Penan girls’ rape probe – What exactly is happening?

I am rather disturbed by this article in The StarOnline:

And now, the Sarawak police have confirmed that they will no longer investigate the alleged rapes any further after Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar issued a statement saying the police considered the matter closed.

On Thursday, Ismail said in Kuching that the police had done all they could, but the probe had gone nowhere due to lack of evidence and lack of cooperation from the alleged victims and from the non-governmental organisation that had exposed the alleged rapes.

“We did not push the issue away nor did we try to hide anything. We were very open about the investigations and have cooperated with the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as Datuk Seri Shahrizat’s (Abdul Jalil) ministry to uncover the truth,” he said.

When asked Saturday if the Sarawak police would reopen the case if there was new evidence, Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Mohmad Salleh said: “I will not talk about this Penan issue anymore’’.


The 22-year old Penan woman from the Long Item settlement lodged two police reports, in Long Lama and in Marudi, claiming an NGO had forced her to say that she was raped by the loggers.

She claimed they had duped her into going to Kuala Lumpur, confined her for three months and then forced to lodge a police report at Bukit Aman crying rape.

She further claimed the NGO and reporters had told her they could help her get medical treatment for her sick child in Kuala Lumpur if she followed them.

On Saturday, The Star called Marudi police chief Deputy Supt Jonathan Jalin for an update on her report but he declined to comment, saying he was outstation.

It is learnt however that the probe on the woman’s report has also reached a dead-end as police have failed to trace the people from the NGO concerned.

*My thanks to Choo for posting the link on Facebook.

What is going on?

It has been more than a year since this issue first surfaced. More than one year. And now, this is what happens?

Something fishy is going on. That this issue has carried on for so long without seeing any light at the end of the tunnel is already a very disturbing fact. Why does it take the authorities such a long time to clear the issue up? More than one year since the issue was made known, and even more years since the alleged incidents started happening. This is the kind of issue that does not permit any dilly-dallying. But evidently that’s what has been happening.

The Penan girls have been put under so much public attention and pressure over something that is so private and personal. Can anyone start to imagine what kind of stress they would have been put under? Does anyone actually care?

I don’t know about the ‘about-turn’ that one of the women made. I don’t know what it is, whether what she’s saying now is real, or what she was saying then is real.

But from reading the article, one can clearly see that this case is going nowhere. And the police have also announced in no uncertain terms that they are closing this case, and they “don’t want to talk about it anymore”.

Isn’t that a little too convenient? Are all cases supposed to be easily solved?

They may not want to “talk about it anymore”, but I surely do. I want to see this case closed, but closed with a definite conclusion. Not with “lack of evidence and cooperation”.


2 Comments on “Penan girls’ rape probe – What exactly is happening?”

  1. Crankshaft says:

    Penan girls are not economically profitable. That’s the bottom line.

  2. langkau says:

    The police have not “done all they could” in this case and this is not the only problem. The Penan is victimized twice over as they are often perceived as good at fabricating stories. On top of that, the state politicians are politicizing the issue by waging war with some form of apparitions known as ‘NGOs’. As this war continues between them, the real issues with the Penan, are being marginalized to the point of oblivion.

    This is the sad reality. Something must be done.

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