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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

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How was your day, sugar?

Friday, September 25, 2009

FattyCat

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Dear FattyCat,

You were a crazy character. But I know you loved us, which makes things worse. I’m sorry for what we did to you. I hope you know we loved you too. And I hope you’re safe, wherever you are.

I miss you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Malaysia Day, 16 Sept 1963

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Happy Birthday, Malaysia! :)

I love youuuuuuuuuu!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lets not pray empty prayers.

The oppression against the Penan tribe has been known to us for a long time. They have, for many years, protested against the logging of their forests, which is their main source of livelihood, but they are powerless against the Government backed logging projects. Then they cried out to us for help, because the exploitation of their natural resources has cut off their food supply. They are starving. They have time and again reported rape and sexual molestation of their women, but it has fallen on ear-phone plugged ears. They have pleaded with the Government to provide them with transportation for their children to go to school located hours away from their villages, but no help has been sent, placing them at the mercy of timber lorry drivers. We hear their cry at a distance, but we are too caught up with our own music to really pay attention.

Read the article published last year below. The crimes the logging companies have committed against them are atrocious. They have robbed them of their basic rights as human beings. But by not responding to their desperate cries for help, by sitting white-washed, fat and rich upon our wallets, we are just as bad.

The Star, Monday October 6 2008 : Violated By Loggers

By HILARY CHIEW

Pictures by SIA HONG KIAU

Teenage schoolgirls have become the latest target of unscrupulous timber workers.

BLOCKADES have sprung up again in middle Baram in the midst of the padi planting season in interior Sarawak.

Several Penan communities have abandoned the padi fields to put up symbolic barricades - flimsy wooden gates across logging roads - to stop encroachment into the last stretch of remaining ancestral forest in a region that has seen extensive logging over the last 25 years.

The once-nomadic tribe, noted for their unwavering rejection of logging on their territory and synonymous with blockades since the late 1980s, is fighting a losing battle against the Government-backed timber industry.

At grave risk : Young Penan women bathing and washing in a polluted river next to their sett lement. As the Penan communities in middle Baram struggle to stave off the continuous destruction of their ancestr al lands by logging firms, their womenfolk are being victimised by timber company workers.

Yet another sinister threat has crept into the remote communities €“ Penan women, especially the young ones, are preyed on by workers from logging companies.

About three weeks ago, a media release by non-governmental organisation Bruno Manser Foundation (BMF) brought to light a long-held concern €“ the sexual abuse of Penan women.

The Swiss group charged that workers from two timber companies were preying on Penan women in the various settlements within the companies’ operation areas, and targeting female students who relied on the companies’ transportation service to get to school.

Students from middle Baram are boarders in secondary schools in the interior towns of Long Lama and Long San, which could take up to a week to travel on foot from their villages. The Baram district in Miri division is almost as big as the state of Perak.

The allegations were flatly denied by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu who dismissed the NGO’s claims as baseless. Jabu, who is also Rural Development Minister, challenged BMF to name the villages otherwise “it would be a waste of time to investigate”.

Largely ignorant of their rights and not well-versed in criminal law, the Penans have long suffered the transgression against their womenfolk in silence.

The problem is further compounded by stigmatisation associated with rape in the predominantly Christian communities.

Sexual violations

A visit to several villages reveals the prevalence of sexual abuse since the advent of commercial logging. Village leaders who readily air their grouses of hardship brought by logging are hesitant to talk about the sexual exploitation by workers from nearby logging camps.

Bulan Laing, a female elder of Long Pakan claims that violation of the women began around 1996 when a logging company began operation in middle Baram.

Nonetheless, at Long Pakan, Bulan Laing, a female elder claims that violation of the women began around 1996 when a Miri-based logging company arrived.

“There have been three pregnancies so far; the last one was in 2006. In one case, the woman married the Indonesian worker who violated her but was later divorced after she was sexually abused by another worker,” recalls Bulan.

Asked if the cases were reported to the police, Bulan appears not to know that rape is a criminal offence.

“We complained to the camp manager. He assured us that they would take action against their men but we’re still suffering.”

Her husband, headman Pada Jutang, says: “We’ve lost hope in the police taking any action. So we stopped going to them.”

The village’s nearest neighbour, Long Item €“ two hours’ drive away €“ faces a similar predicament. Headman Balan Jon reveals the modus operandi of unscrupulous timber workers.

He says the workers come to the village in small groups of not more than five, either on motorcycle or by company vehicle, with alcoholic drinks and entice the young men to join them for drinking binges at night.

“They become bold after several drinks and will coax our boys to bring them to houses with young women or girls.

Long Pakan headman Pada Jutang says his people lost hope in police taking any action and stopped going to them.

“Or they bring along instant noodles and persuade the victims to cook them a meal on the pretext that they have not yet had dinner. They then hang around and wait for the chance to strike after other occupants of the house turn in for the night,” adds Balan.

Bulan explains that young Penan men are curious about “anything from the cities” and are easily influenced despite advice by village leaders to be wary of these outsiders. She also suspects that the victims could have been drugged.

Balan laments that complaints to the company’s managers on the ground are not taken seriously.

“There are always new workers showing up. They are also good at covering their tracks and the camp manager refuses to investigate or take action,” he says dejectedly. Like Pada, Balan says he has given up on the police.

Further north in the Apoh region, Long Belok’s headman Alah Beling recalls no less than four cases of sexual violation. The latest incident resulted in a baby born last December. He reckons that the known numbers could just be the tip of the iceberg. Victims who do not end up with unwanted pregnancies may choose to remain silent to hide their shame.

Easy targets

It appears that schoolgirls are the latest to be preyed upon, according to villagers at Long Kawi, next to Long Item. They complain that timber workers come to the village during the day to identify the young girls and return later at night to carry out their plans. The harassment gets worse during the school holidays when the girls are around.

But the latest revelation of female students being made to stay overnight in logging camps, thus exposing them to sexual abuse, has plunged the Penan community into despair.

The Penans have abandoned their nomadic lifestyle so that their young ones could get an education and have a better life.

“If we don’t send our children to school, we are blamed. But providing them transportation is beyond our ability. We are at the mercy of the timber companies. We’ve to beg them to ferry our children to the secondary schools which are far away.

“I walk my younger children to Long Kevok (a four-hour drive away) to attend primary school. This problem was discussed at the school’s parent-teacher association meetings a few years ago. The school asked us to get help from the Government. There were promises but we’re still waiting,” says Galang Jutang, Pada’s younger brother.

Principal of SMK Long Lama, Ng Cheng Soo, acknowledges that transportation remains a huge problem for Penan students who make up about 12% of the 945 pupils.

“We put in a proposal for a transport allocation in 2006 to the Resident Office in Miri,” says Ng. Resident Ose Murang could not be reached for comment on the status of the proposal.

Ng adds that Penan students are catching up in their studies as shown by their better examination results and lower dropout rates.

“We hold special remedial classes and show them that we care for them. They appreciate it and they like coming to school. Penan kids are the first to volunteer for any gotong-royong events,” Ng says, adding that being rather timid, Penan students are easily bullied.

Instances of students trekking in the jungle for days to get to school and even missing major examinations when company transportation fails to materialise, are common. Hitching a ride by the side of dusty logging roads makes teenage girls especially vulnerable.

Following recent publicity of the alleged sexual abuse of Penan women in the local media, Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Mohmad Salleh says the force needs a police report to be lodged to facilitate investigations.

Dismayed by the police response, the Women’s Centre for Change pointed out that according to the Child Act 2001, the authorities must take action if they suspect child sexual abuse has taken place. Under the Act, anyone below the age of 18 is a child.

The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and the Human Rights Commission have announced that they will investigate the claims.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Home.

Fuh. It's been a full day man. One activity after another, only stopped for chicken rice - very nice :)

But I'm glad to be home. This is what it's like to be home.

Sometimes its a bit too much. Run here, run here. No time to stop, think and be alone, not like in uni. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I love it here! I love the sights, the sounds, the smells, the taste of PJ. PJ tastes like cranberry muffins.










Though I guess once uni ends (and with it, Kajang will end for me too), I would have to learn to create pauses for myself, because pauses are really good. One should not do without pauses.

LYPG today was awesome. We continued the plowing work, it's not over yet. But we're getting there! I can just feel it...we're getting there! Soon! Soon! Keep it up, comrates. Don't back down! Press on! We'll see it in no time.

Went for Joshua Chua's birthday party, and I'm really glad we did.
Happy Birthday Joshua!
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He cause His face to shine upon you, and give you peace :)

FY is getting married next week! The First among us! Congrats! Wowwow!! :) Exciting!

7 days to Raya! Better makan puas-puas while the Ramadan Bazaars are still in town. After that we'd have to wait a whole year!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Apalah

8 pages on ‘Demokrasi dan Masyarakat Sivil : Satu perbandingan antara peranan media di Malaysia dan media di negara serantau’ in one hour. Will I make it?

Probably not.

There’ll be homework this weekend, then :(

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Windows Live Writer!

Woo hoo!

I keep reading about how chuntothemoon Live Writer is, and thought I’d try it out for myself – hey!I’m blogging from Live Writer! This way, I don’t have to wait for ‘toopid Blogspot to load, which takes a million years!

It’s very hot today, so my wash dried fast and easy. We have a 10 page essay due tomorrow, which I have not started AND Dr. Megat insists that we have to present our film review today. Sheesh. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked.

Went to read and have dinner by myself [ :( ] @the New Delifrance behind PKNS yesterday. And I was the ONLY customer when I went in, and the only customer when I came out. Service was good, because I was the only customer. They gave me a HUGE piece of soft garlic baguette to eat with my Beef Bolognese [ :) ] –maybe because no one else eat; and the waiter who served me was cute. Hehe. [ :P ]

The Cappuccino there is really yummy! and comes in a huge mug. Halfway through dinner I realised the mug they used for my cappuccino was the same one they used for my mushroom soup. Haha. + a cookie + a date. (Kurma la, not cute waiter I hope Mr. Lee does not read this. [ :P ]

It’s FRIDAY tomorrow! And I’m going home!! :) Yayayayayayayayayayyy!

TTYL! Chao the Mao ;)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Life is like a hot bath - the longer you stay in it, the more wrinkled you get.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We gotta get mooovin' !

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Something Jessica Kan shared - We need each other, all of us to lift up Malaysia to the Lord. So let's not give up! Let's press on, push forward and fight the good fight till we see change!
For He is about to do, in our days - "something we would not believe, even if we were told". (Hab1:5)

Make ready your hearts,
Make ready your homes,
Make ready the people of God
Prepare the way!