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Friday, February 14, 2014

Masing wants new CM to ensure genuine power sharing

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) has sent out a message to upcoming Sarawak’s new chief minister to ensure genuine power sharing in the state’s administration.

Current Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has announced Special Functions Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) publicity chief Tan Sri Adenan Satem as Sarawak’s new and fifth chief minister.

Masing stressed that there must be genuine power sharing involving all races in the state because if not, the state Barisan Nasional (BN) would have problems in facing the 11th state election, with is due in June 2016.

“The Dayak community must be recognised, not just in terms of development but also in terms of power sharing.

“Do not sideline the Dayaks in these two areas because we are going to face a lot of educated Dayaks (in the election) and they know where they stand,'

He said the main hurdle BN was going to face in the next state election would be in the Dayak-majority seats.
“That’s why I am monitoring this (list),” said Masing, showing the list of the 29 Dayak-majority seats for the next state election.

Masing said there was a need to focus on the 29 seats in order for the state BN to continue winning the state election with a big majority.

PBB has the fixed deposit (27 seats) that you cannot touch, which are Muslim-majority areas while the Dayak community has 29 seats and these are where the attack will be from the opposition.

“We have to work harder because it is not going to be easy. There will be a lot of work to do in the next two years,” said the Sarawak Land Development Minister.

Masing also stressed on the need for BN component parties to be united,adding that he had full trust in Adenan with his intelligence and would be able to solve the conflict within two BN component parties in Sarawak – Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).

He said the problem needed to be solved to enable BN to face the opposition with full strength in the next state election.

“All he (Adenan) needs to do now is to get the cooperation of all the various component parties.

“Tan Sri Adenan has the intelligence to do that, but intelligence must be translated into political reality. We have to be united and work harder because it is not going to be easy,” he added.

Sarawak has 71 state seats, of which 55 were won by BN in the last state election in 2011.

PBB won all the 35 seats it contested while SUPP only managed to win six out of 19 seats it contested, PRS won eight out of nine seats and SPDP won six out of eight seats they contested.

DAP contested in 15 seats and won 12, PKR contested in 49 seats and won three, while only one out of 41 Independent candidates won a seat.

PAS, Sarawak National Party (SNAP) and Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) failed in their attempts to win any seat. 

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Adenan to retain cabinet members but make changes in various portfolios

Adenan Satem (left) hugs Abdul Taib Mahmud after PBB meeting.   
Sarawak Special Functions Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who will assume duties as the fifth Chief Minister of Sarawak effective March 1, said the current state cabinet members will be retained.

However, he said, there would be a reshuffle in the various ministerial portfolios.

Adenan told a press conference that there was a need to maintain the spirit of team work in the state cabinet.

Nevertheless, he said would discuss the matter with the  cabinet members first, including the possibility of the deputy minister post previously vacated by Tan Sri Dr George Chan being filled again.

Pledging that he would become the chief minister for the people of all races, including those from the opposition parties, he said: "Even though we differ in political views, regard me as the chief minister for all because we are all Malaysians and Sarawakians."

When asked if his appointment, which was announced by Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud last Wednesday, was due to his loyalty to his Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) and the latter, he replied in jest: "Thank you for the compliments directed at me and I hope it will not make me big-headed."

On the challenges he expected to face upon assuming the leadership of the state government, Adenan said he would try to resolve the internal conflicts currently faced by two Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, namely the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) and Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).

He said the internal conflicts being faced by SUPP and SPDP must be resolved before the 11th state election is held in 2016, adding that he have the formula for that but did want do reveal it at this point of time.

“I want to thank the people of Sarawak of all races and from all walk of life for their words of praise, messages of congratulations and prayers, especially Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the chief minister (Taib) for their confidence in him,” said Adenan.

He also expressed his gratitude to state Tourism and Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is also PBB deputy president and Second Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also PBB senior vice-president, for supporting his appointment as the next chief minister.

He said following the support given by the two PBB leaders, he would ensure that there would not be any disunity or factions within PBB even though some outsiders would like to see the backbone of the state BN fragmented.

At the media conference in Kuching on Friday, Adenan, who was flanked by his two sons, Abdul Aziz, 47, and Azizul Annuar, 23, said his selection as the new chief minister was made after the PBB supreme council members at a meeting last Saturday gave Taib the mandate to choose his successor.

"He (Taib) did not want to do so but we (supreme council members) made him obliged to make his choice and thank you lah for choosing me," he said.

Prior to that, he said Taib had never openly informed him he would appoint him as his successor while his meeting with the former in Mecca while performing the umrah was a coincidence.

"I did not go there with him (Taib), I happened to meet him there. Actually I had intended to perform the umrah for a long time after I recovered from my illness," he said.

On his health, Adenan admitted he had fallen ill last year and was awarded at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur and Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore but had a clean bill of health now.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Villagers stage demonstration to protest against illegal logging

A group of villages from 12 Bidayuh villages in Krokong and Tringgus in Bau District on Tuesday staged a peaceful demonstration to protest illegal logging activities in the forest of their Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.
Villagers staging the demonstration near to the logging site.
The demonstrations led by Penghuhu Dihoi Nyawen and monitored by a police team.
"The demonstration joined by representatives from 12 villages was to show our protest against the illegal logging on our NCR land," said Dihoi.
This is the fourth intrusions in the forest area. The first was in 1998, followed by in 2000 and the third in 2011.
"The three previous intrusions was amicably resolved and the Forest Department even revoked the logging license given to the company in August 2012 but somehow there is another company that came to continue with the illegal activities," said Dihoi.
He said the latest intrusion was discovered on January 21, about 1.30 pm.
The police report was made by a member of the Kampung Tringgus Development and Security Committee (JKKK) Kenser Piyu at the Bau District Police Station on January 25.
Dihoi believed several local individuals are the mastermind of the illegal activities .
According to Dihoi, they have also checked with the State Forest Department Licensing Division and was informed that no timber licenses issued to any logging company and individual.
Dihoi said the 12 villages has also submitted memorandum the Forest Department last year to request the department not to allow their NCR to be turned into logging activities area.
"However up to now we have not receive any reply from the department.
"We strongly object to any form of logging activities in the forest which is our NCR land because it will pollute the environment and the rivers.
"This particular area is where the villagers hunt for animals for consumption and fishing. It is also tourism potential area," said Dihoi.
Meanwhile a police officer who led the police team at the scene of the demonstration confirmed that no untoward incidents occurred.
He also confirmed that the affected residents held a demonstration to protest logging activities on their NCR land.
Bengoh State Assemblyman Datuk Dr Jerip Susil urged the Sarawak Forest Department and the police to take immediate and firm action against the company and individual responsible for the illegal logging activities.
Dr Jerip who is Assistant Minister for Public Health also confirmed that the logging activities in the forest area was illegal.
"I have checked with the Forest Department and I was told that there was no license issued for any company to carry out logging in the forest area.
"Therefore, it is necessary for the enforcement agency (Forest department and police) to act quickly to stop the logging activities in the area," said Jerip.
According to Dr Jerip, residents from 12 villages protested logging activities in the forest of their NCR land because they did not want it to affect the forest area as it was where their source of food and income came from.
"They do not want the forest to be affected because there are rivers where they get their supply of fish and even a place for them to hunt animals.
"The river in the forest area will also be developed for Tagang System (fish breeding)," said Dr Jerip .
A group of villagers from 12 villages in the Krokong and Tringgus area on Tuesday staged a peaceful
demonstration to protest the logging activities.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Villagers left out of basic ammenities

PADAWAN: Villagers from six Bidayuh villages on the highlands of Upper Padawan are in need of basic amenities like road accessible by car, water and electricity supply.

The villages are Kampung Sepit, Kampung Kiding, Kampung Assum, Kampung Nusaraya, Kampung Kakas and Kampung Parang.

These villagers are supportive of the government of the day but are unhappy because they felt they had been left out and being denied of basic amenities.

These villages are under the state constituency of Tarat and Mambong Parliamentary constituency, whose representatives are Datuk Roland Sagah and Datuk Dr James Dawos respectively.

While other parts of the state are enjoying good road network, 24-hour electricity supply and clean water, the people from these six villages still have to walk long hours through jungle paths to reach their village and in the dark at night.

They said for more than 50 years they have been asking for the access road to be built to reach their villages but up to this day they never get it.
"It has been the case for generations after generations as these villages could only be reached either by air or on foot,” said Joseph Tau, 51, of Kampung Kiding.

By land, villagers have to walk three kilometers of steep and winding terrain to reach Kampung Kambug to nearest road to catch the transport to bring them to town.

At the moment the road is only built up to Kampung Kambug and from there it is a stroll to the Kampung Assum-Kampung Kiding junction followed by an uphill climb all the way passing green forests and streams for two hours to get to the destination.

“The authorities might think that we the people living in the Upper Padawan have gotten used to the hardship and battle for mental and physical strength are a way of life for us.

“From generation to generation the villagers still had to endure the same kind of hardship as our forefathers,” said Tau.
According to Tau there had been many cases where ill village folks had to be carried on stretchers and walked for three hours to rush them to the hospital.
He said there were also cases when the sick person just died in mid-way before he or she could even get the transport at the nearest base at Kampung Kambug to go to the hospital.
“Carrying the sick who is in need of urgent treatment for six kilometers (three-hour journey) on foot is no joke and this possible only when the weather is fine but when it rain it is another hassle for the villages,” said Tau.

According to Tau there were also cases of mothers giving birth to their child at half way.

“We are also denied of health care. The nearest Klinik Desa is at Kampung Annah Rais. Flying doctor service is only one a month and depending on the weather.

“There is no transport ready at the nearest clinic. We have to wait for good Samaritans to send the sick to the hospital. When any of the sick villagers died in the hospital we have to carry the casket up to the village. These are not made up stories but it is the reality faced by the villagers,” added Tau.

“We have no quality of life. When the villagers buy something for RM10 they will need to spend another RM10 for people to carry the goods on their back to our village.”

Tau said a gas cylinder at his village is sold at RM60 while Ron 95 fuel and diesel is RM3 per litre. For children going to school they have to cross few streams and walked on bamboo stilt.

There are also parents who travel by foot to send and pick their pre-school children to a pre-school at SK Kambug – walking down to the school for two hours and walking back to the village for another two hours.

Hence, Tau appealed to the government to build the road up to his village.

“We have been with the government all this years and 2020 is only six years to come but we still do not have road, no clean water and no electricity supply and no economic activities.

"How can we say that we are developed nation by 2020 if there are still villages are without road network, no clean water and electricity supply although only our village is only about 50 km from Kuching. It’s a case of so near and yet so far.

“We need road because with road there will be economic activities for the people,” stressed Tau.

Simon Ahem of Kampung Kiding said his village folks initiated their own road project by collecting money from those who had stable jobs in town but that was soon scrapped when the funds ran out.

According to Simon, the road construction started in December 2001 and stop in July 2002 due to insufficient fund.

He said those villagers working in town contributed a minimum of RM200 while each family gave RM100.

With that money they hired a bulldozer to bulldoze the pathway and had spent RM16,000 for the project.

The villagers used big three trunks to build the bridges across the rivers.

However the road is still not passable by motorcycle due to its bad and dangerous condition.

Simon all it need was for the government to allocate the some fund to upgrade the road and make it passable by vehicle.

“We don’t need RM10 million or RM100 million road, sufficient a gravel road passable by vehicle.

“We cannot forever live without road. We cannot improve our living standard as long as there is no road,” said Simon.

“Don’t know how long we have to wait,” he complained.

Simon pointed out that it is a real stumbling block to their economic improvement of the village folks.

“We really need the road now, than electricity and water supply because we believe road could bring in more economic activities for the people, thus will improve our standard of living,” he said.

“We want to be part of 2020, a developed nation with high income.

“We see development taking place elsewhere but here we can’t even get an access road. If you say the mountain ranges made it difficult for road to be built, I don’t think that’s a good enough reason. I have seen villages elsewhere in remote places up on the hills, that have access roads,” he said.

“We do hope the Government will consider upgrading the existing pathway, which was cleared 11 years back,” he appealed.

He believed with a good road, other facilities and amenities like electricity and water supply, proper waste management and land surveying works would be able to reach the villages easily.

He said the villagers were keen on helping the Government with plans to develop their area.

In fact, he said, if it was difficult to provide them with direct power supply, the village was willing to opt for a mini hydroelectric dam.

He said it would cost below RM200,000 to have one which includes a turbine of 60KW with a transformer unit.

Currently, the village depends on generator for power and gravity feed for water.

Former Bengoh Assemblyman Datuk William Tanyuh Nub hoped their State assemblyman (Datuk Roland Sagah) and the MP (Datuk Dr James Dawos) would urgently look into the plight of those villagers.

Tanyuh said these are long overdue problems faced by the people in these villages and should be addressed by the government urgently.

“My idea was to address these problems there but after I was not re-nominated to contest in the constituency in the election, so now things are being left uncompleted,” said Tanyuh.

Tanyuh said when he was the elected the people representative he initiated the construction of access road to his village Kampung Kiding and was determined to connect the road with the surrounding villages but half way after they ran out of fund.

Obviously the villages are being neglected and left behind.

Several Kampung Kiding had asked Datuk Roland Sagah and Datuk James Dawos Mamit for help to construct a road to Kiding.

“Now that Datuk Dr Dawos had won the election we hoped he will look into our plight so that we too can enjoy the fruit of development,” he said.

Hopefully this road will enable the other surrounding villages such as Kakas, Assum, Parang and Nusaraya to be connected," he added.

Kiding is next to the Indonesian village of Goon Tembawang which is dependent on Sarawak for their survival.

"They are took far away from their own centre and as such have to travel to Padawan by foot for hours to purchase or buy provisions.

There are 68 houses in Kampung Kiding with about 300 people. The village was established in 1880.

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