PBB youth wing to check on Penan rape allegations

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 18 Jul 2010

KUCHING: The Parti Pesaka Bumi­putra Bersatu (PBB) Sarawak youth wing is organising a fact-finding mission the allegations of Penan rape in northern Sarawak.

Its chief Datuk Fadillah Yusof will head a team, which will comprise 10 youth members from Miri, Limbang and Lawas.

“We will work with non-government organisations (NGOs) to find out the truth. If the rapes did really occur, we will take action,” he told a press conference after chairing the wing’s executive committee meeting yesterday.

He said their mission would include an awareness programme that would educate the Penan communities on the laws of the country.

“They are different from us,” he said. “Our values might not be the same,” he added, quoting an example of a Penan woman who got married at the age of 14 — an offence under the Malaysian legal system.

“We want them to understand the law,” he said. “At the same time, we want to get closer to the Penan communities.”

He said the fact-finding team would go to Baram Tengah and Apo before Ramadan begins.

The committee arrived at the decision after a police officer briefed the members on the latest allegations made by the Penan Support Group. The group, made up of 36 non-government organisations, claimed there were more Penan women were being sexually exploited and that the police did nothing.

However, Fadillah said the group’s allegations about police inaction was not accurate.

“Police have taken the initiative to lodge reports and carry out investigations,” he said.

In a report released by the group earlier this month, at least seven more Penan women had claimed that they were raped or sexually abused.

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