Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Leave Behind “Cawat” Issue And Move Forward

The remark by Hadi Awang on the recent concluded by-election result in Btg. Ai was an expression of frustration. Hadi Awang clearly showed that the result reflected the thought of the people of Btg. Ai still clinging to the “old” thinking that only Barisan Nasional government was good for them while people outside Btg. Ai had begun to expect a change in government as seen in the defeats by BN in series of by-elections in West Malaysia and the fall of many states under the BN government to Pakatan Rakyat.

We now have to move forward and leave behind what Hadi Awang had said and be focused on capturing the state government through the coming state election. If Pakatan Rakyat wins to form the state government, the people of Sarawak will see a lot of changes. We will ensure automatic renewal of all land leases to a further period of 90 years without premiums. We will also see Native Customary Land and kampong land be issued with land titles. At the same time, Pakatan Rakyat will ensure that all consumers will enjoy free first 20 cubic metres of treated water.

Not only that, we will also ensure that government grants be given to all religious and vernacular schools and Chinese schools. Senior citizens and single parents will also enjoy better welfare benefits and allowances so that they can enjoy the sunshine everyday.

Now its time for change!

Monday, July 27, 2009


The official opening of the new DUN Building just now by the King was very grand with VIPs throughout Malaysia coming for the function. We Opposition YBs had no seat and it was a very embarrassing official function that I ever attended. It took me more than an hour before I could find a seat.

The new DUN building costing about RM300 million does no reflect a building for a multi-cultured and multi-religious society. The building reflects one culture of one race only. The concept does not also reflect a building based on democracy. Democracy in Malaysia came from Westminister and it should be a blend of Western and Eastern cultures. The west represents where democracy came from and the east should represent our culture.

The Chambers is more or less the size of the Chambers of the old DUN building and this reflects a waste of public fund for the new building. Therefore, there is no much difference at all. I thought that the Chambers could be bigger where in the event that the number of YBs to be increased, seats could be extended to them. I was told that all YBs have been allocated an office each in which I don’t see a need at the moment. This is because it is not the comfort that we are looking for, but, a place where democracy could be heard. There is no point having a Dewan so majestic like this if voices of our YBs could not be heard. For BN YBs, they may feel the luxury of comfort in listening speeches of Ministers, but, to us in the Opposition, what we need is a forum where voices of the people could be heard.

If the BN government which is a big spender government is serious about democracy, then the best thing is to televise all debates “live” during all sittings of the Legislature. This is to ensure that all YBs behave and can deliver their speeches intelligently and debate well. This is also to enable voters to gauge for themselves the performance of their own YBs. In previous DUN sittings, what went on was that while we in the Opposition spoke, the YBs from BN kept on shouting abuses at us. When we shouted at them, they booed at us to sit down and this wasted a lot of time.

I hope in this new DUN there no more to be such misbehavior from YBs. I was quite fed-up of all these antics which made me stood-up and had a shouting match during the last DUN sitting with Dr. George Chan and other YBs when issue on land matters could not be raised by the DAP. I had kept my cool for too long and too patient with their style in stifling our voices.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Teoh Beng Hock’s Death – Was investigation professionally done?

Although the death of comrade Teoh Beng Hock was given wide news coverage in the last few days, but, one thing that was a mystery was the low key investigation conducted by the police and or by the relevant authorities. If later on that it be announced that Teoh Beng Hock committed suicide, then, the public will have a right to condemn the investigation as a cover-up operation by the BN government. Such a high profile case should be given a very transparent investigation and the public should not be left guessing and speculating what actually had led to Teoh Beng Hock’s death or what went on with the investigation.

From what went on in the news, it seems that the police had failed to follow the international police practice of immediately sealing off Wisma Masalam and its surrounding areas. At least from the 14th floor housing the offices of MACC down to the 5th floor of Wisma Masalam where the body was found should have been sealed. It was not known whether this was done. The need to seal off a scene of crime for the purpose of investigation was always necessary to prevent possible tampering of evidence by people who may come in contact with the scene of crime. At the same time, all equipment used in the interrogation and investigation including office all investigation papers, diaries and logbooks should have been immediately seized.

Simultaneously, all personal vehicles and houses of MACC officers who were involved in the arrest and interrogation of Teoh Beng Hock should be seized and searched for evidence so that nothing should be left to chance to escape from the net during investigation. So far, nothing was heard had been done.

I would suggest that if anything goes wrong with the investigation for lack of thoroughness where evidence could have been collected, but, negligently not collected, the police officers conducting the investigation should be held responsible and be brought to justice.

The police should re-construct how Teoh Beng Hock had fallen if he was to have committed suicide. This will also help determine whether or not foul play was involved giving the fact that the window from which he purported fell or thrown out could only open just 45 degrees wide. Such an opening for a person of medium size could hardly afford an easy passage to go out of the window without hitting any mark to the window or without having his body injured in the process. We should not only be concern as to why Teoh Beng Hock had fell, but, should also be concern as how and when Teoh Beng Hock fell if not being pushed down alive.

It was also observed from the pictures shown in local tabloids that the window was at least four feet high and in such circumstances, it was not easy for a person to climb up unassisted or if with nothing on the glass wall to hold on. To avoid further allegation or suspicion of cover up, the police should have call foreign forensic pathologists to assist in the investigation. This is because it is doubtful that Malaysia has such an expert that could assist in this kind of investigation involving deaths that fell from high rise buildings as in Malaysia cases of such nature are not many for local forensic experts to develop their skill and experience.

I hereby also urge the police to get the assistance of the FBI and Scotland Yard to at lest assist in crime scene investigation. At the same time, this would avoid the suspicion of tampering of evidence or cover up by the government. There is also nothing wrong for our Malaysian Police to seek their assistance in this high profile case. In a recent missing girl case who could have been raped and murdered, FBI was called in to assist.

Although the police said that the autopsy report showed that Teoh Beng Hock died of multiple injuries due to a fall, but, this could not be taken as conclusive proof of how he could have died. In law, such autopsy report shows strong proof, but, not conclusive proof of cause of death.

The public needs to be informed that a person could have been assaulted and be injured by the assault, but, injuries caused to the victim could be difficult to detect if the interrogator or assailant knows the technique of how to do it. The victim could tolerate injuries but could not withstand the pain caused to his body. The private part and areas near to the heart are two most vital areas where excruciating pain could easily be caused with very little force, yet injuries to these parts would be difficult to be detected. Once caused, not only there could there be pain, but, at the same time this could lead to shock and cardial arrest which can cause immediate death to the victim. Therefore, death could be caused to a victim first, even, before the body could be thrown out from a total building and when landed on the floor multiple injuries to the body would definitely be caused. This will then show that the victim had died from a fall, but, in actual fact had died even before his body was found on the floor.

The government should on this case set up a Royal Commission to investigation this case with the help of foreign experts including FBI and Scotland Yard so as to dispel fear of impartiality.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

DAP SERIAN Branch to officially open office

The Democratic Action Party will officially open its Serian Branch Office on 26th July, 2009. The office will be located at 2nd Floor, Room 7, Lot 611 Block B, Jung Kuo Commercial Centre, Jalan Serian By-Pass. At present the Branch has about 400 members and mostly are dayaks from Serian District. Dayak participation in the Party from Serian is very encouraging and BN can expect much impact from DAP Serian in coming elections. The Branch is headed by Encik Langgong anak Nangat and the Branch Secretary is Mr. Tay Wei Wei. Encik Langgong anak Nangat is not new in politics and had helped many politicians won elections in Serian District.

Issues that DAP Serian will be harping on include lack of proper electricity and water supply, poor quality of fertilizer subsides to the Dayaks, poor road infrastructures as many roads are yet been tar-sealed. Many Dayaks in the area complained that the lack of electricity has hampered their children’s education. Without electricity their children could not use computers and therefore, could not catch up with e-knowledge.

This coming state election to be scheduled in 2011, DAP Sarawak may likely to contest in at least one of the constituencies in Serian District. DAP Serian has already identified their likely candidates to stand in the coming election.

To boost the morals of its supports, DAP Serian will hold a dinner on 29. 8. 2009 at Sui Fung Lai Restaurant at 35th Mile Kuching-Serian Road. A few DAP leaders may come from West Malaysia to grace the occasion. Dinner tickets are available from Mr. Tay Wei Wei and Encik Langgong anak Nangat. They can be contactable by their handphones 016-8552214 and 019-8450024 respectively.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Najib’s Goodies – A trick for Manik Urai

During the Batang Ai By-Election, the government announced “quick mee” projects of RM70 million for the area, but, until now we are yet to see the money be poured in for Batang Ai. People in Batang Ai were so happy with it but where are the projects and money promised by BN?

Now comes Manik Urai by-election, Najib announced a more “quick mee” for not for Manik Urai but for Malaysians. This was in the hope that he will get a boost in his image and that this was also with the hope that the people in Manik Urai will buy this “quick mee” concept. Why only now the announcement was made? Najib in his “quick mee” projects also announced more roads for Sabah and Sarawak? Why now? Sabah and Sarawak had suffered much since Malaysia was formed, but, again will the roads be constructed?

Our oil money went the federal coffers and from the federal coffers where the money went to? Had the oil royalty been increased for Sabah and Sarawak, the two states would have seen better roads and infrastructures long time ago.

Najib also said improvements will be made in registering births in Sabah and Sarawak, but, again why only now? The BN government could spend billion of ringgits elsewhere but had neglected to see that the citizens’ basic rights for identity be ignored. If a person has no identification paper, then, legally he has no name to identify himself. This is because he could only prove his identity through identity cards only. Even our pets got names, because when we gave names to our pets, we normally put a chain with the pet’s name over his neck, but, funny many human beings in Sabah and Sarawak had no names to identify themselves. Most people who are affected with no proper identification papers are those living in the rural areas and they are mostly dayaks.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Flood Relief Assistance 2009

The government has failed to see sufferings of flood victims caused by floods between December 2008 to February 2009 be properly looked into. The government was not action orientated and took too much sweat time to cope with disasters as until not many flood victims are yet to receive monetary aids or assistance from the government. Until now, I still receive complaints and queries from flood victims in my Batu Lintang Constituency about the assistance from the government to them. There is no reason why these money aids could only be handed out by Ministers and Barisan Nasional YBs alone, while these could also be done by Welfare Officers, Residents, District Officers and also by the Administrative Officers of the District Office.

It has been observed that the handouts were mostly to Barisan Nasional stronghold constituencies and handouts in Opposition areas were slow or not done at all. Otherwise, all those affected in Batu Lintang should have received their aids by now.

The slow action by the government to hand out these aids either showed the lackadaisical attitude of the government who could not understand the sufferings of the people or it could be that the government is at the verge of bankruptcy now and could not help its people.

People are also kept in the dark of the amount of money that had been handed out to victims and also the amount of money spent in rescue and flood management operations. During the recent DUN sitting, except, for a sum of RM3 million for food, shelter and other necessities, money spent in rescue and flood management was also not disclosed at all and the funds could have been abused.

To those flood victims who had not received any aids, I hereby advise you all to see the District Officers in your district and the local authority offices to get information and seek relief aids from them. For information, the government has allocated four types of flood relief assistance as follows:-
  1. Assistance for evacuees to evacuation centers, at the rate of RM500 per family;
  2. Assistance for flood victims who for some valid reasons were unable to move to evacuation centers, at the rate of RM300 per family;
  3. Assistance for farmers whose farms and animals were destroyed by the flood, at the rate of RM1,000 per family; and
  4. Assistance for those whose houses were totally destroyed shall be given RM3,000 per family.
The state government needs RM346 million to build damaged infrastructures caused by the recent floods, and although a sum of about RM200 million has been allocated, we are all still kept in the dark as to how and where the money has or will be spent. It was also not correct for the government to keep us in the dark the total sums of money that has been pumped in for flood victims and for repairs of infrastructures damaged by recent floods. Since the money involved was a huge sum, all expenditures should be audited by a reputable accountant firm and the report should like the PKFZ Report, be made available to public and for public viewing. This is to ensure accountability and transparency in spending people’s money by the government.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Who Are “Natives” of Sarawak?

The Federal Constitution made no mention about Iban and Bidayuh as “natives” of Sarawak. They are unknown races in the Federal Constitution. Indigenous races in Sarawak that were mention as “natives” in the Federal Constitution only included Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kalabits, Kayans, Kenyahs (including Sabups Sipengs), Kajangs, (including Sakapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs and Kanowits) Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanos, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.

Other Dayaks, not stated in the Federal Constitution, therefore, could not be considered as natives of Sarawak!

To call the Ibans as Sea Dayaks and to call the Bidayuhs as Land Dayaks could be very deceptive or misleading. We all know that Ibans and Bidayuhs are Dayaks, and being Dayaks, they are also natives and are indigenous people of Sarawak. Why not identify them clearly in the Federal Constitution? We need also to understand that not all Ibans lived near the seas and likewise, not all Bidayuhs lived in the interior part of country.

Our colonial masters called natives who lived near to the seas and coastal areas as Sea Dayaks while those who lived in the interior as Land Dayaks. The word, “Iban” and “Bidayuh” were unknown to them, otherwise, these races could have been identified by the colonial masters. Therefore, the term Sea Dayak and Land Dayak was for convenience of the colonial masters, but, we must understand that not all things done by our colonial masters were correct or is still suitable in our present day situation.

Ibans and Bidayuhs are not foreigners in Sarawak, but, since there was no special mention of them in the Federal Constitution, the matter has to be looked seriously by our politicians.

Without properly identifying the Ibans and Bidayuhs in the Federal Constitution, this could just deprive these two largest groups of Dayaks from being given the preferential treatment accorded to the natives in the Federal Constitution. Matters for preferential treatment for natives include the reservation of positions in the public service and scholarships, educational and training privileges or special facilities, permits or licences for the operation of any trade or business.

A Bidayuh young man recently was not accorded this preferential treatment by a government agency and the matter was raised in Parliament by an Opposition Parliamentarian.