Penan issue exaggerated?


The Sarawak Women and Family Council (SWFC) chairperson Fatimah Abdullah has said that the “sensitive” Penan issue has been highlighted and over-exaggerated because of their “political and commercial value”.

Actually, it’ is not that the Penan are of more “political and commercial value” than any other ethnic group in Sarawak. Rather, they are one of the most marginalised groups in the country – and their blockades reflect their desperation. Their situation now is a microcosm of the damaging effects of what is taking place in Sarawak: the clearing of rainforests for logging and plantations, resulting in loss of biodiversity and food sources; the  dam-building frenzy (at public expense for private profit?); the emergence of polluting industry; the unhealthy nexus of politics and business; and of course the dispossession of indigenous groups from native customary land, accompanied by ill-conceived resettlement plans.

Excerpt from The Borneo Post

It’s all because of ‘political, commercial value’: Fatimah
By Nigel Edgar

Penan issue very sensitive matter and should be dealt with carefully

KUCHING: The Penan issue has been highlighted and over-exaggerated by some people because of their “political and commercial value”.

Sarawak Women and Family Council (SWFC) chairperson Datin Fatimah Abdullah said if the issue involved other ethnic groups, it would have a slim chance of being picked-up as an issue to be used against the government.

“If I tell you about the Ibans or the Melanaus in my constituency having these problems, these ‘people’ would not pick their issues because they are of no commercial and political value,” she told reporters at the Sarawak Single Mothers’ Association Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration at Salma Villa at Jalan Depo here yesterday.

Fatimah said it was a very sensitive matter and should be dealt with carefully.

“We have to look at things in the right context,” she said.

In view of that, Fatimah said, it was best the opposition dealt with the Penan issue with sincerity.

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8 Oct 2009 9.59am

Gerakan K, Penang also gave strong mandate to PR, so Kg Buah Pala issue is exaggerated by BN propaganda ? Just giving you an example how words can be easily twisted and work at your disadvantage ? Please don’t give simplistic answers to this equation. First and foremost, the Penans are they facing these problems ? Is it a genuine complaint ? Exaggerated because highlighted by the PR or no truth at all ? Was there a food shortage ? Was there a rape case ? When there was food shortage, I dont hear or read BN or government sending… Read more »

7 Oct 2009 7.13pm

Fatimah is just … Commercial value? Sell Penan dolls?

7 Oct 2009 4.36pm

For crying out loud, Penans are asking to be heard.
Exaggeration or crying out desprately for HELP.
If BN intervened earlier before the matter got out of hand, BN would have come out the “HERO”
News of the earthquake victims got very quick response and assistance was handed out without much delay. The Penans ?

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
7 Oct 2009 7.03pm
Reply to  DG

The people of Sarawak already gave strong mandate to BN. People know Penans issue exaggerated by PR propaganda.

Abg Benet
Abg Benet
7 Oct 2009 2.55pm

Sarawak BN politicians are pathetic. They receive logging concessions, oil palm provisional licenses and infrastructure contracts from the CM via their family- and proxy-linked companies. They brazenly take money from big companies during elections and they spend it freely – even to the point of giving away free money in exchange for votes – to win re-election again and again. And then they vomit on the Penans for demanding justice for rape? Sarawak politicians are NEVER wrong. God forbid if this is the case. Instead, Sarawak politicians blame the victims!!!! Being a woman, one would have hoped for a better,… Read more »

Habib RAK
Habib RAK
6 Oct 2009 11.06pm

Sorry Anil for leaving a clip on Bagan Pinang candidate here. I could not find ur email. Please see this clip….

SungeiApong man
SungeiApong man
6 Oct 2009 9.35pm

Fatimah Abdullah is a publicity seeker. There isn’t a day gone by without her making some silly statements in the Borneo Post. Most of which are just excuses to cover Taib Mahmud behind.

6 Oct 2009 6.05pm

It is easy to claim such when logging brings in the cash. It is easy to dismiss it as over exaggeration when the penan are so poor and have little options.

Some people would rather sweep this under the carpet because ‘money’ talks.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
6 Oct 2009 1.09pm

Opposition parties (PKR, DAP, PAS) can keep criticize Sarawak state government (for baseless accusations) while the BN enjoys solid support during GE12. This is the proof that people of Sarawak have given BN the strong mandate to govern and Penan issues are non-issue for them. Further more, who wants to vote for an non-existence party? Mind you PR is unregistered entity and hence non-existence party. Even Election Commission has urged DAP, PKR and PAS to register with ROS in order make PR a legal entity. Go register now or stop using PR to cheat the public. See news at: