Lepo' Tau Dayak
Sarawak (Borneo)

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PEACE RALLIES AROUND SARAWAK over the development of the Dams.

Posted by Kenyah Lepo Tau, Sarawak (Borneo) on December 11, 2013 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (13)

Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak and Sabah commemorate Human Rights Day with demand to State Government to respect their rights

December 10, 2013 at 3:07pm

Press Statement

MIRI – Today is Human Rights Day and it is on this date that in 1950 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming its principles as the “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”.

In the last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland last October on which Malaysia was under review, the Malaysian Government in its opening speech declared its commitment to the protection and promotion of Human Rights in the country.

Today, the Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak and Sabah will also commemorate Human Rights Day with public rallies not only across the major towns and cities in Sarawak and Sabah but also in the villages and longhouses in the interior areas of the two States.

Gerakan Rakyat Sarawak - Sabah (GRASS) or the Peoples Movement of Sarawak - Sabah had been requested by the communities to facilitate the organising and coordination of the rallies.

With the participation of the Indigenous Peoples of Sabah, the movement name has changed from Gerakan Rakyat Seluruh Sarawak (Peoples Movement of Sarawak) to its present name.

The aim of these rallies is to demonstrate and to send a clear warning to the authorities in the two States that the Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak and Sabah are not happy and will no longer just stand by or tolerate but will fight with all our might the blatant violations of their native customary rights (NCR) to their customary lands, territories and resources by the State Governments and their cronies, the big companies.

Throughout the years, the customary lands of the Indigenous Peoples have been unjustly grabbed and their resources thereon destroyed deceptively in the name of development and poverty eradication through destructive projects and activities such as loggings, oil palm and tree plantations, mega-dams, quarrying and the establishment of large polluting industries like aluminium smelter plant and coal fire power plants. The NCR of the Indigenous Peoples over their customary lands have also been arbitrarily extinguished and gazetted as National Parks and Nature Reserves. The NCR Perimeter Surveys undertaken by the Sarawak Government had also further subverted and deprived the Indigenous Peoples of more of their customary land as the said survey had been deliberately confined or restricted only to pockets of areas cleared before 1st January, 1958.

The Indigenous Peoples of Sabah and Sarawak have sought redress through the judicial process and had successfully obtained landmark decisions through the Courts in which the Courts have found and held that NCR land is not only restricted to the Iban terms of Temuda (cleared cultivated land) but also extends to the pulau galau (reserved forest areas) and pemakai menoa (communal territory) which is consistent with the natives’ customs or adat. Currently there are more than 300 NCR cases pending in the Courts.

However, the Sarawak State Government continues to ignore these landmark Courts decisions by continuing to arbitrarily grant logging licences, licences for planted forests and provisional leases for oil palm plantations over the NCR lands within the antara menoa or pemakai menoa of the Indigenous Peoples. The recent statement by the Sarawak Special Functions Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem in the just concluded Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Sitting that NCR is only confined to Temuda shows the Sarawak State Government’s continued contempt and blatant disrespect of the decisions of the Courts on the NCR of the Indigenous Peoples.

The Sarawak State Government is also deliberately and systematically trying to kill or hide the fact that the term pulau and menoa does not exist in the Adat Iban. This can be clearly seen in its action in deliberately omitting to include the said adat or custom in the Adat Iban 1993.

It is most tragic that the existing injustices already inflicted on the Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak will only worsen because the Sarawak State Government through the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) project has planned to develop 70,900 hectares of land from the coast of Tanjung Manis to Similajau and towards the interior which includes Mukah, Sarikei, Sibu, Bintulu, Miri, Limbang and Kapit Divisions for the purpose of loggings, plantation estates, aqua-culture, heavy industries and eleven (11) additional mega dams in addition to the existing Batang Ai, Bakun and Murum Dams will be built. The inevitable consequences will be that many more Indigenous Peoples in these areas will be deprived of their customary lands and resources and will suffer environmental devastations.

On this historic day, the Indigenous Peoples of Sarawak and Sabah therefore demand from their respective State Governments to:-

  1. Immediately demarcate and gazette the established garis menoa or communal land boundary of each longhouse or village according to the description of local community and with their full participation. The record of the boundaries should be given to the communities concerned and a copy kept at the relevant government departments for mutual reference;
  2. Not change the status of Native Customary Rights land by gazetting it into Native Communal Reserve under Section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code. We reject the gazetting of our NCR lands into Native Communal Reserves;
  3. Stop issuing gazette notifications that extinguishes NCR. All lands that have been acquired by the government or gazetted for whatever purpose without the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of the communities affected should be returned to the communities;
  4. Hold fair and transparent consultation process with the communities concerned using the concept of FPIC before any development projects are to be implemented on our land and territories. We also demand that any plans or reports be made available and explained to us. Our views and decision on a project shall be respected;
  5. Request that the Courts appoint judges (in the High Courts, Court of Appeal and Federal Court) familiar with the adat or custom, tradition and practices of the Indigenous Peoples to preside over cases of NCR claims and to give priority to cases which involves NCR land disputes and to speed up the process of hearing and delivering of judgments. The Government should provide legal aid for cases which involves the natives;
  6. Stop or freeze and revoke the issuances of logging licences, LPFs and PLs to private sector companies over our lands, territories and resources, and for the companies to immediately halt all operations on our NCR lands until a resolution and agreement can be found by all parties;
  7. Stop and scrap all planned or existing projects and mega-development programmes especially the planned mega-hydropower dams including dirty industries i.e. aluminium smelter, throughout the State which will damage and destroy our environment and bring environmental catastrophe to the natives in the interior;
  8. Urge the security agencies and the police to act in a professional and just manner. Any complaints or reports lodged with regards to violation of Human Rights, tresspassing into and damage to the natives lands, territories and resources should be investigated and action taken on the prepatrators. The authorities should respect the action made by the natives in defending their Human Rights, property, culture, resources and their environment from continually being encroached, grabbed and destroyed by the private companies, development agencies and/or other parties;


The Indigenous Peoples urge the authorities to respect their Human Rights and the police must stop the arbritary arrest of their community.

- End-

Please contact the regional contact persons for more information.

Kuching – Rapelson Hamit (0128808161), Peter John Jaban (0143914860)

Sibu – Nicholas Mujah (0168946976) and Sumen bin Gasan (0148875466)

Bintulu – Abun Sui (0198851405)

Miri – Mark Bujang (0148776685), Peter Kallang (0138331104) and Harrison Ngau (0135640236)

Kota Kinabalu – Galus Ahtoi (0198419781)

- END -

Press Statement issued by:

Mark Bujang

Press Liason for GRASS


A few snap shots from the rallies around the Baram rivers in Sarawak.

In front of the home of Penghulu (Chief) Ajang, Long Liam village, Baram, Sarawa (10 Dec.2013)

At the Penghulu (Head) of the village of Long San, Baram, Sarawak. (10 Dec.2013)

Long Silat, Baram, Sarawak (10 Dec.2013).

Long Mekaba, Baram, Sarawak. The people tried to have a peaceful meeting with the Head of the village. Unfortunately, he was not around. (10 Dec.2013).




The cry from the Kenyah tribe in Long Geng

Posted by Kenyah Lepo Tau, Sarawak (Borneo) on December 10, 2013 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

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Nov 1996

In the very heartland of tribal Borneo, luscious green valleys and cloudy glades are about to be flooded. The Bakun Dam project is one of Malaysia's biggest secrets and its creation will destroy the lands belonging to the Kenyah tribe. In the village of Long Geng, a family scoff at the government relocation plan to give them 7 acres next to a company plantation. One young man says angrily, "For us life means living with our community. What they call progress is really murder - the killing of the community." Proud of their self-sufficiency, villagers of all ages work together. As one little girl pulls fishing nets through a stream, an older women treads the water to stir up the mud. "This way the fish won't see us", she explains, laughing. Later a lady laments, "We are sick in the heart that they want to block up the Bakun". Determined not to abandon the graves of their ancestors, many villagers say that the army will have to come and drag them away. Others are more defiant, "Let them shoot us and then we will be at peace." At great personal risk, our reporter gives voice to a community facing extinction.


A Film by Lighthouse Pacific (Mark Davis)

Distributed by Journeyman Pictures

REJECT BARAM DAM, BORNEO (Both sides of the coin)

Posted by Kenyah Lepo Tau, Sarawak (Borneo) on December 3, 2013 at 3:20 AM Comments comments (0)


This is how the struggle begin. The Chief Minister of Sarawak, Malaysia. 

Who is he?

Links regarding the development of these mega dams, in the island of Borneo (Sarawak, Malaysia):

  2. From the media, The Star Online:
  3. From the local media, The Sun Daily: 


Of the 12 dams planned in Sarawak, the 1,200 MW Baram Dam is next in line to begin construction. The dam has triggered frequent protests and opposition from indigenous people living near the dam.

If the dam is built, up to 20,000 indigenous people living in 26 villages would be displaced. The Sarawak government has already extinguished the land rights of some indigenous communities living near the Baram Dam site and has started to build access roads, although the project has not yet been formerly approved. About 90% of the 388 square kilometer area to be flooded by the Baram Dam will be the lands of indigenous peoples.

The Sarawak government-owned company, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), is leading development of the project. No builder has been announced for the Baram Dam, although it is widely expected to be China Three Gorges Corporation or Sinohydro, the two Chinese state-owned dam builders that are currently involved in the construction of the Murum Dam. Reportedly, the two companies will move their construction equipment to Baram after completing the Murum Dam in 2013. Construction is expected to begin in 2014.

SEB is currently conducting an environmental and social impact assessment for the project and has begun consultations with local communities. There is no indication that the Sarawak government intends to seek the communities’ free, prior and informed consent before beginning construction, as required under international law. In August 2013, the Sarawak government took the first steps to extinguish the land rights of indigenous peoples living near the dam site without their consent. A network of indigenous activists, called SAVE Rivers, has led efforts to raise awareness of the Baram Dam's risks among local communities.

By: Internations Rivers Organization.

Reports by International Organizations:

  1. The Sarawak Report:


Reports from local NGO and independent media:





Posted by Kenyah Lepo Tau, Sarawak (Borneo) on May 31, 2012 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

This wild fern grows in a very humid tropical weather.  This is one of the many ferns that grows in Borneo and according to my Kenyah native, this fern is safe for consumption. The taste is very bitter. 

Here are some opinions that I have gathered:

I. In Kenyah, it's known as Paku Julut, Paku Sanit, Pahen chulut.

2. Some claimed that this fern can heal some skin infections. 

3. Best cook with pig skin, chili and shrimp paste. Back then, it was normally boiled with a bit of salt to dilute the bitter taste.

Kenyah Version:

Usun Rodrigues:

A'ek tisen paku inu ni? ilu uman paku ni? uban cik ta'en ca lintak paku ni oro.. biun tisen paku inu ngan biun tisen selu ilu uman ke biun haha..

Ah Chit Cgau:

Paku julut ngadan na usun... pa'it na.... tp sukat ilu oman. dulu pesak dlm buluh na... nak bekai ngan ne...pesak ngan lutan yak slow lan...dulu kak kpg pakai bara api tuak pesak na... setakat nak ia pana kak dlm...tesak dlm 1 jam...

Elisa Margarethz Kelink Anthony:

Paku sanit ngadan paku na Usun Rodrigues...sukat te uman na...:)

Adai Ulut:

Bek na paku yak dulu nak kak tukuk dai kah ??

Ah Chit Cgau:

hahahaha...baru ake nawai...paku yak dulu nak kak tukok dai...mujarab......

Usun Rodrigues:

Bala teka inan paku tukok de, ayen tiga tabat tukok paku dai paku tela'o kedau le kidi ... buk metun ngan nak kak sada tukok, bang kenai lana tukok pesau ne.. kedau kelunan lata, paku na tiga ban ne midep lanak tukok.

Yusak S Laing:

ini namanya pakhu jenis "pahenculut" ....enak bin sedap dicampur keluwing ngEn sEyai babui....hehehehe

Tiga tawai ke me senganak le, Usun Rodrigues ben un manyi ke bada me tepat mong katok layan paku ini.