Thursday, November 26, 2009

Keep People Poor, BN will win Elections

The coming state election in Sarawak will be a tough one for the Opposition. To determine whether BN will continue to be the government or whether the Opposition will take over the government, the battle field will be in the kampungs, coastal and rural areas. People in these areas are largely still poor. BN knew very well that if they wanted to win elections, people need to be poor and when people are poor, they thought not of anything else, but, how to feed their stomachs full.

To these, the BN has a simple answer. Give them the carrot during election time! An Assistant Minister during the Batang Ai By-Election told me exactly this! He said BN has no issues to convince people to vote for them, but, money to do this. He told me that the Opposition can campaign as hard as they could, but, at the end of the election campaign, BN will just pour money in the constituency to win the hearts of the voters. BN will come with promises of better roads and better infrastructures. With these promises, people in these areas will just be caught and have no choice, but, to vote for BN. Therefore, as long as people are poor, BN will continue to rule in this country.

The Assistant Minister also told me that after elections, people have short memories and the carrots also gone. It seems true to what this Assistant Minister has said to me. The promise of better infrastructures and roads in the Batang Ai Constitutency during the by-election also has been forgotten by the rural folks. Where is the RM70 million now as promised during the by-election?

This was also the reason why DAP in past years only consolidate its resources and power in the urban areas. It was only recently that we only try to penetrate some areas outside our “forts”. It was because of lack of manpower and other resources DAP in past elections, seldom fought in coastal and rural areas, but, to concentrate our energy in most urban areas. The 30 years of hard work only saw some progress in the fight against BN. Given the present living standard and level of education and the accessibility to the electronic media or internet touching on current issues, DAP and other Opposition parties are expected to perform better this time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lodging Police Report Against BN YBs

Defamatory & Seditious Remarks in The Borneo Post

Lodging Police Report Against BN YBs - Police Report No.1

On 13. 11. 2009 at about 10. 42 p.m., I received a SMS in which I suggest came from YB Karim Hamzah which said, “Evening YB. Almost all the BN ybs spoke up this afternoon offended by your racial overtone speech on 11th wh we deed as inciting n very seditions. I ve put on record in my debate this evening that if the damaging and seditious words are not withdrawn n an apology to the hse not made by Tues 17 Nov, I will ve to lodge a Police report for incitement n seditious remark.”

I was alarmed and felt threatened by the threat and it has caused fear and mental injury to me of a criminal investigation and prosecution against me which may affect my liberty. The unlawful threat together with the mentioning of the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the press was with the intention to obstruct my rights as a mouthpiece for the people of Sarawak and to my right of freedom of speech and immunity accorded to me by the Federal Constitution as an elected representative of the Legislative Assembly in debates I participated in the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak.

I also lodge the police report because a publication in The Borneo Post dated November 19, 2009 was false and has seditious tendency which said, “Karim said Voon had uttered words in DUN which were deemed seditious and unhealthy for a multi-ethnic country Malaysia. You cannot use words that disrupt racial harmony and incite one race against the other. And that is how it sounded when you read those three paragraphs ( of the Hansard). It has that sorts of connotation.” YB Karim Hamzah and other BN YBs by calling a press conference or going to the press shows that they had the common intention to create hostility from the people of Malaysia towards me after on issues raised by me in my debate in Dewan Undangan Negeri. I also fear that their action can cause disruption to public order and public peace. The issues were in respect of the flaws in the Federal Constitution affecting the rights of natives and malays in Sarawak and the political implications of the Federal Constitution which should only be debated and dealt with inside the august House and not poured out of the House. No where was it my speech or my intention to disrupt the racial harmony of the people but the facts were twisted to fan hatred against me and therefore the publication and other things in connection thereto published out from the press conference were highly defamatory and malicious.

I lodge this police report for investigation for offences under criminal intimidation, criminal defamation and also for offences under the Internal Security Act 1960 and the Sedition Act 1948. I also seek the police and the relevant authorities to protect my safety and the safety of my family as we feel not safe at this moment.

Police Report No.2 - See what was published in The Borneo Post

The Borneo Post published Thursday November 19, 2009 said, “Masing, the President of Parti Rakyat Sarawak, said it was not true that the Malays in Sarawak had suppressed the Dayaks as alleged by Voon in his debate on Nov 11”. He (Voon Lee Shan) claimed that the Malays suppressed the Dayaks? This is not true. It would not be right for him to use racial issue to gain political mileage.”

In this police report, I made it clear that I never said the Malays in Sarawak had suppressed the Dayaks as alleged in the said publication, which, I deemed as highly defamatory because I never said these words in my debate speech during the Dewan Undangan Negeri sitting on 11 November, 2009.

First, these words in the publication in The Borneo Post, which are totally false, malicious are defamatory and tantamount to disparage my credibility. Second, these words may have a seditious tendency to incite the Malays and the Dayaks in Sarawak to breach public peace and public order. Third, it may have a tendency to incite and create hostility against me from the Malays and Dayaks in the Sarawak. The publications or words used therein had caused mental injury and agony to me and I am affected by the said untrue allegations and I fear for my safety and the safety of my family.

I lodged the police report after I was aware that I was suspiciously followed from behind by some people each time I went out in the City of Kuching. For the safety of myself, I have to be accompanied by my Party comrades, including YB Chong Chieng Jen and also YB Violet Yong. The state secretary Sdr. Saidin Sahini of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) of Sarawak and members of Parti KeAdilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak including its State Treasurer, Sdr. Wong Huan Yu also came to the police station and express their fear for my safety.

I wanted an investigation be carried out by the police for offences under the Penal Code, the Sedition Act 1948 and the Internal Security Act 1960 and that the police takes all necessary steps to diffuse any ill feelings by the people towards me and towards each other and I also seek police protection for myself and for my family.

In the recent sitting in the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak, I raised the flaws of the federal constitution and their socio-economic and political implications caused by the flaws. I spoke on the issues upon the request of the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) on the plight of the dayaks because SNAP has no elected YB in the Legislative Assembly. Many of my dayak relatives and friends had also wanted me to speak on the issues because the federal government had overlooked the matter for the past 46 years and further not BN dayak YBs had been heard speaking on the matter either in the Federal Parliament or in the State Legislative Assembly.

In giving moral support, Sdr. Saidin Sahini also spoke on behalf of PAS to the press outside the police station.

Photos taken at Central Police Station - 21.11.2009

Figure 1: L-R Poh Bee Chiew, Chairman DAP Pending Branch, Stanley Embat of PKR, Saidin Sahini, Secretary of PAS Sarawak, Pui Vui Tat, Chairman DAP Stampin Branch and Chong Nam Soon from Pending Branch.

Figure 2: Talking to the Press after lodging police report at Central Police Station, Kuching.
The lady in blue is Chairperson of my DAP Batu Lintang Branch. Could be seen also is
Sdr. Saidin Sahini of PAS Sarawak.

Figure 3: MP Chong Chieng Jen with me speaking to the press outside the police station

Figure 4: Lodging police report in the Central Police Station Kuching accompanied by (L-R) Sdr. Pui Vui Tat, YB Violet Yong, YB Chong Chieng Jen, Sdr. Chong Nam Shoon and Sdr. Saidin Sahini of PAS Sarawak.

Figure 5: YB Chong Chieng Jen and Sdr. Pui Vui Tat watching me making my police report

Figure 6: The crowd inside the Central Police Station at time of lodging report

Figure 7: All in solidarity in support of me

Figure 8: YB Chong Chieng Jen talking to the press. The gentleman with the red T-Shirt is Joseph Tawie of the Broken Shield Blog and Miss Connie Chieng of the Eastern Times

Figure 9: Outside the police station with YB Chong Chieng Jen and YB Violet Yong

Figure 10: Outside the Central Police Station Kuching
L - R Sdr. Chong Nam Shoon, Sdr. Jong Jun Fook, Sdr. Pui Vui Tat, Sdr. Poh Bee Chiew, Voon Lee Shan and Sdr. Stanley Embat

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Malaysia, a Gaming Nation.

Gambling is a gaming Nation and there is no need to go to Las Vegas to enjoy a game or two. We have all sorts of gaming and you name it, we have it. We may say all forms of gambling is against religion and to the muslims, it is “haram”., but, the Barisan Nasional government Prime Ministers, having declared Malaysia as an Islamic State seems to encourage gaming in this country. Not only that, I personally observed that muslim people came in and out of these outlets when it was clear that notices displayed at the counters said that gaming is “haram” to muslims. What had our Prime Ministers and the muslim religious bodies done about this? So far, we are yet to hear of harassment by muslim religious bodies against muslims patronizing these gaming outlets. At the same time, the number of housewives and young ladies including school children patronizing these outlets also kept on increasing over the years. At this moment, the more popular outlets patronized by patrons were Big Sweep, Toto, 4-D Magnum and Da Ma Cai.

Mismanagement of Sarawak Forests

The state government is negligent in managing our forest resources. After the Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd., was formed, most employees of the Sarawak Forestry Department were not given work to do. Instead of recruiting more employees or officers, many were ordered to be “transferred” or seconded to other government departments and statutory bodies. Many that were given marching orders to somewhere else were not happy with what the state government had done. The Sarawak Forestry Union even brought the matter to court.

The enforcement of the laws of the Forest Ordinance and National Parks were said been carried out by the Sarawak Forestry Department, thus, depriving the forestry officers of their right to work. The dignity of these forestry officers suffered as were seen as “beggars” by their friends, relatives and other government staffs. This was because while receiving their pay, they were not giving work to do. It is a very sorry state. They were under “suspension” from work and with nothing to do, many had hid themselves away from friends and relatives because the impression against them was very bad as if they were government officers suspended from work for breach of discipline and pending investigations and disciplinary actions against them by the State Public Service Commission.

This went on for many years, not until recently, when the present Director of Forests took over office. But still, the Forests Department is not in full operation like before. Damage had already been done, as our huge forests had not been properly maintained and there had been lacking in law enforcement. The result is that there had been rampant illegal felling of our timbers by thieves. The officers of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd., who took over most of the law enforcement work from the Forestry Department were legally toothless (my opinion) because they do not have the powers under the Sarawak Forests Ordinance to enforce the laws. The power is only given to the forest officers of the Forest Department, not to the officers of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd.

Although the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd,. is a state-run company, those who benefited most were the directors as they were given directors’ allowances and other perks. The creation of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd., was nothing, but, was made by the state government to please some top brass retired government officers and some retired officers from the Sarawak Forestry Department by giving them job by having them sit on the Board of Directors. They were paid huge allowances for shaking legs in office.

Although the present Director of Forests had tried to revamp and to restructure the whole work force of the department, damage had already been done. Millions of ringgits had gone in the smoke caused by illegal felling in the forest reserves and in national parks. I also pity the present Director of Forests because so much had he wanted to do, but, his hands were tied. I was told bonus of many staffs of the Sarawak Forestry employees for years 2006 and 2008 were owed and not paid until now and probably it is the only department where employees were still owed their bonuses and I have brought this matter in the recent DUN sitting. Without adequate staffing and proper manpower management in past years we should not blame, but, to appreciate the Audit Department in exposing the weaknesses and mismanagement of the Forests Department in protecting our forest resources and natural habitats. The minister responsible for our forest management should take the comments by the Auditor-General constructively and to study the report with the view of taking steps to improve our forest management. This is what the purpose of the Auditor-General’s was for.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How successful is Sarawak Forestry Management?

The passing of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Ordinance 1995 was supposed to ensure proper management of our forest resources, but, this was not the case. After the Sarawak Forestry Corporation was set up under the Ordinance and with the registration of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd., illegal felling of timber in the state had become very rampant. This was because most of the functions of the employees of the Sarawak Forest Department were taken by the employees of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd., thus, leaving the employees of the Sarawak Forests Department very little work and enforcement duties to perform. Instead, police department was called in to assist to nab the thieves of these illegal felling of timbers in our huge forests.

The Chief Minister in The Borneo Post published on June 30, 2007 also admitted rampant illegal felling of our timber. The Chief Minister was quoted having said, “But now we have illegal logging varied out by gangsters as very damaging to our forests.”

In June 2007 police officers in Bintulu seized 95 logs and seven lorries worth a total of Rm1.5 million and royalty.

Of course there are many other incidences of illegal felling in the state and many could not be nabbed. Illegal fellings were also said rampant in Samunsam and Matang areas.

Recently a team of policemen from Song Police Station led by ASP Tamin Emperang seized a vessel carrying about 160 tonnes of illegal felled logs. So, SAPU set up by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation was not a successful enforcement unit and in combating theft of our forest produce, the help of the police department was enlisted.

How are we able to have confidence with the enforcement of laws in forest management when burglars could cart away 47 computer sets of the Sarawak Timber Industry Corporation (STIDC) office in Petra Jaya (see The Borneo Post Wednesday April 4, 2007).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another Treat from BN Against DAP YBs!

We in the DAP Sarawak is only left with 4 ADUNs in the Dewan Undangan Negeri after the suspension of our Chairman, Sdr. Richard Wong Ho Leng and Secretary Sdr. Chong Chieng Jen. With both of them out, our voices were not as vociferous as in previous sittings. So, the four of us, that is YB Chiew Chiu Sing, YB Violet Yong, YB Ting Tze Fui and myself had no choice, but, have to carry the extra load in order to keep the DAP flag high in the Dewan. It was a way to silence Opposition voice. My heart sank when the Secretary, Sdr. Chong Chieng Jen, also had to go and with him out, I sensed that I would be the next BN target. I just could not run away as I knew they had been trailing me in the last two sittings. True to what I could sense, I am now in trouble! I received a message that they wanted my to withdraw what I said in the Dewan and also to tender my apology on what I said on 11 November, 2009.

Nothing much can I do, but, just to stay cool and see what comrades, friends and supporters would advise me. If they advise me to apologise and to withdraw what I said, I may do so and if they want me to fight on I may just hang on and go to court. If they cannot get me in court, then, I have to get them to court! This may take many years. No other way about this. BN YBs deemed what I said in the Dewan about Articles 153 and 161A of the federal constitution as provocative when I spoke on natives of Sarawak. Being an elected representative of the people, I do not make a choice, but, to let others chose what is best for them. After all, I am just a mouthpiece or a conduit pipe for the people in the Dewan.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Speaking on Article 161A of the Federal Constitution

Almost all Honourable Members who arose to speak, spoke on Article 161A of the Federal Constitution. Most of the voices I heard was on the problem faced by Marina Undau, born of mixed dayak and Chinese parentage who, in law is not recognized as a dayak. This has deprived her from relevant assistance in pursue of her dream of better education. She could not enjoy the privileges accorded to a bumiputera because she is not entitled to such privileges.

YB Dominique Ng besides mentioning Marina Undau went a step further which other YBs did not pick up. He mentioned a penan lady, Damaris Panai, although facing adversities of life, aspires to be a doctor. I think Damaris Panai could be motivated by the fact that penans who lived closer to nature can easily get sick and need treatment. This is where a doctor is need. However, this dream is shattered as there is no way, she can go to university as she has no identity card.

Yesterday, when I got my opportunity to speak, I did not speak specifically on Marina Undau and Damaris Panai as others have already touched on their problems. Instead I took a broader picture of it and went on to explain the legal and political implications of Article 161A has to the peoples of Sarawak. Article 161A of the federal constitution, if read with Articles 153 and 160 has far reaching effect on the iban and bidayuh communites in Sarawak. Under the federal constitution, nothing has been stated about iban and bidayuh and therefore, these two natives races of Sarawak could not under the federal constitution enjoy bumiputera status.

My speech created a bit of uproar when I touched on iban, bidayuhs and malay supremacy, but, I have no intention to hurt any one. I was only expressing my legal and political opinions the effect of the federal constitution to the peoples of Malaysia, in which, we should take in good heart with the view to have our voices heard by the relevant authorities so that the evils that could come from the constitution could be corrected. People are already feeling uneasy and it is timely that the federal constitution needs to be amended to keep people happy and so that racial harmony could be maintained.

If we refer our Federal Constitution to any American or European lawyer who speaks English, he may say ibans and bidayuhs are not people of Sarawak! He may say that they are not natives! But he will agree that sea dayaks and land dayaks are natives of Sarawak! This is because ibans and bidayuhs are not stated as indigenous people of Sarawak! So, to the American or European lawyers, ibans and bidayuhs, although are two largest groups of indigenous people, they may say that ibans and bidayuhs are foreigners!

This is because under Article 161A of the Federal Constitution, the only races that are considered as “natives” as indigenous to Sarawak are the Bukitans, Bisayahs, Dusuns, Sea Dayaks, Land Dayaks, Kadayans, Kalabits, Kayans, Kenyahs (including Sabups and Sipengs), Kajangs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs and Kanowits), Lugats, Lisums, Malays, Melanos, Muruts, Penans, Sians, Tagals, Tabuns and Ukits.
Nothing is mention about ibans and bidayuhs.

Once ibans and bidayuhs are not identified as natives, the impression foreigner may have is that ibans and bidayuhs are truly foreigners although they are not.

At this moment, we have another problem, that is, dayaks who are with mixed parentage. Those ibans and bidayuhs who have Chinese or Indian parents, they are not considered as natives of Sarawak. We have iban and bidayuh Yang Berhormats in the State, but, we are yet to hear any of them spoke on this issue in Parliament or in the State Legislative Assembly.

When we in the DAP spoke on dayak issues, Datuk James Masing said we better not speak because we are not dayaks and do not know dayak culture well. James Masing said it was a display of cultural arrogance for us in the DAP to speak on behalf of the dayaks. To Tan Sri Jabu, he may say that we do not even know how to “bekayuh”. So, each time we spoke on native issues, we were hard hit.

The simple reason for iban and bidayuh YBs that caused them not to speak was because they have to protect their own pockets. Once elected as YBs, they got few thousand ringgits as allowances per month. On top of that, the BN government gave them other perks. They were made to sit on the Board of Directors of statutory or public listed companies where they can get a few more thousand ringgits per month. So, they have comfortable life and with that they dared not speak against the wrong thing the BN government had done.

So dayak people should think and throw their Yang Berhormat who are in the BN away into the seas! This is because your dayak Yang Berhormats enjoy life, while you there who are supporting them suffer. The most they can give you may be, a few bottles of "cap langkau" from their allowances and the rest are then theirs to keep!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Who YBs got land alienated by State Government?

State Cabinet has something to hide from the people when a Dewan Undangan Negeri question submitted by me was rejected by the Speaker in this meeting on the ground that relevant information could be available from accessible documents. How can I know if I don't know their names and personal particulars. It would be an impossible task. The question I asked was seeking the State Cabinet to disclose lands that had been alienated by the state government to elected members of the august House. I feel they have something to hide. Why so scared? This was the second time that I raised up the matter and on both occasions, the question had left unanswered.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Arrest and Detention Without Trial in Kuching!

The authorities played dirty. I have a case where a person is detained in the police lockup without being disclosed the reasons of his arrest. Later on as counsel acting for him, I received a letter telling me that he was to be restricted to Spg. Renggam and before the Court heard the habeas corupus proceedings, the poor fellow was then sent to Spg. Renggam. The matter became academic and guided by a judgment of a Federal Court, no argument could be allowed to get him released as he was no more in the custody of the police, but, by another government authority as ordered by the Home Minister.
Dirty game! So scare although such a detention provides no trial.He was said arrested under the Dangerous Drugs(Special Preventive Measures) Act and from what I can study about this law is that, the police could easily abuse this Act and demand money from the detainee. When money not forthcoming, only then will they send the investigation files to the Home Ministry for getting the restriction order. When the Minister's Order of Detention comes, the detainees will then immediately be sent to Spg. Renggam. So, you could no more argue in court the irregularities of the detention by the police.
Of course, after the order from the Minister was forced on the detainee who knew nothing about what was that all about, it would be very difficult for counsel to fight his case.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Abuse Of Power By Police In The Use Of Police 43

A member of public came to see and said he together with about 20 people while sitting in a coffeeshop in sky garden, Kuching, was arrested by police on suspicion of gaming public place. A polis 43 was issued and RM200.00 was collected from each of them, but, no receipt issued. They were locked for one night in the Kota Samarahan Police Station before being let go. He told me that police officers were asking more money from them. They were told to come to court on 31. 1. 2010 and I told him, your money will be swallowed up! When policemen took your money in whatever way and for whatever reasons, official receipt must be issued. Polis 43 is not a receipt. It is a police bail document where you are required to surrender yourself in court at the appointed time and date mentioned therein. I told him, I would help him draft a complaint, but, the said member of public was so scared and left my office. This is one thing I am very annoyed. We are against corruption and abuse of power and the said member of public said he was also against abuse of power and corruption, but, when asked by me to lodge a complaint, he "kecut". Then how are we to clear up corruption in our society?