Updates from February, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Tigeriban 7:25 am on February 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Stop Timber Corruption and Freeze Taib Assest Now 

    Stop Sarawak Timber Corruption – Freeze Taib assets now!

    For 30 years, Abdul Taib Mahmud has been Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Taib has abused his power in a spectacular way and has transferred the massive proceeds of corruption and illegal logging overseas. He and his family members own numerous companies in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the UK, the US and other countries.

    Help us to build up international political pressure against the corrupt Taib family and sign the online petition!

    Your e-mail will be sent to the authorities in Australia, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, Hong Kong, Jersey, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America as well as to the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering.

    Sign our petition now

  • Tigeriban 11:37 am on February 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Taib will dissolve Sarawak assembly this week, say sources 

    Taken from Malaysian Insider

    Feb 14 — Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will meet with the Sarawak Governor this Friday to seek his consent to dissolve the state assembly, sources say.

    A source at Astana Sarawak told The Malaysian Insider the chief minister’s office had called last week to fix a February 18 appointment with Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng for that purpose.

    Another source in the state government said district officers have been asked to freeze leave for their staff as of February 19, when the dissolution is expected to be announced.

    A February dissolution would lend weight to speculation that Taib will call for state elections in March or April, ahead of the expiry of the state assembly’s term in July.

    The Election Commission (EC) is required to hold elections within 60 days of the assembly’s dissolution.

    The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday that the Barisan Nasional (BN) has decided not to hold a general election simultaneously with Sarawak as Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants to finish touring the country first.

    The prime minister is said to be delaying earlier plans to seek a fresh mandate in the first half of 2011 to allow big-ticket economic projects to gain traction.

    Najib said last week that Sarawak BN will hold a convention on March 6, raising the prospect of early state elections.

    Also, Taib is due to celebrate his 30th anniversary in power on March 26 and an election victory will cap his career as the state’s longest-serving chief minister.

    Umno officials and BN lawmakers told The Malaysian Insider in January that Najib favoured holding elections only after projects like the construction of the city’s mass rapid transit (MRT) and Sungei Besi development kick off.

    Taib, who leads Sarawak BN and also its largest party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB), has kept political observers guessing when state elections will take place.

    The 74-year-old veteran intimated last year that he had received inspiration on when to call the election during his pilgrimage to Mecca, but stop short of revealing the date.

    “I have the inspiration but I won’t tell you (the date),” he told reporters in November.

    Taib, who has served as Sarawak chief minister for the past 29 years, is said to be under pressure from BN partners to step down due to his waning popularity amid abuse-of-power allegations.

    The DAP’s victory in Sibu last year on the back of a major vote swing — which some saw as a referendum on Taib — has given BN cause for concern in a state long seen as a “fixed deposit” by the ruling coalition.

    The Sarawak BN holds 63 seats in the 71-seat assembly, with 35 held by PBB, 12 by the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), and eight each by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).

    Of the remaining eight seats, DAP has six and PKR one, while the last is held by an independent.

    The EC has announced its readiness to hold the Sarawak polls at any time, with its chairman stating that the commission had “long made preparations” for any eventual dissolution of the assembly.

    The BN is expected to keep the state with a comfortable majority although there is concern that the DAP might be able to secure more seats in the urban areas.

    A senior DAP leader told The Malaysian Insider that it has heard of a possible dissolution of the state assembly this weekend and has made preparations for snap polls.

    “We are as ready as we can be for the state polls,” said the DAP leader, who declined to be named.

  • Tigeriban 11:21 am on February 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Bian no match for Sng’s money, connections 

    KUCHING: Should Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian and company continue to place their trust in the party now that money-bags Sng Chee Hua has “openly” moved into the game?

    It’s a question that is being bandied about here and in Sarawak ever since Sng’s “secretive” breakfast meeting with PKR defactor chief Anwar Ibrahim last weekend.

    For one thing, Bian was not invited to Sng’s pre-arranged breakfast chat lending credence to a commonly-held view that Kuala Lumpur has no respect for Bian and his role.

    What was so secretive about the discussion between Anwar and Sng that they couldn’t have Bian sitting in?

    Rumour has it that it was all money talk. Speculations are rife that Anwar is busy “sourcing” for money in Sabah and Sarawak to secure Azmin Ali’s leadership and the party’s depleted coffers.

    Sng is within Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s circle. His son Larry Sng, 32, holds two Assistant Minister portfolios in Taib’s Cabinet.

    Taib is said to have a soft spot for Larry who, despite being a partyless Pelagus assemblyman, has had Taib’s indirect blessings to contest in the coming state polls.

    But Taib has also said that he will not take in independents, who won seats in the polls, into BN. This leaves ample room for father Sng to negotiate a package befitting his son and Anwar.(Incidentally, Larry’s father-in-law is prominent Sarawak businessman and also Taib ally, Ting Phek Khing.)

    Sng is already reported to be “deciding on and financing” PKR’s 15 candidates in Sarawak subject to certain “terms and conditions”’
    Whatever are the terms, it is expected to work well for both Taib and Anwar. Likewise, in Sabah it is said that it is all part of a “strategy” which saw Chief Minister Musa Aman recently “receive” with open arms former state PKR leader Pajudin Nordin, who is with Ansari Abdullah, who in turn is Azmin’s pointman in Sabah. Pajudin’s move to Umno was sudden.

    Clear threat

    Bian unfortunately is not among Sng’s “must haves”.

    In fact, in Sarawak PKR, Sng and his money is a clear threat to Bian’s influence among the Dayak and Chinese members.

    “We are worried. With Sng there is now a change in status quo between Bian and Anwar. He won’t be able to fight Sng’s money and his association with Anwar and Taib.

    “Bian and his supporters don’t have the muscle to take on both Sng and Taib,” a source said, adding that Bian was also having problems within the rank and file in the party.

    According to another insider, Bian was not PKR central leadership”s first choice.

    “He was the third choice… there isn’t a big pool of capable Dayak leaders in Sarawak.

    “And when KL decided on him… the Muslims were angry.

    “Within Sarawak PKR itself, there are three factions… one led by Sng, the other by Muslim members, and now he has to contend with a re-emerging SNAP (Sarawak Nasional Party),” said the insider.

    Not accepted

    Sarawak PKR Youth chief Ahmad Nazib Johari, when contacted about the factions, said that he too was aware of the rumours

    He admitted to an “initial discomfort” with Bian’s appointment.

    “Yes, there were issues when Bian was appointed… I believe there are still some who are not comfortable.

    “But we’ve generally accepted the top level leadership’s decision and are looking at the bigger picture.

    “I don’t think it is a problem anymore… as our enemy is the Barisan Nasional and as a party, we are focused on bringing them down,” Ahmad Nazib told FMT in Kuching.

    Another Muslim PKR member, however, had a terse response when asked about Bian:

    “Bian is not a leader… he is a bigot who should not be leading the party.”

    Meanwhile, Bian is struggling with the threat posed by the re-emergence of SNAP and its willingness to be inclusive.
    Further damaging to Bian is “iconic” Dayak, Daniel Tajem’s unequivocal support for SNAP.

    Respected voice

    Tajem, who was among the key people who set up the now defunct Parti Bangsa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), was once described by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) chief Yong Teck Lee as “the icon of Dayak politics”.

    In fact, at PKR’s fifth national assembly 2008 in Selangor, Anwar liked Tajem to the “star” in Dayak politics.

    Tajem, a diplomat, is a much respected voice among the Dayaks and his call in recent weeks for Dayaks to return to SNAP, which gave Sarawak its first chief minister in Stephen Kalong Ningkan, is troubling for Bian and the state PKR.

    Tajem has his own diehard fans within Sarawak’s PKR and many are in two minds about staying on in the party.

    Said a SNAP insider: “SNAP is crystalising its strength and rapidly gaining support… it’s tapping Dayaks across the country.”
    “Bian should join SNAP. Now is the time for him to realise his worth… SNAP is prepared to field him as a candidate.

    “Our doors are open to him but Bian must decide. What is important now is straight fights with BN in all the constituencies,” the insider said.
    While admitting to Bian’s strength on native customary rights (NCR) land issue, the insider said “land issue alone is now insufficient”.

    “The folk in Lun Bawang like him and he’s known for his work with land cases… but that’s it. It’s not enough in a bigger political fight to administer Sarawak.

    “This is the big opportunity… the opposition must offer workable alternatives to poverty and practical infrasructural development,” said the insider, referring to the majority of Sarawak’s over 60% Dayak community who are still trapped in poverty despite the state being rich in natural resources.

    Taken from Free Malaysia Today

  • Tigeriban 6:15 pm on February 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Valentine’s Day is not Christian, says church group 

    KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — Christian groups in Malaysia refuted today accusations by Muslim authorities that Valentine’s Day is a Christian event.

    “Valentine’s Day is a secular observance, and it is not celebrated religiously by churches in Malaysia, or, in other parts of the world,” said Council of Churches Malaysia general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri in a statement.

    “Although the word ‘Valentine’ draws some connection to St. Valentine, the Church’s authorities have not endorsed the connection, be it Roman Catholic or Protestant,” he added.

    The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said yesterday it will launch an anti-Valentine’s Day campaign, quoting a fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Council in 2005 which called it an immoral Christian celebration.

    Valentine’s Day is a global annual celebration of love on February 14 that is rooted in St Valentine, an early Christian martyr who was likely associated with romance only in the 14th century, according to historical records.

    A Muslim preacher called Siti Nor Bahyah Mahamood has also linked Christianity with vices in a sermon on the festival.

    Siti had said in a television programme aired on TV9 more than a year ago, that “vices, going to discos and to be in remote place with a partner as Christian tradition.”

    She also called Valentine’s Day a Christian festival, claiming it started as a celebration to commemorate the fall of the Islamic administration in Spain.

    The recording of the show has since been uploaded on video-sharing site YouTube and viewed by close to 100,000 visitors.

    Shastri urged the religious authorities today to refute the allegation that Christianity promoted sexual promiscuity through Valentine’s Day.

    “To suggest that Valentine’s Day is observed by Christians, in the said Fatwa is unfair and misleading,” said Shastri.

    “They have erred in their inference, and therefore has hurt the religious feelings of Christians in the country,” he added.

    The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) also disputed links of the popular romantic celebration to Christianity.

    “We strongly urge that better research be done and no mistake be made of linking the Christian faith to Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated publicly in many countries today and not just in the West,” said CFM chairman Bishop Ng Moon Hing in a statement today.

    “The Catholic Church has removed the memorial of his (St Valentine) feast since the promulgation of the new Roman liturgical calendar in the year 1969, although his name remains on the list of saints and martyrs,” he added.

    Ng further lambasted Siti and PAS Youth for associating Christianity with vices through Valentine’s Day.

    “Statements which have a tendency to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility against any particular religious community cannot and should not be tolerated,” said Ng.

    Both the city Islamic Department (Jawi) and the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) have also banned Muslims from celebrating the festival next Monday.

    Jais pointed out today that there were 257,411 births out of wedlock between 2000 and 2008, and blamed Valentine’s Day celebration as one of the causes.

    PAS Youth has similarly opposed Valentine’s Day, claiming that it was steeped in immorality.

    The Islamist party said it would distribute educational flyers on Valentine’s Day at several locations it had identified as hotbeds of immoral activities.

    The PAS Youth campaign was announced after it came under fire for reportedly planning a crackdown on Muslims celebrating the February 14 event.

    Taken from Malaysian Insider

  • Tigeriban 7:21 pm on February 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Sibu Hospital: A sad story of Sarawak 

    Letter by Mimi

    This is a sad story of Sarawak and the Sarawakians.

    What went wrong in Sarawak?

    From the photos taken at the Medical Ward at the Sibu in Hospital, no one would believe Sarawak is one of the largest contributors to the Federal fund.

    End of Dec 2010, I spent some time caring for a relative who was admitted at the Sibu Hospital. From the outside, this hospital looks like a 3 star resort. However, inside the hospital, the story is totally different.

    This is 2011. How come there is no air conditioning in the Medical ward (I didn’t have the time to check out the other wards)? During the day, the ceiling fans are merely swirling warm, muggy air in the ward. It’s so hot & balmy that the patients leave their tops unbuttoned (yes, even the female patients).

    Some patients brought their own table fans but were still too hot and did not wear their hospital blouse. In the afternoons when the heat is most unrelenting, the patients sweat and wet their pillow cases and bedsheets, especially those who are unconscious or unable to turn on their own.

    Judging from the time I spent at this hospital, at least 80 per cent of the patients are natives from the interiors of Sarawak. Many of these patients are illiterate. They don’t know the definition of “standard of living”. Whatever the condition of the hospital, they quietly accept it. Do they have a choice?

    At night, practically all the native carers sleep on the floor. If they had come from the interior via public transport, they wouldn’t have brought with them their own cumbersome lounge chair (if they could afford it in the first place). The ward has plenty of unusable lounge chairs dumped in the store room. We were lucky we could afford to buy a decent lounge chair.

    The restroom inside this Medical ward is wet and stinks of urine 24 hrs a day. There’s no toilet paper or soap. The soap dispensers are devoid of liquid soap. It’s ironic that there are posters above the soap dispensers reminding people to wash their hands but there’s no soap provided.

    The restroom outside (opposite the lifts) has no toilet paper either and it also stinks of urine. By the way, there are only 2 toilet cubicles in both the Men’s and Ladies’ Restroom. The ladies toilet near the lifts are dimly lit. The only light is above the mirror. The blown light bulb remains unchanged (it is now Feb, maybe the bulb has been changed).

    The corridor outside the Medical ward is very wide but not a single chair was in sight. It was a sorrowful sight to see such the relatives of the patients huddle together on the floor. They probably came from too far interior to go home and they were taking turns to care for the patient. There is restricted number of visitors allowed to care for each patient by their bedside.

    Is Sarawak so short of funds that it is not possible to make the Sibu Hospital (and other district hospitals in the state) more hospitable?

    I suspect the state of the hospital has been left status quo for many years because majority of the patients who come here are really poor and not knowledgeable or even illiterate, hence, they don’t complain.

    Yet, when it comes to garnering for votes, our PM Najib Razak so blatently dangled RM5 million in front of the noses of the people of Sibu.

    I had sent these pictures to the Star and the New Straits Times however, neither of them were interested in the story.

    Perhaps Mr. Wong can look into this. We must really improve the Sibu Hospital and other government hospitals in the state. We contribute so much in petroleum revenue. Why should our hospitals be in such a sorry state?

    Thank you.

    Apa Pun Boleh

    To see more picture about Sibu Hospital, click this link Lim Kit Siang Blog

  • Tigeriban 2:23 pm on February 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Mahathir rewriting history on Ops Lalang 

    Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is rewriting history when he blamed the police for the 1987 Operation Lalang mass Internal Security Act (ISA) arrests, claiming that he was furious over the mass crackdown.

    In the new book, “Doctor M: Operation Malaysia – Conversations with Mahathir Mohamad” by Tom Plate, Mahathir said:

    “Well, I would have handled it differently, except that the police wanted to do these things because they say it is necessary…
    “I actually met all of the opposition members (beforehand) and assured them that they would not be arrested. And you know what the police did? They arrested them. My credibility is gone.”
    Mahathir is not only suffering from selective memory and faulty memory but is spinning untruths about his misdeeds in his 22 years as Prime Minister.

    I never met Mahathir and he never gave me any assurance that I would not be arrested before the launch of Operation Lalang on Oct. 27, 1987, although a day earlier I had spoken in Parliament in the 1988 budget debate warning of escalation of racial tensions and calling on all political parties “to agree to a one-year moratorium where no racial, language, cultural or religious issues will be created or raised for every Malaysian to concentrate on the national priority of achieving economic recovery and growth”.

    Let Mahathir name the Opposition leaders had had met and given assurance that they would not be arrested but subsequently overruled by the police in the Operation Lalang crackdown!

    It is unworthy of Mahathir to “pass the buck” to the Police for the responsibility for the Operation Lalang crackdown, as he not only defended the initial 106 arrests by the police under Section 73 of the ISA, he exercised his powers as Home Minister under Section 8 to formally issue two-year ISA detention orders for 49 Malaysians, including seven DAP MPs!

    Mahathir had always made the false and baseless claim that DAP MPs had not been detained because they were MPs or their political beliefs, but for “trying to stir racial unrest”.

    For instance, Mahathir told Asiaweek (11th November 1988): “A few are still under detention because they refuse to give up stirring racial hatred. (Lim) was arrested not because he was leader of the opposition but because he was stirring racial tension in the country…They will be detained until they come around to thinking it is not the right thing to do…”

    I did not change a jot of my thinking during my detention that none of the Operation Lalang detainees should have been detained especially as “the real culprits of the tensions and grave situation” in Malaysia in October 1987 were left free completely, and not a single police officer interviewed me to secure my agreement to purportedly “give up stirring racial hatred” before my release in April 1989.

    This applied to all the six DAP MPs detained under Operation Lalang – Karpal Singh, Lim Guan Eng, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, the late P. Patto, the late V. David and Lau Dak Kee – who were released without the so-called “come around to thinking it is not the right thing to do”, when they had done nothing wrong in the first place!

    In fact, the personal, petty and vindictive nature in the misuse of an already very oppressive ISA was further highlighted by the fact that Guan Eng and I were the last two of the 49 Operation Lalang detainees to be released in April 1989 – when the various batches of releases started in June 1988.

    I had always conceded that there were racial tensions in October 1987, but these racial tensions were not created by DAP MPs or others detained under Operation Lalang, but solely the deliberate and irresponsible creation of certain power-seekers in UMNO at a time when there was general insecurity at all levels of the UMNO leadership because of deep UMNO party split between two factions, one led by Mahathir and the other by Tengku Razaleigh-Musa Hitam.

    As Bapa Malaysia and the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman said immediately after the Operation Lalang crackdown in November 1987, “It’s not a question of Chinese against the Government but his own party, UMNO, who are against him”. – The London Times, 9th November 1987.

    The Government White Paper “Towards Preserving National Security” issued in March 1988 to justify the Operation Lalang detentions referred to the UMNO Youth Rally at the Jalan Raja Muda Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on 17th October 1987 with banners displaying slogans: “MAY 13 HAS BEGUN” and “SOAK IT (KRIS) WITH CHINESE BLOOD” but no action was taken against the UMNO Youth leaders who enjoyed immunity and impunity for such seditious and criminal incitements.

    The UMNO Youth leader at the time is none other than the present Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

    Mahathir cannot shirk responsibility by passing the buck to the police but must come clean and apologise to the nation for masterminding Operation Lalang, the darkest chapter of human rights in Malaysia, paving the way for a wholesale clampdown and subversion of the media, the judiciary and organs of state, whether the Police, the Election Commission or the Anti-Corruption Agency in the rest of his premiership.

    Or is Mahathir going to blame the judiciary, the police, the Election Commission, the Anti-Corruption Agency, the media and the key national institutions for their failure to stand up to oppose him to protect, preserve and promote their efficiency, independence and professionalism during his premiership?

    Taken From Lim Kit Siang

  • Tigeriban 12:31 am on September 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    Sosilawati murders – incompetence or corruption? 

    I refer to the horrific murders of Malaysia ‘s cosmetic queen, Sosilawati Lawiya and three of her colleagues in a not so remote farm outside Banting.
    These murders could have been avoided if our police force had been more professional. Clearly the police took a tidak apa attitude or were ‘in it’ in all previous deaths/disappearances. The number of ‘missing persons’ reports all linked to these lawyers emerging all of a sudden out of the blue is testimony to this.

    Do you know where this lawyer’s office? Its right across the police station’s reception counter, hardly 50 meters away. And do you know where he stays? In Taman Cempaka, also right across the police station. That their ‘farm’ at Taman Endah was conveniently located only a stone throw’s away from the Hindu disposition site for the cremated ashes of the dead could explain why some of the dead have disappeared without a trace. How very convenient. Kill the victims, cremate them and throw the ashes together with the rest of the Hindu dead at Morib’s established beach site location. A slick morbid operation indeed, if everything is proven true.

    It is inconceivable that the police were oblivious to all their wrongdoings, especially since we now have at least two complainants coming forward, a wife of a Chennai businessman who disappeared after meeting the lawyers a year ago, and a local mechanic who had his wife slashed to death at Taman Cempaka itself with the mechanic himself ending up in the lock-up instead of both the lawyers being thrown in the slammer after a financial deal had gone wrong. This scenario looks more like a 1 Corrupted Malaysia Boleh story.

    Banting police first came into notoriety when they were part of a local casino outfit in February 2004 at a house-cum-casino in Taman Emas resulting in almost the entire police force there being transferred out, some to places as far as Sarawak and Limbang after wives of the ‘casino’s’ male clients went public. And today, the Banting police station and the quarters are immense for only one reason. The Banting area is notorious for past and present criminals and massive smuggling of goods and human beings because of its long coastline and shallow waters which make it ideal as a landing spot for smugglers and illegal immigrants.

    The police have their hands full, yes. Apart from this, Banting was used previously as a location spot for criminals to be buang negeri, essentially restricted movements to only the locality of Banting. Banting further gained notoriety when a young Chinese Datuk, a well-known smuggler and ah long was shot dead at the Sakura restaurant in Jalan Imbi, KL by hitmen. The two crooked lawyers may have taken advantage of the chaotic situation to buy off certain police officers.

    And on Raya day, Malaysia was presented with a rude shock. Sosilawati and 3 innocent people were brutally murdered apparently during the Ramadan. If the police had been even half as efficient before, these animals would have been sent to the gallows earlier. Even Botak Chin is beginning to look like an angel compared to these lawyers.

    As the daily shocking revelations take place pertaining to these murders, one thing that bothers many people here is – who were the other farmhands who had the courage to slaughter the victims and cremate them. Were these farmhands foreigners courtesy of Ng Yen Yen’s VOA (Visa on Arrival) programme to artificially boost tourist numbers? As it is well-known now, many Indian ‘tourists’ who acquired VOAs have now disappeared into Malaysian territory.

    I do hope some of these fellows were not involved in these murders, for if they were, Ng Yen Yen surely has a lot to answer for compromising national security in exchange for increased tourist numbers.

    The British Raj utilised 100,000 British Officers to maintain law and order in an India comprising of 350 million people. Malaysia with 100,000 police officers should be able to maintain order in a nation of only 28 million people if they focus on their jobs assuming immigration officers play their part as well. Our police should not be side-tracked to be used in policing political party gatherings and ferrying VIPs.

    As for criminals such as ah long, smugglers and now even lawyers – there is only one way to reduce criminal intentions – an education system that inculcates proper values and an economy that thrives. That essentially is the government’s duty. And the longer they tinker around trying to right our atrocious education system, the more criminals Malaysia will have because, judging from reports, our own schools appear to be the breeding grounds for future gangsters, criminals, murderers and killer lawyers.

    With these murders, Malaysia ‘s international image is in tatters. Investors are already branding this country as unsafe. The new IGP, unlike his predecessor, should not let the police force be pushed around by political parties but instead mould them into a professional outfit so that incidents of this nature do not ever happen in this country again.

    Taken from Lim Kit Siang Blog

  • Tigeriban 1:43 am on August 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Common greeting would soon be introduced to all Dayaks in Borneo 

    Extract from Borneo Post 10.08.2010

    RITUAL: Malang (standing left) performing the ‘miring’ to start the ceremony as (from left, seated) Atan, Langgu, Kitingan, Mengga, John Bryan and Dusit (foreground) look on.

    RITUAL: Malang (standing left) performing the ‘miring’ to start the ceremony as (from left, seated) Atan, Langgu, Kitingan, Mengga, John Bryan and Dusit (foreground) look on.

    KUCHING:  When a Dayak greets you with ‘Adil Ka’Talino, Bacuramin Ka’Saruga, Basengat Ka’Jubata’, the response should be ‘Harus! Harus! Harus!’.

    The popular Dayak greeting, used in Kalimantan would soon be introduced to all Dayaks in Borneo and the launch of the Borneo Dayak Forum on Sunday night was a fitting occasion for the greeting’s introduction.

    Kalimantan Barat ‘Majlis Adat Dayak Negeri’ (MADN) chief Atan Palil when speaking at the launching dinner, introduced the local greeting, which means ‘Love and respect one another; Be honest and believe in the Heavens and the Almighty. When said, it should be responded with ‘harus’ (a must) three times.

    Atan hoped that the greeting would be adopted by all Dayaks in the future in the quest to get all Borneon natives unite under one Dayak banner.

    The launching, held at Penview Hotel also saw the introduction of BDF official song ‘Mars Borneo Dayak Forum’ written by Indonesian composer Dr Aloysius Mering. He also wrote a patriotic song ‘Gemakanlah’ which was also performed during the night by a choir group comprising Kalimantan beauties from the MADN and ‘Dewan Adat Dayak’ (DAD) Kalimantan Barat.

    BDF president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, DAD chairman Drs Thadeus Yus and Atan all gave a speech each, mostly highlighting the objectives and vision of BDF. All hoped that unity, understanding and solidarity could be strengthened among all Dayak natives in Borneo for the development of its people in economics, culture and education.

    Thadeus stated that Kalimantan Barat was very much committed to the vision of strengthening the Dayak community for the benefit of all its people.

    Jeffrey, in addition, said that after one year of numerous visitations and discussions between Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Pontianak, he was relieved that the forum finally materialised.

    “It is a historic night for all Dayaks. We have a great vision and tonight is just a start. We still have a long way to go but when everybody joins in the bandwagon, we can achieve the impossible,” he continued.

    Earlier at the ceremony, Sgt Major (R) Robert Malang was invited on stage to perform the opening gathering with the compulsory Dayak custom – ‘miring’ (offering).

    He later on did the ‘mengap’ where he pounded his sacred ‘tongkat’ on the floor as he chanted to the Gods. All prominent figures in the BDF and organisation leaders associated with BDF were invited to the stage.

    The official soft-launching was marked by the beating of the gong seven times by its president. The seven beatings marked the number seven which is a sacred number for the Dayaks.

    Among its relevance was purification in respect of human and spiritual needs for forgiveness followed by resolutions to make themselves worthy of the gift of God. Restoration is necessary to ensure health while reunion is realised in respect of human needs to be integrated in body, mind and spirit within the concept of the seven-in-one divinity of humanity.

    Also present at the launch were Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) president Mengga Mikui, BDF advisor and former Saratok MP Dato Sri Edmund Langgu, former Sri Aman MP Jimmy Donald and SDNU publicity officer Dr Dusit Jaul. Organising chairman was SDNU deputy president Dr John Bryan Anthony.

    SM: Harus!! Harus!! Harus!!!!

  • Tigeriban 5:34 am on August 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    All natives in Borneo should unite under one banner — Kitingan 

    Extract from Borneo Post 09.08.2010

    ONE DAYAK: Jeffery (back row, eight left) poses in a photo-call with panels and guests of the inaugural Borneo Dayak Forum. Also seen is Dusit (back row, sixth right) and John Brian, (second right).

    ONE DAYAK: Jeffery (back row, eight left) poses in a photo-call with panels and guests of the inaugural Borneo Dayak Forum. Also seen is Dusit (back row, sixth right) and John Brian, (second right).

    KUCHING: Solidarity has always been the main essence to achieve unity among the people and it is high time that all natives in Borneo unite under one banner – the Dayak.

    In his closing remark of the Borneo Dayak Forum (BDF) held at Penview Hotel here yesterday, BDF pro-tem president Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan said that all natives in Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan should unite as one entity if they were to fulfill their potentials as a strong race globally.

    “We must understand that we are all Dayak. All who recognise themselves as natives in Borneo should realise that the word ‘Dayak’ itself is gold. When it comes to culture, way of living, economics activity and even community upbringing, we are all the same. In terms of development, we all have the same wish and now is the time for us to work together and unite to build solidarity.

    “The strength of all races when combined together would ensure that we could enjoy the richness of Borneo and bring each other forward together,” added Kitingan stating that now was the time for all ‘Dayak’ (natives in Borneo) to rise and build a positive outlook on solidarity’s strength.

    “Where do the Dayak go from here? Who we are as Dayak and what can we achieved? Only each and single individual knows the answer. We must all picture the good things to come when we are solid,” he stated.

    Kitingan also mentioned that it was important to raise the level of consciousness in all fields for the development of Borneo and its people. Stating BDF as a vehicle that could promote such awareness, he stressed that all Dayak could discuss and solve relevant issues by sharing their strength.

    By working together, a lot of energy could be generated and such forum would be a good tool to harness it, he explained.

    Speaking to The Borneo Post after the forum, he highlighted among the steps needed to be taken by the BDF was on education. The Dayak needed to set a target on where they would be in years to come and that a formula is needed for all to work together for the benefit of all.

    Among the plan in consideration was to set up a Credit Union (which was equivalent to co-operatives) especially for the Dayak. Kitingan stated that the union was a practical way to harness people’s potential and that it was one system that would bring the people together to fight poverty and enhance the economy.

    “The main problem we are facing is that we are fighting our problems separately. There should be a body to centralise our issues especially when it comes to land. Land is very sensitive topic among the people. It is managed in a localised manner depending on customs. It is now up to the Dayak on how to come up with a system to manage and protect their land and resources,” he pointed out.

    He also mentioned that BDF would study on indigenous people from all over the world such as the natives Indian-American on how they organised themselves, defended and fought for their rights. The study would also include the implementation and how to get the Dayak to be aware of their native rights.

    He also mentioned that BDF would be registered as an international non-governmental organisation (NGO).

    The inaugural BDF yesterday saw four papers presented by invited panels from the State and neighbouring Sabah as well as Kalimantan.

    Organising chairman Dr John Bryan Anthony who is also Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) deputy president opened the forum with his topic ‘Genesis Borneo’. Chairman of ‘Dewan Adat Dayak Kalimantan Barat’ Bapak Thadeus Yus delivered a topic on Customs and Tradition – ‘Adat Dayak Kalbar’ (Kalimantan Barat).

    Sabah’s representative came in the form of Benedict Topin who represented Borneo Heritage Foundation. His topic was ‘Culture and Customs of Dayak-Kadazandusun’. The last speaker of the day was a representative from one of the Credit Union in Kalbar Thomas Ydh who spoke about the credit union and its benefits.

    The BDF was organised here by SDNU. Also present was SDNU president Mengga Mikui, the forum’s panels chairman Dr Dusit Jaul who is also SDNU publicity officer.

  • Tigeriban 4:40 am on August 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    ‘Dub Borneo Land of the Dayaks, not Land of the Headhunters’ 

    Extract from Borneo Post 09.08.2010

    BENEFITING DAYAK: Dr John Bryan Anthony and Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan (right).

    BENEFITING DAYAK: Dr John Bryan Anthony and Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan (right).

    KUCHING:  Borneo should not be dubbed as the ‘land of the headhunters’ anymore but instead, rebranded as ‘Land of the Dayak’.

    The term ‘Land of the Headhunters’ which was heavily associated with the savage historical culture of the natives (Dayak) in Borneo was no longer relevant in today’s society and this infamous tag should be terminated once and for all.

    Speaking to The Borneo Post after the Borneo Dayak Forum (BDF) held at Penview Hotel here yesterday, organising chairman Dr John Brian Anthony claimed tourists are still wary of the threat of having their heads cut off when they come to Borneo.

    “And this is not friendly at all. It’s bad publicity.

    “This is no longer synonym to the Dayak culture today. As the government has been promoting heavily on local Sarawak cultures as its tourism product, why not we (the Dayak) promote Borneo as ‘Land of the Dayak’ instead?,” he said.

    John Brian who is also Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) deputy president added that Dayak (natives) people are famous for its rich cultures, customs and hospitality, and no longer associated with the tradition of headhunting.

    “What more suitable way than to promote the Dayaks than their cultures and products,” he said.

    John Brian stated that re-branding the third largest island in the world, as ‘Land of the Dayak’ would bring lots of benefit to the natives. For a start, it would create more awareness of the uniqueness and traditions of the Dayak. In addition, it would be in

    line with the vision of getting all natives to group together under the Dayak banner.

    “As we move forward into the 21st Century, it is very important to globalise the Dayak economy. It would certainly aid the development of the Dayak. Among other steps that could be taken was the patterning of Dayak cultural patterns, which was heavily marketed, in almost every local product today.

    “We see many natives pattern commercialised in almost anything marketable today, but how many Dayaks are benefiting from this? We do not own any commercial right while our assets and heritage are excessively promoted to others’ advantages,” stated John.

    He mentioned that the Dayak could take advantage of their rich cultures by doing their own heritage marketing or at least join in the bandwagon on promoting themselves and this would be amongst the plan to be highlighted by the BDF.

    “For instant, the native American-Indian have their ‘Dreamcatcher’ while the native aborigine in Australia profited from their boomerang. All this tribes are paid royalty by their government.

    “It’s high time we could do the same for our native products. BDF will look into this matter,” he explained.

    BDF pro-tem president Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan who was also present, told The Borneo Post that all natives should be aware of the part that they could play to benefit the people.

    He added that other ways to promote unity among all Dayak was by organising more Borneo festivals as these would give practical benefit for the natives.

    “We can have our very own Borneo tourism. We can promote our products, folk games and even traditional sports. We can even have an inter-Borneo blow dart competition for instant,” he added.

    Kitingan also mentioned that fashion was also another trade that all locals could promote. He stated that all local designers should work together to promote and raised the economics of the natives through the fashion industry.

    “We can call it Borneo Fashion,” he suggested.

    In addition, Kitingan also stressed that there were many potentials that the Dayak could tap in from their own cultural and heritage resources, which could be marketed to the world.

    “All the natives could work together in combining their resources and expertise to promote Borneo and its people. We must compliment each other. One could produce, one could manufacture while one could market. In the end, all would prosper,” he highlighted.

    SM: Welcome to Land of the Dayaks

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