Archive for the ‘Penan’ Category

The current situation must be the most humiliating situation for the Barisan National. The perception of a corrupt image are hitting the party right where it hurts, and the party cannot do anything much about it, other than its past practice of having not to talk anything about corruption or investigation (which has been done many times in the past, typically to calm down any controversy and hope that with time, the corruption stench no longer remains high in the public image).

There are a number of high-profile corruption scams that have hit the Sarawak Government and the Barisan National hard – whether these be the controversy about the allotment of timber logging rights, or about the billions made from kickbacks from timber deals, or the newer scam about the Native Customary Lands sold for a song to Taib Mahmud’s children.

It is this Native Customary Land scam that has really hit the BN hard in the state of Sarawak. One may ask as to what is new, after all, there is a public perception that the Chief Minister and his Government and the Bureaucracy are very corrupt, and so this scam is another proof of the same level of corruption. However, there is a difference, since in this case, the level of corruption is visible very easily, partly because of a high level of media attention, and also because there is a lot of internal Barisan National politics at play.

As Finance Minister and Chief Minister,Taib Mahmud has abused his position and it stinks. What really happened ? At a very high level, it seems a pretty easy situation even if all the intricate details are not revealed.

There was a large area of Native Customary Land of the indigenous Berawan tribe and Chief Minister Taib Mahmud was responsible for the forced acquisition of this area to build a resort, for which the tribespeople received virtually no compensation.

My evidence therefore further exposes Taib Mahmud for having authorised this land-snatch for his own direct benefit and his family, as it was in an important location, and there is something very valuable that could be converted into a real value. And the people behind this were truly clued into the system, since they knew the levers to turn and to get approval, as they were the Government and most importantly, they were the bloodline to the Chief Minister himself.

Yes the Royal Mulu Resort. The players were Taib’s family, including his sister Raziah, her third husband Robert Geneid and the family of his late brother Arip Mahmud.

The Berawan people were initially accused by Taib of being “greedy” for refusing to hand over their lands for ‘development’. Taib used the army and police to imprison the Berawan natives and put fear into them to hand over their customary land. The leaders of the Berawan tribe protested but were brutally put down.

The nomadic Penan of the area also were affected as they have likewise lost their hunting grounds, due to Taib-sponsored logging all around the actual park and they are now living in shanty settlements on the fringes of the Berawan lands.

Now, the Barisan National in Sarawak is stuck. The Chief Minister Taib is a lame-duck, since he has been exposed brutally (having 4 close relatives involved in this land grab while denying anything). Apparently the BN President our Premier Najib Tun Razak is very angry with Taib (one can only take this with a pinch of salt since it is impossible to believe that he does not know about the level of corruption that is present in Sarawak); he must be angry that he could not control the exposure and exposed the BN to such projections.

But, Taib is determined not to go down so easily; he denies Royal Mulu Resort belongs to his family. But a check with the ROS shows links to his family and his footprints are everywhere.

Even though Taib may believe BN will win in this coming state elections and that he will continue to remain the Chief Minister, he is determined to take down other major contenders for the Chief Ministership, such that a less politically powerful person becomes the chief minister, and can be subject to many pressures.

Right now, Premier Najib is leaving Taib in place, but one can be sure that the Barisan National will be projected as highly corrupt during the coming state election campaigning. Premier Najib knows that Taib is a liability to the Barisan National but his hands are tied.

No wonder Taib is trying to stop Anwar and Jeffery from entering Sarawak in this coming elections. Taib is getting desperate because the shit has hit the fan again.

For me all these means its time for Taib to leave office now.

Instead of investigating a reported incident of violence against a Penan man by a timber company official, the police officers instructed the natives to dismantle their blockades. The police officers were using timber company vehicles, not police vehicles.


Penan Violently Attacked as Communities Set Up Road Blockade to Protect Their Rainforests

Lee Ling Group must stop violence in the Upper Limbang – Community rights must be respected
LONG SEBAYANG, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA, June 21, 2010 –/WORLD-WIRE/– A Penan hunter has been violently attacked by a logging company official at a timber road blockade in Sarawak, East Malaysia. This has been reported this morning by Penan community sources.

According to our sources, a Penan named Aking Anung from Long Keneng was yesterday attacked by Ah New, a timber company official employed by a sub-contractor of the Malaysian Lee Ling timber group. Ah New had reportedly tried to attack the Penan hunter with a “parang” (bush knife). According to the Penan, Aking avoided being hurt by running away. He later lodged a police report in Limbang.

The incident took place at a newly erected timber road blockade near a timber camp at Long Sebayang in Sarawak’s Upper Limbang region. The blockade had been set up jointly by Penan, Lun Bawang and Tabun natives in an attempt to prevent their land from being re-logged and converted into plantations by Lee Ling and its subcontractors.

“Our communities need support and we ask you to spread this news worldwide”, a community spokesman said. The Bruno Manser Fund asks the Lee Ling Group to stop its violence immediately and to respect the native communities’ customary rights in the Upper Limbang region.

Lee Ling Timber and the plantation company, Limba Jaya Timber, form part of the Lee Ling Group, which has its headquarters in Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak. The group is owned by the Tiang family and has been partly incorporated in Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd., which is listed on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange. Quality Concrete is linked to the family of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. One of Taib’s sisters, Raziah Mahmud, is a member of the company’s Board of Directors.

Please support the Upper Limbang native communities by expressing your protest in a letter or e-mail to Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd.: Quality Concrete Holdings Sdn Bhd, Room 209, 2nd Floor, Wisma Bukit Mata Kuching, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 93100 Kuching, Sarawak, MALAYSIA. Phone: (+6) 082 206 600, Fax: (+6) 082 206 607

For more information, please contact us:
Bruno Manser Fund,
Socinstrasse 37,
4051 Basel / Switzerland,,
Tel. +41 61 261 94 74

Also Read Here and Here and Here and Here

Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Abdul Taib the son of Chief Minister of Sarawak Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud has resigned as Deputy Minister of Tourism.

Sulaiman Abdul Rahman submitted his letter of resignation last week to the Minister of Tourism Datuk Paduka Ng Yen Yen due to misunderstanding with his Minister lady boss and this has been brewing for a while. Both are not in talking terms.

Sulaiman last week also sent Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak a copy of his resignation as the Deputy Minister and this it seems was not accepted by the PM.

Najib Tun Razak before he left for Sabah last Saturday did meet up with Sulaiman. Don’t know what transpired in this meeting.

In the March 2008 general election, Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib won a seat for parliament and became Deputy Tourism Minister. Before this, he did not have any political experience but was a high-profile corporate businessman.

Sometime last year, there was even a police report lodged by a former TV personality 22-year-old Avaa Vanja Ramli alleging that Sulaiman had beat her up blue and black in Kuala Lumpur.

There is also widespread gossip in Sarawak that Sulaiman is suffering from the disease AIDS and gets depressed and erratic most of the time and hence its difficult for him to function as a Deputy Minister.

Sulaiman’s sister Jamilah Hamidah controls the family’s business empire in Canada, America and England and it is said to be worth more than a billion dollars.

Sulaiman’s brother Mahmud Abu Bekir who is married to the elder sister of Malaysia’s Jazz Queen Shila Majid is also said to be worth more than $500 million.

Sulaiman’s other sister Roziah is one of the most powerful businesswomen in Sarawak with extensive holdings in property and timber business.

Sulaiman’s father Taib is also accused of deep corruption and nepotism with dominance of Sarawak’s political elite in the logging industry. It was even reported that nine Japanese shipping companies, which transported timber from Sarawak, had allegedly failed to report some 1.1 billion yen in income over a period of up to seven years. The report claimed the money was paid as kickbacks to Sarawak officials including a Hong Kong agent linked to Taib’s family.

Under Taib the logging industry in Sarawak has logged many of the ancestral lands of Sarawak’s indigenous communities, despite a lot of hue and cry, petitions and road blockades by the civil society. Forceful dismantling has led to several deaths and regular violent coercion by the Malaysian army, police and logging industry enforcers. There was also reports of RAPE of indigenous girls and women by loggers and enforcers of the industry and has become a hugely contentious issue in Sarawak. See here and here.

Well done Guan Eng and The Penang State Government for contributing RM30,000 to help seek justice for the Penan teenage girls raped by loggers in the interiors of Sarawak.

What better way to observe Malaysia Day by this small contribution. This contribution was pledged by the Penang Chief Minister Guan Eng during a special congregation of civil servants at the Dome, Komtar, yesterday. Among the observers were Kota Sentosa state assemblyman and MP for Bandar Kuching, YB Chong Chien Jen (DAP) and state assemblyman for Ngemah, YB Gabriel Adit (PKR).

This is the way forward Guan Eng! Good move!

Here is the text of the speech delivered by Guan Eng for the occasion.


Integrasi Nasional, Perpaduan Negara Dan Satu Malaysia Hanya Tercapai Sekiranya Semua Rakyat Malaysia Dibenarkan Berkongsi Kuasa, Menikmati Hasil Bumi Mereka Dan Kemajuan Setara Dalam Sebuah Kerajaan Berjiwa Rakyat.

Salam Sejahtera, Selamat Berpuasa Dan Selamat Menyambut Hari Malaysia

Saya berasa amat gembira kerana dapat berhimpun pada pagi yang mulia ini bagi meraikan Sambutan Hari Malaysia yang ke 46. Pada kesempatan ini, saya ingin merakamkan penghargaan kepada semua pihak yang terlibat dalam menjayakan Sambutan Hari Malaysia pada pagi ini. Sambutan ini memberi pengertian yang sangat bermakna kepada semua anggota Perkhidmatan Awam dan kita sebagai rakyat Malaysia. Hari Malaysia disambut pada 16 September setiap tahun untuk memperingati penubuhan persekutuan Malaysia di tarikh yang sama pada tahun 1963 dan dijadikan sebagai satu sambutan untuk seluruh negara memandangkan tarikh ini merupakan sejarah penggabungan negeri Sabah dan Sarawak dengan Tanah Melayu.

Read the rest here

Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu asked to step down “for his incompetence” in dealing with sexual violence committed against indigenous girls and women

Following the release of a Malaysian government report that confirmed systematic sexual abuse of indigenous girls and women by loggers in the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, the state’s political leadership is increasingly being criticized over its failure to handle the sensitive issue in an appropriate way.

On Saturday, Sarawak’s Deputy Chief Minister, Alfred Jabu, has been asked to resign by the oppositional Democratic Action Party (DAP) “for his incompetence” to deal with the issue. Jabu, who is in charge of Penan affairs by virtue of his position as Minister of Rural Development, has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that Penan girls were sexually abused and raped by timber workers.

In a Borneo Post interview published on 12 September 2009, Alfred Jabu insinuated that the Federal government’s report was being manipulated by “negative NGOs” although he admitted to not having seen the report published three days earlier by a National Task Force under the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

While the Malaysian Mirror commented that Jabu appeared to be “in self-denial” over the report and tagged him as “the odd man out on this serious issue”, Sarawak DAP State Assemblywoman, Violet Yong, asked Jabu to resign. “The State government must be answerable on the issue of Penans who were confirmed raped”, Yong said, according to Sarawak Update, a local news channel. “Jabu is not close to the ground and fails to see what is happening there.”

When the Bruno Manser Fund first reported the sexual abuse cases in September 2008, Jabu said it would be “a waste of time to investigate” the Penan’s allegations. Meanwhile, the Bangkok-based Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development has called on the Malaysian Government to immediately identify, arrest and bring to court rapists and sexual rights violators of Penan girls and women of Baram, Sarawak.

Bruno Manser Fund

Association for the Peoples of the Rainforest

Socinstrasse 37

4051 Basel, Switzerland

+41 61 261 94 74,

See here and here and here