Pushed To ‘War’ – Ibans Threaten Traditional Combat Against The Curse Of Sarawak’s Cruel Evictions

Pushed To ‘War’ – Ibans Threaten Traditional Combat Against The Curse Of Sarawak’s Cruel Evictions

26 Jun 2012

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay

Save our longhouse! The people of Ulu Niah demonstrating against today's eviction deadline from WTK who had given the 2 weeks notice.

To tell people they must give up their ancestral homes: to bulldoze whole longhouse communities and insist these families move elsewhere without fair cause or compensation, seems an inconceivable thing to allow.

Yet in Sarawak it is happening everywhere and often, just in the same way that native lands are being taken and sold from under the feet of the rightful owners.

Many, many communities have already lost their lands in this way, with their beautiful longhouses destroyed to make way for plantations.

There is usually no legal basis for the evictions, yet under Taib these impoverished communities have had no protection or support, whilst the rich and powerful plantation companies have benefitted from the secret backing of their BN political cronies.

Fighting back in Ulu Niah

Leader in their hour of need - the Tua Rumah Sigan holds up the 'eviction notice' - he and his people have signalled they will fight to the death to keep their homestead

The scenes of protest today in Ulu Niah, not far from Miri represent just one typical example of the sort of outrage that is perpetrated by plantation companies, who seem to think they can get away with anything they like in Sarawak.

People who have lived in the same longhouses at Rumah Umpol for over 40 years were defying a sudden eviction order to move within 14 days, expiring 26th June, today’s date.

Such people appear powerless in the face of the march of Taib’s ‘progress and development’ and police officers were on hand with guns to prevent violence.

However, at Rumah Umpol today there emerged something new and threatening in the attitude of these once downtrodden and exploited communities.  Press onlookers expressed a wave of fear as this community of people, who have been passive for generations, dressed for war at the longhouse village and vowed that it will be destroyed only over their dead bodies.

Don't mess with me - the Ibans remember their past and hold to their traditions and are skilfully lethal with their parangs.

Farmers had returned to their warrior roots and donned the chilling apparel that reminded all around of the ferocious capability of these people in their not so distant past, as fighters and headhunters.

Deadly sharp parings, with which any Iban can still in a second strike down a sapling tree (or remove a limb or head), hung threateningly around many waists.

Villagers had strung up traditional amulets and talismen that cursed anyone who dared to enter with instant death. Laid out on the ground were sinister skulls and symbols, ancient signs of spiritual evocations.

Dangerous, ancient ghosts have now been summoned from their graves to launch against the enemy, in this case the drivers of the modern bulldozers expected at any minute.

No surprise, that these have not yet turned up!

Looking at such naked and desperate anger one wonders, have the depredations of the Chief Minister at last gone too far for the Iban population? Could he and his land grabbers have finally sparked a real fight back?

Unjust treatment

Enter at your peril - sinister traditional spells await the uninvited

Shockingly, the plantation company WTK is seeking to turf the 300 people out of their 60 door longhouse and to snatch their farmlands without offering a single ringgit of compensation.

Neither are they attempting to seek permission or even to include the villagers in their plans to turn the pretty area into another vast oil palm plantation.

The people of Rumah Umpol know well enough what is in store for them and their lands if WTK have their way.

There will be nowhere to live, nowhere to farm and the area will be polluted with pesticides and fertilisers, which will disturb the waters of their rivers and remove all wildlife.

The plantation will cause massive soil erosion and the rivers will clog up and the fish will die. And their home for generations will be bulldozed.  They will have to join the shanty squatters around Miri or Kuching.

The 60 door longhouse at Rumah Umpol is home to around 300 people. The billionaires from WTK propose to make them homeless and without compensation.

Because, of course, all the back-breaking jobs on offer at these oil palm plantations are always offered to gangs of immigrants from Indonesia, who are prepared to work for ridiculous low salaries, because of the far lower prices back home.

You have 14 days to get out - no compensation, no alternative place? Not our problem! (Best regards, WTK)

The people of Ulu Niah have every reason to be fearful – Click here to see what was done to the people of Rumah Nyawin not so long ago.  These people were unprepared for the ruthlessness of the palm oil companies, a lesson that has been taken to heart by fellow communities.


Historical and documented right

Preparations for war - the Iban community have laid out their talismen and their emblems of war and have summoned up the spirits. Greedy planters have been warned.

Taib’s friendly tycoons of WTK, known as ruthless loggers and planters, have certainly pushed the boundaries in this case beyond all possible excuses.

The Iban community concerned consists of 3 longhouses not far from Miri.  Their ancestors had migrated from Skrang and Sri Aman, back during the period of British rule, in search of more lands for farming and eventually settled in the area of Ulu Niah.

These are not mere squatters. Their acquisition of the land was recognised and documented by the British and the areas were mapped and zoned into specific native areas.

When Sarawak formed the Federation of Malaysia, the State Government of Sarawak actually re-mapped the area and issued boundaries between the longhouses in Ulu Niah. All these maps are stored at the Resident’s Office in Miri.

Police - but who has committed the real crime?

So suffice it to say these people have their established Native Customary Rights in the area!

United Nations-backed Native Rights also apply to Sarawak’s native people

Taib in his management of Sarawak should also remember that Malaysia is one of the many signatories to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

This recognises the rights of the local people to remain unbothered in their territories.

However, thanks to the outrages against the native peoples in Sarawak and in Sabah, Malaysia breaks its commitments under this declaration time and again.

Consider Article 10 of this Declaration that Malaysia has signed up to:

No forceable removal from their lands and just compensation....

Despite these commitments, Taib’s Land and Survey Department (which he personally has charge of in his capacity as Minster for Resource Planning and the Environment) saw fit to hand a provisional oil palm plantation licence for the area belonging to the Ibans of Ulu Niah to his key timber tycoon cronies, the Wong family of WTK and their company Medan Mestika Sdn Bhd.

From the Land & Survey Department. An oil palm lease for the land was handed to WTK's Wong Kei Nai back in 2000

The premium was just over RM2million, according to the Land & Survey records (above), but of course 4,047 hectares of prime oil palm could later sell for hundreds of millions.

Take the land that Taib’s own brother Onn Mahmud has up for sale as a guideline. Onn has been asking RM31,000 per acre, for his own vast plantation.  Since 4,000 hectares is 10,000 acres, this would make the mature WTK plantation in Ulu Niah worth over RM300million!

One must surely ask, therefore, if Taib Mahmud is so keen on ‘development’ for his people, why did he not assist the locals in benefitting from this ‘development opportunity’ rather than handing it at a cut price to one of his key timber cronies and political funders?

WTK’s dirty tactics

Even the sophisticated business people of Miri dislike being targeted by traditional magic - this is a real weapon that the natives have and they know it!

But of course a provisional licence on Native Customary Rights land is by no means a legal entitlement to do as you please.  It is Taib’s method for allowing the law to be abused at arms length.

Such licences supposedly depend on the agreement of the NCR landowners, although Taib’s government never does its duty in informing people about their rights.

It opens the way for companies, like WTK, who have a shameful record in exploiting people’s ignorance to pretend they have been given the right to snatch all they want.

Dirtly tactics, like paltry payments, shares for headmen, bogus claims, expensive legal suits, false accusations to the police have also been used to bully and bribe native people into giving up their valuable rights to their land once provisional licences have been granted.

In this case WTK’s ‘eviction notice’ turns out to be a document that has no legal authority, according the the lawyer assisting Rumah Umpol, the veteran native rights campaigner, Harrison Ngau.

The plantation company did win a first round in a legal battle for the land in the Miri High Court. This may have been because the presiding judge did not understand the history as to how the natives in the Ulu Niah areas, acquired the lands in question, or it is possible that the High Court of Miri rejected the maps.

However, the matter has been appealed and the case is far from over.  So, as Harrison Ngau has confirmed, the Wongs have no right at all to demand the people be thrown out of their homes and he has advised his clients to stand firm against such threats.

And like more and more communities in Sarawak the people of Rumah Umpol are standing up for themselves.

A non-stop Miring ceremony has been launched to keep out the intruders.

Dodgy document

Even so, WTK have tried to give the impression their ‘eviction notice’ held legal status, as if authorised by the courts. In fact it has now been revealed it was drawn up by a minor functionary in the local administration.

Harrison Ngau has now confirmed that this so-called ‘eviction notice’ holds no legal standing and is merely a letter issued by a compliant low level official.

What better example of a mean dirty trick to attempt to cheat and bully the local people – and how badly it seems to have backfired!

The villagers, who had called Radio Free Sarawak to publicise their plight, now say they will stay on full alert to prevent any unwanted disturbances. As dark fell they told reporters they were prepared to guard the longhouse all night as they were expecting the wreckers to come and bulldoze their longhouse at any time.

Magic and maybe justice is finally on the side of the people who are daring to stand up to Taib and his land grabs

They confirmed that men of the longhouse are armed with parangs and prepared to go to war, equipped with “pengaroh” which are amulets and talisman worn at times of “ngayau” war.

They have also begun a non-stop Miring ceremony at their longhouses to prevent any disruption of their homes. The ceremony included the slaughter of two pigs and feasting was offered to friendly onlookers, including reporters.

The eyes of many in Sarawak are likely to remain on this defiant little community and to watch how they fair against Taib’s bulldozing business cronies.

It is not the sort of resistance Taib’s tycoons have been used to up to now.  But maybe times are changing in Sarawak.




Sign up to receive regular updates from Sarawak Report

Your views are valuable to us, but Sarawak Report kindly requests that comments be deposited in suitable language and do not support racism or violence or we will be forced to withdraw them from the site.

  • blaw

    After reading all these, one should plot the next move. Don’t just make ‘noise’. Show to them who hold the real power (The Rakyat. Come election, cross the appropriate box. Why don’t give someone else the mandate to form our government? Just try one term. If we don’t like it, change them. If we can do this, all the political parties will come down to their knees. The Rakyat can stand tall and tell them to their face that they have to work for us not against us.

  • PucauPutra

    Taib praises Foochow spirit

    The Star, Sunday November 21, 2004

    KUCHING: Foochows can play a meaningful role in the globalised world because of their pioneering spirit, co-operation and goodwill towards others, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said.

    He said the Foochows were well-known for their pioneering spirit in turning difficult situations into opportunities for success.

    “This was the spirit of the 1,118 Foochows who came to Sibu one century ago under Wong Nai Siong. I hope this spirit will never be lost among the younger generation because it is a great asset,” he said when opening the eighth convention of the World Federation of Fuzhou Associations here yesterday.

    TOKEN OF THANKS: Organising chairman Ling Beng Hui (left) presenting a souvenir to Taib during the World Federation of Fuzhou Associations convention in Kuching yesterday.

    The community, he said, were resourceful, willing to face challenges and prepared to put in all their effort in order to succeed.

    Moreover, the Foochows had learned to maintain values of charity and goodwill towards others, he said.

    Taib said the Foochows’ active participation in business and trade served as an example for others in Asia to follow suit.

    The federation’s president Datuk Seri Burhan Uray said Foochows were known to be hardworking, dedicated and result-oriented.

    “I hope future generations of Foochows will continue to possess these qualities,” he said.

    He added that the convention was an opportunity for Foochows around the world to make contacts and create strong networks among themselves.

    Nearly 3,000 Foochows from 16 countries attended the three-day convention which began on Friday.

  • PucauPutra

    Extract from:

    Title Why governments fail to capture economic rent: the unofficial appropriation of rain forest rent by rulers in insular Southeast Asia between 1970 and 1999

    Author David W. Brown

    Publisher University of Washington, 2001

    Original from the University of California

    Digitized Jul 26, 2008

    Length 724 pages

    Why Governments Fail to Capture Economic Rent: The Unofficial Appropriation of Rain Forest Rent by Rulers in Insular Southeast Asia Between 1970 and 1999

    The dissertation starts from the assumption that natural resources are easy for governments to tax, as they embody high amounts of windfall profit or “economic rent.” According to resource economics, it is optimal for governments to collect as revenues nearly all of the economic rent earned by resource extractors. However, the actual level at which governments collect economic rent from rain forest timber is generally quite small.

    The study argues that government agencies fail to collect timber rent at optimum levels because they are prevented from doing so by rulers who use their positions to build and maintain hidden ties to the timber industry through which they appropriate vast amounts of timber rent.

    Proving that rulers are appropriating timber rent is accomplished through archival research, primary documents, and five years of fieldwork to identify all forest areas licensed to the largest timber conglomerates in Indonesia, Sarawak and Sabah. This research is corroborated and supplemented through structured interviews to find out whether rulers, their families, proxies, business partners, and political supporters and financiers run or own these timber concessions.

    The study concludes that in Indonesia, Sarawak, and Sabah each head of state has multiple ties to timber concessions. The dissertation estimates that the three governments failed to collect 40 billion dollars in timber revenues over thirty years.


    In the 1970s the largest timber concession holder in Sarawak was the WTK group, named for the initials of its owner, Wong Tuong Kwang. WTK is Sarawak’s fifth largest timber concessionaire with an estimated 400,000 hectares under license (The Edge 1995d). As with all of Sarawak’s large timber groups, making substantial payments to the chief minister was necessary for WTK to stay in business. S.K. Lau, half homespun philosopher, half investigative reporter, describes how growing demands for timber rent from Sarawak’s successive chief ministers plagued the WTK group.

    Once, I had a chat with Lau Hoi Kang [son-in-law of Wong Tuong Kwang] in his office for quite long. There came his brother-in-law Wong Siew Kwong. Lau then immediately opened the drawer taking out a few thousand dollars [in] new notes to give to Wong Siew Kwong. Lau said to him, “You immediately fly to Kuching to hand this money over to a Malay [the individual is not named in Lau’s account], and then bring back the ‘license’ quickly.”

    The great majority of the rich men in Sarawak depend on [the] timber industry/business to amass wealth. The Sarawak state timber concession licenses can only be awarded to the Malays since the national policy is to safeguard the privileges of [the] Bumiputra [“bumiputra” literally translates as “sons of the soil” and is how Malays refer to themselves]. The Chinese can only be the contractors. But the Malays are well known for their laziness. They get the licenses but don’t know how to do business. The Chinese would then offer them a lump sum of money. As such, they would have money to spend without using their brains. Therefore, it would not be necessary for them to learn to do business. However, nowadays they have learnt to become smarter and cleverer. A timber concession license [could] be bought for only one million dollars in the 70s. But when coming to the 80s, [Chinese timber businessmen] needed to pay at least ten times more for a timber concession license. This is the “conspicuous feature” of the Chinese. If one only has money, one would be able to do anything. As the saying goes, “With money you can make the devil turn the millstone.” This is entirely correct. As learnt in the 90’s, Wong Kie Nai paid the price of 10 to 20 million dollars just to secure a contract for a piece of timber forest.

    Every time during the Chinese New Year, the Chief Minister would bring along his family to pay new year visits to the rich men in Sibu. This would be a good opportunity for the Chief Minister to make a fortune, since these prominent figures and celebrities would not hesitate to do anything to please the Chief Minister, including giving the giving of big and small “angpau.”

    Once I waited for the CM’s arrival at Wong Tuong Kwang’s house. Wong Kie Nai, the 2nd son of Wong Tuong Kwang asked me whether I knew others had given how much “angpau money” to the Chief Minister. I replied, “I learnt Ling Beng Siew had given 300 thousand Singapore dollars [$187,500] to the CM. What about you?” On hearing this, he said, “Only that much!” Though he did not tell me how much he had given, I thought it should be more than that amount” (Lau 1995: chapter 4, pages 1-2).

    Aside from helping to enrich the chief minister, the WTK group has begun to strengthen its political standing in other camps. One of Wong’s sons, Wong Kie Yik, is now a federal senator (26 October 1996 interview with John Phua). WTK’s corporate strategy is to tie up with other politically strong timber players. For example, WTK injected eleven of its timber concessions (totaling 254,000 hectares) and five mills into publicly listed Samanda. Completion of the deal was projected to allow the WTK group to emerge as the major shareholder in Samanda with a 32 percent stake (Sarawak Tribune, 1997c). Samanda’s chairman is William Lau, Wong’s son-in-law (Sarawak Securities 1997c: 23). Lau is close to timber baron Ting Pek Khiing and is the director of Ting’s Seaga Airlines (5 November 1996 interview with a well-placed and knowledgeable source in Sarawak). Finally, Sabah timber baron Wee Boon Ping, who is actually a Sarawak resident, is a 9.9 percent shareholder in Samanda Holdings (Sarawak Securities 1997c: 23).


    Sarawak shakers

    The Star, Saturday March 27, 2010


    Datuk Wong Kie Nai, 67, is currently the chief executive officer and executive director of WTK Holdings Bhd – a family business, specialising in the timber industry that was founded by his father Datuk Wong Tuong Kwang in Sibu in the 1940s. He inherited the family timber business upon his return as a qualified accountant from Sydney, Australia, in the late 1960s.

    In an interview with The Star in 2002, Wong, who is of a Foochow background, was quoted as saying: “There is no shortcut to success; it’s purely hard work. It’s not even luck that can help if one wants to be successful.”

    Wong apparently is a workaholic, putting in between 10 and 12 hours of work a day, and even worked over the weekends and holidays. Over the years, he has kept a low profile on his private life, preferring to talk about business and work rather than family history.

    Together with his two brothers, Datuk Wong Kie Yik and Wong Kie Chie, Kie Nai has played a significant role in the expansion of WTK, growing the logging and timber empire beyond Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia to countries like Brazil, central Africa and Papua New Guinea. (Kie Yik is a non-executive director and chairman of the board of directors of the company, while Kie Chie is a also non-executive director. Both are substantial shareholders of WTK.) – By Cecilia Kok

  • BunyiPutra

    Too late for Dayak to komplen about BN lah

    It’s shows just plain stupid for early Dayak leaders that signed agreement to join Malaysia! Fucking Stupid!

    Even worse Dayak fooled by UMNO to be treated equal as Bumiputra but ends up as BUNYI PUTRA DAYAK! HA HA HA




    Sarawak Iban remain poorest community

    by Tony Thien, Malaysia Kini, 25 Sept 2004

    Poverty rates vary markedly among Sarawak’s diverse communities with the Iban having the highest at 10.5 per cent, according to latest data for 2002 made available today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

    The Iban is Sarawak’s largest race forming 30.1 per cent of Sarawak’s 2.5 million population. It is estimated that more than 60 per cent of the Iban live in several thousand longhouses scattered throughout the largely riverine state.

    In a paper on ‘Paradox of Poverty Studies’ at a one-day seminar focusing on poverty eradication issues related to Malaysia’s bumiputra minorities in Sarawak or the non-Muslim bumiputra groups, Dr Richard Leete, UNDP regional representative said Sarawak’s poverty rates 2002 was 5.8 per cent.

    The seminar was organised by the Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) in response to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s call for an all-out war against poverty affecting all groups in the country, especially bumiputra minorities in Sarawak and Sabah.

    Taking the Muslim and non-Muslim bumiputras as one, the average bumiputras’ poverty rate was 8.0 per cent.

    Under the bumiputra sub-groups, the highest poverty rate was the highest among the Iban (10.5 per cent), followed next by other indigenous bumiputras such as Bidayuh/Kayan/Kenyah/Lun Bawang/Kelabits (6.8 per cent) and the Malays (5.2 per cent).

    The poverty rate among the Chinese, the second largest race forming 26.7 per cent of the population, was the lowest with only 1.0 per cent.

    Leete said in terms of progress in poverty eradication in the state from 1990 to 2002, Sarawak was behind Melaka, Pahang, Johor, Negri Sembilan, Pulau Pinang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur but ahead of the remaining states – Sabah, Terengganu, Kedah, Kelantan, Perak and Perlis.

    A rather alarming statistics is that 17 per cent of Sarawakians aged 6 and above in 2000 never attended school at all, and that 44 per cent of those who did only attended primary school.

    This compared with the national figure of 10 per cent who never attended school.

    Slow literacy progress

    Another alarming revelation from UNDP statistics is that Sarawak’s progress in literacy from 1990 to 2000 was the slowest in the whole country, even behind neighbouring Sabah.

    If it is of some comfort, only 10 per cent of the communities are not covered by rural water supply system in Sarawak. Kelantan fares the worst with Sabah next.

    Leete said there has, however, been significant progress overall in improving social and economic outcomes in Sarawak “but sharp differentials persist.”

    He added that there was a need for policies and programmes that would put equity at core and contribute to reducing inequities.

    He called for such issues as access to social services, including environmental services such as water safety and loss of biodiversity, as well as basics on infrastructure to be addressed urgently.

    The UNDP man qualified his observations by saying there was a need to improve on data collection to allow for what he called better identification of vulnerable groups.


    Dayaks lagging behind other bumiputeras: Moggie

    by Tony Thien, Malaysia Kini,17 Feb 2003

    The launch of the Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) by Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud last weekend is seen as a move to bring in all Dayak leaders and intellectuals together o­n a non-partisan platform to discuss policies and issues affecting the community.

    It is also seen as a bridge across the political divide among the Dayak community, recognised as a minority group in Malaysia, to address the problems facing the community in joining the mainstream of economic development.

    The association, whose president is Professor Dr Dimbab Ngibang of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, has received overwhelming response from Dayak intellectuals representing the various groups such as Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu.

    In Sarawak, the Dayak form the largest single racial group, followed by the Chinese, Malays and Melanaus.

    In his paper delivered at a SDGA-organised forum o­n the social transformation of the Dayak, Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Multimedia Leo Moggie – who is also Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) president – highlighted some of the difficulties facing the Dayaks today.

    Minimal equity shares

    He said: “The achievements of the Dayak, being a minority bumiputera group in the country, are relatively lower than that achieved by other bumiputeras.

    “Bumiputera minorities have the highest incidence of poverty, the largest number of poor households, the highest rate of unemployment, and the lowest in educational attainment,” said Moggie.

    “In the corporate sector, bumiputera minorities equity share is very minimal.”.

    Moggie said the Dayaks must acquire sufficient knowledge to manage the challenges of the new era and benefit from the opportunities available.

    However, based o­n the population census data, he said the Dayaks have yet to respond to the demand of the new economy as reflected by the limited number of skilled and professional Dayaks in all sectors of the economy.

    No knowledge of ICT

    Equally alarming, he added, was the result of a study o­n information communication technology (ICT) awareness among the Dayaks.

    The study, involving 1,500 Iban “biliks” (individual units of housing in longhouse) in Kuching and Sri Aman, showed that 86 percent have no knowledge of computers, and 88.7 percent have never used a computer.

    The study also revealed that 62 percent of respondents do not consider knowledge of computers as a relevant skill for employment.

    Moggie also said that the number of Dayaks enrolled in tertiary education and skill-training institutions is relatively low compared to other Malaysians.

    He cited the high incidence of school dropouts among the Dayaks as o­ne of the major contributing factors.

    “Poor households, and especially those in the rural areas, where students often travel long distances to get to school, are most vulnerable to pulling their children out of school,” said Moggie.

    He added: “The low educational level of parents and guardians also contributed to the high incidence of school drop out.”

    Parental control over their children, particularly among school boarders, is also weakening because of their sojourn away from their home, he said.

    Leonard Linggi Jugah, the former secretary-general of Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), said during the forum’s questions-and-answers session that Dayak political leaders from different parties must sit down more often to discuss the problems affecting the community.

    “Examine policies, look at the weaknesses and take them up with the authorities,” he said.

    Be more united, Dayak leaders told

    His remarks were greeted with loud applause as he named several Dayak leaders who he said should meet more often and discuss matters affecting the Dayak community in Sarawak.

    “Dayak leaders in Sarawak should get their act together and identify ways to synergise for the betterment of the bumiputera minority in the new millennium.”

    “I would like to call upon all Dayak leaders to take cue from the chief minister’s call and set aside our differences for the common goal of uniting and bringing the community to greater heights.

    “I would like to call upon (PBB deputy president and Deputy Chief Minister) Alfred Jabu, LeoMoggie, (Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party president) William Mawan, PBB vice-president and Housing Minister Michael Manyin, (SPDP secretary-general and Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications) Dr Judson Tagal to sit down together more often,” he appealed.

    Linggi said the Dayak could have achieved greater success if their leaders had been more united, adding that the “community would not be able to fully capitalise o­n the privileges if they were to continue to do things in their ways.”

    Need not depend ­n family name

    In his opening speech, Taib told the Dayaks that they could achieve success in their undertakings without having to depend o­n family name and influence.

    “You don’t have to be the children of an Abang, Wan, Tuanku or Penghulu to be successful in life because intellectual prowess and opportunities do not recognise this,” the chief minister said.

    He urged the Dayak community to broaden their social and intellectual horizons by grabbing the opportunity to acquire a good education that would enable them to become part of the globalised world.

    “That is why it’s important we create mobility in society, both physically and socially so that we can move in tandem with changing times and make adjustments to meet the needs of our ever changing world,” he added.

    “Every race can look after itself now and people can feel the change creeping in… faster and faster by the day.”

    Reminding the people of the challenges posed by the borderless world and emerging new economic dragons, he said changes had to come from within the people “because government efforts alone are not enough, reaching only the very select group that lies o­n the surface of interaction.”


    Jabu under fire over NCR scheme

    By Tony Thien, Malaysia Kini, 28 Apr 2009

    A Miri-based Dayak NGO has taken Sarawak’s most senior Dayak minister Alfred Jabu to task for ‘once again shortchanging the community’ through one of the state government’s most praised native customary land development schemes commonly known as ‘Konsep Baru’ or new concept.

    It cited the latest incident which involved the Iban communities from Rumah Belili and Rumah Ranggong situated at Ulu Niah, Miri Division.

    Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia (Brimas) executive director Mark Bujang said last Thursday, Jabu (right) handed out a total of RM436,708.20 in dividends and bonuses to 226 participants of the Ulu Niah NCR Joint Venture Project.

    At first glance, he said, the total amount seems reasonable if the payment of dividends and bonuses are for the year 2008, but upon checking with the participants, it was learnt that this is the first time in 10 years that the JV project has paid out dividends or bonuses.

    “If we were to make the assumption that the dividends and bonuses are divided equally among the scheme participants, each participant would receive about RM1,932,” he added.

    Divide that by 10 years, he said, each participant would only get RM193 per year. This, he added, is a far cry from the government’s promise that the scheme would uplift the socio-economic status of the Dayaks.

    Snek Bagat, one of the residents of Rumah Ranggong, said: “I was looking forward to receiving the dividends and bonuses from our investment (in the JV project). But I was shocked to find out that our investment only yielded 50 cents per month after 10 years. Not enough to buy a cup of coffee.”

    Why the sudden need to do so?

    Meanwhile, Bujang questioned the need to hand out dividends and bonuses after 10 years. “Why does the government and the JV company have a sudden interest with the NCR landowners after they have been neglected all these while?” “Is it because that the community of Rumah Belili and Rumah Ranggong are suing the private investor BLD Resources Sdn. Bhd. for not keeping its end of the bargain?” he asked.

    Previously, in 1999, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between BLD Sdn. Bhd (sister company of BLD Resources), Sarawak Land Development Board (SLDB) and the NCR landowners at Ulu Niah, where Rumah Belili and Rumah Ranggong were the participating longhouses, to develop the Ulu Niah NCR land based on the ‘konsep baru’ scheme. Jabu and the then Sarawak Minister for Housing Celestine Ujang handed out the 10 percent upfront payment worth RM294,990 in 2001.

    However, in 2008, a resident of Rumah Ranggong, Changgai Dali was sued by BLD Resources for allegedly trespassing into BLD’s plantation. When Changgai and his longhouse folks disputed this they discovered to their horror that their NCR JV project was cancelled – reason given was the government made a mistake saying the land is NCR.

    Commenting on the dividends and bonuses received, Changgai said: “We thank Jabu for handing out the dividends and bonuses to us, but we are not happy with the amount.” “How come after all these years, this is all we get? Jabu not once mentioned the status of our land during the ceremony. When I asked Jabu if he could withdraw the provisional lease of the company, he replied that he does not have the authority,” he added.

    Problems in other schemes

    In another case, Jabu also handed out dividends amounting to RM52 million to 16,480 participants for the year 2008 in another NCR land development scheme managed by another state government agency, the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra), where Jabu is also its chairman.

    According to an article sourced from a blogsite, Anilnetto.com, Salcra should have netted profits amounting to RM292 million for 2008 taking into account the price of oil palm that year. Jabu announced that another RM22 million had been set aside for loan repayments.

    The article went on to say that the net balance after dividends and loan repayments should have amounted to RM218 million, or RM13,240 per participant. The article questioned Salcra on where the balance of the money went. The article went on to state that even if 50 percent is withheld to allow for reinvestment and replanting, that would still amount to RM109 million or RM6,620 per participant to be accounted for.

    In another NCR JV scheme in Suai, Miri Division, the Penans from Kampung Ugos threatened to withdraw from the said scheme launched by Jabu himself in 1998 if the state government agency the Sarawak Land Development Board (SLDB) did not disclose transparently the official documents, records, JV agreements and statement of accounts of the company.

    The Penans also complained that they do not know how SLDB arrived at the amount of dividends paid which is exactly RM500,000 and they do not know which private investor company is in the JV. Some of the scheme participants have died not knowing what will happen to their land and their investment.


    Jabu says govt committed to eradicating poverty

    Borneo Post May 18, 2012, Friday

    THIS IS THE RULE: Jabu showing a copy of the Standing Order to Wong (not in the picture) when debating on the poverty eradication programme.

    DEPUTY Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu yesterday assured that the government “is committed to eradicating poverty”, but he wanted people to understand that the poverty line would not be static.

    “Poverty eradication programme does not stop at a particular year. The poverty line in 2020 will be different from that of now.

    “To people who suppress and oppress the opportunity of us eradicating poverty, we will condemn you,” he said when responding to a supplementary question raised by Snowdan Lawan (BN-Balai Ringin) in the august house.

    Jabu, who is also Minister of Rural Development, pledged that the Penans in Long Beluan and Ulu Baram under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) would earn a monthly household income of at least RM2,000 by 2016.

    “I can prove to you that by 2016, they can make RM2,000 to RM2,500 per family per month compared to RM300 now.”

    He then blasted the opposition for having deprived the rural community of their opportunities to earn higher income.

    “You, the opposition, do not sympathise with our people.” His comment instantly propelled Wong Ho Leng (DAP-Bukit Assek) to defend the opposition bench.

    Jabu, however, declined to let Wong have the floor. The minister was repeatedly heard saying “Shut up” and “Sit down” as well as “You observe” while showing a copy of the Standing Order (SO).

    When Wong refused to heed the advice, Jabu turned to Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar to discipline the opposition leader.

    Although Asfia did step in according to the SO, the debate went on and on with Jabu uttering “Chihuahua is a bitch because it is a female.”

    Jabu also labelled Wong as ‘lawyer buruk’ (terrible lawyer).


    Jabu: 27,902 Household Heads Under Hardcore Poor Category,

    (19,031 Total Dayaks or 68.2 % !!!!)

    Bernama News, 23 June 2011

    KUCHING — A total of 27,902 household heads (KIR) or 49.8 percent of 55,975 registered in e-Kasih system fall under the hardcore poor category, the State Assembly heard today.

    Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said of the 55,975 registered until June 11, 23,235 were categorised as simple poor and 4,838 had exited poverty.

    “Of 27,902 KIR under hardcore poor, 13,349 are Ibans (47.84%!!!!!), 5,601 Malays 2,925 Orang Ulu, 2,757 Bidayuh and 1,974 Melanaus (bumiputeras), 647 Chinese and 622 others,” he said when replying to Violet Yong (DAP-Pending). (19,031 total Dayaks or 68.2 %)

    KIR with income of RM520 monthly fall under the hardcore poor category while those earning RM830 monthly are categorised as simple poor.

    Jabu said to ensure effectiveness of e-Kasih, district poverty eradication focus group committees will vet applications to ensure that only those qualified were registered.

    The data will be updated with entry from all aid agencies and those not registered with e-Kasih so that data on the low income group is comprehensive.

    “The system is under construction and implementation is expected to be completed in 2012,” he said.

    Jabu told Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi (BN-Pantai Damai) that 18,876 people were beneficiary of the Housing Assistance Program (PBR) including 10,847 new houses and 8,029 repaired houses.

    A total of 1,877 KIR received assistance from the Rural and Regional Development Ministry.

    Some 3,426 projects under the 1Azam Programme of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry had also been implemented until May. — BERNAMA

  • BunyiPutra

    “The Ibans and Bidayuhs being the two largest native races in Sarawak were made fools by the federal government all these 46 years since Malaysia was formed and no elected Dayak representatives, until today dared to speak on this Umno and the Malays from Malaya to control the Dayaks in Sarawak.”




    Report lodged against Voon for ‘seditious’ remarks

    The Borneo Post, Thursday 19 November 2009

    KUCHING: A police report has been lodged against Voon Lee Shan (DAP-Batu Lintang) for alledgedly making seditious and racial remarks in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) on Nov 11. Six Barisan Nasional (BN) representatives led by Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (BN-Asajaya) lodged the report at the Gita Police Station at 11.39am yesterday. The other five BN representatives comprised Bukit Saban assemblyman Robert Lawson Chuat, Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Ba Kelalan assemblyman Nelson Balang Rining, Bengoh assemblyman Dr Jerip Susil and Pujut assemblyman Andy Chia. Karim said Voon had uttered words in the DUN which were deemed seditious and unhealthy for a multi-ethnic country like Malaysia. “You cannot use words that disrupt racial harmony and incite one race against the other. And that is how it sounded when you read those three paragraphs (of the Hansard). It has that sort of connotation, ” he told reporters at the DUN. The three paragraphs he was referring to was part of Voon’s debate speech on the Supply Bill (2010), 2009 in which he touched on the classification of ‘Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera’.

    The three paragraphs are as follows: “When we formed Malaysia we made ourselves subject to classifications by being called ‘Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera’. Our Dayak brothers in Sarawak trapped themselves and did not realise the dream of a great Malay leader in the person of Tunku Abdul Rahman, to divide Malaysians to Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera was to enhance Malay dominance in politics and race over other races in Malaysia. “Malay, a supreme race, was followed by Natives, but unknowingly to our Dayak brothers, the defination of ‘Natives’ has left out Iban and Bidayuh races of Sarawak. This is how the Malay race of Malaya as planned by Tunku Abdul Rahman, had controlled Malaysian politics and economy for past 46 years. “The Ibans and Bidayuhs being the two largest native races in Sarawak were made fools by the federal government all these 46 years since Malaysia was formed and no elected Dayak representatives, until today dared to speak on this Umno and the Malays from Malaya to control the Dayaks in Sarawak.”

    Karim said that in his own debate speech on Nov 13, he had asked Voon to withdraw these remarks and to apologise to the august house as well as asking for these words to be expunged from the Hansard. However, he said, Voon refused to do so even when he was given till Nov 17 to withdraw and apologise. “Even though in the DUN, we have special privileges there are limitations to this. “We can’t simply utter words that will contravene the Sedition Act 1948. “We actually didn’t want to resort to this sort of action but he didn’t want to (withdraw),” he said, adding that this was the first time BN representatives had lodged a report of this kind against fellow DUN member. He said it was up to the police and the government if Voon would end up being entangled with the Internal Security Act (ISA). When asked what if action was taken against Voon under ISA, Karim replied: “…Well, I cannot prejudge this. If possible, I don’t want this to go to that level. We sympathise with our friend.” He said if Voon should change his mind and wanted to withdraw his statement and then apologise, he would have to deal with the police.

    In response, Voon later told reporters that he was “speaking for the voice of 2.07 million people of Sarawak” and the issue he spoke in the DUN affected constitutional issues and also the rights of the Dayaks and the Malays. “There were also threats that they will use ISA against me but I feel that this is the unbecoming style of the BN to flex their muscles because they have the numbers to go against us (the opposition). I just pray that the 2.07 million people are behind me,” he said. He claimed that surprisingly, he had received moral support and congratulatory messages from certain Dayak YBs who were pleased that he had brought the issue up. Voon said he was also on the verge of lodging a police report against some DUN members for sending him text messages which he believed was tantamount to ‘criminal intimidation and also political harassment” against him.

    He said that these text messages not only affected him but also DAP at large and this was clearly the style of BN. “It’s their right to lodge a police report but with that I may also lodge a police report because I feel that the SMS sent to me is tantamount to criminal intimidation and contempt of privileges of the House…I feel that I should be protected under the Federal Constitution,” he added. On this note, Karim countered that the BN YB whom Voon referring to could probably be him. This was because he and Voon had been exchanging SMS after the controversial debate. However, Karim believed that his messages to Voon were not incriminating at all, rather it was form of an advice and reminder. He said that he had revealed these messages to the police when lodging the report and even read to reporters part of the messages. Karim said Voon initiated the messaging by admitting that he got a bit emotional during the debate.

    The following is an exchange of some of the SMS between the two assemblymen as disclosed by Karim:

    Karim: “With all due respect to you, the line of your debate today thus reflect slight tone of provocation and incitement among races which is not healthy. ” I hope we can do away with all this, I respect you as a friend and an Honourable Member and I have kept reminding the (BN) Backbenchers to refrain themselves from this sensitive topic of one race overriding the other and I hope the same could be done among Pakatan Rakyat. “We are leaders and we must try to do our responsible part to preserve the harmony we are enjoying now. My apologies whether my teguran (advice) seem harsh.”

    Voon: “Thank you very much. I went back and reflected and realise that I was a bit overboard. I hope you can all understand me and I thank you for your advice. I hope to be more careful and not be carried away. We have to see the interest of our state be protected and Federal should be reminded of what is due to us.”

    Karim: “I’m as patriotic to our beloved state as you are and would like to see the state get much development and attention as any loyal Sarawakian. It’s just that our approach with Kuala Lumpur is more discreet.”

  • BunyiPutra

    Very funny lah Dayak leaders keep telling poor Dayak to Tanam Getah

    How to become super mega rich from Getah?

    But for Dayak leaders themselves they enjoy Tanam Big Projek easy money RM millions jutawan segera

    Ordinary poor Dayaks —> Tanam Getah

    Rich Dayak BN YBs Goons —> Tanam Big Projek


    Masing: Rubber suitable crop for Dayak community

    The Borneo Post, Saturday 16 October 2010

    KAPIT: Rubber could well be the answer to the unregimented lifestyle of the Dayak community, especially the Ibans, said Minister of Land Development Dato Sri Dr James Masing.

    He said the community had tried its hand at other cash crops such as pepper and cocoa but all were found to be economically unsustainable due to various factors.

    On oil palm, he said Ibans in Kapit find it challenging to plant the crop due to their lifestyle and the undulating and steep terrain in the area.

    “The Dayak community, especially the Iban lifestyle, is very unregimented and they could not tied themselves down to a regimented crop like oil palm,” Masing said at the closing of an agriculture dialogue held at Rh Nading, Ng Selentang, Ga’at Balleh recently.

    He explained that a regimented crop like oil palm required stricter timeframe with regard to harvesting time and applying fertiliser.

    “For instance if oil palm fruits are ripening, you can’t wait and start giving all sorts of excuses such as having drinking sessions with friends. If you leave it, the fruit bunches would be rotten by then,” he said.

    Masing, who has a PhD in anthropology and specialises in the Iban lifestyle, pointed out that rubber would be more suitable for the community as it would not require too much time and attention.

    “Rubber would be ideal or smallholders in our community. We just need to plant the rubber tree with minimal maintenance. And after a few years, you can start tapping,” he said.

    As such, Masing who is also Balleh assemblyman invites Risda to assist the people in Kapit.

    “With the latest rubber clones, we can produce high quality latex,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Masing advised the people not to be hoodwinked by the opposition, especially Pakatan Rakyat, which was split in their fundamental setup.

    PAS wants an Islamic state; DAP wants the opposite while PKR is merely populist, Masing said.

    “For the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, our focus is on continued development,” he added.

    So in the next State election, they should not have to think too much on which party to vote for.

    The dialogue session was organised by Kapit Department of Agriculture.

    Present at the dialogue session were political secretaries Angeline Umis and Wilfred Nyabong, Deputy Resident Akmal Abdullah, Kapit District Officer Simon Japut and community leaders.


    DCCI: Potential entrepreneurs motivated by talk on loans, rubber seedlings

    Borneo Post, July 26, 2011, Tuesday

    GOOD RESPONSE: A section of the participants listening attentively to the speakers.

    KUCHING: More than 100 people, mainly native customary rights (NCR) landowners from Arip, Kemena, Belaga and Sebauh, participated in the Entrepreneurial Development Seminar organised by Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) in Bintulu last Saturday.

    DCCI executive secretary Terence Temenggong Jayang said the participants were exposed to new knowledge on high quality rubber tree planting and credit facilities.

    He also said the invited speakers for the seminar were from the Credit Guarantee Cooperation (CGC) and the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA).

    “The seminar covered facilities provided by CGC to finance secured contract works, and grants provided by RISDA to assist NCR owners to plant high quality clone rubber trees in order to produce more latex.

    Better rubber yield would help upgrade the economic livelihood of the Dayak community, especially with the high prices of rubber sheets presently,” he stated in a press statement issued here yesterday.

    The seminar was lively with many questions raised by the participants to the speakers namely CGC Miri branch head Mohd. Sufri Mohamed Yusop and RISDA Miri station head Baharuddin Amran.

    “They were curious, particularly on issues related to the grants provided by RISDA, the quality and availability of seedlings, the latest and proper management of rubber smallholding plantation and how landowners could qualify and apply for the grants,” he said.

    DCCI deputy president Dato Sri Celestine Ujang, who is also Bintulu Development Authority deputy general manager, officially opened the seminar.

    In his speech, Celestine said DCCI would continue to provide workshops and training for the Dayak community.

    He also requested the federal government to set up a special laboratory to look into the percentage of business opportunities provided to the Dayak community in the past and to d etermine future percentage of Dayak’s participation in business and industries.

    DCCI Bintulu Region regional coordinator Paul Raja closed the seminar. Also present were committee members Yusof Abdullah, Ungkuk Entili, Lamai Chawong and Terence.


    Taib keeps his YBs wealthy

    by FMT Staff, March 7, 2012

    Taib Mahmud’s 30-year tenure as Chief Minister and Sarawak Barisan Nasional chairman has spawned many millionaires within its circle of Ybs, says Sarawak Report.

    KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s secret to staying in power is bribery, at least that’s what the ‘political insiders’ here are saying.

    According to them, Taib has allegedly “bribed” MPs and assemblymen with timber concessions, plantations, contracts and whatnots in return for their absolute loyalty over the past 30 years.

    Taib has been in power since 1981 and whilst he has himself amassed an unexplainable amount of wealth which runs into billions in US dollars, here and abroad, he has also ensured that his ‘immediate’ circle of political allies have also become as wealthy.

    Take for instance his loyal deputy Alfred Jabu Numpang. Jabu has been Layar assemblyman for over 35 years, but the constituency is reportedly in a pitiful state. The man and his family however have reaped millions simply for keeping the native Ibans there convinced that Taib is ‘god-sent’.

    Jabu has allegedly received contracts, concessions and kickbacks each time Taib awarded himself some goodies.

    Jabu’s wealth is now sizzling the internet with disclosures of contracts awarded to him in the last decade.

    Jabu – who may very well be yet another billionaire – and his politically connected cronies have allegedly received over RM500 million in contracts through KACC construction in the last 10 years.

    The company is listed in the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) website.

    The website also offers names of the projects and contract worth. All except two of the contracts awarded to KACC Construction by the Taib government are in Bintulu.

    Shares in KACC Construction are reportedly held, jointly, by Jabu’s family and the families of state secretary Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani and Fadillah Yusof.

    Fadillah is the MP for Petra Jaya. She is also the Deputy Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation.

    KACC’s shareholders are Jabu’s daughter Jennifer and his cousin Robert Lawson Chuat (a PBB assemblymen). Other shareholders are Abdul Ghani’s brother Mohd Taufik and Fadillah’s niece and nephew.

    Millions for Sagan’s loyalty

    These details were part of a series of revelations on Taib’s ‘wealthy YBs’ by online investigative portal Sarawak Report (SR).

    According to the portal, KACC Construction is not the only source of Jabu’s wealth.

    Over the years Jabu and Taib have worked hand-in-glove in persuading natives to release their lands to them and their cronies, Jabu and his family run Herba Aromatics Sdn Bhd.

    The state government had awarded this company lucrative concessions which include rights to oil palm plantation, said the portal.

    Early last year it was widely rumoured that Jabu had ‘scored’ when he allegedly sold these lands to Felcra for RM7 million

    Then there is Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority Malaysia (Salcra). Jabu is the chairman of the controversial Salcra which involved the mass conversion of tens of thousands of hectares of native customary lands into oil palm plantation.

    Salcra was promoted as a way of providing the poor landowners with Sarawak with a living from the profits. But the portal said Jabu and his cronies however have happily reaped the benefits of the palm oil boom.

    Meanwhile other juicy bits on Sarawak Report include how federal minister Jacob Sagan, who is the Baram MP, allegedly sold his allegiance to Taib for hundreds of millions of ringgit in timber concessions and construction contracts.

    Sagan gave his support to Taib’s proposal to construct the monstrous Baram dam which will dislocate thousands of natives and destroy their livelihoods.

    Naroden, another beneficiary

    The Sarawak Report also mentioned Sarawak Entreprenuer Development Assistant Minister Naroden Majais who has made himself richer by allegedly awarding himself RM100 million worth of government contracts, with Taib’s permission.

    Details and value of the contracts were posted on the CIDB website. The contracts were awarded to Embun Pelangi Sdn Bhd, whose board of directors include Naroden’s wife, Massenah Ahmad and son Kamaruzaman.

    Since 2002 Embun Pelangi received no less than RM100 million in contracts from Taib.

    Naroden, who is allegedly ‘very close’ to Taib, is also one of the biggest timber concessionaires in Sarawak. Much of these concessions areas are in the region of the Baram Dam.

  • Aku Aja

    Undilah BN / PERINTAH for better future you stupid idiot.

  • Satelite Watch

    go for combat