Penan community sets up blockade to prevent logging

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The Penan community is said to have been at odds with the logging company since 2016.

PETALING JAYA: The Penan community in Ba Abang, Miri, Sarawak has again erected a blockade to prevent a timber company from logging in the area, according to two NGOs.

Swiss environmental NGO Bruno Manser Fund and Keruan, a Penan organisation, said the villagers are protesting against the logging company.

They are demanding that the firm stop “destroying lands without consent”.

In a statement, the two groups said that the community has been struggling with the logging company since 2016.

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The situation worsened when the headman of the community, Panai Irang, was replaced by another who supports logging. Several members have since applied for a judicial review to overturn the appointment of Arun Nyaling.

“We need to choose our new headman, deciding for ourselves who is worthy to be our leader,” Panai said.

Nick Kelesau of Keruan said the logging must be stopped immediately until a new village headman is elected by the community. Many of the Penan community he said opposed the government’s appointment.

He alleged that the Ba Abang logging concession had not been certified by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council.

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