Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu asked to step down “for his incompetence” in dealing with sexual violence committed against indigenous girls and women

Following the release of a Malaysian government report that confirmed systematic sexual abuse of indigenous girls and women by loggers in the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, the state’s political leadership is increasingly being criticized over its failure to handle the sensitive issue in an appropriate way.

On Saturday, Sarawak’s Deputy Chief Minister, Alfred Jabu, has been asked to resign by the oppositional Democratic Action Party (DAP) “for his incompetence” to deal with the issue. Jabu, who is in charge of Penan affairs by virtue of his position as Minister of Rural Development, has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that Penan girls were sexually abused and raped by timber workers.

In a Borneo Post interview published on 12 September 2009, Alfred Jabu insinuated that the Federal government’s report was being manipulated by “negative NGOs” although he admitted to not having seen the report published three days earlier by a National Task Force under the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

While the Malaysian Mirror commented that Jabu appeared to be “in self-denial” over the report and tagged him as “the odd man out on this serious issue”, Sarawak DAP State Assemblywoman, Violet Yong, asked Jabu to resign. “The State government must be answerable on the issue of Penans who were confirmed raped”, Yong said, according to Sarawak Update, a local news channel. “Jabu is not close to the ground and fails to see what is happening there.”

When the Bruno Manser Fund first reported the sexual abuse cases in September 2008, Jabu said it would be “a waste of time to investigate” the Penan’s allegations. Meanwhile, the Bangkok-based Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development has called on the Malaysian Government to immediately identify, arrest and bring to court rapists and sexual rights violators of Penan girls and women of Baram, Sarawak.

Bruno Manser Fund

Association for the Peoples of the Rainforest

Socinstrasse 37

4051 Basel, Switzerland

+41 61 261 94 74

http://www.bmf.ch, info@bmf.ch

See here and here and here

Comments
  1. Bucky says:

    I have spent many memorable holidays in East Malaysia (particularly Sabah) and will actually be heading back there in about 2 weeks. In my travels I have gotten to know some of the local people. They are so friendly and warm. The young children are very well mannered and are always smiling and happy, even when they haven’t got very much in life. It saddens me deeply to here of this tragedy with the Penan girls. I hope the loggers get the appropriate justice for committing these terrible crimes. It is a great move for the Malaysian govt to show some compassion in this situation and hopefully there will be more of it.

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  2. Typepriettich says:

    OMG loved reading your post. I added your feed to my google reader.

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  3. […] also reports of RAPE of indigenous girls and women by loggers and enforcers of the industry. See here and […]

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  4. […] done Guan Eng and The Penang State Government for contributing RM30,000 to help seek justice for the Penan teenage girls raped by loggers in the interiors of […]

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  5. The Let Go…Let Peace Come In Foundation is a newly formed nonprofit with a mission to help heal and support adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse worldwide. We are actively seeking adult survivors who would be willing to post a childhood photo and caption, their story, or their creative expressions to our website http://www.letgoletpeacecomein.org. By uniting survivors from across the globe we can help provide a stronger and more powerful voice to those survivors who have not yet found the courage to speak out. Together we can; together we should; together we NEED to stand up and be counted. Please visit our site for more details on how you can send us your submissions.

    Thank you for everything you do!

    Gretchen Paules
    Administrative Director
    Let Go…Let Peace Come In Foundation
    111 Presidential Blvd., Suite 212
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

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  6. Anonymous says:

    […] Sexual Abuse of Penan Girls and Women – Media Release by Bruno … […]

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