Tuesday, October 7, 2008

WAKE UP & SMELL THE PALM OIL!

WHAT RAINFOREST?

36 minutes
English/Malay/Iban with English Subtitles
Produced by Hilary Chiew and Chi Too

Synopsis:

When oil palm barons began encroaching on their native customary rights (NCR) land with claims of buyovers sanctioned by the government, the families in Kampung Lebur, near Kuching in Sarawak, were devastated.

One man stood his ground. Segan anak Degon was the only one of 101 families who managed to hold off an oil palm plantation from replacing his ancestral patch of forest which included his paddy field and fruit trees planted by his forefathers.

Like his fellow villagers, the forest was the sole source of livelihood for Segan and his wife. But unlike his fellow villagers, Segan fought... and won. And this is his story.

An independent review of What Rainforest?:

It had all the necessary ingredients of a thrilling Hollywood blockbuster:
A stoic hero and his long-suffering wife.
Ruthless land-grabbing corporations.
A plot that wove a tale of David minus his slingshot versus Goliath.
Of conviction of strength in the face of greed, gangsters and cockamamie policies.
And also a credible supporting cast and beautiful long-range and wide angle shots of one of the world’s oldest rainforests.

But
What Rainforest? neither thrilled nor entertained.

Of course, the co-producers of this 36-minute documentary – Hilary Chiew and Chi Too – never intended for it to. Instead, they succeeded all too well in making you burn as you watch the outright trampling of the basic rights of the indigenous Iban folk and their ancestral lands.


PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AGAINST THIS WANTON ABUSE OF OUR INDIGENOUS KINFOLK AND THEIR ANCIENT LANDS!
SARAWAK SOUNDS ALARM OVER PENAN RAPE CLAIMS
Oct 7, 08 6:41pm

Authorities in Sarawak have called on police to investigate reports that women and girls from the Penan tribe have been raped by workers from jungle logging camps.

The plight of the Penan people was made famous in the 1990s by environmental activist Bruno Manser, who campaigned to protect their way of life and fend off the loggers, before he vanished in 2000 amid suspicion of foul play.

"Let the police do a full investigation. It is important that we get to the truth of all these things," Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister George Chan said of the rape claims, according to the state news agency Bernama.

"This is criminal but we must have very firm evidence as it could portray a very bad national image," he said.

[Read the rest of the Malaysiakini story here.]


HOW TAIB BULLIES THE RAKYAT
Al Tugauw | Oct 7, 08 5:09pm

According to the The Borneo Post report, "Let's talk, but don't try any rough stuff with me: CM" on Oct 3, Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud allegedly said he is open to discussion on a supposed eviction of some 10,000 villagers from 13 Kedayan-Malay villages in Bekenu, Sarawak.

The question is what discussion? Why only now?

Does anyone think that this man is really open to discussion? Or he just wants the people to come begging to him so that he can placate them with some devious promises not meant to be fulfilled? The report also stated that he said although he had allegedly yet to hear from the affected villagers, he felt that the best way to resolve the matter was to come and see him and not ‘try any rough stuff’ with him.

What rough stuff? In any event why shouldn't the people play rough when this is the way they are treated, like illegal squatters and asked to get off their land and leave their houses just before Hari Raya? He has yet to hear? What rubbish!

In the first place, doesn't he know or are we to believe that he doesn't know? This is the eviction of 10,000 people we are talking about here whose families have been on this land since 1910, and they are squatters?

Some new company comes and they suddenly get more rights to the land than those who have been on it for almost 100 years? And Taib has yet to hear from the affected villagers?

"‘Because once you start playing rough, you cut all communication with me. In the end, you still have to communicate with me because I'm the government… whether or not the claim is good (only) then I can consider,’ he told reporters at the second day of his Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house at Stadium Perpaduan here yesterday." said the report further.

This is how Taib bullies the rakyat. Why was there no communication with the affected villagers except for the notice of eviction? So the villagers who have been living there for the last 100 years now have to prove their claim? Surely they should have been considered even before any such decision was made?

The arrogance of this man seems to know no bounds. Just because he ‘is the government’ does that mean he can do what he likes and treat the people as he likes?

[Read the full story on Malaysiakini.]

VISIT AL TUGAUW'S BLOG - SARAWAK HEADHUNTER!

1 comment:

Allen said...

Great film!
We should wake up and smell ethanol too!
Rare tropical forests are being destroyed in Ecuador as a consequence of the US ethanol mandate and people there are suffering. See video at www.ethanol-lie.com