Tuesday, 24 February 2009 08:52
By Zedeck Siew (The Nut Graph)
BIDOR, 24 Feb 2009: Orang Asli community leaders in Perak are worried that the state's recent political developments will signal a return to a disregard of their rights.
"We feel concern and sadness at what happened. Where are we in all this? Will Orang Asli issues, that were hot in the last 10 months, once again be sidelined?" said Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Perak (JKOAP) secretary Tijah Yok Chopil.
Tijah, a Semai, revealed that in the days following the swearing in of the Barisan Nasional (BN)'s Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as menteri besar on 6 Feb, several trees in the forest near Kampung Chang, in the outskirts of Bidor, had been marked with red paint for logging purposes.
"There are helicopters flying around, surveying the land," she said when met here on 14 Feb.
Other Orang Asli leaders in the state who spoke to The Nut Graph said logging activities in Sungai Siput, which were halted and had their permits revoked by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government, have also been renewed.
A sand mining operation upriver from Kampung Pos Bersih, which was stopped only a week before, was restarted on 12 Feb, they added.
On 14 Feb, Tijah chaired a meeting of Semai leaders from 10 separate Orang Asli villages between Tanjung Malim and Ipoh in Kampung Chang, Sungai Gepai, where her village is.
The meeting discussed the fall of the PR state government and the BN takeover of Perak, and its effects on Orang Asli issues.
"For 51 years we have not been treated as citizens, but squatters. In our lands, no one lives there, according to the government," said Yok Pis Chenadang, a representative from Kampung Pos Bersih.
Read more at: http://www.thenutgraph.com/orang-asli-in-perak-apprehensive
The team assembled at CREST centre at 6.30 p.m. for an on-boarding & prayer session. Data gathering was initiated prior to obtain information on local contacts of church leaders, potential supply / distribution and logistics partner.
We were blessed to be able to obtain the help from the Borneo Evangelical Church ( SIB) throughout the trip. Our special appreciation to Reverand Justin Wan for accommodating a last minute request by canceling and readjusting his schedule.
13th February 2009
6.00 a.m. – The team assembled at LCCT Sepang for an early morning flight to Miri. The team reached Miri almost on time and in high spirit. In waiting, Reverend Justine Wan at the Miri airport. The team was focused on getting as much ground information as possible even during breakfast. With the local information, the team decided to head straight to Marudi that is basically a strategic river port town that connects Miri with lower Baram to the middle or higher Baram. The flood also hit the town and there was a risk that it maybe too chaotic for a recovering town.
Photo: Aftermath in Marudi. And the town is located on top of a hill beside the Baram River.
5.30 p.m – The 3 hour express boat let us into the Marudi town. The newly build jetty is totally overflowed so there was a small blessing of not exerting up town on the hill. The town roads were still brownish from the flood residue leftover equipped with its own distinct complex whiff. Crews were paid to wash mud of the street and stains off the wall of shops. We managed to get a lift to the SIB Marudi church which was miraculously spared. The team held an hour-long discussion with Pastor Ayub and wife and continued on during dinner.
9.30 p.m. - After bath, the team joined the Friday prayer group to explain our intent and to garner suggestions and support. It was during this time that the congregation shared their own take on the church’s involvement where it was agreed that the church, through Pastor Ayub could be a resource. We also hear about the impact of the flood to the people of Long Panai that was covered under water for weeks with very limited help. The Long Panai school that was placed higher on a higher plain beside the village was also flooded, resulted in closure from January 2009. The headmaster, Mr. Mutha agreed to be a resource to co-ordinate with the village and village head in relieft work. We ended the day praying and supping with pastor and family.
14th February 2009
6.30 a.m. – After a night of sleep in the comfort of the church guest room, the team headed our to the jetty. After breakfast, the team parted with Reverend Justine and Pastor Ayub. We manage to find the proprietor of express boat who after hearing the story, decided to reduce a day charge of rent to RM3K.
1.30 p.m – After a 3 plus hour trip up the river, we arrived in the small village of Long Lama. Pastor Thomas is the Co-ordinator for the SIB central Baram region and he waited for us. We had our discussion with him and have to let him go to attend to his dad who had fell down in his home village ( 3 hours away up on the hillside). We were supposed to meet Pastor William as it is a village that is affected. Since he is not around, we were then introduced SIB Long Lama pastor, Pastor Willie. He then gave us more ground news especially on Long Ikang, which we analyze as potentially another area of real needs. Using a 6 foot boat, we powered downstream to assess the damage and to validate ground talks.
On arriving, we notice a village that was devoid of cheer. The only noise came from the children as the adults were taking a break. Soon, we met the 60-70 year old village head named Liban Jalong. We asked permission to view his house and saw the mark of a high level of flood. We also saw photos of his glorious past as a warrior of the Kayan tribe.
Trying to make the best of the time, we make way to access the damage done on the crops. Luckily, the villagers cleared off a trail that morning and the team could actually walk to the plantation and fields. 2-3 inches thick of wet & smelly brown/ black mud covered the whole landscape in the village and posses a sticky challenge to whoever who dares to try. We notice that the generator room was quiet and would have been submerged. Old villagers were trying to wash of the dirt from the houses manually and the strain of such effort is evident. Beyond the path, we can see marks of the flooding on the plants. From ubi, corns, cocoa to other local vegetables, the leaves were covered with mud stains. Expect rot to set in soon to magnify the problem. The thick mud covers the areas below trees, rendering many areas inaccessible.
Soon, we come to the paddy fields where we witness the destruction of a maturing paddy crops. 500 acres of paddy were planted and about 80% were ‘destroyed’. (we also learn later that night that the same village was hit by a smaller flood in Sept/ Oct 08 when the paddy saplings were coming out. They have to replant the whole 500 acres again). The double whammy would mean that they would not be able to have harvest this year; a catastrophe for a village highly depended on their paddy harvest yet unable to move beyond a once-a-year paddy technology. The image of the village head, with lower eyes, saying that “saya tak tahu apa lagi nak buat” ( I have no idea what else to do) shows a warrior leader demoralized. In fact, half the population of the village has left the place to look for jobs in towns so that they can earn some money. We also saw that the flood affected the farming equipments. By estimation, an acre of paddy would require 7 gantangs of seedlings to produce enough paddy saplings, which will come out to 1.5 tonnes in total. At the current moment, this village does not have any seedlings left for their September planting season. It is indeed a village on the throes. Even as we left with promises to do something within 2 weeks, we knew that it should come sooner. The village head was very thankful that he even wanted us to stay back and share a meal with the little that they had.
Photos: Wait till the rot sets in. The whole place will stink and there are other potential consequence in terms of health & access to their drinking water. TC visits a house and see basic living.
6.30 p.m. – The team found the Long Lama village through the darkness. After paying of the boatman, the team decided to hunt around for supply stores. 2 shops were open and both did not have enough supplies. The other shops are already closed. Over dinner, we explored options and Pastor Willie helped us tremendously. He tried to get drivers for the church boat, which proved futile. And he got us connected to a shop owner, who then called around and got the driver of the express service. Mok Chow Meng was a gracious man who gave us a solution to our challenges. He convinced the driver of the express boat to allow us to have 15-20 minute stop and even talked to the owner. He also introduced us to a local grocer, Marudi Cold storage whose owner came down to open their shops. They then make arrangement to carry the RM4.7 thousand worth of goods and food to the express boat, in the quietness of the night. The catholic owner gave us some discounts on the price and we also met a SIB Chinese department lady who operates a clothes shop nearby. We were not able to visit the theology school in Long lama.We finally had our bath at 11.00 p.m that night.
Photos: The shop open for us and kids helping to load the truck
15th February 2009
6.00 a.m. – Rise and shine as the team gears up for a fast lifting exercise. After another kolok mee breakfast, the team were at the jetty and helped (a bit) of the loading process. The Kayan kids seemed to do a better job than us. Pastor Willie came down with Elder Lah and Deacon to great us farewell as we sat on the 8.00 a.m. express ferry.
Photo: With the Long Lama team
10.00 a.m. – The express driver gave loud horn sounds to invite the villagers to help. None came as they were not expecting us and there is no way to contact this village via phone as there is no communication line nearby. They were also probably having the Sunday mass. The store send one of the Kayan kids to help and Elder Lah and some other people also aided us. Soon, Steve and Elder Lah got the villages to come down to the riverbank and the they formed a chain of people to unload the good and foodstuff. We had a short chat with the village head that was now beaming with surprise and happiness. He kept on thanking the group and said that he was shocked. The male villagers also shook out hands as we had to embark back to the boat.
Photo: Very thankful and shocked at the speed of help.
12.00 p.m – We manage to catch the Kuala Baram express without time for lunch. Manage to meet some people from Marudi and Long Panai ( my foster family).
3.00 p.m. – Arrive at the Miri town and went to look for lunch. We had time to stroll about and to have more coffees. Air Asia sent notice that the flight was delayed to a later time.
7.00 p.m. – Check in the Miri airport to find out later that the flight is again delayed.
And again. And again. ( Thanks Tony)
12.40 p.m. – Finally, able to catch the car back to Puchong/ Damansara where we stayed. Taxi would be exorbitant by then so it is a huge plus that Shi could come down to LCCT to get us.
People in Peninsular are still not feeling it...
And yes, it is the logging
And the fish are dying too... ( not really a funny account) http://kopisejuk.blogspot.com/2009/02/damn-funny-news-ever.html
These are the small news that trickle from the worst Baram flood since 1963 where else, the mainstream mass media seemed indifferent.
Balasupramaniam said the 2006 Ampang case had been postponed in January last
year because both the IO and interpreter were absent; it was postponed again in
August because the medical report was not ready and the IO was absent, and again
in December as the IO was absent.
I am appalled by the way we treat our ladies. The 3 girls are underaged. Assemblywoman Elizabeth's 'nude photo' coverage is demeaning to the ladies. They are left fending for themselves and that is not right.
“The parents lodged a police report after they managed to record a telephone
conversation between the suspect and the eldest victim and we are now asking the
A-G to look into revoking the bail and placing the suspect in police custody,”
he told reporters at the AG’s Chambers on Monday.
AG to look into rape case of 3 underage girls
The shocking display of vitriol against Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin of Perak by certain groups claiming to advance patriotism in Perak, is a disconcerting trend.In a modern and robust democracy such as we claim to be, threats against those who hold different views, seek to enforce their legal rights or seek to challenge authority in a court of law are seriously misplaced. We cannot, on the one hand, claim to be a modern democracy that respects dissenting views and, on the other, ask for archaic modes of “punishment” (like chasing someone out of the State) for holding those views.
It is also necessary to remember that under Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin’s Administration in Perak, many significant steps forward were taken on issues that affect the Orang Asli and other underprivileged and marginalised groups. I write this piece to put on record what I believe to be the most significant events from a human rights perspective: events that members of the Malaysian Bar and other NGOs were pleased to be part of. These issues that had remained outstanding for many years saw quick resolution in the last 10 months in Perak.
They include the following:
• As Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin cancelled all logging and plantation activities in Orang Asli settlements around Gopeng that were affecting more than 2000 Orang Asli.
• YB Sivanesan announced the return of approximately 400 acres of Orang Asli ancestral land to the Orang Asli that had been earmarked for logging activities by the previous government in Mukim Teja near Gopeng.
• The State Government announced the return of approximately 500 acres of Orang Asli ancestral land to the Orang Asli of Kampung Chang Sungai Gepai in Bidor, which had been earmarked for a Botanical Garden by the previous government.
• A special task force on Orang Asli land rights was set up to formally recognise all Orang Asli customary land in Perak. The task force committee comprises two tiers. The second tier is exclusively managed by the Orang Asli communities themselves, and meeting halls in the State Secretariat building are provided to the Orang Asli for their use.
• The Administration commissioned a special Orang Asli Officer for the state of Perak whose function is to resolve all problems of the Orang Asli within the state.
• A series of consultations with the public and NGOs on development activities in Ipoh has been held. For example, public opinion was sought in relation to the proposed development of Yau Tet Shin Market.
• Both Malay and Chinese residents of new villages and Kampung Tersusun are now being granted permanent land titles in stages.The Malaysian Bar must put these events on record as we have worked for years on some of these issues and were happy to see positive results achieved in a short span of time. We hope that the same importance will be given to these matters and that they will continue to progress without delay. In fact, we call on all State Governments to be pro-active in relation to issues that concern the Orang Asli, the marginalised and the underprivileged.
Dato’ Ambiga SreenevasanPresident, Malaysian Bar11 February 2009
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While UMNO is championing the Palestinian issue against Zionist, can they not reflect that the schemes that they perpetrated in Perak is similar to what the Zionist are doing? They are forcing the rakyat to resort to violence to obtain justice. Is this not what the Palestinians are feeling? Hence, UMNO is quite similar to the Zionist elements in the Israel government. Stop calling a kettle black.
What is the consequence of such blatant real politics?
1.The implication is... that any states are now open for crossovers. The act by Perak Sultan has open the floodgates of continuous politicking. For footballers, it is like players can be bought and sold anytime and not during transfer season.
2. Black eye for
Najib - he is now viewed as an evil schemer. While the economy falls, his priority is in getting more political power in Perak and Terengganu.
Anwar - blamed for keep talking about crossovers. He should learn from Nasa and Saiful experience that 'easy' people may have hidden agenda.
Sultan Azlan - one stroke of decision made him to loose respect among Perakians. He wrote a book on Malaysian judiaciary and did not do what he has written. And that his son was talking about integrity and non partisanship the day before sunked down his credibility. A look at the comments in his site shows that his subjects are getting restless that their pleads are falling to deaf ears.
Election Commission - the new EC chairman lost credibilty at his first major task.
MAnti Corruption Chicken - decided the RM50 million bribe story as unrealiable. Also, decided not to investigate Nasa on his return to UMNO but made a hoo hah when he went to PKR.
Monarchy - will this be the death knell of Malaysian aristocrats?
Ultimately, the Semenanjung folks finally feel what the Sabahans felt when UMNO took over their democratically appointed government. Some commentators said that probably Sabahans were too backwater to feel the injustice but they need to remember that natural justice is for all. The state continues to be ill managed by the politicians who are now inward looking and consequently is now the poorest state in the country. Foreigners are taking over the jobs of locals and there is a sense of lawlessness where money and power can get you what your heart desires. It is like the birth of something by evil means produces more evil offsprings. In the long term, the biggest loser will be UMNO and Sultan Azlan.
If it is about humanity, there are many areas that Malaysians can champion. If it is humanity rights of Muslims, why not bother to talk about Rohinya in our shores and in our land? No monies or help goes to them ( Rohinya in Malaysia protest, says UN treats them unfairly - cause we are not signatory to the UN refugee charter).
Ask yourself: What is the political element?
I decry this war & others before. I decry more the hypocrites who are taking advantage.
By ERWIDA MAULIA
JAKARTA: Chinese-Indonesians are beginning to enjoy the lowering of many major hurdles in living in the mainly Muslim country, a top Confucian leader says.
The only remaining problem is the issue of ID cards, over which ethnic Chinese residents still face discrimination in many parts of the country, said Indonesia Confucianism High Assembly (Matakin) chairman Budi S. Tanuwibowo.
He was speaking during a celebration in Jakarta on Sunday for Chinese New Year, which was attended by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Some 6,000 Confucians were present at the event organised by Matakin.
In turn, Yudhoyono called on all state officials to improve their services to the country’s Confucian and Chinese-Indonesian communities, saying all discriminatory acts against minorities must be put to an end.
He added there had been significant progress in the fulfillment of civilian rights for both minority groups over the last 10 years.
“I’m asking the religious affairs minister, the education minister and the justice and human rights minister, as well as all related parties in both central and local administrations, to continue to improve the quality of their services so as to fulfil the civilian rights of the Confucian and ethnic Chinese communities,” Yudhoyono said in his address.
“In accordance with the 2006 Law on Citizenship, you (state officials) should not have any doubts about giving good service.
“There should be no more discriminatory treatment against anyone.”
The improvement of minority groups’ rights, the President added, could be found in marriage registrations, now available to Confucian couples.
It can also be seen in the education sector, with the Religious Affairs Ministry’s issuance of two regulations legalising the incorporation of Confucian teachings in school curricula.
“Also, the Centre for Religious Harmony now serves Confucianism. And there are no more problems now about the establishment of houses of worship for Confucians,” Yudhoyono said.
In response, Matakin’s Budi Tanuwibowo acknowledged the improving conditions, citing “three big occurrences” last year, including the issuance of the two ministerial regulations and the granting of a plot of land at the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah theme park to establish a Confucian temple, whose ground-breaking ceremony will take place Monday.
Another “historic” occurrence was Yudhoyono’s attendance, the first ever by a president, at the celebration last October of Prophet Kong Zi’s 2559th birthday in Cibinong, West Java, Budi added.
“All problems (over the rights of Confucians and ethnic Chinese communities) are over now, except in the application of ID cards, which remains problematic in many regions,” he said.
Indonesia officially began celebrating Chinese New Year after former president Abdurrahman Wahid in 1999 annulled a 1967 presidential instruction banning all activities related to Chinese traditions, including the practices of Confucianism teaching.
Three years later, Wahid’s successor Megawati Soekarnoputri officially declared Chinese New Year a national holiday.
Yudhoyono, who is seeking another five-year term in office, seized upon Sunday’s event to ask Confucians to vote during the upcoming legislative and presidential elections. -- ANN/ The Jakarta Post
Malaysians tend to laugh at Indonesia due our pre-supposed progress. Reading this, I am uplifted by the maturity that this democracy is showing. Indonesians know that to survive, they need to work hard. This is because in Indonesia, there is no such thing as pribumi. Everybody is equal under their constitution hence, the smarter and harder worker will be able to survive.
“In accordance with the 2006 Law on Citizenship, you (state officials) should not have any doubts about giving good service.“There should be no more discriminatory treatment against anyone.”
I am no Confucioun but am happy for the Indonesians who are now able to practice and get their religion recognized. Would anybody from UMNO dare to utter what SBY said?