Sebangan is located in the State of Sarawak, Malaysia.

Numpang Suntai and 14 others, representing 276 Iban families from the 15 longhouse communities of Kampung Entanggor, Ensika, Lumut, Arus Dayak, Tongkah Dayak, Tongkah Dayak Lubuk Manta, Tongkah Dayak Atas, Tongkah Dayak Rumah Panjai, Lunying, Belimbing Besi, Ketimbong and Bajong Ili, Bajong Ili Atas, Bajong Ili Tengah, Bajong Ili Baruh, all situated at Sebangan, Simunjan, Sarawak, filed their civil suit at the Kuching High Court on November 1st, 2010.

This case was heard at Kuching High Court on August 8th though August 19th 2011. This civil court proceeding is far from over. It is to continue on November 8th through 11th, 2011 and will reconvene again on December 19 through December 23rd, 2011.

Named as defendants in the civil suit are Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd the timber concession holder, Loyal Billion Sdn Bhd the logging contractor, 2 government appointed community leaders Penghulu Merum anak Babu and Ketua Kampung Agu anak Kaleng, together with the Director of Foresty and the Sarawak State Government.

The Sebuyau and Sebangan Ibans still need your moral and financial support to fight against illegal loggers. Your contributions will pay for the legal expenses and the cost of transportation, lodging, and food for Sebangan villagers who will be attending the proceedings in Kuching.

We desperately need your support to save our NCR heritages and our prestine environment from further destruction. If we lost this case, we will lost our land and forest to timber tycoons and oil palm plantation owners. Losing this case is losing our life line, our means of survival. Without our land and forests, we the Dayaks, the natives of Borneo, we have nothing.

In the USA please e-mail for postal address and other information. Or you can use Pay Pal by clicking Donate and you can use any credit cards to donate on-line. Thank you for you donations and support.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Logging company of Taib Mahmud's sister sued by Sebangan natives : Numpang Anak Suntai

Malaysia's Borneo tribes lose test case over mega-dam

Indigenous people present at the court said they were devastated by the ruling, while activists said it could encourage the government to requisition more land on Malaysia's part of Borneo and create "internal refugees".

"It is an unfair decision. I have not been fully compensated," said Ngajang Midin, 50, of the Ukit tribe, as tears rolled down his face. He has already moved to higher ground and the multi-billion-dollar dam has begun operations.

"My cocoa and pepper trees are underwater. My ancestors' graves are buried under the sea of water," he said.

The fight, seen as a test case, began 12 years ago when the state government of Sarawak requisitioned land for the controversial Bakun hydroelectric dam and a timber pulp mill on Borneo, famous for its biodiversity.

About 15,000 people were forcibly relocated to make room for the dam and a reservoir about the size of Singapore, which began generating power last month.

Many have made an unhappy transition to life in drab resettlement areas, and representatives of the evicted indigenous people launched a series of legal appeals.

But these culminated Thursday in a unanimous dismissal by a three-judge panel from Malaysia's highest court, the Federal Court, which found the eviction had not violated the tribal peoples' constitutional rights. 

"I hearby dismiss the appeal and uphold the orders of the courts below," chief justice Zaki Azmi, of the Federal Court, said in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Colin Nicholas, founder and coordinator of the Center for Orang Asli Concerns, whose name uses the Malay term for indigenous people -- said the decision could turn the indigenous groups into "internal refugees." 

"Natives use blockades and negotiations (and when it fails) they come to court for justice. But that justice was not delivered. It is disappointing," he told AFP.

"The fear now is these people will become internal refugees because they can be forced to relocate," he said. 

Ngajang, who has moved to higher ground with his family, said he was afraid for the future.  "I fear we will be driven out from our own land. I will end up like a squatter," he said.  "Our lives are only filled with darkness and uncertainties." 

The case was brought by members of indigenous tribes including the Iban, Dayak, Kayan, Kenyah and Ukit peoples, some of the many ethnic groups living on Borneo, which is split between Malaysia, Indonesia and the sultanate of Brunei.

A lawyer for the group, Baru Bian, said that more tribal people in Sarawak might now be forcibly moved in the name of development.  “There is a possibility the move to displace natives in Sarawak will gain momentum," he said.  About 200 cases of indigenous people fighting state acquisition of their land are ongoing in lower courts.

Transparency International has labelled Bakun a "monument of corruption", and analysts have questioned how the Malaysian government can ever recover the money it has sunk into the project. 

The dam, one of the world's tallest, has been dogged by problems since its approval in 1993, and the delays have incurred large cost overruns.

The construction costs for Bakun have added up to at least $2.6 billion, making it among the most expensive infrastructure projects in Malaysian history.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sebangan Natives Lodged at SADIA Headquarters Just So They can Hear Their Court Case Against Quality Concrete Holdings

Laundry facility

It does not matter what we eat.  It does not matter where we sleep but come we must to hear our court case against destroyers of  our NCR lands and the people who raped our forest with bulldozers and stole our precious trees.  This is why we need donations to provide transportation and decent meals for these villagers.  Some are lucky to board with their Kuching relatives but some do not have relatives in the big city.  SADIA is providing simple lodging for these folks.

Some were able to have a simple mattress on which to lie down and rest for the night

Some slept on the bare floor at SADIA Headquarters in Kuching.

Just a simple place to rest for the night before the court hearing the next day

SADIA Headquarters in Kuching 

Just a very simple cooking faciltiy to cook meal for many villagers

This one is mighty comfortable

A very small kitchen for cooking meals for hundreds of people

Court Hearing on Aug. 16th 2011 in Pictures by Numpang Suntai

My father, Suntai anak Bichu who claims to be over 100 years old, at least according to his Identity Card, never miss a single court hearing.  If they purged folks who are over hundred years from the electoral roll he would not be able to vote.  He said, "I doubt very if I am still alive for the next election, five years from now.  I voted for opposition all my life and never see my candidates ever win, after Daniel Tajem. But I voted with my conscience," he told me.

Some of the plantiffs.

Inside the chartered bus on their way to the Court House, across Sarawak River

Ungal Sanyam anak Daun et al, one of the plantiffs.

Three of the Sebangan Seven, TR Neli anak Nipa (Bajong Atas), TR Phillip anak Bakak (Tungkah), TR Sadon anak Ason (Ensika), with one of the plantiffs, TR Apat anak Hamba (Tungkah Dayak)

Yang Berhomat Baru Bian, one of the counsels for plantiffs.

Infront of the Court House

A visit from YB Baru Bian

My father infront of the Court House

Chartered bus to ferry Sebangan folks from SADIA to the Court House, across river 

Waiting patiently for court to be in session

Scopping rice from "upis" from outer layer of palm flowers, the way Iban used to carry their rice to work in the farm.

Unggal Ibrahim and his siblings always there to support my brother.

Duka the driver ferrying folks from Sebangan to Kuching

Making themselves comfortable, sitting down Iban style.

My father helping himself for a plate of rice.  He is so proud of wearing the Navy cap, USS Princton, that his naval officer grand-daughter gave him as a sovenier. 

The Court House was packed to capacity every day of the hearing.

It was a chance also to meet with friends

Helen and SN Voon sharing a plate on Court House lawn

Sanyam, one of the plantiffs with plate of rice

Taking it easy while waiting for court session to begin

Kampong ladies, you can take them out of the kampong but you cannot take their kampong, their land, their forests out of them.  May justice prevails.

When there is not enough chair, you simply sit down on the floor and make yourself comfortable, Iban style

The lucky ones who can find seats.


The brought their own lunch to the court house but come they must to hear the court proceedings.  This is also an historical moment for many Ibans, fighting in court against the richest and the most powerful people in Sarawak. 

My father, rain or shine, is ever present to support his son and Sebangan relatives.   

Sebangan Natives against Quality Concrete Holdings in Pictures by Haw Batista on August 19th, 2011

My sister-in-law and my youngest sister

Sebangan Natives against Quality Concrete Holdings in Pictures by Orville Drem, taken on August 15th 2011