Monday, October 19, 2015

‘Foreign’ natives help Sarawak natives fight against dams

‘Foreign’ natives help Sarawak natives fight against dams 

 by Joseph Tawie
QUICK TAKE: Indigenous groups from several countries are in Baram to help local natives fight against the proposed construction of Baram dam which will displace 26 longhouses and villages and some 20,000 people.
Anti-Baram dam groups have invited these indigenous peoples from Brazil, Honduras, Chile, the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, Australia, the US and the Wintu tribe of California to see for themselves how the natives of Baram and Belaga have suffered due to the construction of mega dams.
For the past two years, the anti-dam groups have also brought their case to European countries, America, Australia and the United nations.
“This time we invite these indigenous people to come here so that they can see for themselves how we have suffered.
“We want to compare notes with them and learn from one another how to fight against these suppressive regimes,” said Peter Kallang, chairman of SAVE Rivers Sarawak.
Like the natives of Baram, Belaga and Bengoh, these indigenous peoples from these countries have also fought against their displacements, disruptions of lives and sufferings caused by mega dams.
He said that a special programme has been arranged for the visitors.
Starting Oct 20, they will proceed to Ulu Baram and have a workshop, spend the night with blockaders and visit the site of the proposed Baram dam.
They will attend the second year anniversary of the blockades against the proposed Baram dam and the moratorium of works on the project.
The climax of the visit will be a one-day “World Indigenous Summit on environment and Rivers” (WISER) event to be held in Miri on Oct 24, where representatives from these countries will speak of their struggle against their own governments over the construction of mega dams.
At the end of the conference, a joint declaration will be issued.
Peter said that the joint declaration would be submitted to their respective governments and to the United Nations.
The declaration would represent a united front of the indigenous people around the world against the construction of mega dams which have affected the livelihoods of the peoples, their economic and social well-being, he said.
“Hopefully, the visit to Baram by these indigenous peoples from other countries and the  joint declaration should send a clear message to the state government that the Baram dam should not be built as it will damage not only the environment, eco-system but also disrupt and displace the lives of the natives.
“Some 20,000 natives would be displaced and resettled elsewhere,” said Peter.
“We have seen how globalisation and technology have enabled us to see the exploitation of forests and rivers. Using the same technology, we should also be wiser and smarter in fighting against mega-dam construction,” he said.
On July 30, Chief Minister Adenan Satem announced a moratorium on works for the dam.
While the villagers in Baram welcome the moratorium, they still maintain blockades to stop logging activities in the proposed dam area.
The native rights on land proposed for the dam site and its reservoir have been taken from them via gazettes issued by the government.
“The people have appealed to the government to revoke the logging permits and the gazettes and only then will the natives review the relevance of the blockades,” said Peter.
Otherwise the blockade will continue into its third year, he warned.
Great that there is so much friendship in protecting another tribe's land rights. Greedy, unscrupulous people who would build a white elephant DAM using state funds so that they could profit from the super excessive -exaggerated cost of building the DAM. The Bakun Dam is not even fully utilised and yet these people want MORE and MORE DAMs. Damn their Dam efforts! The CM of Sarawak should ONCE and for ALL revoke, CANCEL these state depleting projects once and for all!!!

The Orang Asli and the irony of being a true Bumiputra

The Orang Asli and the irony of being a true Bumiputra 

 by Mariam Mokhtar
OUTSPOKEN: The original and legitimate Bumiputras are the Orang Asli, but they are also the most oppressed. The tragedy is that their oppressors are the government of Malaysia. 
The state has denied the Orang Asli many of their rights, and in some cases bought-off the village headman, to implement their rules. Government failure to improve the socio-economic conditions of the Orang Asli, is often blamed on the Orang Asli themselves, for "rejecting development". This is utter codswallop!
In the second quarter of 20th Century Malaya, the British understood the importance of the Orang Asli in nation building, especially in countering the communist insurgency. 
Since independence, the effort of improving the lives of the Orang Asli, in terms of health, education and poverty, has developed at a snail's pace, when compared to the race to Islamicise whole communities of Orang Asli. Very little has changed since 1957. In 21st Century Malaysia, the government values the Orang Asli communities only as a political pawn.
The Orang Asli Development Department (JAKOA) administers the welfare of the 150,000 Orang Asli, which is only 0.5% of the population of Malaysia. Despite the millions of ringgits poured into JAKOA, the Orang Asli remain among the poorest, most illiterate, and most oppressed people. 
Our leaders lack the political will to improve the living conditions of the Orang Asli. What has this funding been spent on? Apparently, the Director-General (DG) of JAKOA has the final say in Orang Asli affairs, and the Orang Asli is not allowed a look-in.
Elsewhere in Malaysia, Bumiputras are able to take full advantage of the NEP, but this does not seem to be the case with the Orang Asli. Why is this community marginalised? Former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad once alleged that the Orang Asli cannot have more rights than the Malays, despite being the original natives. 
How many Orang Asli work in JAKOA? Their expertise and knowledge could be tapped, to advise on Orang Asli government policy? Is the DG or any of his senior advisers, an Orang Asli? After the tragedy of the SK Pos Tohoi, the government will probably react and we will probably see the first admission of Orang Asli into the ranks of JAKOA.
It is believed that 81% of the Orang Asli live below the official poverty line (the national average was 5%). In a study conducted around five years ago, using data from 1997, from the Department of Statistics, only 48% of Orang Asli had access to tap water and 48% of Orang Asli had proper toilets (the national average was 97%).
The study also showed that 49% of the Orang Asli are illiterate, 39% of the Orang Asli are educated up to primary school level, 62% drop out of school, while 94% of the Orang Asli leave school after the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). Suhakam (the human rights NGO) alleged that the government stopped the provision of primary schools in Orang Asli villages because they were not economically viable. 
One of the major issues is the provision of adequate health care for the Orang Asli. Malnutrition is endemic and infant mortality rates are at least three times the national average. Common diseases are TB, malaria, cholera and typhoid. The life span of Orang Asli men and women is lower than the national average. 
In 2010, a doctor attached to JAKOA, made serious allegations about malpractice, misappropriation of resources, and other serious abuses in the JAKOA hospital in Gombak. Among the allegations was that milk powder, meant for Orang Asli babies, was subdivided so that mothers were not getting the full entitlement, thus contributing to the malnourishment of the community.
Land ownership problems are a serious matter. Despite government recognition of Orang Asli land, no land titles have been issued. The state appears to allow companies to mine or log in the forest reserve, but the Orang Asli are denied their rights to earn a living in their ancestral land. Orang Asli families are regularly evicted from forest reserves, families are made homeless and the blame is placed on the Orang Asli. The Orang Asli are relocated to areas, which are convenient for the government to monitor. Resettlement camps are miles away from the forest, which is their source of income. Often, the new homes, are built on land which is infertile and far from rivers. 
The practice of converting Orang Asli continues, despite the Constitution granting freedom of religion for all its citizens. Orang Asli parents have complained that their children are surreptitiously being converted, in the school hostels. In 2006, the state of Kelantan offered RM10,000 to each Muslim preacher, who marries an Orang Asli woman and converts her. The preacher would also be entitled to free accommodation, a four-wheel-drive vehicle and a fixed monthly allowance of RM1,000.
The Orang Asli are treated with utter disregard and contempt. They receive few benefits under the NEP, their rights are continually being denied, but the only thing that appears to be successfully implemented, is the creeping Islamicisation of their community. Such an irony for the true Bumiputras of the nation. 
When will such EVIL end, the original and legitimate Bumiputras are treated like outcasts, beggars. When they are the original and legitimate Bumiputras. 
Let God deal with such evil, greedy people like in Sarawak - Taib & family and cronies; in W. Malaysia - Umno/BN; in Kelantan - PAS; in Sabah – Umno and local govt.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015



Written by Iskandar Dzulkarnain

Just as talk is circulating for a ‘safe passage’ package to entice embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak’s to abdicate his untenable position, his continued penchant for getting himself into trouble again at the international front is really uncanny.
If the 1MDB scandal and the RM2.6billion in his personal accounts fail to unseat him, this latest Muslim-Jewish relations fiasco probably will. Until the full reality of what he has done sets in, Najib will still be in a limbo thinking that he managed to pull of an international public relations exercise that will make him look good, on the world stage.
Israeli online newspaper The Times of Israel has praised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for calling for a new dawn in Muslim-Jewish relations during his speech at the United Nations general assembly in New York on Thursday.
Najib’s call for improvements in Muslim-Jewish relations, which the paper said was a departure from the generally hostile tone taken by previous Malaysian prime ministers against Jews and Israel, and it was notable for a Malaysian leader to speak positively about Judaism and to recognise Israel as a legitimate interlocutor.
And with the rest of the international media ganging up on him, exposing all his corruption, weaknesses, misdeeds and scandals, it is rather surprising that the Israeli media happens to be the one to vouch for him!
Mixed Public reaction and uproar towards the incident
Najib has since denied holding any formal talks with Netanyahu but merely shook hands with the man. So, Malaysian Muslims shouldn’t be embarrassed or take it too personally as it would not bring international shame to the country.
However cushy-ing up with Israel will not go down well with radical Muslims in this country. Many believed in our leaders when they sow hatred towards Israel, so this hand-shake, smile and Najib’s goodwill with praises for each other with the Israeli media lavishing extra praises for our PM will backfire big-time on Najib soon.
Making an international call at the UN meet for Muslim-Jewish ties and a Malaysia-Israel diplomatic relationship is against every precept and tenets that the Umno Government has stood for; ie: the Malay Muslim agenda that centred around the formation of international policies and the core to political posturing locally.
The amount of time dedicated in the House of Parliament to condemn Israel, in mosques, demonstrations outside embassies, the brainwashing to inculcate hatred and despise in our Malaysian children on the evil of the Jews for so long will come to naught if relations return to normal.
So, are the Jews being forgiven by the leader of UMNO despite its hostile legacy and UMNO is now officially the Friend of Jews?
Najib has planned well since most Western nations favor Israel, he has made himself favorable by being friendly to the Israelis, never know when he needs the Western pro Israel people to help him later. Maybe even the Israelis may help escape from prosecution in Malaysia. The world business and politics are either controlled by the Jews or by their supporters,   

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