Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sarawak Police Clarify

I had lunch (lala fried rice and a Coke) at the Village Kopitiam and happened to catch the replay of the Spain-Germany match on Astro. I saw the first-half only, and I could see why Germany lost – their penetrating runs on the flanks were absent, they allowed Spain space to move forward, and they were more defensive than offensive. Sigh.

Further to my posting just now, I checked another news source on this same matter, and came across this story in Borneo Post today (Webpage

The Sarawak Police Commissioner had stated that “…we are not hiding anything. The police have taken all necessary efforts in the investigation but the real problem lies with the victim(s) themselves. They are not giving proper cooperation to the police”.

The said NGO report – ‘A wider context of sexual exploitation of Penan women and girls in Middle and Ulu Baram’ – had claimed that seven more Penan teenagers and young women came forward to relate their stories of rape.

It also stated that the mission found the women were willing to share their stories but did not want to go to the authorities due to the police’s alleged lackadaisical response in the past, coupled with lack of identity cards, language barrier and prohibitive cost of travel.

The cases (in the report) revealed patterns of violence and harassment, abduction, rape, physical assault, emotional abuse, coercion into marriage and desertion upon pregnancy. The documentation also refutes those who, in the past, rejected the veracity of the Penan women’s claims.

Mohmad Salleh had complained that the police have been made to look like scapegoats. “…don’t question the integrity of the Sarawak police,” he had emphasized.

Regarding the report, he added: “So, where are the so-called victims? Tell me, where are their reports and when was it lodged? Please, if you’re a victim of a crime, come to the police, not the Parliament.” In this respect, he is correct, is he not? So NGOs must do more to help these Penan women make police reports! Or if they have already made reports previously – then confront Mohmad Salleh!

Mohmad had stressed the police were really being pro-active on this serious matter of the rape cases issue and urged the public to be patient. He said extra personnel and even helicopters were sent in to find the alleged rapists, adding the public have to be patient as it was not easy going deep into the jungle to investigate. Wow, he is sparing no effort to get to the bottom of this! That’s the way to go! Please let’s be fair too – give the police a chance to prove themselves!

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