Silence on the Penan rape cases

From the Nut Graph:

Indeed, since the report first emerged in mid-September 2008 about the sexual violence towards the Penans by logging company employees, eight months have gone by. A government-led task force into the Baram district completed its investigation in mid-November and yet six months later, Malaysians remain clueless about the plight of the Penan girls and women.

This issue is something that I am very concerned about. Since the reports first came to light, I have been following rather diligently on whatever can be found in the news portals. I’ve also tried to find out more from the websites of respective NGOs.

However, as the article above points out, it has been a very long time since the investigation, and still we know nothing.

Earlier this year, I sent an email to the Kementerian to ask if they have received the report of the said investigation, and if they had plans to reveal the findings. They replied saying that they will have to wait till the report is presented in Cabinet before they make any decisions about going public with the report.

That was in January. It is now the end of May. And still, nothing.

According to Jacqueline Ann Surin:

In early February 2009, when I met her at the MCA’s Chinese New Year dinner for the media, she (Dr Ng Yen Yen, the then Minister involved) would not answer questions about when the task force report would be made public and why it hadn’t yet been made public.

Also according to the same article, Dr Sharizat, the current Minister involved, was said to have planned to present the report in Cabinet on the 27th of May. That would be two days ago. However, the Nut Graph was unable to get hold of the Minister in order to find out if indeed the report was presented.


I had planned initially to compose a second email to be sent to the Ministry, also asking whether they were planning to at least give a press statement on the status of the report. However, I didn’t get around to doing that.

Part of the reason why I am still holding on to this case in particular is because I was afraid, even from the very beginning, that it would be another one of those cases that got swept under the carpet after a while. And indeed, it looks like my worries were not completely unfounded.

As Jacqueline rightly points out:

Truth is, apart from the Women’s Aid Organisation and the Women’s Centre for Change, no other public interest groups are raising their voices for the task force report to be made public.The traditional media have also lost interest. Two of the largest English dailies in the country — The Star and the New Straits Times — didn’t even bother reporting what Shahrizat said about tabling the report in cabinet and making it partially available. So is it any wonder that the government feels no need to be accountable? Hence, it looks to me that as far as Shahrizat is concerned, the public may just forget about the Penan’s plight if she keeps silent long enough about it.

This is sad, but true.


I have nothing much to add to Jacqueline’s very good write-up. And while I’m completely disappointed with the way the Ministry is going about this issue, I am thankful that there are people like Jacqueline who are genuinely concerned, and who are also trying their best to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.


Postscript: I think I will still try to make some time to compose that second email. I feel that there is a need for us to show the Ministry that we have not forgotten about this issue.


12 Comments on “Silence on the Penan rape cases”

  1. bangmalaysia says:

    I deeply appreciate that you remain committed to see justice done to the Penan girls and woman who are being terrorised daily by the loggers in Sarawak. Thank you.

  2. Crankshaft says:

    Do send off that mail. Good to know you’re still kepping tabs. This issue has been swept so far under the carpet, it’s going to spew like a volcano.

  3. dinobeano says:

    Michelle, I have not heard from you on my blog.How are keeping? Studies okay? Cheers, Din Merican

  4. dinobeano says:

    It is important that you have a good beginning with an excellent academic record. After that, it is hard work, integrity, networks, and results.

    I do visit your blog frequently Take care.Din

  5. vesewe says:

    Our current malay generation is racist now because they desperately want to hang on to privileges which I frankly believe it slowly causing the malay race to rot away and become a pathetic race on crutches dependent.

    I think that malays are the most stupid idiots on earth – they might have big sized bodies bud in their heads, but they have puny brains.

    Thus coming to the conclusion that they are the most stupid black blocks on earth – they are coloured black and stink like a garbage dump.

    Does malays ever think twice about their religious? What if yours believe is not what you think!

    You malays will rape anybody just for sexual pleasure. You didn’t read about the malay who raped his own sister?

    Not only that! They yell 5 times per day and expect to go to heaven! After committing so many sins like steal, rape, killing!

    Malays are so stupid that deserve to be robbed by their own government. They in fact deserve to be raped as well. Maybe we were better off as British rule Malaysia after all.

    Malays are jealous of Chinese, that is why they hate them. Americans are not jealous of Chinese, because they don’t need tongkat. They buy a lot of Chinese goods. If they hate, they would have boycott the products. Bodoh!

    Oh! Bodoh! Only blind man needs tongkat.

    If Americans don’t hate the malays, why is there so much bad press against Mahathir when he scolded the Americans? You malays are brainless and never read the newspaper. Everyday special rights here and there……….still like your tongkat so much!

    You go to American embassy and see which country now is blacklisted? Did they blacklist Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong?

    Even the Japanese look down upon the malays because they are just a bunch of fool, corrupt, lazy person who feed on the Chinese income tax for their existence.

    The malays want to produce as many pig babies as they want, but doesn’t teach them what is honesty, hardworking, civilisation!

  6. miya says:

    Bodoh punya melayu babi……….

    Baik balik ke tanah melayu la. We are natives of Sabah and Sarawak land – buat apa kamu punya orang datang sini menjajah kita oh?

    Kita tak suka kamu orang datang sini mengorek sumber petroleum tanah kita – this Sabah and Sarawak land not belongs to your malays.

    Get out from Sabah and Sarawak la!

    Bodoh melayu babi!

  7. coolooc says:

    F***k Muslims and all malay pig in Malaysia.

    I feel ashamed to call myself a Malaysian nowadays because you malay pig are making us losing our pride day by day by corrupting the once dignified image of this country, you know Malaysia is now a laughing stock among the non-Muslim countries in the world!

    People despise this country still protecting the lame lot and not doing anything to improve the deteriorating situation, still practising double standards among its own people, still expelling the non-malay genius to other countries, still depriving the rights and benefits of other races to its own race, still criticize and blame the Chinese for their minority poverty.

    Hey, what is wrong with you malay pig? Haven’t you fed yourself enough with the loots yet? Still want more? What a worthless thieves bunch!

    You malay pig are worse than a maggot. We need a leader not a faggot to rule this country. Get lost you freak!

    For all the bad things you stupid melayu babi say about the Chinese, when you are in trouble and big shit, what do you do?

    You come crawling back on your knees to the Chinaman to help you, because you can’t trust all your malay pig who are sodomy rapists, incest culprits, drug addicts.

    Without the Chinese, you malay pig will still live on trees, swinging from tree to tree like monkeys, or forages on the ground by your 4 legs to eat all the shit.

    You malay pig are a truly ungrateful lot – the minute all the Chinese leave Bolehland – you malay pig will collapse into the sea and die – that is your destiny!

    I think the problem of malay pig race is their culture – it is in born in their gene – nowhere in the world that you will see affirmative action is focusing on the majority because it is always the minority that need the protection.

    Worst, the minority in Malaysia has been systematically marginalized just to suppress them of their growth.

    Let the malay pig make Malaysia the most corrupted place to live in and see what happened in 2020? I guess malay pig will go back to Indonesia as Malaysia don’t belong to them, they are also immigrants from Sumatra, Sulawesi, Jawa, etc.

    Please get it into your pea-sized otak udang plastered with layers and layers of tahi babi encased in your kepala kayu that Malaysia belong to the Orang Asli who are the true bumis of the country.

    Niffy pellmell malay pig are in fact pendatang haram who swam across the Melaka Strait illegally from Sumatra. They should be caught, given severe caning and deported back to their pig sties in Sumatra.

  8. vovo says:


  9. anakpakross says:

    I tried to restraint myself from responding to certain comments made here but then again let’s entertain them for venting their misdirected anger.

    Some people are just not capable to differentiate between malays and parties like UMNO, PKR or PAS. Therefore to them they are all the same I guess. So a general statement such as ‘melayu babi’ applies to all malays regardless of their political inclinations. Also, chinese must also be MCA, DAP and Gerakan. Let’s just generalize everyone.

    And for whatever wrongs ONE individual do, that must also represent the whole race. Therefore ‘melayu balik ke tanah melayu’. I guess that must have come from one frustrated East Malaysian friend. Interestingly enough though, the malay get blamed. Not just any malay, but peninsular malay. Surely enough our friend must also know what the whole malay archipelego includes Borneo and the rest of the islands surrounding it. Never mind if the ‘tauke balak’ are mainly of chinese origins. Just blame the whole malay race. Its easy, not need to think. Ironically we call others stupid.

    Now, not enough grunt on the malays, let’s drag the muslims as well. F**k muslims! And I’m sure our learned friend also know that there are chinese, indians, sabahan, sarawakians muslims as well, not sole right of just the malays. So now, the teaching of islam is also rightly ridicule. Never mind if the culprit is only islam by birth, that’s enough justification to condemn islam. Stupidity knows no limit.

    It becomes a joke when admitting of feeling ashamed being a malaysian. At this level of confusion, and mixing race and religion, not withstanding malay people of the region, the level of anger and profanity uttered, I’m pretty sure most malaysian will be ashamed to call you a malaysian.

    To further cement your misplaced anger, and I’d guess to garner some support, why not praised the chinese a little. Maybe more than a little. Yup of course, we malaysian are all indebted to the chinese. They and only they are the rightful deserving race. Wake up laa . Your antics of trying to divide malaysian will not work. I’m sure majority of malaysian have much more intelligence than you could imagine. Sorry, what again … pea-size otak udang. Speaking about yourself i see.

    Now this blog site has so far been very blessed with well mannered visitor. I don’t believe in total filter of opinions but some are just not worth it. A few that was published above contribute to nothing other than stoking sentiments which have no bearing to the topic of discussion. I just wish the owner would be a little more sensitive. It doesn’t represent malaysian I am sure but it’s effect could only spread mistrust among malaysians.

    Better luck next time.

    • Michelle says:

      I have to say, I did in fact ponder over whether to approve of the said comments. They have left me quite shaken, and in no way do they resonate with my own feelings.

      Yes, this blog has been rather blessed with well-meaning visitors so far, and comments that have been posted have also been some food for thought. I guess I can’t always win, and sometimes comments that are uncalled for will come my way.

      In the end I decided to post those comments anyway, because I have not explicitly noted anywhere on this blog that comments will be censored. Maybe I will put up a note or short post about leaving comments in the future. Or maybe not. I will think about it.

      I thank you though, anakpakross, for keeping your own comment level-toned, and choosing the respond in the way that you did. It is, to my mind, with this ability to look at the face of provocation, and still be able to keep a sane head without blowing one’s top off, that would lead to more productive discussions over issues that have been largely blanketed with ‘sensitivity’, and perhaps we can finally start to move forward as a people and as a nation.

  10. If you want to read a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this article for four from five. Detailed info, but I have to go to that damn yahoo to find the missed pieces. Thanks, anyway!
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.

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