Saturday, June 25, 2011

DUN (Day Four): Penans used to smear govt’s image – Dennis

Penans used to smear govt’s image – Dennis
Posted on June 25, 2011, Saturday

THE Penan community has been used by certain parties as objects to tarnish the state’s and the government’s image, claimed Dennis Ngau (BN-Telang Usan).

Some parties, he said, had accused the government of not taking care of the Penan’s wellbeing leading to the rape of Penan girls.

“Such accusation is thrown at the government as though the Baram area does not exercise rights or has no leaders whatsoever,” Ngau said in his speech during the morning session of the State Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday.
Ngau pointed out that he spent his childhood among the Penans and that his late father was among the few people who earned the respect of the Penan community.

“That is why it pains me when the opposition challenged me with the recent ‘so called rape’ case as if we care nothing about the Penans. My advice, please stop making use of my Penan people as a tool to gain support or political mileage,” he continued.

He explained that the government had organised development programmes to help the Penans enjoy progress.

“Yet there are still some parties that continuously influence them for their own gains,” he added.

Ngau criticised the Bruno Manser Fund website for wrongly depicting the Penans.

“The website displays pictures of the Penan people looking sad. For those who have not met them, their normal expressions have always been like that,” he said.

He queried as to where the funds the organisation raised for years to help the Penan victims have gone to.

“What has the organisation done for the Penans? I don’t even see a single toilet built by them, let alone a clinic or school. Whatever facilities they have such as schools or clinics are all provided by our caring Barisan Nasional government,” he said.

In the same speech, Ngau listed the urgent needs and wants of the people in Telang Usan constituency for the government’s consideration.

Among the request was for the government to speed up the completion of the rural growth centre (RCG) in Long Lama for the people to fully use its offices and facilities.

He also asked that the health clinic in Long Lama remain operational although the hospital at the RCG would soon be opened.

“As there is no bridge crossing Sungai Baram in Long Lama, it is difficult to cross the river by ferry especially at night should there be emergencies,” he explained.

Ngau also urged the government to continue the construction of the health clinic in Long San as the existing clinic was currently operating at a rented premises, which the owner would take back soon for his personal use.

For the safety of the people in his constituency, he urged the authorities to collaborate with Rela to curb the selling of drugs among youths and to check on immigrants who live in the area as illegal workers.

He suggested that the government respond quickly to all the submitted requests so as to accelerate and balance the development in all rural constituencies.

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