Gang Rule In Sarawak
Friday, February 18th, 2011 GMT This post is also available in: Malay - Sarawak Report

Minggat anak Nyakin - still unconscious four days after the attack.

The shocking pictures of Minggat Anak Nyakin and his son Juan Anak Minggat speak volumes about the problems in Sarawak. The two men were viciously attacked on the night of February 14th by illegal loggers, who have been plundering their lands for years unhindered. Minggat was left for dead on the steps of the company manager’s office and has yet to regain his power of speech. It was left to his son to crawl away in the dark, barely alive himself, to get help.
Amazingly these two men are now being held under police guard in hospital, because they have been remanded over the incident. Meanwhile, the latest news is that no attempt has so far been made to detect or arrest the attackers, although their headquarters in Sungai Rusa is well-known. It is perhaps of little surprise therefore that despite numerous reports by Minggat and his family about the illegal logging, the police had done nothing over the years to prevent it or investigate the problem.

Native Rights are ignored by the authorities
The unspeakable injustice of how Minggat and his family have been treated by the authorities and the people who are supposed to be keeping the law in Sarawak is unfortunately not the exception but the rule these days. Minggat’s wife, Jelembai, who says that her husband is likely to never fully recover, told Radio Free Sarawak in an exclusive interview: “Everyone is so scared of these people, which is why no one normally stands up to them” She explained that Minggat had reported the activities of the illegal loggers to the Police, the Lands and Survey Department and the Public Works Department again last December and had complained that their farm areas and roads were also being torn up by the intruders. However, none of these authorities showed any interest in upholding the law and defending the rights of the Iban community against the criminals plundering their lands.

Juan anak Minggat - still hardly able to speak after life-saving surgery.

The pair are believed to have acted in desperation after passing by their parcel of NCR land at Sungai Rotan and Sungai Penyaru Kuba (Kiba) on the evening of 14th February and seeing that the logging was continuing unabated. They decided to go to the company’s log pound in the hope of at least negotiating some compensation. It was this that laid them open to the attack.
Police failure
Of course, if the police had wanted to avoid any disturbances of the peace they should have done their proper job weeks ago and made their own visit to the company log pound and dealt with the theft and trespass. However, because the police had not come to the assistance of the community they are paid to defend, the two men felt forced to confront the loggers on their own. The attack that was then carried out shows just how confident the logging companies are that their gang activity will not be stopped or challenged. These thugs are the brutal enforcers of Taib’s policy of plunder in Sarawak and the police and the authorities know that it is no longer their job to carry out the law, but to turn a blind eye to the law-breaking, thuggery and exploitation that is making life miserable for hundreds of thousands of rural people.

Gang rule
Caught on camera! Thug with a home-made gun threatens villagers in Sri Aman - he told them he would bring gangsters from Sibu to sort them out.

Sarawak Report believes that the use of gang intimidation and violence is a clear instrument of policy by the BN Government, who are backing the logging companies. These gangs of thugs are notorious and widespread in Sarawak and BN cannot pretend that this incident is isolated or unusual.
Just this weekend another frightening drama of intimidation unfolded outside Rumah Ranggong, where two bus loads of thugs were brought to make camp outside the longhouses. The terrified locals believe they were hired to intimidate them by Niamas Istimewa Sdn. Bhd., a subsidiary of BLD Resources, who are logging their area. On this occasion the police were called to the site to find 100 thugs armed with parangs and explosives. Their lame reaction was to arrest only one leading figure and to allow all the others to return home, having handed them back their weapons! Why were these armed gangsters not instead rounded up and interrogated? Why have the logging company managers not been remanded in custody and also properly investigated? It is because for years these are the people who have been brought in to do Taib’s dirty work across Sarawak while the authorities look the other way. Their job is to terrorise the people and rightful Native Customary Rights land owners so that Taib’s business partners, the crony logging companies, can pluck out all Sarawak’s trees and sell the valuable wood that has made him and his family billionaires so many times over. However, now that their activities are being photographed and put on video these tactics can no longer be carried out in secret.

Fighting back at last
With knowledge has come confidence for a growing number of local people. Last month one village was warned by mobile phone about a gang of intimidators who were coming to attack them and they were able to call on 500 locals to come and help round up and imprison a group of 20 armed thugs. Cases like these are now being taken to court with the help of the PKR opposition leader, the native rights lawyer Baru Bian and his fellow human rights lawyers. Just this week yet another land rights case was won against the State Government in the Kuching courts and heavy compensation is expected to be demanded from the logging company.
Time is running out for Taib Mahmud. He should look at the examples of the numerous rebellions in the Middle East and realise that after 30 years patience runs out. He must allow people the freedom to chose who they want in the coming election and not try to squash his rivals by yet again abusing the police and ordering them to close down legitimate opposition rallies. This provocative attack on free democracy is currently happening all over Sarawak as Taib tries to strong arm yet another election victory. He should beware of making people angry.

Saturday, February 19th, 2011 GMT This post is also available in: English, - From Sarawak Report
Gambar-gambar Minggat Anak Nyakin dan anak lelakinya Juan Anak Minggat yang sungguh memilukan umum di seluruh dunia telah menceritakan sendiri tentang masalah-masalah di Sarawak. Kedua-dua anak beranak ini telah dicederakan dengan teruknya pada malam 14 Februari 2011 oleh para pembalak, yang telah mencerobohi hutan di tanah hak adat mereka. Minggat telah ditinggalka nyawa-nyawa ikan di anak-anak tangga pejabat pengurus syarikat dan kini menunggu masa untuk pulih sepenuhnya bagi membolehkan beliau menceritakan kejadian yang menimpanya, manakala anaknya pula berjaya merangkak untuk melarikan diri di dalam malam yang gelap, untuk mendaptkan bantuan kaum keluarganya di rumah panjang. Nasib masih menyebelahi mereka kerana kedua-dua mangsa berkenaan sedang dirawat di hospital di bawah kawalan rapi polis, kerana mereka direman atas kejadian itu. Sementara itu, tiada sebarang siasatan atau tangkapan dilakukan ke atas para penyerang mereka, walaupun ibu pejabat mereka di Sungai Rusa dikenali ramai. Sebelum itu, Minggat dan keluarganya pernah membuat banyak laporan polis beberapa tahun yang lalu mengenai pembalakan haram yang dijalankan di kawasan mereka tetapi polis tetap berdiam diri.
Hak-hak Orang Asal tidak dihiraukan oleh pihak-pihak yang berwibawa
Ketidakadilan yang dialami oleh Minggat dan keluarganya adalah perlakuan pihak-pihak yang memerintah. Isteri Minggat, Jelembai, yang mengatakan bahawa suaminya mempunyai peluang yang tipis untuk pulih sepenuhnya, telah memberikan keterangan kepada Radio Free Sarawak dalam temubual eksklusif:
“Semua orang kini gentar menghadapi samseng-samseng ini”
Menurut Jelembai, suaminya pernah beberapa kali membuat laporan mengenai pembalakan haram itu kepada pihak-pihak polis, Jabatan Tanah dan Survei dan Jabatan Kerja Raya, dan sehingga bulan Disember tahun lalu, di mana dia mengadu bahawa kawasan-kawasan huma dan denai-denai ke dusun mereka dirosakkan oleh para penceroboh itu. Namun, pihak-pihak tempat mereka mengadu itu langsung tidak menunjukkan sebarang reaksi untuk mengambil apa-apa tindakan ke atas samseng-samseng yang mengasari dan juga mencerobohi kawasan komuniti Iban itu. Setelah tidak tahan lagi dengan pencerobohan yang berterusan ke atas tanah NCR mereka di Sungai Rusa dan Sungai Kuba (Kiba), kedua-dua beranak berkenaan telah memutuskan untuk berjumpa pihak pengurusan syarikat pembalakan pada petang 14 Februari. Mereka berharap dapat merundingkan sebarang pampasan-pampasan dari pihak syarikat. Namun tujuan mereka ke pejabat syarikat berkenaan telah mendedahkan mereka kepada serangan.

Kegagalan pihak polis
Jika pihak polis ingin memelihara keamanan, mereka seharusnya telah bertindak dan mengambil inisiatif untuk mengadakan lawatan ke kem pembalakan berkenaan, dan seterusnya mengadakan perbincangan dengan pihak syarikat. Namun, memandangkan pihak polis tidak mengambil sebarang tindakan untuk membantu komuniti, kedua-dua Minggat dan anaknya telah mengambil keputusan untuk menghadapi para pembalak itu.
Serangan yang telah dikenakan ke atas kedua-dua Minggat dan Juan telah menunjukkan betapa yakinnya syarikat-syarikat pembalakan bahawa kegiatan pembalakan haram mereka tidak dapat dihentikan oleh sesiapa. Para samseng ini merupakan penguatkuasa kepada dasar Taib untuk merampas hak-hak orang tempatan, dan pihak polis dan pihak-pihak berwibawa yang lain kini tahu bahawa pemeliharaan undang-undang bukanlah tanggunjawab mereka lagi.

Pemerintahan gerombolan penyangak
Sarawak Report kini telah percaya bahawa penggunaan samseng dan kekerasan adalah suatu instrumen dasar yang digunakan oleh Kerajaan BN, yang menaja syarikat-syarikat pembalakan. Samseng dan kekerasan amat berleluasa di negeri Sarawak, dan BN tidak boleh berpura-pura menganggap kejadian ini terpencil dan luar biasa. Hanya pada hujung minggu lalu sebuah kejadian yang menakutkan telah dialami oleh penduduk-penduduk Rumah Ranggong, di mana terdapat segerombolan samseng yang diangkut menggunakan dua buah bas telah diletakkan dalam keadaan berkawal di hadapan rumah-rumah panjang berkenaan. Para penduduk percaya bahawa samseng-samseng itu telah diupah oleh syarikat Niamas Istimewa Sdn. Bhd., sebuah anak syarikat BLD Resources, yang membalak di kawasan berkenaan untuk menakut-nakutkan para penduduk di situ. Pada kejadian ini pihak polis telah mengadakan lawatan ke tempat kejadian, dan kedua-dua pihak telah berada jauh di antara satu sama lain. Tetapi kenapakah samseng-samseng yang bersenjata itu tidak dihantar balik ke Sibu, dan syarikat pembalakan penaung mereka tidak disiasat? Ini kerana selama bertahun-tahun lamanya orang-orang seperti ini telah digunakan oleh Taib Mahmud untuk melakukan kerja-kerja kotor di seluruh bumi Sarawak. Misi mereka hanyalah untuk menimbulkan rasa takut di kalangan orang-orang tempatan dan empunya tanah-tanah NCR supaya kroni-kroni Taib dapat membalak dan menjual kayu-kayu bernilai tinggi untuk membolehkannya dan juga keluarganya bertambah kaya. Kini kekerasan yang mereka lakukan telahpun dirakamkan, dan taktik-taktik sedemikian tidak dapat mereka lakukan secara tersembunyi.

Akhirnya mereka membalas serangan
Pada bulan lepas sebuah perkampungan telah diberikan amaran menerusi telefon bimbit bahawa segerombolan samseng 20 orang telah dihantar untuk menakut-nakutkan komuniti di situ, dan dengan panggilan-panggilan telefon komuniti di situ berjaya mendapat sokongan seramai 500 orang kampung untuk mengelilingi dan menangkap para penceroboh mereka itu. Kes-kes seperti inilah yang ditentang hebat di mahkamah dengan bantuan ketua pembangkang PKR, peguam hak asasi orang asal Baru Bian dan rakan-rakan peguam hak asasi kemanusiaannya. Dan pada hari juga sebuah lagi kes tanah NCR telah yang menang menentang Kerajaan Negeri di mahkamah Kuching dan jumlah pampasan yang besar dijangka akan dituntut daripada syarikat pembalakan yang terbabit. Masa berlalu begitu pantas untuk Abdul Taib Mahmud.

PS: Kalau dah samseng yang berkuasa dan pihak yang berwajib tidak dapat membuat apa-apa tindakan bagaimana pula nasib rakyat yang lemah sudah pasti akan terus ditindas dan dengan mudah pihak yang ada kepentingan dengan pemimpin BN yang berkuasa akan terus merampas tanah kaum asal tanpa menghiraukan undang-undang.Mereka akan terus menindas rakyat yang lemah demi kepentingan diri mereka sendiri tanpa memikirkan akan nasib penduduk yang miskin dan lemah. Kalau kita tidak mahu perkara begini berterusan, bah mari kita mengubah dan berpakat-pakat mengundi PAS dan PAKATAN Rakyat dalam pilihanraya akan datang, jangan bagi peluang kepada penyangak memerintah kita dengan zalim. Berilah peluang kepada Pakatan Rakyat pula yang memerintah. InsyAllah sudah pasti ada perubahan yang lebih baik lagi buat rakyat semua.