Policeman vs Penan girl: who is worth more?

By Susan Loone

This statement was written by Katrina Jorine Maliamauv, daughter of Irene Fernandez. It’s her respond the article in Malaysiakini: “No budget, so no to rape probe”. 

The bile is rising in my throat.

For more than ten years at least, Penan girls have been raped, violated and sexually abused. The Penan women in the community have been at dire risk of various forms of sexual assault and harassment.

Young, young, school going girls have made the difficult step to come forward and say that they have been raped by members of the logging companies.

The life and dignity of a Penan woman, however, appears to be worth less than RM3600.

Investigations into the allegations of rape and abuse by loggers in Sarawak against the Penan girls have led nowhere.

Today, the Sarawak police say they can only afford the RM100 000 needed to pay for police personnel, and not the RM3600 proposed to pay for the much-needed Penan-Malay translators, if the 6-day investigation into these allegations were to be carried out.

The police can spend RM15 million on a by-election in Kuala Terengganu, but RM3600 to pay for an essential part of an investigation into rape of children is too much?

By the way, how much was spent by the police on “guarding public interest” during the recent peaceful assembly in Kuala Lumpur?

Is the interest of the people in power worth more than the safety, security and basic rights of the Penans?

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