The Tebedu voters just returned the BN candidate to power-and then they protested against the logging activities approved by their BN candidate? This pattern is happening all around Sarawak. Are the voters unaware that they did have the power to vote out the candidate who approve the activities which run counter to their best interests? Look like some voter education is sadly missing here!
N18 Tebedu’s election results: Michael Manyin Jawong (BN): 6196 (winner); Christopher Kiyui (PKR): 2130. Anthony Nais(Snap): 468. Kipli Ale(Ind): 260.
Villagers protest against logging
Posted on May 9, 2011, Monday(Borneo Post)
Heavy machinery, lorries and quarters for workers burned in show of protest
TEBEDU: Seven heavy machinery, four lorries and five logging workers quarters were allegedly torched by residents of 10 villages here to protest against logging activities.
The villagers claimed the loggers had encroached into their land and the logging activities damaged their crops.
Several days earlier the protesters damaged a wooden bridge to stop logging trucks from coming into the land.
About 500 people were seen around the area at about 10am. The police were there to enforce law and order, but could not stop civilians from taking action as they were outnumbered.
It took the villagers about an hour to reach the timber camp as they had to walk up a hill.
Upon noticing the villagers, the camp workers who were mostly foreigners ran helter-skelter from the area.
A spokesman for the villages, who did not want to be identified, said the villagers had to act as the relevant authorities had failed to stop the logging activities.
“They have tested our patience and we just cannot take it anymore. We have lodged several reports and complaints to the authorities but the logging activities still continued. We are fed-up,” he said.
“Our rights have been encroached, our crops destroyed. We are 100 per cent not supporting the logging activities,” he said when met at the scene.
He said they had given the workers sufficient warning to stop their activities but they did not.
“That is why we take action today and torch their machinery and camp,” he said.
“However our effort to catch the workers, believed to be Indonesians or Filipinos failed because they fled,” he said.
The spokesman related that an Indonesian woman, said to be wife of one of the workers, was smart enough to run away with her baby a few days ago.
Serian police chief ASP Awangku Ahmaddin Awang Wang when met said he and his men could not stop the villagers as the situation was difficult and tense. The villagers were emotional.
“When we arrived the machinery and the workers’ quarters were already set on fire. As the situation was so tense, we decided to monitor the situation only,” he said.
He urged the villagers to settle their dispute with the company in the court room.
Masa mengundi Manyin janji tolong, sekarang lepas menang – Manyin bawa tauke balak tanah orang kampung
KUCHING: About 500 villagers from 10 Bidayuh villages burnt seven heavy machineries, four lorries and five logging camps after their elected representative and state minister Michael Manyin and the police failed to look into their complaints.
The value of the destroyed properties is believed to be worth several millions of ringgit.
One of the village leaders, who did not want to be identified, said that they had to take the law into their own hands as Manyin and the authorities had failed to safeguard their interests.
They had failed to stop the logging activities and the villagers could not tolerate it any more.
“We have made several reports to the authorities and yet the logging activities still continue,” he said, pointing out that their crops, fruit trees and their land have been destroyed.
He also said that they had warned the workers to stop the logging activities, but they simply ignored their warning.
“We gave them ample time, and when they failed to adhere to our warning, we have to take action.
“We have to burn down their camps and machinery. We really mean busisness,” he said.
Serian police, who arrived at the scene yesterday, could not do anything as they were outnumbered in the face of emotional and angry villagers.
Serian police chief ASP Awangku Ahmaddin Awang Wang who was also present at the scene was not willing to comment.
It is not certain if anyone has been arrested.
‘Manyin is lying’
Last month the villagers met Manyin and also lodged a number of police reports against a certain timber company which allegedly encroached into their native customary rights land.
Instead of peacefully settling the issue, Manyin who is Tebedu assemblyman, had arrogantly dismissed it.
He reportedly said that the problem arose because the villagers had initially rejected their land being used for road construction.
According to Manyin, when the company offered them lucrative compensation, the villagers agreed and the only ‘trouble makers’ were the ones whose land was not affected.
He said: “They were not part of the group that received RM40 per square metre as compensation for affected land to be used to build the timber road. This group demonstrated by blocking the access road.
“They also destroyed a timber bridge,” he said.
But Manyin’s statement was hotly disputed by Bisa Duda, a spokesman of the villagers who demanded that Manyin apologise to them.
Duda said the villagers were not offered a ‘lucrative’ compensation and the allegation was considered by the villagers as “insulting and embarrassing”.
He added the villagers were not interested in the compensation as they do not want the company to encroach into their NCR land.
“We are not after the money. We do not want the company to use our land and the jungle in our area as these are our ancestral properties,” Duda said.
He accused Manyin of telling lies as the villagers never agreed to allow their land to be used for the construction of the timber road.