Saturday, November 28, 2015


28 NOVEMBER 2015

The violent attack on Tuai Rumah Jambai from Bekelit, Bekenu is an act of greedy and heartless persons with no regard for the rights of the people nor laws of this country. This criminal act is reminiscent of the attack on TR Surik Muntal in Melikin 2 years ago. The attackers are alleged to be gangsters working for an Oil Palm company and one of the vehicles they were driving is reported to belong to the company Tung Huat. The companies and big bosses must not be allowed to get away with their inhumane and cruel treatment of the people whose lands they are trying to steal. It is truly shocking that the rich would stoop so low as to physically harm innocent people so they can get even richer.

TR Jambai’s woes began as early as 2008 and he has been defending his lands since then. In the latest incident, his car was forced off the road by two cars and he was then beaten and slashed with a samurai sword. One has to question why innocent and powerless villagers are allowed to be bullied and harassed for so long without any recourse.  

In order for such appalling acts of violence to stop, the government must review its policy of issuing licences to plantations. It is not difficult to understand that the natives have existed longer that the companies, and that they have deep and long connections with their lands. We cannot blame the people for fighting for their rights. The government must investigate the history and the people of each area to ascertain whether the land is subject to native customary rights before issuing licences to big companies. Obviously this was not done, and the natives are now paying for this neglect by the government. This sad story is being told over and over again, and it has to stop. The government must not wait until someone is killed before taking a serious look at its existing policies and practices.

The police must immediately carry out a thorough investigation of this crime committed against TR Jambai. I’m disappointed to note that they are quick to take action when big companies make complaints against villages but are slow to act when villagers lodge reports against the companies. The police have also shown that they are very capable of immediate and swift action when it comes to complaints against the opposition and civil rights activists. I urge them to show the same dedication and determination in investigating this act of violence against an innocent headman who was only defending his people’s lands. The bullies must not be allowed to get away with it, even if they are powerful community chiefs with connections. I should say especially if they are such community leaders whose duties should be to look after the welfare of the ordinary people.

The Chairman of the Oil Palm company alleged to be behind the attacks is reported to be a Temenggong. I would also urge the government to investigate this as under s 8 of the Community Chiefs and Headmen Ordinance 2004, no person appointed Chief (the definition of which includes Temonggong) or Headman is allowed to engage in any trade, business, activity or undertaking which may place himself in a position of conflict with his position as Chief or Headman. This is clearly an instance of such conflict and the Chairman’s position as Temonggong should be revoked.

Baru Bian
N70’ Ba’ Kelalan

Bring devt to Baram even if dam project halted — Baru

November 28, 2015, Saturday

KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian was glad when he read of the announcement by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem that the Baram Dam project would be halted indefinitely due to objections by the people in the area.
However, Baru said his gladness was dampened by Adenan’s words that followed, when he said that the people would lose out on development such as roads and other necessities.
“It appears that he was saying that development of infrastructure in Baram depends on the building of the Baram Dam. What about other areas where there are no dams to be built? Will there be no development as well?” he asked in a press statement Wednesday.
Baru, who is state PKR chairman, believed that development could be independent of dams, adding that the government should not use the rejection of the dam by the people as an excuse for the failure of the BN government to carry out development projects in rural areas.
“It’s a fundamental duty of the government to provide infrastructure and other amenities to all groups of people in the country.
“It is indeed disappointing that the people of Baram who have fought so long and hard to preserve their homes and livelihoods have been issued a subtle threat in this manner. I hope they will continue to be brave and stand their ground.”
At the very least, Baru said, the people should have the right to proper roads so that towns nearby are easily accessible, and they are able to avail themselves of the facilities in towns.
“It is a sad fact that after decades of BN rule, the roads in rural areas are still in appalling condition and some are not passable without a 4×4 vehicle. Many villages are still without basic amenities such as electricity and piped water.
“I have just returned from a visit to Long Panai, driving from Miri to Marudi to Long Panai.
“A mere six kilometres out of Marudi on tarred road, we came to a place called Rh Lansam, Sg Dabai, where there is no supply of clean piped water.
“What has the BN government been doing all these years? If they haven’t managed to supply water to a place so close to Marudi town, imagine what other villages farther out of town have to put up with.”
Baru said he had to agree with Bintulu MP and SPDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing that the incumbent Marudi assemblyman Datuk Sylvester Entri had failed the people of Marudi.
“There are rumblings of discontent that he has only shown concern for the people in his village of Rh Entika, where there is a huge water treatment tank and I have been told that a helipad is being built there!
“Perhaps the sub-standard roads provided by his BN government are not good enough for him to drive on.
“If it is indeed true that he is building a helipad in his village, it is but just another example of the warped priorities of the BN politicians and shows how out of touch they are with the people.”
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Friday, November 27, 2015

Aussie art gallery confirms Malaysian politician’s gift

26 November 2015

The Art Gallery of South Australia confirms having received the painting Meandering Murray and wattle by John Olsen as a gift from the family of Sarawak Governor Taib Mahmud – Painting was acquired by the Taibs as part of their AUD$ 28.25 mil Adelaide Hilton purchase in 1994

(ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA) A painting by Australian artist John Olsen with an estimated worth of up to AUD$ 100,000 has been donated to the Art Gallery of South Australia by the family of Taib Mahmud, the Governor and former Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. This has been confirmed by the Art Gallery’s director, Nick Mitzevich.

In a letter to the Bruno Manser Fund, Mitzevich states that “Sitehost Pty Ltd, on behalf of the Hilton Hotel Adelaide, offered the work by John Olsen to the Gallery for our permanent collection in 2013. Originally John Olsen’s Meandering Murray and wattle was commissioned for the foyer of the newly opened Hilton Hotel in 1982.”

The Adelaide Hilton hotel was purchased by Taib Mahmud’s late wife Laila and their four children in January 1994 at a price of AUD$28.25 million. Today it is being directed by Taib Mahmud’s daughter, Jamilah Taib, her Canadian husband, Sean Murray, and two Adelaide lawyers.

An investigation by the Bruno Manser Fund showed that the Hilton purchase by the Taibs was funded by unexplained wealth brought into the company through offshore structures in the Isle of Man and the British Virgin Islands.

In its carefully worded letter, the Art Gallery of South Australia avoided to answer BMF’s question if they had known about the Adelaide Hilton’s connection to Taib Mahmud.

Last month, Adelaide University was forced to disclose under a Freedom of Information request that it had received AUD$ 400,000 in donations from Taib Mahmud during his tenure as Chief Minister.

The Bruno Manser Fund calls for all Taib family assets and donations to be returned to Sarawak.

– Ends –

Tel. +41 61 261 94 74. Follow us on twitter: @bmfonds

Bruno Manser Fonds Socinstrasse 37 4051 Basel Switzerland


27 NOVEMBER 2015
At Long Temarub. In front, from left: Ketua Kampung Asim Tagel, Charles Labung, James Taie (squatting). On the right is Gituen Labung

The recent flooding in the Lawas/Limbang area has affected many families in the Lower Trusan area. PKR Lawas branch distributed supplies donated by branch chairman Baru Bian to 93 families in Long Temarub, Long Tukon, Tang Lipi, Berayung Baru, Bang Anggo and Luagan Kelilang yesterday and today. Deputy chairman Charles Labung led a group of members including branch secretary James Taie, Wanita Secretary Sawe Ukab, and members Oliver Berangad Pagang, Edwin Taie, and Libat Taie to bring much-needed supplies of rice, sugar, instant noodles and coffee/tea to help the villagers
At Berayung Baru. Charles Labung handing over supplies
to a representative of the village. On the left is PKR Lawas
Wanita Secretary Sawe Ukab and on the right is Gituen Labung
who are cleaning their homes and counting their losses.

In Long Tukon, the flood waters reached a height of 4 feet in some houses while in Long Temarub, the taps had run dry so the villagers were not able to clean their houses. It is hoped that the authorities will look into this.


At Kampung Luagan Kelilang. Gituen Labung handing
over supplies to Tamin Sirup, brother of the Ketua Kampung.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Suhakam wants definition of marital rape to be clarified

Published: 25 November 2015 10:06 PM
Suhakam acting chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee wants Putrajaya to clarify marital rape under the Penal Code. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 25, 2015.

Suhakam acting chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee wants Putrajaya to clarify marital rape under the Penal Code. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 25, 2015.
The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has urged Putrajaya to amend the the exception to marital rape from the definition of rape stated in the Penal Code.
"This is to reflect the reality of sexual abuse suffered by women, either they are married or not," acting Suhakam chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee said.
She said rape committed by a spouse was as disgusting as rape committed by an unknown person.
The Asean Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women also urged its members to take initiatives to eliminate all forms of discriminations against women and to improve existing laws relating to the issue, she said.
"Suhakam is in the opinion that despite having too many developments and initiatives in tackling gender-based violence issues, the cases of violence against women still persist in Malaysia," she said in a statement today in conjunction with the International Day for the elimination of Violence Against Women. – Bernama, November 25, 2015.
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Brother: Kevin gave me info on probe on powerful individuals


The brother of Anthony Kevin Morais has claimed to be in possession of a pen drive sent to him by the deputy public prosecutor just before he was murdered.

“It is in safe custody in the US with someone who has instructions to release it publicly should anything untoward happen to me for swearing this statutory declaration,” said Charles Suresh Morais.

“The contents of this pen drive clearly and unequivocally reveal the investigation Kevin had been tasked with just before his untimely death, which implicates certain personalities who currently walk the corridors of power in Malaysia,” he added in a statutory declaration today.

Charles said in his statutory declaration that Kevin told him in August that he would send Charles something via courier for safekeeping.

He told reporters at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur that the pen drive arrived at his home in Atlanta in late October.

Kevin was murdered sometime between Sept 4 - the date he was abducted - and Sept 16, the date when his remains were found in a cement-filled drum.

When asked, Charles declined to divulge the contents on the pen drive.

Charles said he was convinced that Kevin knew something was going to happen to him.

"I could sense this from the conversations I had with him over the phone shortly before he was abducted.

"This perhaps explains why he felt it necessary to travel to London on Aug 3, 2015 and while there, to see solicitors who drew up a will for him dated Aug 13, 2015 in which he specifically bequeathed his apartment to a dear friend of his.

"Why do this when it had always been his intention to retire to London and live in that apartment?" he said.

Charles disputed police's explanation that Kevin was murdered because he was prosecuting a government pathologist for corruption.

"This accused (doctor) is intelligent enough to realise that getting rid of the DPP prosecuting his case will not emasculate the charge he is facing for the simple reason there are many other DPPs who would take over that prosecution.

"Kevin was killed for other reasons and I believe these other motives were due to the fact that he knew too much about the criminal acts of those high up in the echelons of power in Malaysia and he needed to be silenced because of that," he said.

He also told reporters that had made a statutory declaration because he was being bombarded by questions from reporters about the status of Kevin's body which had been retrieved by their younger brother Richard Dilaan Morais two days ago.

This was despite the police, the Kuala Lumpur Hospital holding Kevin's body and the Attorney-General's Chambers all being given notice that he (Richard) intended to seek a second postmortem on Kevin's remains, he said.

He said he was not comfortable with holding an impromptu press conference and therefore opted to lay out the facts surrounding Kevin's murder in his 18-page statutory declaration with the assistance of his lawyer, Americk Sidhu.

Did a '360'

Another reason to make the declaration, he told the press conference, was because he was 'puzzled' by the Attorney-General's Chambers' moves.

He said its officials had initially told him to go ahead and arrange the second postmortem but instead then told him in a subsequent meeting to seek a court order.

They did a '360' on me. We quickly went to get the court order. When we had it approved, the body had been taken out,” he said.

Charles also questioned his brother Richard's motives for retrieving the body.

He claimed that Kevin and been estranged from his two youngest brothers Richard and David Ramesh Morais, and had not spoken to them since 2004 until his death.

He said that Richard may have been instigated by 'high-ranking officials' to retrieve Kevin's body, but added that he does not know who may be behind it.

With the body out of the morgue, it would be moot to track it down for a second postmortem, he said, adding that he does not know the whereabouts of Kevin's remains.

He said he wanted a second postmortem done because the first postmortem merely stated in a single line that Kevin's cause of death was 'probable asphyxiation'.

I am a layman but I am pretty sure that would be thrown out of court if that was produced as evidence,” he said.

On Sept 28, six men were charged with Kevin's murder while two others including the army pathologist were charged with abetment.

‘Report on defective schools no surprise’

November 26, 2015, Thursday

Baru Bian
Baru Bian
KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian, is not surprised at the Auditor-General’s report on the ‘serious defects’ in more than a quarter of the schools in Sarawak.
“In fact, nobody in Sarawak is surprised. I have visited all the 12 schools in my constituency and all but one are in serious disrepair. At every State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting, I bring up this distressing problem but it appears that there is no real effort on the federal government’s part to address these problems,” he said in a press conference, here, yesterday.
Baru, who is state PKR chairman, said millions had been spent drawing up a fancy Education Blueprint for 2013-2025 which gave itself lofty ideals or ‘shifts’, one of which was ‘Ensure 100 per cent of schools meet basic infrastructure requirements by 2015, starting with Sabah and Sarawak’.
“The so called ‘Wave 1 (2013-2015) of the Plan has rolled away but the objective of that wave, such as ‘by 2013, critical repairs and upgrades will be completed across all 1,608 schools with critical needs’ seems to have fallen by the wayside. This repair and upgrade was to proceed in stages, starting with Sabah and Sarawak.”
Baru recalled that in February last year, the then Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin promised an additional budget of RM1billion for Sabah and Sarawak to rebuild dilapidated schools.
“The honourable Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, in a reply to a question from me during the April 2014 DUN sitting said that the state government had approved 38 projects but was still waiting for funds from the federal government.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), she said we need RM422 million but the federal government only approved RM95 million, and that the allocation for us in the 2016 will not be enough.”
He said this sorry state of affairs went to show that the federal government did not really care about Sabah and Sarawak, except as a vote bank during the elections, questioning “…if the ministers truly have a heart for our people, what is so difficult about handing over the money we need?”
Baru said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had no qualms about giving his department an increase to RM20.3 billion in the budget for 2016 but cut funding for education, which went to show the warped priority of the government.
“The Education Blueprint, shows that Sarawak is at the second last place in a comparison of performance across states for UPSR and SPM in 2011. This is not surprising either as our pupils do not have proper facilities and conducive environment to study and learn.
“I do feel for Datuk Fatimah as it must be very frustrating to be always begging for money from West Malaysia.
I urge the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem who has, to his credit reminded West Malaysia of our rights under the Sarawak Constitution to use English as an official language, to now reclaim our rights to Education, together with an increased allocation that should come with it.”
However, he said, knowing the way the federal government had treated Sarawakians for so long, the best bet would be to give the opposition a chance.
“In our 18-Point roadmap, we promise to allocate RM1 billion for school repairs and our promise will not just be empty promises, which Sarawakians are now tired of hearing.”
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Baru brushes off Rais’ claim as ‘nonsense’


KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian regards as “nonsense” Social and Cultural Affairs advisor Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim’s claim that Sarawak’s emphasis on English could cause disintegration in society.
Baru, who is state PKR chairman, said Rais was absolutely wrong to make such claim, when the real cause of disintegration in the society, particularly in Sarawak and Sabah, was the failure of BN government in taking care of the people in both states.
“The federal government’s neglect on Sarawak in the fields such as education and health are the ones that caused disintegration, not by using English as means of instruction,” he said in a press conference here yesterday.
Baru pointed out that while Rais was right in saying that Bahasa Malaysia is the official language of the nation as stated under the Federal Constitution, many had forgotten that the state’s right to use English was its right under the 18-point Malaysia Agreement.
“It was agreed that we were to use English for 10 years and after that, then the state government and Sarawakians could consider whether we are prepared to do away with English as our official medium of instruction.
“We have done that and we decided not to (do away with English as our official medium of instruction). So, that was a right under the Malaysia Agreement under the 18 points which everybody agreed to.”
Therefore, he said, Rais and other Malay rights groups had no right to criticise Sarawak’s emphasis on English.
By emphasising on English, Baru added, it did not mean that Sarawakians were not patriotic, adding as pointed out by Land Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, Rais himself wrote his PhD in English and that did not mean he was less patriotic.
“Therefore, I would like to support our chief minister on this issue but at the same time, I would like to ask him, what are the steps that the state government would take to achieve what he had announced because we don’t want this to turn out as mere rhetoric?”
When informed that some state civil servants could not speak English, Baru said the only way is to hold special training or workshops for them, adding that the state government should not wait for the federal government for funding.
As for the federal government departments, he said the state government should have its own policy to require the personnel to be able to speak English, adding they should be changed if they refused to follow the requirement.
As a way to strengthen English among Sarawakians, particularly school children, Baru suggested that the state government make use of state reserves to hire retired English specialist teachers or encourage more exchanges of teachers from foreign countries such as the Fullbright Programme to teach English in the state.
“Perhaps, the other way is to start English as compulsory subject in even preschools and kindergartens and encourage them to teach English by giving some incentives to them. I think we have to start from there.”
By emphasising on English, Baru reiterated, he was in no way suggesting that the language should replace Bahasa Malaysia. Instead, both English and Bahasa Malaysia should be given equal emphasis, he pointed out.
“In fact, I would like to go further that not only English should be given emphasis, the different ethnic languages should also be promoted.”
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