Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu has held up the Penan village at Suai in Ulu Niah in Sarawak as a “role model” for Penan villages, according to the Borneo Post.
But even in Suai, the state can’t keep its hands off Penan lands, and they too have to fight to assert their rights, as this excerpt from the Malaysian Mirror indicates:
MIRI – A meeting between 40 Penan landowners in Suai and representatives of SPB Pelita Suai Sdn Bhd ended successfully today when the landowners agreed to remove blockades on the promise that they be paid between RM1,900 and RM18,900 depending on the size of their land.
Lawyer Abun Sui who was present at the meeting said that there were 154 families involved and they agreed to dismantle the blockades this evening.
“But the Penans give SPB Pelita Suai Sdn Bhd a two-month notice to meet their demands failing which they will put up blockades again.
“Next time they will ask for bigger compensations,” he said, adding that they would meet again on Oct 13 to finalize the agreement.
SPB is the privatisation vehicle for former state agency Sarawak Land Development Board (SLDB), which was privatised. In the privatisation, the single largest chunk of shares went to Cermat Ceria, the state held a quarter, and a bundle of shares was issued to the public in 2007, when it was listed on the main board.