Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Against Their Will for Politics of Development

As reported in The Star Online

ON a sunny Sunday morning last year, 16-year-old Cynthia (not her real name) boarded a four-wheel drive dispatched by logging company Samling to ferry students to SMK Long Lama from her longhouse in Long Kawi, middle Baram, Sarawak.

However, the driver did not send the passengers ( two boys and three girls ) to the school directly. He dropped by a logging camp and told the students that they had to spend the night there.

“It was around 4pm. Although the school is not far from the camp, the driver didn’t want to continue the journey. The boys and girls were separated into two rooms. I was with my younger sister and another girl. When night fell, the men in the camp were drinking. In the middle of the night, several men came into our room. One of them dragged me from the room and took me to the bushes behind the camp,” Cynthia recalls her ordeal. The other two girls were not harmed.

A life ruined:
Mindy, 21, is saddled with two children after being coerced into having sex by a timber company worker.

The Form 3 student became pregnant and delivered a baby girl a few months ago. Cynthia, who harbours hopes of being a nurse, is now unsure of her future as she has been absent from school due to her pregnancy.

The fair-skinned, soft-spoken girl had previously been harassed by workers from a Samling camp but managed to elude them.

Samling, when contacted, says the camp implicated in the incident may not have belonged to the company and urged those making the allegations to contact the police and provide accurate information to enable criminal investigations.

Samling’s head of corporate communications Cheryl Yong says: “We are very concerned over the latest allegations even though we do not operate in the Temela Camp (where the alleged sexual assault took place). We do not condone any criminal acts within our premises or by employees.”

Yong explains that Samling has a zero-tolerance policy towards alcohol consumption during work hours. Furthermore, alcohol sale is unavailable on its premises and anyone found consuming alcohol while working will be dismissed.

At Long Belok, Rina (not her real name) who was raped in her house and delivered a baby girl in May 2005, is fearful of timber camp workers. “If I see them in the village, I will run and hide in the forest.”

She is glad that she did not have to marry the man who raped her despite persuasion from her parents and neighbours’ unkind remarks.

The youngest in a family of two boys and two girls, Rina, 20, says life is difficult with an extra mouth to feed. At times, she confesses that she feels like running away.

Mindy (not her real name) of Long Item, recounts the intimidation, deceit and harassment of a 40-something man who works for Interhill.

“We know him as Ah Heng. My parents and I got a ride in his vehicle from Ba Abang sometime in 2005. Shortly after that, he came looking for me in the village. He offered to take care of me but I declined. He then said I should give in or he would hurt me and my family,” says the 21-year-old woman who eventually acceded to his demands and has since borne him two girls, one in 2006 and another in February.
Ah Heng now rarely visits nor provides maintenance for the family after his wife found out about his activities and accused Mindy of seducing her husband.

“I don’t want him to come here anymore; I will raise the kids myself. I don’t even love him,” says Mindy.


Anonymous said...

What you say may not be true and just fictitious lies. Have you ever verify your facts and meet those persons whose name you abused in your blog personally? What about if those girls are your relative do you want their name to be publish? Please be more considerate. It is you who have raped the Penan/Punan by puting them in the bad light and highlight their so called fictitious plight. I am a Penan working for a Timber company and I feel sad to have read your comment. You owe an apology to our community. I hope you publish my comment. Don't be a coward.

Borneonization said...

Anonymous Nov 1 2008 3:30 AM,

Thank you for your concern. If you could read the post again, you'll find that it is extracted from The Star and I've also mentioned the source. The Star used fictitious names, not real names. The Star reporter certainly did not make up the story. By the way, I do a lot of voluntary community work to help rural indigenous communities improve health and literacy.

Anonymous said...

I have printed all your allegation and have given it to the Chief Minister. The police will investigate this blog if they find that it is slanderous. This is just to remind you that you are being watched from time to time.

Carol Keening said...

Anonymous, You must be a comedian, or a kampong idiot or a deprived misfit. Read what Marina Mahathir's post here It describes people like you.

Try something smarter, that is, if you are smart enough. Are you not smart enough to know that bloggers can install software on their blogs to track the IP addresses of blog visitors? How can you tell that this blogger already know your IP address?

You are a miserable and pathetic misfit to try and threaten a blogger. Grow up, anonymous misfit!

simcatfish said...

Carol Keening,you are a rite to condemn the anonymous,to me he/she is a moron or worst than that not to face the reality.If he/she have a problems with any opinions,can share it with us in a articulate manner.R u a running dog of the present Sarawak state govt.?or just playing the fool around?U think smart in tis way?F............k U