Society for Rights of Indigenous People of Sarawak
SCRIPS was represented at the following meetings and conferences
Conference on Forest Governance organized by WWF and Universiti Malaya Centre for Indigenous Studies, Miri 8 May 2014
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS & REMEDIES: THE ROHINGYAN CASE on 17 April 2014 organised by Global Movement of Moderates (GMM), Proham, AMAN & ABIM
A DIALOGUE FOR HARMONY In conjunction with in conjunction with Interfaith Harmony Week Feb 5, 2014 (Wed)
SCRIPS Statement at Harmony Dialogue , organized by GMM and PROHAM, 5 Feb 2014:
On religious tolerance, we Sarawakians, natives of Sarawak ,especially we as Christians are very tolerant people. Besides our culture teaches us to be respectful towards others and this is further enhanced by our Christian belief in forgiveness, mercy, justice and honour. Our position on religious tolerance in Malaysia is that it should be first based on the recognition that we are born equal as Malaysians as guaranteed in our Constitution, then, that we are from different ethnic groups and cultures and with different beliefs. These three aspects must be the basis for any dialogue on religious tolerance and harmony. Only then dicussion is possible among both sides. Every Malaysian must know that we are one big family though of different ethnicity and beliefs.
Michael M Jok
Secretary General , Society for the Rights of Indigenous People of Sarawak
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY DISCUSSION:
HUMAN RIGHTS PRIORITIES FOR MALAYSIA BEYOND 2013 UPR TO 2018
Workshop on Urban Poverty organised by COMMACT (the Common Wealth Network for People-Centred Development) Malaysia and the Economics Faculty and the Institute of Ethnic Studies of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on 19 Dec 2013 at UKM, Bangi.
SCRIPS presentation at the Workshop was covered by the STAR on 2 Jan 2014.
“Josie Fernandez says that for too long, the fundamental flaw has been rooted in the belief that charity will help resolve the issue of poverty.
“Deforestation and land grabs have forced them out of lands that they used to depend on for their survival and income, and shifting them into boxy terrace houses without livelihood options only drives them to become part of the country’s urban poor. There are utility bills to be paid, for example, but how can they afford to do that when they have little equitable access to employment?” says Fernandez, an activist, researcher and advocate of causes relating to indigenous people, the environment and anti-corruption.
As well as being the special representative for the Society for Rights of Indigenous People of Sarawak (SCRIPS), Fernandez has worked with various orang asal groups like the Jakun of Tasik Chini, Pahang, on gaining rights rather than handouts.
Though handouts and other charitable acts are done out of kindness, the supplies – especially food supplies – can realistically last only a few days while the orang asal’s situation will not change in the long run, she points out.
“For too long, the fundamental flaw has been rooted in the belief that charity will help resolve the issue of poverty,” says Fernandez.
“But we can never have successful poverty eradication programmes if the poor have no claims to rights that are provided for judicially and constitutionally. The rights to land, food and water, housing, education and healthcare must be equally available to all so that people can live lives of dignity.
SCRIPS representatives at the Miri conference
Meeting on Forest Governance Collaboration : At WWF Kuching May 2014.(L-R); Michael Jok Sec-Gen SCRIPS, Josie Fernandez SCRIPS rep, Dr Henry Chan, Head of Conservation WWF Sarawak and Chen Hin Keong , Project Leader TRAFFIC
“Merely providing for the minimum human existence pushes people into the mindset of constantly seeking bantuan (assistance). When they queue up for bantuan, it’s an indication that people do not have enough to feed their families.
“Do our policymakers formulate and implement policies that emphasise these rights with a framework that translates into social and economic justice for everyone?
“It must also be stressed that political justice means that no one, especially the poor, should be excluded from political participation as it is politics that will shape the implementation of legal and institutional policies. We need bureaucrats who understand the language of rights in order to develop policies that will ensure a (good) quality of life for all Malaysians.
“While strategic philanthropy may be used to empower communities towards sustainability, charity has no place in poverty eradication,” she reiterates.
Fernandez was speaking to an audience made up of representatives from non-governmental organisations and government departments at a recent workshop on urban poverty, public policy and community-based development. It was organised jointly by COMMACT (the Common Wealth Network for People-Centred Development) Malaysia and the Economics Faculty and the Institute of Ethnic Studies of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.’
SCRIPS at the civil society meeting on Dec 9th 2014 with the UN Special Rapporteur On Right to Food presented on Sarawak Indigenous People in Crisis: Impact on Food Security.
What's in her future: It's easy to put smiles on the faces of orang asal children like this one with hampers and handouts. But charity isn't a sustainable solution to the problem of poverty.
What’s in her future: It’s easy to put smiles on the faces of orang asal children like this one with hampers and handouts. But charity isn’t a sustainable solution to the problem of poverty.