Provide more info, ministry told

  • Nation
  • Friday, 11 Sep 2009

MIRI: The Sarawak police cannot nail the loggers who raped and sexually abused Penan girls and women unless the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry can provide detailed information that can lead to their arrest.

Sarawak CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Huzir Mohamed told The Star yesterday, though the ministry confirmed that these sexual crimes had indeed happened, the state police needed detailed and specific information like names, dates and places.

“We need the names of specific victims, where they can be found, more accurate dates and places of the incidents and descriptions of the people who had done these (sexual crimes),” he said when interviewed.

‘’We need to interview these victims. If the report is too general and not precise, it will be difficult for us to probe effectively. The ministry must furnish us with more details.”

SAC Huzir was asked whether the police could launch a ground investigation to pinpoint the rapists following the ministry’s public disclosure about the rapes and sexual abuse against Penan girls and women in ulu Baram in northern Sarawak.

The Star yesterday went through the ministry’s 111-page special committee report on the sexual crimes against the Penans.

Members of the committee, set up on Oct 8 last year, visited numerous Penan settlements in Long Item, Long Kawi, Long Luteng, Long Belok and Niah and identified several Penan girls and women who had been raped and sexually violated.

The committee members, made up of representatives from several ministries, spoke to the victims in the settlements, as well as two victims who were brought to the Women’s Aid Organisation shelter home in Selangor.

The two victims, aged 17 and 21, had also lodged police reports in Bukit Aman alleging that they had been raped.

“For every case, the committee had difficulties in getting the exact dates of the incidents because the victims could not remember the exact details,” the report said, stressing that these incidents happened years ago.

The report described the testimonies of a 17-year-old who said she was raped when she was 12. The girl said she was raped by a logging company worker (the name of the company was also disclosed) inside the boarding school, outside the school and when she took a ride on the logger’s vehicle from Long Kawi to Long Lama.

Another girl said she was raped twice by a logger and became pregnant in 2005.

Related Stories: Shahrizat: Logging firms have been identified The rape of young Penan girls Rape of Penan women did occur Panel: Most had problems getting IDs

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