Bruno Manser Fonds
July 10th, 2000
Nomadic Penans appeal for urgent action
Representatives of two groups of nomadic Penans in the Ulu Limbang, Limbang District and Ulu Mogoh, Tutoh, Baram District are jointly appealing to His Excellency the Chief Minister of Sarawak and other relevant authorities to take immediate action to stop logging activities in Sungai Ureu and Ulu Madiit of Ulu Limbang and Ulu Magoh of Tutoh, Baram.
In a petition which was jointly signed by the representatives from the two groups, they outlined a number of reasons to justify their requests, some of which are:
According to Along Segak, one of the Chiefs of the nomadic Penans in
Ulu Limbang, ...
«we want to be treated like any other human beings and or citizens of this great country. We deserve to live in dignity and not to be simply treaded on.We need empathy not mere sympathy ..We heard that the government allocate areas even for animals. But why not allocate and protect areas for human beings like us . We also want to survive. We are all God's creation. I don't think God create the forest only for logging companies and deprive other people of the resources. Our people were born in the forest, brought up and survived in the forest, died and buried in the forest. It's our home. It's our provider...
To show how genuine and desperate they are to seek immediate attention from the government, Along said,
«we have to travel for four days to get to Marudi to obtain SAM's help to convey our message to the government and also to the public for support.»
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) fully supports the nomadic Penans desperate and persistent appeal to the government to set aside sufficient forest areas for them to eke out a living and protect the same from being logged.
SAM is of the view that their requests are genuine and legitimate and should be given due consideration. The plight of the Penans resulting from logging activities have long been highlighted and acknowledged by government officials and other caring citizens in this country and outside. It is high time the government take concrete actions to resolve the problems.
Besides that, it is crucial for the areas inhabited by the above Penan groups to be exempted from logging because these areas form part of the catchment areas for the Limbang river system and are ecologically-sensitive. Extensive disturbance by logging in the above areas could result in series of environmental woes to residents in the Limbang basin.
For Sahabat Alam Malaysia