Now, here are some bumiputera who have been completely marginalised.
The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) made a visit to the interior of Sarawak, and discovered that the Penan people’s living conditions have not improved over the past five years.
For a start, it found that most of the Penan still don’t have identity cards and have never received assistance under the poverty-relief programmes.
The delegation of four commissioners visited groups at Sungai Asap who had been relocated due to the Bakun dam construction, and Ulu Belaga, where several Penan groups are domiciled.
They found that many people in the Sungai Asap area have not even received compensation for their dispossessed land, while others have yet to receive formal letters indicating that the plots of land belong to them.
Suhakam examine several issues afflicting the natives, including those pertaining to their lack of access to surrounding forests that have been placed the control of logging companies. Locals have complained about lack of compensation for loss of livelihood, after sources of food such as fruit trees were allegedly destroyed by logging companies.
In Long Singu and Long Jaik, the Penan claimed that their sources of livelihood have been affected by logging and the emergence of oil palm and reforestation estates.
Commissioner Chiam, who was on the Suhakam trip in 2001 to the two areas, said almost nothing has changed and that many communities still live in deplorable state.
“The Penan have been deprived of their right to an existence. It’s still at a point where the river in which they bathe is where they also defecate.”
Delegation leader Denison Jayasooria said: “Some areas have totally changed. Everything has been wiped clean. If I had not gone to the site, I would not have experienced the shock of seeing jungle turned into desert land.”
Well, talking about marginalisation ….. surely these natives take the cake.