Helpless victims of merciless sex predators
By K Kabilan, Maran Perianen and Indrani Kopal
The Penan community is mystified with the slow reaction by the authorities, especially the police, in taking action against the sexual abuse, including rape of the Penan girl, as identified by a national task force.
The Penan elders fear that the government will conveniently let the matter to rest while the Penan girls continue to face violations regularly.
The report by the Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development, was compiled by a high-level task force, comprising government officials, a police representative and women's groups and released on Sept 8, almost eight months after the fact-finding mission was undertaken in Penan villages in Baram.
The report confirmed that sexual harassment and exploitation by timber camp workers had indeed taken place and indentified several cases in the report.
Since the release of the report, much has been said by the government to support the Penan victims and their family members but more significantly the police have not made any arrests so far.
In a recent Malaysiakini visit to Ulu Baram, many Penan leaders expressed disappointment with the police's lack of teeth in catching the culprits.
Story by K Kabilan
Video by Indrani Kopal and Maran Perianen