Friday, September 11, 2009

The rape of young Penan girls and women in Sarawak.

I saw today's The Star newspaper report on the rape of the young Penan girls and women and I realized that one year ago, Stef actually asked me whether I would want to join the task force, go to Sarawak and conduct the fact finding mission on this issue.

due to some work commitment I didn't join the task force.

Today, when I saw the front page report, Stef pointed out one vital point. "The report does not come out just like that, people pushed really hard for it, people can make change happen". I couldn't agree more with it.Yes, it didn't happen overnight.

The change that the report would bring about equals to saving the lives and dignity of the Penan girls and women. What actually happened can no longer be swept under the carpet. It has been ages that the Penans had to live in fear. Countless efforts had been taken to get help even though most of the times they fell on deaf ears. God willing, their efforts to get their voices heard reached the ears of some concerned citizens.

I asked Stef what actually happened in the beginning.

Some NGO people from Sarawak came to Kuala Lumpur with three Penan women to meet with some NGOs and the Legal Aid Centre. They then went to Bukit Aman Police Station to lodge the police report. A press conference was held to let every one know how serious the situation was. Relentless demands were made for the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to take action on this particular matter since the Police simply dismiss this issue as mere allegations.

No one gave up and they kept on pushing for this issue to be acted on. No one gave up even though similar efforts that were done before fell on deaf ears.

They kept on lobbying the relevant authorities to take actions and do something to stop the ruthless barbaric act committed on the Penans. When the tension was rising, still, no one was giving up.

The Ministry finally agreed to set up the task force to conduct a fact finding mission on this issue.

After a long wait, the report came out today. Their voices are finally heard.

Change. it's a big word.

At the end of the day, change is evidently possible. All that it takes is a little reflection on the philosophy of life. Do we live our life thinking about nothing but ourselves, or we try to do even a littlest thing for others for the sake of saving and defending human civilization.

The choice is always ours.

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