Archive for September, 2008

“Timber Camp Workers Sexually Abused Penan Women”

Written by Jaxon S on Friday, September 26th, 2008 in Borneo Logging, Borneo Native.

The following is a press release from Survival, a movement for the tribal peoples, on the alleged sexual abuse of Penan women and girls in Sarawak.

I’m not sure if this is true but if it is, the authority should not close their eyes on this. The issue first reported by the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund.

Penan women accuse loggers of sexual abuse
25 September 2008

Women from the Penan tribe have accused workers from two Malaysian logging companies of harassing and raping Penan women, including schoolgirls.

‘I want to make it known that we are being sexually abused by the timber company workers on a regular basis’, one woman said.

The Penan live in Sarawak, in the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo. They have spent more than twenty years trying to stop logging companies destroying their forests. The accused loggers work for Samling and Interhill, two of the major companies operating on Penan land.

According to research undertaken by the organisation Bruno Manser Fund, the perpetrators frequent several Penan settlements in the Middle Baram area, looking for women. The company workers are based in logging camps in the region and are usually drunk when they arrive at the villages.

‘When we hear their off-road vehicles coming, we just leave everything as it is and flee into the forest,’ the Penan source said. ‘They come on an almost weekly basis, but the situation is worst during the school holidays when they know the students are in the villages.’

In other cases, school runs operated by logging company vehicles had been arranged so that schoolgirls had to stay overnight at a logging camp, where they were abused.

The Penan communities are reporting several cases of pregnancy as a consequence of abuse by company workers. They also accuse the loggers of using armed ‘gangsters’ to intimidate them and of handing out alcohol to young Penan. Complaints by the Penan to those in charge of the logging camps and to the police have so far had no effect.

The Bruno Manser Fund has asked the Malaysian government to start a formal enquiry into the allegations. In particular, the government is being asked to ensure that the victims are protected and that the harassment of Penan women by company workers is brought to an end immediately.

In a separate development, the Sarawak government recently announced that it would no longer recognise elected Penan leaders in some communities. The move is seen as an attempt to break resistance to logging. [Source]

So, How Did They Confuse Borneo And Malaysia?

Written by Jaxon S on Thursday, September 25th, 2008 in Borneo Miscellaneous Stories, Borneo Odds And Ends.

So, is Borneo part of Malaysia or Malaysia part of Borneo?

In some of the reports I read lately in relation to the launching of the globally anticipated Blackberry Bold (picture, left), it seems that Malaysia is part of Borneo.

Heh heh! Gee… How I wish this was the case.

One of the reports, for instance, stated that:

“Canadians can get the BlackBerry Bold through Rogers Wireless, but AT&T subscribers in the United States are still anxiously awaiting the arrival of the hotly anticipated smartphone. To further add insult to injury, it seems that the good people of Borneo are getting the BlackBerry Bold before Americans.”

“I think most people would agree that Borneo isn’t the biggest of worldwide markets, but Research in Motion knows that there is money to be made there.

“As such, it has been announced that the Bold will launch through Maxis of Borneo (Malaysia) on September 26th.

“Furthermore, 30 lucky individuals in Borneo already received their Bold smartphones last Friday! They had preorders. The sans contract price is RM2,199 ($643).” [Source]

Actually the 30 units of Blackberry Bold were collected from Maxis Centre in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) at a special event on Friday.

Hey, it’s okay. I don’t mind the geographical mix-up. It goes to show how popular Borneo is!

By the way, the Blackberry Bold is beautiful don’t you think so?

A motion-triggered camera mounted deep in the Heart of Borneo forests of Sabah, the Malaysian state on Borneo island, has captured the image of a wild Borneo rhino, the only second such image captured in as many years.

WWF-Malaysia says  the rhino is different to the one previously photographed based on the body structure and size.

This one is believed to be a female.

There are only about 25 to 50 Borneo rhinos are thought to exist in Borneo, WWF says. It is a subspecies of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino.

The photo here is taken by Andrew Hearn and Joanna Ross of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit in the UK.

I’ve been following several blogs written by tourists and visitors, relating their experience in Borneo, particularly in Sabah, the state where I come from.

One such blogs is “100 Days of SoliDude” run by this Erik Page guy. I think he is an American engineer based in Thailand.

Two-week adventure in Borneo

He recently had a two-week adventure in Borneo, spending most of the time in Sabah.

While in the Malaysian state on Borneo island, and he explored many places, several of which I myself — a Borneo guy — have never been to. He had climbed Mt Kinabalu, dived in Sipadan, gone off the beaten tourist track in Sandakan, met the proboscis monkey, and gone stone age in Long Pasia jungle.

I like his style of writing, although he misspelled Kota Kinabalu as Kota Kinabula.

An experienced driver — with six years of diving experience no less — he initially appeared to be skeptical about Sipadan being one of the world’s premier diving destinations.

Let’s see what my six years of diving has to say about that, he wrote; I can’t recall the exact quote though.

Spellbinding Sipadan

Then he went to Sipadan and came back to report that he might stop diving forever after this. Quote:

“I ended up doing 14 dives overall there! Saw sharks, turtles, barracuda, sea snakes, morey eels, cuddlefish, and a billion other things. It really was an amazing place.

“I think I need to stop diving forever now because I’m pretty sure everything else will be a let down.” [Source]

Way to go Erik, hope you’ve had the adventure you were looking for in Borneo; and hope you don’t mind me quoting your blog here.

As for the diving, well, you can always come back to Sipadan.

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