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Final Statement SALT 2010

Final Statement SALT 2010

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Published by Amanda Leonie
Final Statement SALT 2010
Final Statement SALT 2010

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Published by: Amanda Leonie on Sep 14, 2013
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of June 2010
We, the 23 tertiary Christian students from the various institutions of Malaysia, and SouthKorea gathered at Uma Balui Liko, Belaga, Sarawak from 7th to 18th June 2010 to participate
in the “School of Acting Justly, Loving Tenderly, and Treading humbly with God (SALT)2010” jointly organised by Malaysian Catholic Students‟ Council (MCSC) and International
Movement of Catholic Students Asia Pacific (IMCS AP). This programme is held for thethird time in Malaysia. SALT is a school with space and time for affective bonding amongstthe participants, fostering a sense of teamwork, partnership and communion among the participants. There were a process of mutual enrichment through information sharing, trainingin Native Customary Rights (NCR) and informal interactive learning by experiencing thereality of the Kayan and Kenyah community situated nearby the area affected by theconstruction of Bakun Dam.
Study the United Nations‟ Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples
(UNDRIP) regarding the standards of justice and violations of human rights.Develop critical understandings and strategies to uphold the fundamental humanrights through effective networking and advocacy at international, regional and atthe grassroots levels.
Create a platform for university students to analyze the Human Rights conditionsof the Indigenous Peoples in terms of Socio-political, economical, cultural,spiritual and religious perspectives.
Develop critical understanding on the realities faced by the Indigenous Peoplesand to empower students to journey with the Indigenous Peoples.
Evaluate the present efforts, plan further actions and campaigns characterised bysocial reforms for the indigenous peoples against institutionalised discrimination atall levels.
Depict what sustainable development needs by being socially just, economically productive and culturally vibrant.
Create awareness towards indigenous children on importance of their educationand development.
Create awareness among the participant of SALT regarding issues brought byTAHABAS (Tanah Hak Anak Bangsa Sarawak) and discussing the right way to protect Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.
Share with both rural communities (students and youngsters) regarding theinformation on securing financial assistance for the admission into the localtertiary institutions.
Enable our university students to understand the controversial issues of NCR lands of Sarawak Indigenous Peoples (IP) in relation to the construction of BakunHydroelectric Dam, logging activities, and cash crops plantation (i.e oil palm).(b)
Understand the factors that led to the resettlement of the Kayan and Kenyahcommunities of Long Lawen, Uma Apan, and Long Bangan in the name of development by the government to give way to the construction of the Bakun Dam,and the effects faced by them due to the relocation.(c)
Urge the government to be fair to every Malaysian citizen without considering their  political views.(d)
Respond in faith to the struggle of the IPs so that we are aware of our roles as university students through critical analysis and theological reflections.(e)
Learn about the cultural traits of the community such as the traditional dance, weavingtraditional handicrafts and playing cultural instruments, e.g sape (musical instrument),ngajat (traditional tribal dance), and naming ceremony according to the tradition of Kayan and Kenyah.
The three villages that we have visited do faces the problem of human rights violationespecially NCR land, marginalization in terms of their rights to have proper basic facilities,and ecological disruption.Most of the problems are caused by the logging companies such as Shin Yang, Samling and
KTS Timber and also the state government‟s decision that declared the NCR lands belong to
them. Besides, although each of the villages are still maintaining their own culture, most of the adolescents need to have an awareness of the importance to learn and to uphold their custom in order to ensure it will be inherited by the next generation. The information of thevillages and the problem occurs are mentioned below:
Long Lawen
Long Lawen was a community which refused to re-locate to a government settlement villagewhen the building of the massive Bakun Dam flooded their lands. Most of the communitieswere moved to the Asap Koyan river resettlement area. Half of the displaced Long GangCommunity chose to move back to their ancestral lands in Long Lawen of Tekulang river,deep in the rainforests of Sarawak, where they re-established their village and are working to protect their lands from deforestation and oil palm plantation creation.
There are a few reasons why the Kenyah Badeng from Long Lawen of Tekulang river refusedto move to Asap Koyan area. First, the Kenyah from Long Lawen were vocal about their rights and as an indigenous people it is their rights to defend their ancestral land which is inTekulang river. Secondly, they felt that they cannot afford to live in Sg. Asap, Koyan area, because the size of the land given by the government is too small whereby the land given toeach family is only 3 acres. This is because majority of the villagers were farmers whocultivate paddy fields which need to alternate the place of cultivation every year. And lastly,the villagers feel that they cannot afford to pay the price of the house which is very expensiveand cost them RM 52,000. Therefore, the Kenyah Badeng in Long Lawen decided to remainat Long Lawen of Tekulang river.FacilitiesThe community owned a micro hydroelectric system, and Flying Doctor Service (FDS) provided by the government once a month. The micro hydroelectric system used to generatelights and power was funded by NGO called Green Empowerment, and the villagers pay acertain sum for the maintenance. This alternative energy system gives the community of LongLawen the opportunity to be more self-sufficient.ProblemsThe school and the clinic were built by the villagers themselves with their own budget withthe intention that the government will provide them with funds, teachers, and medicalofficers. However, the excuse made by government is that they cannot provide teachers or educational materials because the numbers of students are few. As for the clinic, thegovernment refused to provide service because they had provided FDS. Furthermore, it took 5hours in good weather to reach for nearest clinic which located at Sg. Asap, and it cost RM 50 per trip. Thus, the average birth rate per year decreases from 10 babies at Long Gang to 4 babies at Long Lawen due to the financial constraint and limited way of transport includingthe bad condition of the logging road which is very dangerous.At Long Gang they have clinic and school, so it is very easy for the women because they cansent their children and can go to farm or do their everyday life at farm or house. But whenthey move to Long Lawen, the women and children have to rent a house at Sungai Asap sothat the women can monitor and send their children to school and go to clinic for medicalcheck up. It is easier to find kitchen raw material for food such as fishes, wild boars and etc.this is because Long Gang have more than 3 rivers and the NCR land is larger than the onethey have in Long Lawen. Thus it is easier to find food in the forest and river.
Uma Apan
Uma Apan is located around 30 minutes drive from Bakun Dam. Due to the threat of floodand force relocation by the government, the residents of Uma Apan have abandoned their longhouse which is located nearby the riverbank of Mejawah river. In present time, most of thevillagers are staying around the Bakun area, along the roadside where their farm is located.The main ethnic of the people of Uma Apan is Kayan. Most of the villagers rely on thelogging company and the construction of the Bakun Dam to support their living. Some of them do involve in farming such as oil palm plantation, general workers in the Bakun Damand doing a small business, example grocery shop and mini filling station as their sources of income.

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