Hornbill Unleashed

March 14, 2011

Taib, the World is watching

. Sarawak Report

The wave of protests and disgust against the destructive regime of Taib Mahmud in Sarawak is continuing and it has gained further attention in the international media.  There have been demonstrations outside properties owned by the Taibs in the UK, Canada and the US and now it has been announced that further protests are planned in Australia, Austria and Switzerland.

Today’s Sunday Times Newspaper, Britain’s premier weekly, has also reported on these developments and summarised the reasons why so many people the world over are rallying to support the plight of the people of Sarawak in the face of the greedy plunder of their jungles and natural resources.  The message is clear – you have not been forgotten and there are many in the world who will move to help you once you are rid of Taib Mahmud.

We present you the article in the Sunday Times, because you will certainly not be hearing about it through any licenced news channels in Malaysia.  This same issue has also been covered in Britain’s Independent Newspaper and also the London Evening Standard in the past few days – the photographs accompanied the article.

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Asia/article576657.ece

 

This is what they are saying about Sarawak – The Sunday Times article

News

PLEA TO OUST RULERS RAZING BORNEO JUNGLE

Campaigners are demanding Britain freeze the assets of a family who have allowed Borneo to become a wasteland through logging and development

Michael Sheridan, Far East Correspondent

Published: 13 March 2011

Campaigners are calling on Britain to freeze the multimillion-pound assets of the ruling family of one of Borneo’s two Malaysian states, accusing them of corruptly benefiting from the rape of the island’s rainforest and the eviction of its native peoples.

The call is part of a concerted effort by conservationists and the Malaysian opposition to end the 30-year rule of Sarawak’s wealthy chief minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud, 74.

In that time, the rainforests of northwest Borneo have been devastated by logging and rare species have vanished. Jungle rivers run foul with industrial poison and the air is often thick with smoke.

Once a treasure house of nature — it is home to the world’s largest flower, flying squirrels and a bird named after the once-ruling British white rajah — Borneo is turning into a wasteland. Its ruin is symbolised by the plight of the orang-utans, whose numbers have fallen by half in 50 years. In place of the pristine rainforests, regimented plantations of oil palms arise to feed the demand for “green” biofuels.

The timber has been felled by companies dependent on licences issued by Taib, and in some cases they are financially connected to his family.

Abdul Taib Mahmud is linked financially with companies who are destroying the rainforest (Handout) Huge dams are cutting a swathe across the tropical landscape. Swept away in the tide of money and development, native peoples who have roamed the jungles for centuries have been thrown off their land. Compensation is scant.

Some tribes, such as the Penan, face an uncertain future. “The Penan are being hit by two forms of supposedly ‘green’ energy — hydroelectric power and biofuels,” said Miriam Ross, of Survival International.

“It’s significant, and frightening, that the Sarawak government has announced plans to double the area used for palm oil plantations by 2020.”

In Sarawak, one family dominates both the government and the companies that exploit the natural resources. Taib has reigned as chief minister, finance minister and minister of planning and resource management since 1981, with no apparent restraints on his powers of patronage. Documents filed in Kuala Lumpur show his wife to be the leading shareholder in the state’s biggest company, Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS).

A glimpse of the Taib family’s vast wealth emerged in divorce papers filed last month by the estranged wife of the chief minister’s son, Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, 48, who among his many other interests is deputy chairman of CMS.

His wife, Shahnaz Majid, is seeking £82m in compensation, claiming that she was subject to physical and mental torture during the marriage.

Other relatives and cronies of Taib have been identified as shareholders or board members of six timber companies profiting from concessions issued by the government. They include a first cousin, who chairs a logging company, and Ahmad Bin Su’it, who is said to be Taib’s personal “bomoh”, or spiritual healer, in the old Malay tradition of black magic.

A global network of 49 Taib-connected companies, including property firms in Britain, Canada and the United States, has been traced by researchers for the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund.

The fund, named after a Swiss activist who vanished in the Borneo jungle in 2000, is calling on anti-corruption and money-laundering authorities worldwide to “identify and freeze illicit Taib assets”.

It is also urging the FBI to investigate the death of Ross Boyert, 60, the manager of Taib’s US property assets, who became a whistleblower and was found in September in a Los Angeles hotel room, reportedly with a bag tied over his head.

London has become a hub for Sarawak’s campaigners fleeing intimidation at home. “There have been unpleasant death threats,” said Clare Rewcastle, who runs a campaigning website, Sarawak Report, and is the sister-in-law of Gordon Brown, the former prime minister.

“My first memories and first friends were from Sarawak and I grew up with an enormous sense of awe and delight at the wonderful beauty,” she said. “I came back 35 years later to what I can only describe as a disaster zone.”

Taib’s foes believe an election later this year is the best chance in decades to oust him. However, the government in Kuala Lumpur depends on Taib for parliamentary support, and the weight of the establishment will be thrown against his opponents. Malaysia’s home minister has voiced outrage at Rewcastle’s activities and vowed that police “will leave no stone unturned” to prosecute her — a threat she scorns.

The Sarawak government did not respond to requests to comment.

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14 Comments »

  1. Taib is the agent of colonialism of Malaya. This is why the BN of the Federal governemtn never touched him over 30 years. He was left and still is to rob Sarawak to the fullest and do whatever he wants to do. God is great. Our oil and gas is stolen by Malaya. Our timber and land is stolen by Taib. Malaya and Taib will go down. Folks, now is the favorable time to change our destiny as Sarawakians.

    Comment by Anak 1Sarawak — March 18, 2011 @ 11:38 AM | Reply

  2. A HU blogger mentioned that no one had noted the death of Raja Muda Anthony Brooke. Here is a news report by the Borneo Post and comments posted by “Anonymous”.

    SAD NEWS of RAJAH MUDA PASSING AWAY 2nd MARCH 2011

    CONDOLENCES TO ANTHONY BROOKE’S FAMILY

    It seems in the pre-occupation with of the people’s struggle against UMNO PBB BN colonial oppression and plunder the NGO media has largely by-passed the news of Anthony Brooke’s passing away.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    From the BORNEO POST

    Home – News – Local – Last Rajah Muda of Sarawak dies in NZ
    Last Rajah Muda of Sarawak dies in NZ

    Posted on March 5, 2011, Saturday

    KUCHING: The last Rajah Muda of Sarawak, Anthony Walter Dayrell Brooke, passed away peacefully at his home ‘Rumah Brooke’ in Wanganui, New Zealand on Wednesday.

    The London-based Brooke Heritage Trust said in an email yesterday that the 98-year-old is survived by his wife Gita, son James Lionel, daughter Celia as well as grandchildren Jason, Laurence and Sura.

    “Born in England in 1912, Anthony received his education at Eton and Magdalene Cambridge, before pursuing studies in Malay and Mohammedan Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, in his own words ‘to prepare him for what may lie ahead’,” said Brooke Heritage Trust trustee Matthew Edgeworth.

    Anthony’s uncle Sir Charles Vyner Brooke was the third Rajah of Sarawak, a kingdom founded by Sir James Brooke in 1841 and ruled by the Brooke family until the Japanese invasion of 1941.

    Since Vyner had no male heir, Anthony was duly appointed Rajah Muda and heir apparent in his place.

    “(As) the last member of the Brooke family to have administered the Government of Sarawak (1939-1940), Anthony also lived to be the last Head of Government to personally declare war on Hitler’s Germany.

    “This he did in 1939, though the act itself was mostly symbolic — Germany having no stated aspirations towards Sarawak. The Japanese however swept down the coast of South East Asia in 1941, with Sarawak falling on Christmas Day,” said Edgeworth.

    With Vyner largely retired from public duties and based in Australia, Anthony as Rajah Muda headed the Provisional Government in Exile during the War Years. His task was to represent the state in its negotiations with foreign powers, notably Great Britain.

    After WWII ended, and with Sarawak liberated from Japanese rule, Anthony strongly opposed the annexation of Sarawak as a British colony in 1946.

    He responded to calls from the Malay National Union and the Sarawak Dayak Association, along with the Sarawak Youth Movement, the Sarawak Women’s Association, and other newly formed political groups in Sarawak, to lead the Independence Campaign against British Rule.

    Campaigning vigorously for five years, he withdrew in 1951, when the risk of a spread in Communism seemed a greater threat to stability in Sarawak.

    Anthony then embarked upon a programme of world travel, speaking with groups large and small on the rights, responsibilities and power of the individual in helping to bring about a democratic world order. Co-founding with his wife Gita a charitable trust, Peace Through Unity, Anthony embarked upon a personal crusade that would span 60 years, meeting world leaders and spiritual thinkers from Chinese Premier Chou En Lai to India’s Vinoba Bhave, who dubbed him ‘shanty doot’ (Ambassador of Peace).

    “In 1963, Sarawak achieved full Independence from Great Britain and welcomed Anthony back as a guest of the state on two occasions, in 1964 and 1983, where he rekindled old friendships from the Anti-Cession days,” said Edgeworth.

    Edgeworth added that Anthony was a true idealist who “believed unashamedly in the fundamental goodness of the human heart”.

    “Anthony, like all of us, was imperfect at times — he was given to high ideals over pragmatism, and impetuosity arguably cost him the throne, but he was nonetheless an extra-ordinary man who lived through extraordinary times.

    “Prince, advocate, campaigner and eternal optimist, he never failed to make an impression on those whose lives crossed his path. He will be remembered,” said Edgeworth.

    Condolences may be sent to Rumah Brooke, 4 Allison Street, Wanganui 5001, New Zealand, or The Brooke Heritage Trust, 78 York Street, London, Great Britain.
    _____________________________________________________________

    [Comments:

    Anthony Brooke the would-be fourth Rajah of Sarawak passed away on 2 MARCH 2011.

    He is to be always remembered as someone who supported Sarawak Independence by opposing the sale of Sarawak by the Third Rajah his uncle to and colonisation by Britain in 1946 for the sum of 200,000 pounds (called a “pension”).

    Things would have been different.

    The Borneo Post Commentary mentions Sarawak independence in just one passing sentence.

    We lost the opportunity for independence 3 times- Japanese Invasion 1942, annexation by Britain-1946, annexation by Malaya -1963

    The article mentioned the “expansion of communism” in Sarawak in the 1950s being a reason for the Rajah Muda’s decision to leave Sarawak. Borneo Post also continues the false argument of “independence in Malaysia” in that “Sarawak achieved full Independence from Great Britain” in 1963.

    When the issue of Sarawak independence arose in the 1960s Anthony Brooke sadly failed to see through the Malaysia Plan as a scheme to annex Sarawak under Malayan colonial rule, probably because of his unfounded pre-conceptions “communism”. He was already long out of the picture.

    The colonial controlled press continues to demonise the Sarawak communist movement. This was (and still is) a patriotic movement which together with Brunei and Sabah patriots opposed the British and Malayan proposal to annex Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak (with Singapore) through their “Malaysia Plan” 1962.

    In 1962 a delegation of independence representatives from Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak appealed to the UN to recognised the people’s wishes for an independent North Kalimantan comprising the 3 territories. But they were ignored by the UN controlled by the UK/US at the time.

    (From Wikipedia) “The North Kalimantan (or Kalimantan Utara) proposal was seen as a post-decolonization alternative by local opposition against the Malaysia plan. Local opposition throughout the Borneo territories was primarily based on economic, political, historical and cultural differences between the Borneo states and Malaya, as well as the refusal to be subjected under peninsular political domination. Joining to form Malaysia was seen as a new form of colonialism under Malaya.”

    Sarawak patriots took part in the anti-Malaysia Brunei Independence Uprising in December 1962 started by the Brunei Parti Rakyat.

    The “leaders” who negotiated the terms of the Malaysia Agreement and politicians like Taib Mahmud, George Chan and gang, PARAKU betrayer Bong Kee Chok were and are the traitors who betrayed and keep Sarawak under the oppression and exploitation we are suffering under UMNO colonial rule.

    After suppression of the Brunei uprising the Sarawak patriotic movement formed the People’s Army of North Kalimantan (PARAKU) and continued the armed independence struggle to liberate Sarawak from foreign domination and exploitation. They would also have protected and preserved the native democratic communal lifestyle and ancestral land now practically destroyed by UMNO PBB colonial rule. PARAKU members showed their determination and dedication to their cause by struggling against Malayan colonial rule for some 30 years from 1960s until the ceasefire in 1990.

    Now we are being reduced to a situation where the majority of natives and most Sarawakians face having no land, no trees, no petroleum oil, no food and clean water (all in bountiful supply before 1963) under Malayan Colonial Rule to 2011.

    If the PARAKU had been successful in defending the people from the landgrabs their message would have reached them and they would been successful in gaining the people’s support.

    The people lost their land and food sources to UMNO PBB BN plunder and they lost control of their oil wealth. The cause of the people’s present day impoverishment is inextricably linked to the foreign control and exploitation of our country.

    The struggle for freedom and independence from Malayan colonial rule remains to completed by all Sarawak patriots.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Comment by Take Back Our Sarawak — March 14, 2011 @ 10:54 PM | Reply

  3. Get all members of the Christian Churches in Sarawak and even Semanjung to pray for divine intervention to remove all the government leaders that have caused people to suffer in Sarawak. If Christians do this faithfully, GOD willing, all those hypocritical,biased,corrupt,greedy and very very sinful leaders will leave for good Amen…………………………………………………….

    Comment by Ayen Piyat — March 14, 2011 @ 7:50 PM | Reply

    • The international communities together with Malaysians living and working overseas must pressure the authorities in Britain, America, Hongkong, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Monaco,and Singapore where the paramount thief and his family and cronies have hidden their ill gotten wealth, to freeze their assets on behalf of the natives and Sarawakians. We can set up a USD10 billion trust fund for all Sarawakians from the recovered monies.

      Comment by Mata Kuching — March 14, 2011 @ 9:41 PM | Reply

  4. Did he ever care about what the world say! He’s got enough money to buy the world! He’s reading this article, and I can see his middle finger pointing upwards at the world lah! No matter how you try, you can’t topple him through the ballot box. If he thinks elections can undo him, he would have banned the ballot box!! But of course Sarawakians should not give up but keep trying. Good luck.

    Comment by ibat — March 14, 2011 @ 6:09 PM | Reply

    • The evil BN Sarawak under Taib will be replaced this coming 10th State election.

      SUPP will be totally wiped out. Miri, SUPP’s stronghold will fall.

      BN’s cunning plan of using SNAP as proxy inside PAKATAN will also fail.

      There will be New Government and New Hope for the suffering people of Sarawak. And with the fall of Sarawak to PAKATAN, the 13th GE will also see a change of Government at Federal level.

      The earthquake in Japan will bring Malaysia economic down from the 2nd half of 2011 onwards. Japan will retreat its investments from Malaysia to reconstruct its economic. FDI from Middle East will not be coming to Malaysia until everthing stablilise in that area.

      Comment by NewHope — March 14, 2011 @ 11:59 PM | Reply

  5. Najib is not the reason why Taib had been sitting on the throne for 30 years, but his moral integrity is put in serious doubt because of his inaction in getting the Sarawak CM investigated for corruption and abuse of power.

    In fact in the Sibu 2010 “buy-election” his now infamous “you help me, I help you” speech has been parodied as the epitome of BN’s corruption.

    Comment by Aidil Iskandar — March 14, 2011 @ 2:00 PM | Reply

    • SORRY to DISAGREE!

      WITHOUT NAJIB AND MALAYSIA, TAIB WOULD NEVER HAVE THE SLIMMEST CHANCE TO DOMINATE SARAWAK POLITICS! THE DAYAKS WOULD NOT HAVE AGREED WITH THIS IN AN INDEPENDENT SARAWAK.

      UMNO/NAJIB AND HIS PREDECESSORS PROMOTED AND SUPPORTED TAIB IN HIS POSITION BECAUSE THEY WANTED A MUSLIM TO BE THE BIG CHIEF (EVEN ANWAR WANTS THAT).

      UMNO COLONIALISM WITH TAIB PBB HAS STRIPPED SARAWAK BARE OF ITS WEALTH!

      Comment by Sarawakmerdeka — March 14, 2011 @ 7:21 PM | Reply

  6. HH…
    Why bring up or duplicating the same issue/subject here….by doing so; there be no continuity of the subject; once you publish another subject which is same as the previous one.. reader forget the other same subject…

    Can we keep the same subject? It make it easier to follow up….

    Comment by UMNO destroyer1 — March 14, 2011 @ 1:13 PM | Reply

  7. All Churches in Sarawak and especially in the rural constituencies are equally guilty in helping the thief minister Taib Mahmud stay in power by keeping silent on massive corruption and NCR lands grabs issues and depending on the corrupted UMNO controlled BN patronage. I challenge the Church leaders from the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, and all smaller churches to make their stance in the name of GOD regarding Taib Mahmud and his corrupted regime.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — March 14, 2011 @ 12:56 PM | Reply

    • Cannot lah!

      Taib just made me a Datuk few years ago!

      Comment by Archbishop John Ha — March 14, 2011 @ 8:48 PM | Reply

  8. To change the government the strategy must be right.Candidates are credible and familiar to the public who is not only friendly to the public but also able to deliver.
    Majority agree to topple Taib and BN as a whole. To weaken the administration it is vital to remove Taib from further leading the BN Party. He must be voted out of ADUN member in order to disqualify him to be reappointed back as CM.Eventually new CM will be installed by TYT. Without him leading the party in fact PAKATAN already win 60% of the battle through ballot boxes.
    Therefore it is important for Eng Guan , Nik Aziz , Khalid , Anwar , Karpal and Lim Kit Siang to throw their weight like what had happened in Sibu Parlimentary Election of late.God’s willing he will be booted even with one vote majority. For CHANGE we must be united to ensure victory.

    Comment by Salui Bidar — March 14, 2011 @ 9:43 AM | Reply

  9. Thanks a million, Sarawak Report and thank you Clare Rewcastle and thank you too Bruno Manser Fund. You are our heroes. It looks like Bruno Manser has risen from his untimely death and comes back to haunt Taib and his cronies who were suspected to be responsible for his death. Justice may come slowly but come it surely will. Sarawakians deserve it.

    Comment by apaijabu — March 14, 2011 @ 9:27 AM | Reply

  10. Taib, GOD THE ALMIGHTY, THE CREATOR OF HEAVEN & EARTH, is also watching. HIS message might come through the rakyat & by the rakyat. Be prepare…hehehe…

    Comment by SalaiBABIhutaN — March 14, 2011 @ 9:26 AM | Reply


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