Penan Headman Demands Borneo Post’s Full Apology and Retraction of Article

Penan Headman Juwin Lehan of Long Win village in Tutoh, Baram demanded that the Borneo Post, a local newspaper, give a full apology and retraction of the article titled “Penan sever ties with rights, environmental groups.” The article falsely implied that Juwin claimed to be misled by local and foreign human rights groups. Juwin reiterated that “the Penans are still lagging behind other communities, however we are not against development and we are willing to work with anyone who is willing to assist our community be it the government or the NGOs.” To read the falsely written article, please visit: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/05/08/penans-sever-ties-with-rights-environmental-groups/.

For information on indigenous land protection in Borneo, please visit: https://borneoproject.org/our-work/ongoing-campaigns/indigenous-land-protection.

*************
BORNEO RESOURCES INSTITUTE MALAYSIA
Lot 1046, 2nd Flr. Shang Garden Com. Centre
Jalan Bulan Sabit
98000 Miri, Sarawak
MALAYSIA

9 May 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Penan headman demands Borneo Post’s full apology and retraction of article
MIRI – Headman Juwin Lehan of Long Win village in Tutoh, Baram demands that a local newspaper, the Borneo Post to tender a full apology and retraction of the article with the headline “Penan sever ties with rights, environmental groups” which was featured in page two of the paper yesterday.

During a phone interview with one of BRIMAS’ contacts yesterday, Juwin said that what was written in the paper were false and never knew there were journalist present recording his meeting with the Miri Resident, Anthonio Khati Galis and the Penan Community leader Temenggong Datuk Hassan Sui at the former’s office.

“I was invited to the Resident’s Office by Temenggong Datuk Hassan Sui for a meeting with the Resident and himself and initially, I was not sure what the meeting was about,” said Juwin.

Later, when Juwin and his wife went to the Resident’s Office, he learnt that the meeting was to inform that his name have been short listed as a candidate to be a Community Chief or Penghulu.

“During the meeting, apart from the Resident and the Temenggong they were a few other people present there whom I do not recognise.

“They asked me questions about my involvement with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and warned me that I would not be qualified to be Penghulu if I continue to work with NGOs.

Juwin denied ever making statements that said that he was misled by local and foreign human rights groups including Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth Malaysia). He also denies that the Penan communities had not benefited from the funds raised by the groups to assist their community.

“All I said was, the Penans are still lagging behind other communities, however we are not against development and we are willing to work with anyone who is willing to assist our community be it the government or the NGOs.

“I am very disappointed with whoever was the mischievous reporter who had very irresponsibly and unethically put words into my mouth and distorted what I had actually said during the meeting. In any case, I am not desperate for any position, Penghulu or otherwise,” added Juwin.

BRIMAS is also disappointed with the article in Borneo Post alleging that the Penans were being manipulated by the NGOs. The media should be more responsible in their reporting and not distort the truth to benefit certain people in power.

– End –
Press Statement by:
Mark Bujang
Executive Director,

BRIMAS