Penan blockade highlights rich-poor gap


By now you may be aware of the peaceful blockade by the Penans along the road to the Murum Dam site in Sarawak – despite a virtual blackout in the mainstream media.

The Penan blockade – Photograph: Scane

The odds are stacked against the Penans in this David vs Goliath test of wills.

On one side are the Penans, a community that is among the poorest and most marginalised in the country. On the other are powerful corporate interests backed by a few of the wealthiest politicians in the country and their cronies. A stark reminder of the wide gap between the rich and the poor in the country.

Development for whom? This is not holistic development but pure economic development (for whom? large politically connected corporation or local communities?) which ignores the social, cultural, ecological and spiritual dimensions of local communities and their habitat.

And let’s not forget the issue of whether there was free, prior and informed consent and participatory decision-making at the local level.

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  1. It is time you called it for what it really is. A … land and project grab …

    All the crocodile tears … shed through an opposition filled with apologists “thumbys” … such as yourself will not wipe away the stain of deforestation and displacement of people like the Penan by these people….

    Unless you do what is required to be done and that is to speak out honestly and honourably against the root causes of these problems, you will continue to drown in the swill you generate for yourself with … anti Government propaganda jaundiced with a distinct … slant to it.

    The Penan like that Swiss “environmentalist” have been … displaced by a … business community. No if’s no Butts

    • Comment edited to remove racial references which violate this blog’s comment guidelines.

      Future comments with such references will be deleted.

  2. Go experience what is life in the rainforest without prejudices.
    Feel the joy of freedom in open space, experience the awe of nature, open to spiritual connectivity with each living flora & fauna (if one is not a dead cell without 6 senses, not 5), walk the earth barefoot that bring one down to one’s humility (you will feel very small among giant trees & hounding wild animals), get lost & be at the mercy of nature, be swept by strong river currents as cold as ice (even a 4WD cannot challenge), and be at one with nature if only one has good intention to be there (otherwise, the spirit guardians won’t leave you alone in peace).
    And you will readily empathize with the natives (Orang Asli, Negritos, Penan), and not scorn at their way of living (in peace).
    It is easy to feel superior & haughty as civilised men compared to these Penan but bear in mind, we will be the outlasted by them in any natural disaster of epic & global proportion. And what hope of procreating our ‘soft’ genes of future generation!
    It helps to have a balanced view & experience of both worlds.

  3. If we let this unjust cause keep taking way, someday, ALL Bolehan(AKA. Malaysian) will face the same fate as Penan people, exploit by the corrupted government and its cronies.

  4. gerakan k,

    think you are for pro-PR. instigator and make neutrals dislike BN. done well with your comments. you are lovely.

    • Micro-blog like anil can’t do anything that can affect the macro-view, assessment and decisions of the masses. Also micro-comment of everyone in this blog can’t change anything in any election, be it individual seat, the whole state or anything else.

      We are in a very small circle, exchanging views that nobody cares outside

      p/s: We are in for some syiok sendiri pleasure.

    • This what Najib 1 Malaysia is. Marginalizing the people and making the poor landless while enriching their cronies like the CM who is allegedly the richest man in Malaysia.

      These Penan have been staying on the lands for hundred of years and now they are being driven off just like that without (little) compensation and concern for them at all. And just like Kg Buah Pala, the UMNO BN Gerakan sold off the land to a developer and drove them out and give them a small pigeon hole of 550 sq ft.

      Luckily the 308 tsunami came around which saw them being compensated with a double storey house worth RM750,000/= by LGE Pakatan rakyat (PR) EVEN THOUGH THE LAND IS NOT THEIRs. And Pakatan Rakyat are not biased like Gerakan who blame these Penan whose land have been grabbed while not blaming those in Kg Buah Pala even though the land are also not theirs and despite the court decision in favour of the developer.

      Shame on these people from UMNO BN Gerakan and their sycophants especially the one here who keep lying and deceiving the people here with his lies.

      This is what we want LGE PR for a government that cares not a 1 Malaysia that is only in name only. To be more precise, a bluff….

      And the 1Malaysia PM Najib told the people of Sarawak at the last state election that CM Taib would retire. And he has still not done that. You see we have seen more lies and bluff and this is what their 1Malaysia is . Lies & deceits.

      Yes poor and uneducated the Penan is and thats what the Najib UMNO Bn wants them to be. The only recourse to upgrade their status is to make the CHANGE. CHANGE IS WHAT WE NEED NOW ESPECIALLY IN SARAWAK AND SABAH.

  5. Few points:

    1) Peaceful protest on what basis ??? The land is not yours.

    2) Why so poor ??? Lazy ??? No education ??? Or this is your way of life ??? Or anil just sensationalized your ‘way of life’ as poor in order to badmouth BN ???

    3) Why blame the rich ones when yourself is poor ??? Jealous kah ???

    You can only help yourself. Get out of those places and find works in right places. TARZAN life is not suitable anymore. Don’t blame others when you are too stubborn not helping yourself.

    p/s: Who want to join me for peaceful protest against the recent jackpot winner ??? I’m so jealous !!!

  6. Can we call it an atrocious act of bullying a minority in pursuit of wealth & destruction of Nature?
    These Penan have lived in the rainforest for God knows how long practicing ‘molong’ which means never taking more than necessary from the land. The most notable value of the Penan is sharing whatever food they get from hunting & gathering & they don’t have a word for ‘thank you’! Sharing is 2nd nature, so TQ is obsolete & not obligated in their social context.
    The ‘civilised men’ have taken advantage of the Penan’s mild manners, ‘innocence’ & sharing value (they have no knowledge of land titles) to the extent of changing their culture, religion & way of life which means having some of them leaving the land of their ancestors for a civilised lifestyle in the fringe of the forest.
    This left much of the forest ‘unoccupied’ & ‘open’ for dizzy exploits in the name of development & economic activities by the rulers of the day. As expected in the minds of these greedy leaders & corporate honchos, massive land exploitation for timber & natural resources followed on a scale more horrific than the nightly nightmares of these Penan.
    Bruno Manser, an environmental activist & champion of the Penan humbly learnt their way of life to understand their eco-friendly lifestyle, though he came from Switzerland. He could have shared with us the Penan values of land management which are more superior than the hitech, expensive & wasteful habits of land destruction. Had he not been labelled a criminal & pursued till his disappearance (God knows where he is now).
    The days will come (in the future) when earth is restored & mankind will learn to live like the Penan of selflessness, sharing & rightful stewards of Nature.
    It will be called ‘Avalon’ (future Eden v2).


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