Radio Free Sarawak (see side bar logo for link) aired an interview with James Masing who insist that the scadalous log-jam on Rajang river 1 month ago was an human error which come from the loggers as well as the dereliction of duty of 2 relevant ministries ie the Ministry of environment and the forestry. So why not make these guilty folks pay for their gargantuan errors? Their errors had been estimated to cost millions of loses to the people around Rajang River-including inconveniences of transport for a week, damages to several jetties and even a death due to the delay in transport. In conducting a `miring’ to appease the god the picture was distorted: the wrong people are asked to ask for forgiveness from the god! Certainly it was not the tuai rumah who were victims of illegal logging who should ask for forgiveness from the god!
If the idea was to project his image as willing to contradict the Chief Minister-including appearing on Radio Free Sarawak, the intention was just to shore up his not so glamorous image among his own people. Nothing come out of the words and the `miring’ /sacrifice to the god. No culprits will be made to account let alone pay for the damages from the 50km log-jam that almost closed down the mighty river for a week. Once again the people are asked to bear up with someone else’ error without any compensation or correction. Instead they are asked to ask for forgiveness from the god on behalf of the culprits! And the only one to collect some `credit’ is James Masing who get some media limelight out of it!
As the local Assemblyman for the Kapit area where the log-jam began he felt the pressure to do something. He is aware of the pressure on him to avoid the powerlessness image. It was the CM who approved the loggers and allow the ministries to close their eyes on the irregular logging. But he was the one who have to come out to say something about it. But by asking/paying for the `miring’ involving the tuai rumah he showed his powerlessness even more: everyone can see that the real culprit he accused of the scandal were not involved! If god was made party to Masing’s `action’ he/she may be frustrated that the crime was not addressed with the culprits being called up to account and make amend for their crimes! By asking for forgiveness from the god he skipped the need to ask for forgiveness from the people who suffer from the log-jam and the people whose natural wealth was robbed by the mis-conducting loggers and government departments!
In the interview he sounded like he did not believe in his people’s own ceremony-but he did it because he think that the ceremony will make the people happy. Is he looking down on his people’s intelligence? He flaunted his title as an anthropologist -yet there is no sign of any academic rigor in his action to ask non-culprits to ask for forgiveness from the god, for an error said by him to be committed by other parties! Look like there is no one happy about the miring except James masing himself who got some dubious media limelight.
What a cunning politicians who make a living by not doing his job!