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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May this song awaken the people of Sarawak:


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 …… Read more »


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… Read more »


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.


gerakan k,

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

Gerakan K

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… Read more »

Gerakan K

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… Read more »


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… Read more »