Kami Penan perlu tanah dan hutan

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We get to hear two Penan headman, Matu Tugang and Along Joo, speaking for themselves in countering the claims of a logging firm that has  encroached into their land.

 

Logging firm: We’re doing our best to help Penans


A logging company central to the plight of the Penans in Ulu Belaga, Sarawak, claimed that it is doing its best to remedy the difficulties faced by the indigenous communities there.

Ting Khai Sik, a senior official with Shin Yang Forestry Sdn Bhd, said the company had tried its best to compensate those affected by the company’s activities.

In a report released by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) yesterday, Ting was quoted as saying that the company had made payments on land claims and gave commissions to the heads of longhouses and members of the Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK).

Ting is the general manager of Shin Yang’s oil palm plantation Mettanik Camp.

He said in the case of temuda, an indigenous term for native customary land, RM300 was paid for each hectare and for the pemali, the indigenous term describing the payment for ritual propitiation, RM1,880 was given.

The amount was agreed upon by the company, the Sarawak Planning Authority (SPA) and relevant village leaders as well as the Orang Ulu Association.

Ting said all the payments were done at the Sungai Asap District Office, witnessed by a Sarawak administrative officer.

Relevant heads of longhouses and JKKK were also given monthly allowances and this is in accordance with the agreement signed between both parties, he added.

Suhakam had carried out an investigation after the Penan community in Ulu Belaga filed a complaint with the commission claiming that their right to native customary right or NCR land had been denied.

They also accused the Sarawak state government of turning a blind eye to their plight and claimed that the company had not paid adequate compensation.

 

Excessive demands

The Suhakam report also quoted Shin Yang’s legal manager Loretta Lau as saying that the company recognised the Penans’ claim to their ancestral land.

“The company is aware of the existence of the Penans and the temuda within the licensed land but only two settlements, Long Jaik and Long Liam, were identified as stated in the relevant EIA report,” she said, referring to how the company was granted the green light to commence with their operations as long as compensations were agreed upon and made to the affected communities.

Anthony Ades, a public relations officer with Shing Yang, said talks were held on Oct 21 last year regarding housing plans for the affected Penans there and this effort was taken solely by the company.

He further emphasised on how the government should be the one responsible in ensuring the well being of members of the Penan community as citizens of Malaysia.

Shin Yang also claimed that it faced many problems pertaining to claims of compensations, one of them being excessive demands.

Ting cited one example where Long Jaik village chief Matu Tugang had allegedly demanded for 1,000 hectares of land as reserve for his village and the matter was then brought to and resolved at the district office in the presence of Shin Yang’s representatives and the chief himself.

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Despite having agreed to the solution at the district office, Ting said, the chief changed his mind upon returning to his village

Representatives of the company stated that almost RM1 million was spent on compensation, allowances and commissions for the affected communities.

Employment opporunities

Besides compensation, Shin Yang claimed that it also undertook other efforts to aid the Penans by offering them employment opportunities.

According to Ting, “jungle felling, poly bag filling and pest extermination” were several of the opportunities provided to them by the company.

“Ninety percent of the employees of the company’s oil palm plantation are members of the Penan community,” Lau added.

On wages, Ting clarified: “It is either paid on a daily basis or a contract basis. However, employment is usually on a contract basis which could amount up to RM 800 a month compared to a RM15 per day.”

“Allowances scheme called the Travel and Traveling (TNT) was also provided for those working in Long Jaik and Long Urun, locations that are far from their settlements,” he added.

 

Private clinic

To further help the Penans, Shin Yang claimed that it is on track to construct a private clinic which will be accessible to anyone living in that area, including the Penans.

“In addition, the company assisted the Penans, by setting up catchments and water pipelines as well as leveling soil for longhouse construction. These were all provided for free by the company,” said Ting.

“Transportation was also extended to members of the Penan community when they need to travel to Sg Asap, Belaga. The company helped members of the Penan community by providing transportation to send sick family members to the clinic in Sungai Asap for treatment,” he added.

Lau provided more details of the company’s efforts in aiding the Penans.

“Apart from protecting these villages, the company also provided other assistance for the Penans including the construction of roads, providing water supply, materials for construction of houses as well as assistance for funeral arrangements including transportation, financial assistance for coffins and other cost associated with funerals,” she said.

She added that the company had given the Penans honorarium (wang saguhati) during festive seasons and allowed them to take whatever basic necessities they needed from the company’s canteen for free.

Courtesy of Malaysiakini,
14 August 2007

 

Kami Penan perlu tanah dan perlu hutan

Bagi kami Penan, kawasan kami bukan hanya perkara penghidup kami tetapi penuh dengan kenangan pahit-manis kami. Sekarang, tempat tanda kenangan itu semua sudah hancur-musnah. 

oleh Matu Tugang dan Along Joo 

The response below is in the Bahasa that the Penans normally use, which is different from standard Bahasa Malaysia. We are reproducing their response verbatim without any editorial changes as it is one of the rare occasions that we get to hear them speak in their own words. This very act of speaking for themselves is empowering.

Kami gembira mendengar Shin Yang kata dia sangat mengambil berat dengan keperluan hidup dan hak adat kami Penan (Malaysiakini, 14 August 2007).

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Lalu kami tidak erti kenapa keadaan sebenar jauh lain daripada cakap Shin Yang.
Terlebih dahulu, apa yang benar, kami memang mengaku benar. Jadi, memang Shin Yang ada bantu kami dengan belanja orang mati, tetapi tidak pernah sekali dengan transport membawa mayat pulang atau menghantar mayat ke kubur.

Begitu juga, Shin Yang ada bayar elaun kepada ketua kampong dan ahli JKKK, tetapi Shin Yang sawit tidak berbuat demikian kepada semua ketua kampong dan JKKK di dalam kawasan lesennya.

Kami juga mengaku benar Shin Yang, seperti dengan kampeni lain, ada beri buah tangan untuk kami meraya Krismas. Tetapi, tidak seperti yang dikata wakilnya, tidak ada buah tangan bentuk wang dan juga buah tangan bentuk barang. Kami diberi RM300 untuk satu rumah panjang yang seramai 40 keluarga dan kami boleh terima dalam bentuk wang atau bentuk barang.

Se lain ini, kata-kata lain wakil Shin Yang jauh daripada benar, dan kami ingin membalas cakap mereka satu demi satu, dari perkara kecil hingga perkara besar.

Yang pertama, sebalik daripada membayar pemali wakil Shin Yang sudah kata kepada kami bahawa pemali itu sudah pun selesai pada waktu kampeni balak mula masuk kawasan kami Penan dulu, dan tidak perlu lagi dia bayar pemali untuk kerja ladang sawit dan kayu kertas.

Yang benar, Shin Yang sawit ada beri pemali kepada kampung Penan Lg Jaik, tetapi tidak kepada yang lain.

Yang kedua, kami Penan di Seping, Plieran dan Danum berani kata Shin Yang yang paling tidak membantu kami dengan transport ke Sg Asap samada untuk hantar anak ke sekolah atau bawa orang sakit ke klinik. Sebaliknya, kami selalu di marah dan dihina apabila kami cuba memohon bantuan ini daripada Shin Yang, tidak kira Shin Yang Plantation atau Shin Yang Forestry.

Yang ketiga, kami Penan Seping, Plieran dan Danum juga berani kata Shin Yang yang paling tidak membantu kita dengan keperluan perumahan. Hanya tahun 2007 ini baru Shin Yang ada membuat satu rumah panjang untuk Penan Lg Pelutan, dan itu pun bukan sebagai menolong, tetapi sebagai ganti bagi pulau hutan Penan Lg Pelutan, iaitu mereka serah hutan itu untuk Shin Yang mengambil kayu balak dan membuat ladang kayu kertas.

Begitu juga dengan air paip di mana Penan Lg Jaik ada air paip yang dibuat oleh medical. Kami Penan Lg Singu, Lg Luar dan Lg Tangau tidak ada air paip dan terpaksa pakai air hujan untuk masak dan minum dan air sungei yang kotor untuk mandi dan cuci kain.

Ke empat, kami berani cabar Shin Yang supaya tunjuk buku-bukunya sebagai bukti bahawa 90% daripada pekerja di ladang sawit adalah orang Penan. Kami Penan tidak bersekolah, tetapi kami ada mata dan kami sendiri dapat nampak majoriti pekerja sawit itu adalah orang Indon atau orang bangsa lain daripada Penan.

Kelima, dan paling penting, kami menolak sama sekali cakap wakil Shin Yang bahawa mereka hormat hak dan tanah adat kami. Sebaliknya, kampeni ini tinjak hak kami.

Bila Shin Yang Plantation mula masuk kawasan kami, wakilnya kata kepada kami mereka pegang lesen kepada semua kawasan ini dan kami Penan tiada hak kepada kawasan ini selain tanah temuda dan kubur. Mereka ada kata kami tidak boleh mahu simpan tanah atau simpan hutan untuk guna kami.

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Tambah lagi, Shin Yang Plantation bukan datang runding dengan kami dulu. Dia buat sesuka hatinya, ambil tanah temuda kami, lalu mahu bayar RM300 untuk satu hektar tanah temuda yang sudah mereka habis tolak. Kami Penan tidak setuju dan tidak mahu, tetapi apa boleh buat, tanah itu pun sudah mereka gundur dan tanam sawit atau kayu kertas. Jadi, terpaksalah kami terima RM300 satu hektar itu.

Kami Penan Seping, Plieran dan Danum ini memang takut dengan mereka dan takut dengan perintah. Lalu, walau pun kami amat sakit hati dan susah hati, kami tidak tahu mahu buat apa.
Seorang daripada ketua kampong kami, iaitu Matu Tugang dari Lg Jaik, ada pergi jumpa DO Belaga dengan GM Shin Yang. Sebelum itu, DO Belaga waktu itu ada beritahu TR Matu bahawa memang Penan perlu tanah dan hutan. Tetapi, berdepan dengan GM Shin Yang, DO Belaga kata apa yang boleh dia ator, dia akan ator. Lalu, diberitahu GM supaya jangan kacau pulau paip, tetapi pasal tanah dia beritahu TR Matu supaya tunggu GM ator bagi tanah sama Penan kerana kami Penan tidak ada kuasa.

Apabila TR Matu dengar kata DO, dia pun diam diri kerana takut dengan perintah dan takut salah cakap, bukan kerana dia terima kata-kata itu. Sudah beratus tahun kami Penan duduk di kawasan ini. Bagaimana pula kami Penan tidak ada kuasa dan tidak ada hak? Kami bukan pakai lesen, kami hanya pakai adat kami yang sudah ada sebelum kampeni dan sebelum lesen.

Jadi, TR Matu pun tanya dengan kawan kerana dia fikir cakap DO itu tidak patut. Kawan itu nasihat TR Matu supaya tanya orang yang lebih tahu tentang hak adat, tetapi dia juga fikir tidak patut rumah panjang tidak ada kuasa atas tanah mereka. Dia bagi alamat Suhakam kepada TR Matu dan secara itu TR Matu dapat sampaikan reportnya kepada Suhakam.

Ikut cakap Suhakam, kami Penan tidak dapat tahan semua kawasan, mahu ada bagi kepada kampeni dan juga ada bagi untuk kami.

Kalau begitu, kami Penan Seping, Plieran dan Danum dapat terima. Tetapi, sekarang GM kata TR Matu mahu tahan terlalu banyak tanah. Sekian lama kami Penan ada jaga hutan di kawasan ini. Sekarang, dalam masa beberapa tahun sahaja Shin Yang sudah tebang habis hutan itu, tinggal hanya sedikit di atas bukit dan di dalam kawasan yang kami tahan.

Bagi kami Penan, kawasan kami bukan hanya perkara penghidup kami tetapi penuh dengan kenangan pahit-manis kami. Sekarang, tempat tanda kenangan itu semua sudah hancur-musnah. Tambah pula, penghidup kami pun kampeni mahu ambil.

Kami Penan perlu tanah dan perlu hutan. Kawasan yang kami sekarang cuba tahan tidak luas banding dengan berpuluh ribu hektar lesen Shin Yang. Yang kami cuba tahan hanya sedikit hutan, tidak cukup pun untuk babi lalu, dan sedikit tanah buat pakai tanam padi. Itu hanya yang tinggal untuk kami dan keturunan kami. Kalau sedikit itu pun tidak dapat, baik bunuh kami Penan sekarang daripada bunuh kami perlahan-lahan.

Matu Tugang is the Tuai Rumah (headman) of Lg Jaik and Along Joo is the Tuai Rumah of Lg Singu. 

 

 

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