCL) in the state, turning the table on them by saying that by their stand they are the ones who are suppressing and oppressing the rural Dayaks.

“The PKR and DAP are the ones who suppress and oppress NCL landowners from participating in government’s programme aimed at eradicating rural poverty.

Therefore, whatever they say in order to win votes, the people of Sarawak especially the rural poor must reject them,” said Jabu.

He said this at the installation dinner of the Federation of Orang Ulu Associations Sarawak Malaysia (Forum) executive committee last night.

Among those present were the president of the federation Lihan Jok who is also Telang Usan assemblyman; Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan, several Orang Ulu community leaders and other dignitaries.

Jabu, who is also Rural Development Minister, while reiterating the government’s sincerity in helping the rural poor, pointed out that the government’s rural development through NCL development was to accelerate development of the rural areas.

“This is the future of our rural population.


"Throughout his life Manser quietly rejected the dogmatism of religion, especially his native Christianity. In contradistinction, Manser found his personal beliefs confirmed in alignment with aspects of Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and animism that he considered noble and sacred. Manser's spiritual coherence with nature was born in his youthful and mostly solitary explorations of the alpine environment; his coherence with animism was keenly furthered through his deep association with the Penan. Manser believed in following one's dreams, no matter the impediments or implications. With a very poignant understanding of the commonality of hopes and fears of human beings, Manser lived life in respect of all beings, and in respect of the unseen world, which he considered the base of all life." Asia Press Agency, August 2003

I started my writing with the above quotation about Bruno Manser who was perished in the rain forest of Sarawak just to take care of the Penan.

Dear Brother Bruno Manser,

It has been 8 years you have left us untracked and unsigned. The Penan has missed your gibbon who always accompanies you to hunt wild boar in Long Kerong. The clinic that your team has built is till there for you to visit. The blowpipe and the dart are always ready for you incase you want bring me for hunting for wild boar. The hut is always warm for you to lay down your head and listen to the midnight cricket and bats. The time when are brother in heart and mind was the precious moment I ever had in my life.

The artwork of non-political buddies

For your information, Forum (Federation of Orang Ulu Associations Sarawak Malaysia) was formed perhaps to extend your help to the Penan. Jabu told us that 11 years and 8 months will be sufficient for them to develop our huts and build schools for our children. It is great news for us and we hope that the future is waiting for us.

Will it be the same again if we accept this offer of development form the Barisan Nasional? Do we have to let them to cut threes and ruin our hut and paddy farm as what Samliing and Rimbunan Hijau have done to us as you have seen? Is there any more group of green soldiers guarding the logging camps and what was happening during our blockades? Will it be RM 800.00 for a piece of MyCard to be asked from the poor Penan again? Last few weeks, those Kayan who do not have MyCard are undermined and their student could not seat for public exam. As a result, Sagan has called the Department of Registrar to take immediate action to help the Orang Ulu with no MyCard.

Smuggled logs

The government has accused the opposition regarding on the NCR and NCL issue. Well, as far as I am concern, NCR lands should be developed in good manner so that it will benefit all parties. It is a win-win situation that we have longing for. Samling and Rimbunan Hijau have taught how to confront with their wrong doing in a peaceful manner. The paid solders were sent to threaten us so that the logging activity can be prolonged. I am agreeing with Jabu if he develops the NCR lands to benefit the land owners. SALCRA has failed many of the NCR land owners through plantation and we lost our land to plant paddy and hunting. Here are some of the pictures that you have given to bmf.

The price of the NCR Land

The unity under PBB is yet to be questioned by the Dayak as PBB have misused every opportunity given by the Dayak. We are united not to serve the party of PBB but to toil as hard as we can to supply for our family. NCR Land development is to encourage rainforest damage and this will be a lost for us once again. The cronies of the Chief Minister will spoil the clear cold water of the river and there will be no place to fish. What is the price we have to give to Jabu in order to allow him to jeopardize our NCR Land? Another Kampung Tun Abdul Razak under the Malaysian 9th Plan? Therefore, Jabu must give the Aborigine the rights over the NCL so that the NCR alnd will never be exploited for free again and again.

We are hoping for a better solution for our NCR land so that there will be no unclear understanding on this matter either by the opposition or the Barisan Nasional.

Till here from now and hope to write more in the future.

Yours Sincerely,
The Lost Aborigine.

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