LET US BE CLEAR THAT THIS IS STRICTLY A CRIMINAL CASE – PRESS STATEMENT BY YB BARU BIAN

LET US BE CLEAR THAT THIS IS STRICTLY A CRIMINAL CASE.

The untoward incident which took place in Lawas over the weekend is indeed tragic and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased, Edwin Singa Pelipus. May his soul rest in peace.

I have been informed that a peaceful protest was conducted by the concerned citizen of Lawas town this morning (Tuesday 25 September).
The peaceful protesters which numbered in the thousands, as I was informed, were calling for three main requests.

Firstly, they called for justice to be done. According to the organisers, two other alleged cases of physical violence and stabbings, one resulting in grievous bodily harm and the other leading to one victim to becoming physically handicapped, have occurred in Lawas, from as far back as 2005, and all these incidences were alleged linked to the drug scientifically known as methamphetamine or syabu. It is further alleged that these criminal acts were all perpetrated by the same group of people. The protesters demanded that the authorities take proper action and fully investigate this latest incident, which resulted in death, without fear or favour and bring the perpetrators to justice. I was told that the Ketua Polis Daerah Lawas has promised and given his personal assurance to the protesters that the case will be fully investigated. I thank him for his personal involvement in this matter.

Secondly, the protesters, I was told, wanted to highlight the syabu menace that has been plaguing Lawas and demanded the authorities to investigate and stop the well-known activities of the trafficking and use of illicit drugs in the region, especially syabu.

Thirdly, as I was informed, the protesters wanted to make clear that their protest was strictly about demanding for justice against a heinous criminal act. They wanted to make it known that their protest was not based on racial or religious sentiments, as suggested by some bloggers and irresponsible quarters seeking to stoke or incite racial and religious sensitivities, and have been mis-reporting twisted facts.

I believe my text message calling for calm and advising the protesters to not take the law into their own hands was read to them and I thank them for protesting and dispersing peacefully.

In the sitting of the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak in May 2012 I had brought up the syabu problem and again this year as reported by Bernama in the Borneo Post of 7th July, 2012 (http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/07/07/claim-of-syabu-being-sold-at-markets-untrue/#ixzz27UMVwtL5). It is most unfortunate that it took a killing for the authorities to finally agree to act.

Nevertheless, let us all now allow the police to investigate the matter and let the law takes its proper course. This is not a race or religious issue and we must not allow this incident to become one. Let no party or persons claim that racial or religious sensitivities have been affected. Let us be clear that this is strictly a criminal case and that as peace loving citizens, we shall let the authorities do their work unhindered.

I call upon all the people of Lawas to remain calm and to maintain order for the sake of peace and harmony.

Baru Bian
ADUN N70 Ba’ Kelalan
Pengerusi PKR Sarawak

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