Monday, November 16, 2009

My Dun Speech for November, 2009 Sitting on Penan Issue

1. Penan Issue
Tuan Speaker,

Let me touch on a thorny issue which is not only sensitive to the state government but also to me. I consider it sensitive as I do not want any women, be they Chinese, Malay, Dayaks, Indians or Penan to go through it. I have to fight for this injustice for all women in Malaysia.

Rape is such a degrading act against women and some never recovered from the trauma of it. The worst are those who were impregnated during the heinous act.

The NGO had been brave to highlight the issue on rape of Penan Women last year, yes, a year passed by already. What is being done? Has any rapist been arrested? Has any justice been rendered to the victims? NO! Nothing concrete has been done yet! Where is the justice for these survivors of rapes?

Tuan Speaker,

Instead of spear-heading the investigation when the rape on Penan girls and women was brought out, there was an outcry of denial from all corners as the rapists roamed the jungles free. Instead, the NGO who broke the story ended up being the guilty ones. The leaders of this land including the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister II, who is also in charge of Penan Affairs and the Minister for Land Development tried to sweep the issue under the carpet with accusations of the reports as being lies, calling the Penan good storytellers and asking newspapers which blew out the issue to check their facts. The NGO were branded liars and trouble-makers.

When the Woman, Family and Community Development Department made a finding early this year and confirmed that there were indeed rape cases of Penan girls, our state leaders came out strongly against the reports stating it as doubtful. The national media who broke the story was even accused of being Saboteurs.

Our DCM II who is also in charge of the Penan Affairs, denied outright when the report first surfaced. He said he went to Baram often and never heard of any rape case there. Is it because the DCM II did not want to listen to unpleasant issues or is it that the people did not trust him enough to solve such a ‘big’ problem?

Has the DCM II, who was assigned to protect the Penans, failed in his job? Why was he so fast to deny the truth vehemently when the issue broke out?

He should be stripped off his position of Penans Affairs when he has shown no compassion to the victims but instead exhibited extreme prejudice and insensitiveness.

Tuan Speaker,

The rakyat wants an answer. Who is the BN government trying to protect? Is the BN government trying to protect the logging companies who hired these rapists?

If the Penan issue happens in another country, I believe the Ministers and those who were involved would have apologized immediately and resigned to save their reputation. But, this is Malaysia. No one with such power gripped in their fists would want to let go no matter how many mistakes they have made and how many lives have been destroyed due to their non-committal efforts in taking the people’s welfare at heart.

At the Parliament recently, despite Shahrizat having confirmed second time that the sexual assault on the Penan girls are true, did any of our state leaders accept the fact and ensure that a wrong should be set right? NO, No one from the Barisan National is interested in the Penan issue because the Penan to them is of no monetary value and the setting up of roadblocks in the interior prevented their cronies from fattening their wallets. To them, the Penan issue brought out by the NGO is something they wanted suppressed from the world. The best solution for the BN government now is how to sweep the whole thing under the carpet.

Tuan Speaker,

The police, the consortium of law enforcer should take a huge chunk of the blame in their lackadaisical attitude towards the rape issue. There were so many excuses made by the police that one wonders if they were unable to function at all. With all the reports revealed, they still failed to do anything right. First, it was alleged that the victims were unable or did not want to co-operate. The police even blamed the NGO for giving zero co-operation.

It is time the police show some empathy. For once, do something right. Don’t be used by big companies and the ruling party for their own political and financial gain. Please check your conscience and get the suspects. The timber camps have been named. What is so difficult to go to the camps and do some questioning? Don’t just be good in questioning and harassing opposition politicians only. Do something useful.

24 projects with RM80 billion investments approved in SCORE had been announced but the BN has really failed to score any marks in helping their fellow Sarawakians including the Penan when it comes to lining their pockets. It is just so pathetic.

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