The Taib family company CMS proudly boasts of its “vast land bank” in its annual reports and has started selling off chunks for tens of millions in Kuching.
Commercial centres and grand housing estates are also being developed in two key areas, Bandar Samariang, where CMS has 5,200 acres, valued around half a billion ringgit, and of course on the Kuching Isthmus, where land is even more expensive.
But, how did CMS acquire all this property and who has benefitted? (more…)
The Borneo Post
The power to grant licences to housing developers should be delegated to a committee consisting of stakeholders, upon whose advice the Housing Minister shall then grant the licences.
See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang), who made this proposal, said to ensure accountability, transparency and competency, the committee may constitute the controller or deputy controller as chairman.
See also said the committee should include a member of the association of house buyers or consumers’ association representatives acting in the interests of the house buyers and a member from the association of developers. (more…)
Rejecting Perkasa’s plan to establish a chapter in Sarawak, several people have said they do not want society in the state to be influenced by the Malay rights NGO’s ‘racist and anti-Christian stance’.
Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali announced the intention yesterday, after the Sabah chapter was set up with a purported membership of 45,000.
The Malay right-wing movement is headed by former Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali (left), who has been widely reviled for his “burn the Bible” remark and threat to wage a “holy war” against Christians. (more…)
Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing urged young Umno leaders to relearn the history of Malaysia.
Sarawak’s outspoken Land Development Minister, Tan Sri Dr James Masing, has accused young federal leaders, particularly those from Umno, of causing friction between Putrajaya and the state government.
He said their lack of understanding of the Malaysia Agreement and how the federation was formed, makes them think that they are the masters and leaders from Sarawak and Sabah should be subservient to them. (more…)
The term ‘Dayak’ has been pronounced a non-word by state ordinance, on the basis that the tribal people of Sarawak should no longer be encouraged to think of themselves as a nation, but only as groups to be divided and ruled.
Yet, how else to collectively describe the native people, who are surrendering up their vast natural resources to enrich West Malayisan leaders and their agents in Sarawak (Taib Mahmud and his BN cronies)? (more…)
Angry villagers of Kampung Na’ah and Long Kesseh Ulu Baram, who accused Penghulu Ajang Wan and 13 other community leaders of ‘selling’ their ancestral lands against their will to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), the owner of the proposed Baram dam, have lodged a police report with a view to initiating legal action against them.
The Kayan and Kenyah communities have three legal options open to them – one under the Kayan/Kenyah Adat and the other two under the Native Court Rules 1993 and the civil court, said Abun Sui Anyit (left), a human rights lawyer.
Alfian ZM Tahir
The pain and agony suffered by displaced natives in Sarawak in the name of progress must end now.
The photos and videos from the Murum dam blockade site were very revealing.
Little boys running naked around dirty camps. Weathered old men and young brawns with tribal tattoos repairing broken tents. (more…)
The natives want the government to pay interest on delayed payment of compensation.
Residents of the Bakun Resettlement Scheme (BRS) in Sungai Asap and Sungai Koyan in Belaga, Kapit have filed a suit against the Sarawak government for failing to pay interest on the compensation for the loss of their original longhouses.
They named the Kapit Land and Survey Department superintendent and the Sarawak government as the first and second defendants. (more…)
Alfian ZM Tahir
- Displaced Penans say they are thirsty, hungry and have no protection from severe weather.
Three hundred Penan families displaced by the ongoing construction of Murum Dam are living in desperate circumstances as they battle for justice.
They have no access to clean water and decent food, and their tents, constructed from tree branches and tarpaulin, are ineffective against heavy rain. (more…)
PKR’s See Chee How said there is a dispute between landowners and the two companies. 17 of the 18 villages have filed their case at the Kuching High Court.
One of the two logging companies in dispute with native customary rights (NCR) land owners over log extractions has been ordered by the Sarawak government to stop operations.
The company is alleged to have engaged thugs and gangsters to settle the disputes, but the suspension was for flouting the Forest Department’s guidelines and procedures on extracting timber. (more…)
Sarawak Report can reveal that Sarawak’s biggest on-going crime mystery has a relative answer.
That is to say, the Serian District Police Chief, Mohd Jamali Umi, turns out to be a close relative of the Planning Minister Awang Tengah, who controls one of the companies controversially logging the area of Melikin.
Numerous insiders have now confirmed that Jamali is none other than Tengah’s brother in law (their wives are sisters), a fact that was believed to be unknown to fellow BN politician James Masing when he launched a federal enquiry into the whole mysterious matter last Friday. (more…)
Peter Sibon & Joanna Yap
Two more Penans have been arrested yesterday afternoon in relation to the Murum dam blockade.
They were arrested when they went to the Belaga police station to visit their relatives who were among the eight Penans arrested the day before, according to Sarawak Conservation Alliance of Natural Environment (SCANE) chairman Raymond Abin who has been keeping in touch with the protestors.
The two individuals have been identified as 16-year-old Philip Bujang and 21-year-old Merit Gadong. (more…)
The Borneo Post
Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How has called on Serian district police chief DSP Mohd Jamali Umi to enlighten the public on the progress of police investigation into the police report lodged by Rosni Langap on March 15.
Besides that, Mohd Jamali was also asked to update the public on the seizure of a considerable stock of firearm and dangerous weapons at the workers’ quarters of the plantation company in Melikin on Sept 30 and actions taken so far. (more…)
The eight Penans, whom police arrested at a blockade on the access road to the Murum hydroelectric dam in Ulu Belaga, Sarawak, Thursday afternoon, have been remanded for three days until Sunday.
Their lawyer, Abun Sui Anyit, said they were being held under Section 341 of the penal code.
Under the section, the arrested Penans, aged between 12 and 60 years old, would be in police custody until a magistrate could hear their case. (more…)
- PRESS STATEMENT – SUARAM Condemns Crackdown in Murum : Protesters, Including Children, Arrested and Detained
SUARAM condemns ongoing harassment of Penan communities in Murum and Baram. Yesterday (7 November 2013), saw another action from the Royal Malaysian Police which clearly shows the failed role of the police force. Eight Penan who have been blockading against the Murum damsince August were arrested yesterday and brought to the Belaga Police Station. (more…)
Eight Penans including their leader Ngang Buling are now being detained at the Belaga Police station following their arrests yesterday afternoon at a new blockade site which they erected at the Murum dam access road near Sungai Majoh Kecil within the dam site.
They have moved to this new site since Tuesday from the previous one to ensure that no workers or officials from Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) enter the dam site unless their demands are met.
In arresting them, some 80 police personnel, including 40 members of the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) were involved in the operation against the Penan. (more…)
- Shahnaz Abdul Majid arrives at Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court.
The ex-wife to the son of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud was asked at the Syariah court here today whether she was a virgin when she married him.
At the retrial of Shahnaz Abdul Majid’s RM400 million divorce from Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib, the latter’s lawyer, Saadiah Din, also asked Shahnaz if she had cooked and cleaned at their matrimonial home. (more…)
A group of 80 NGOs and social activists are urging that all works related to the Baram and Murum dams in Sarawak cease immediately until ‘open and fair’ consultations have taken place with the local community.
In particular, they want the Sarawak state government-related corporations, contractors and agents to stop the impoundment at Murum Dam and arson of nearby Penan communities.
Meanwhile at Baram Dam, the groups demanded that the work related to the survey and construction of the planned dam stop. (more…)
Affected by the proposed land acquisition for the dam, they are questioning the constitutionality of Section 5(3) and 5(4) of the Sarawak Land Code.
Natives from Long Na’ah and Long Kesseh in Baram are suing Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and the state government over the proposed Baram dam project which will eventually drown their ancestral and communal land.
They have named Taib in his capacity as Minister of Resource Planning and Environment and the state government as first and second defendants respectively. (more…)
We have no pictures of today’s arrest of Penan natives at the Murum Dam blockade, because two boys trying to take photographs were themselves arrested for recording the event.
The youngest, Tingang Lingok, is believed to be around 13 years old.
The two teenagers are now among 8 Penan who have been jailed at the police station in Belaga, some three hours drive away, and are due to appear in court tomorrow.
This is the second time in a week that Sarawak police have arrested and incarcerated young boys caught up in native land rights disputes. (more…)
Sarawak Report has received news of a critical development in the Murum Dam blockade, which has now been maintained for several weeks by Penan tribespeople forced from their homes by rising waters
Around a hundred of the men, women and children have broken away from the original site, where they were being penned in by riot police, and have now moved to a new blockade site down on the main Murum highway. (more…)
The Borneo Post
Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How has called on State Police Commissioner Datuk Wira Sabtu Osman to beef up the police force in Serian to restore security in the district particularly the Melikin region.
See, who is state PKR vice-chairman said Sabtu must also enlighten the public on the police investigation into the two raids they conducted in Melikin and Serian that uncovered a substantial cache of firearms at the end of September and middle of last month.
He recalled that the police seized firearms and dangerous weapons from the workers’ quarters of a plantation company in Melikin on Sept 30 and followed up with another successful operation near Serian town which yielded homemade gas-powered rifles, air rifles, homemade shotguns and cartridges. (more…)
Sarawak Report can reveal that four head gangsters, who were caught after the discovery of an enormous illegal arms cache at the disputed logging and plantation concessions at Melikin, were freed by police on instructions from Ministers!
Since their release there has been a further series of vicious attacks on local people, whom the gangsters have been intimidating for many months, on behalf of two companies granted controversial licences on Native Customary Rights lands in the area.
The companies, United Teamtrade Sdn Bhd and Memaju Jaya Sdn Bhd, both have ownership ties to powerful BN political figures in Sarawak. These include Taib’s planning deputy, Awang Tenggah; the state Minister for Entrepreneur Development, Naroden Majais, and the former local YB, Frederick Bayoi. (more…)
The Borneo Post
The Orang Ulu community of an estimated 300,000 in population, compared to 2.5 million Sarawakians, cannot afford to pull away from the mainstream of development and face isolation.
In this context, the community, especially the younger generation, has to work together if the community is not to be left behind and become part of mainstream development and progress in the country, said Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau Jok.
Making the appeal here yesterday, Dennis urged them to be positive, rational and be wise in their judgment to embrace development activities, programmes and planning by government that will benefit the state and the people including the Orang Ulu community. (more…)
- DESTROYED: One of the activists stands on the ruins of the core samples at the soil investigation site at Baram.
Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) confirmed that it will lodge further police reports
against those responsible for destroying core samples from the soil investigation work and threatening of workers conducting site investigation in preliminary feasibility works on the proposed Baram Dam.
SEB Chief of Corporate Services Aisah Eden said: “We have provided the police with a detailed file including video and photographic evidence of the destruction of core samples and other valuable property at Long Kahah (downstream of Long Na’ah). In addition, both Sarawak Energy and our contractors have made detailed statements concerning aggressive threats of physical violence made by specific individuals against our workers.” (more…)
When he is not tearing down tropical trees in Sarawak, the chief officer of Sarawak Energy has his home in a very smart, leafy suburb of Oslo in Norway, known as Baerum.
Last week, appalled at the latest round of mega-projectshanded out by this hired Norwegian to companies owned by his boss, the autocratic ruler Taib Mahmud, NGOs decided it was time to inform the residents of Baerum about the corrupt activities of their wealthy neighbour, who spends so much time on the other side of the world.
So, they came to Bearum, Norway to distribute leaflets explaining what Sarawak Energy (SEB) boss Torstein Dale Sjotveit is doing in Baram, Sarawak and how the entire project is linked to Taib Mahmud’s kleptocratic destruction of the world’s oldest rainforest. (more…)
Over the past few days news has come through from both of the main Baram Dam construction sites that Sarawak Energy (SEB) has beaten a retreat.
However, the local blockades, which are being manned by surrounding communities, remain in place to ward off further moves by the state owned company to re-start the dam building project.
The development represents a solid victory for the local people, who are adamantly opposed to the planned mega-dam, which will drive thousands from their homes and flood vast areas of rainforest.
And it is understood that the local Assemblyman Denis Ngau had urged Sarawak Energy to step back from its aggressive implementation of the project in the face of the swelling anger amongst his constituents. (more…)
Swiss based Bruno Manser Fund claims the Sarawak Energy Berhad CEO has ‘lost his credibility’ and is ruining Norway’s reputation.
Sarawak Energy Berhad’s chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit has made himself a “tool of the Taib Mahmud family’s unrestrained greed and corruption”, claims Swiss NGO, the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF).
Expressing its shock at the latest disclosure that SEB had awarded Sarawak Cable two new contracts worth RM618 million contract, BMF said the “act has passed all levels of decency”.
Sarawak Cable is helmed by Chief Minister Taib’s eldest son Mahmud Abu Bekir. (more…)
As the Penan community continues its battle with state-owned company Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) over the Murum Dam, SEB has awarded two contracts worth more than RM600 million to a company linked to the son of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.
According to a Aug 29 filing with Bursa Malaysia, Sarawak Cable Bhd said its subsidiary Trenergy Infrastructure Sdn Bhd (Trenergy) won two contracts, worth RM352.8 million and RM265.8 million each.
The contracts are for a 500kV electricity transmission line from Mapai to Lachau and the 500kV Lachau-Tondong transmission line, which will be completed within 23 and 26 months respectively from Nov 15. (more…)
Penan families affected by the Murum Dam have accused Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) of trying to mislead them and the general public into believing that they would receive RM213.3 million in compensation for their longhouses and infrastructure facilities
Peliran-Murum Penan Affairs Committee (Pemupa) chairperson Ngang Buling vehemently refuted the claims today and said there was no truth in the SEB statement.
“The Penan are shocked by the claim, which to them is all rubbish,” said Ngang.
He was commenting on a ‘blanket statement’ issued by SEB on the payment of compensation to the Penan communities affected by Murum Dam hydroelectric project (MDHEP) in the Belaga district. (more…)
Sarawak’s Taib Mahmud is back in the limelight after family-linked company awarded RM600 million contract by state-owned company. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 31, 2013.A company linked to the family of the Sarawak Chief Minister has been awarded a contract worth RM618.6 million by state-owned dam builder Sarawak Energy to develop transmission lines in the state, drawing criticism from a Swiss-based environmental group.
The Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) – a group which has been critical of Sarawak’s policies on its indigenous people – said Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s eldest son, Mahmud Abu Bekir, is the chairman of Sarawak Cable Bhd (SCB), whose subsidiary won the contract. (more…)
Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat claimed today that state legal consultant JC Fong, who represented the state at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights in general last week, had misled the UN on the status of native customary rights (NCR) land and issues related to it.
“It is embarrassing to Sarawak and the country and as such, Fong should be removed as the state consultant,” Sarawak PKR chairperson Baru Bian said.
“If Fong’s statement is accurate as reported, I am appalled at his blatant attempt to mislead the UN on the situation our indigenous people are facing in Sarawak. (more…)
- Protesting natives have ‘successfully’ chased away Sarawak Energy Berhad workers at Baram dam construction site and blockaded the area.
Natives, mostly Kayans, from Long Lepaut and Long Kesseh which is downsteam from the Baram Dam site are staging the third phase of their blockade in Long Lama, making the project area inaccessible to Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) workers and officials.
“Baram Dam site is now inaccessible..it is a complete shutdown..,” said local NGO Save Rivers Network chairman Peter Kallang. (more…)
Natives have successfully blocked works on the Baram Dam and its access road in Sarawak, says the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund.
In a statement, it said that last Wednesday, indigenous landowners had set up two blockades in the Baram district on the Malaysian part of Borneo. This has prevented workers in the area from pursuing their work on the proposed Baram Dam.
The natives demand the immediate halt to all planning and construction works at the Baram Dam and its access road. (more…)
- Heavy police presence in downstream Long lama and fresh blockades by natives in upstream Baram has turned the area into a hotspot of demos.
BARAM: Native protestors who chased out 30 Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) workers doing geological studies at the Baram dam site last Wednesday, have set up fresh blockades on the access road into the construction area.
The indigenous landowners set up two blockades and appeared to have successfully prevented workers in the area from returning and pursuing their work on the proposed dam.
Swiss based Bruno Manser Find (BMF) in a statement today said the native are demanding an immeidate halt to all planning and costruction works at the dam site and its access road. (more…)
- Wright and the SEB team. He was invited to engage with NGO dialogue at Geneva – an invitation that was spurned
Nick Wright, Sarawak Energy’s Australian Vice-President in charge of Resettlement, Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Consultation, made a surprise appearance in Geneva this week.
It turned out that his mission was to present a highly sanitised report to the United Nations, praising his company’s treatment of the natives affected by the state’s mega-dam plans.
The document summarised the resettlement arrangements, which Sarawak Energy (SEB) claim to have agreed with the Penan and Kenyah of Murum, with the following statement: (more…)
- Welcoming site? – why the surprise impoundment of the dam before compensation was agreed or even these homes were built?
It has emerged that many of the families forced from their longhouses at Murum have found there is no replacement housing for them after all, in the half-built resettlement areas they have been bundled into by Sarawak Energy.
Visitors last week spoke to families in Tegulang, all of whom had been given supposed vouchers for a home in the new longhouses, but who found there was not enough room.
Such families are being forced to beg space off relatives, with as many as three families now crowding into the same pintu. (more…)
Sarawak’s political flagship Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) is on course for another victory in the next state election due by 2016, with Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud at its helm.
Political observers believed that the party will still remain in power after consolidating its position following its recent 13th triennial delegates conference (TDC).
Their optimistic assessment is also based on the performance of the party over the years. The well-oiled PBB has displayed strong leadership, with minimum bickering under the leadership of Taib.
Said political analyst Dr Jeniri Amir, who is also a senior lecturer at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas): (more…)
Sarawakians doubt Taib Mahmud’s ‘loyalty’ pledge to Malaysia, while others see it as ‘veiled messages’ to Najib.
KUCHING: Sarawakians voiced their disbelief and disgust on Taib Mahmud’s recent remark that the people of Sarawak have “unwavering” loyalty towards the nation.
However, a number of them, commenting on Facebook, speculated that the Sarawak chief minister might have “insinuated” some hidden messages to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in making that statement.
Most Facebook users, when commenting on the issue reported by a local English daily here today, called Taib’s statement a “flattery” meant for Najib. (more…)
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (3rd from left) and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, flanked by Taib and his wife, at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu meeting in Kuching, today. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 21, 2013.The Allah issue between Muslims and Christians in Peninsular Malaysia does not affect Sarawakians because they are a tolerant people, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“To us (people in Sarawak) there is no issue. We have lived with people of different races and different religions for many decades, even before Malaysia,” Taib said in his first public statement on the issue since the Court of Appeal ruled last Monday that the word Allah could not be used by the Catholic weekly, Herald.
Taib declared the ruling was not binding on Sabah and Sarawak. (more…)
The Good News continues to be proclaimed in churches across Sarawak in the native languages and Bahasa Malaysia today, as usual. The Malaysian Insider pic, October 20, 2013.Christian worshippers recited the word Allah as they fulfilled their Sunday obligation across churches in Sarawak today, shrugging off a court ruling that said the Arabic word for God was not central to their faith.
At the St Columbas Anglican church in Miri this morning, the native faithful intoned the words Allah Taala in Iban, God Almighty in English, as they have been doing all their life.
Parishioners who attended the 7am Iban service were reminded during sermon that there would be no change in the way prayers are said and that the church would continue using the word Allah. (more…)
My kids have got it up here – no help from me!
So, Taib Mahmud has yet another business in Sarawak, despite all his protests to the contrary, and it is even named after him.
Pehin Sri Heritage Sdn Bhd has featured on a list of 49 Malaysian companies identified in court by his former daughter in law Shanaz Taib, who is seeking a financial settlement from his son Abu Bekir.
From the value of these recorded companies alone (leaving aside foreign bank accounts and properties amassed by the Taibs) auditors were able to demonstrate that the CM’s son is worth over a billion ringgit in assets, which earn him more than RM2million income per year. (more…)
Now that the 13th general election is safely out of the way, the ruling BN coalition has evidently discarded most of its concerns about public opinion.
The police have been set loose to remove any obstacles to the profiteering of crony companies. Companies linked to BN’s warlords have used the police as proxies to inflict violence, harrassment and forced evictions on Malaysians of all races.
We have seen the police using live ammunition at the Penan blockade at the shameful Murum Dam in Sarawak, We have witnessed them brutalising and stepping on impoverished residents, disregarding their Temporary Occupying Licences, at Kampung Hakka in Negeri Sembilan. (more…)
Ng Ai Fern
One of the iconic bamboo bridges leading to the villages in the Bengoh range. It takes up to four hours on foot and crossing many bamboo bridges to reach Kampung Rejoi, one of the four villages affected by Bengoh dam.
The letter to the villagers informing them that their lands been gazetted as national park.
Villagers affected by the Bengoh reservoir dam some 40km from here are crying foul over the state government’s decision to gazette their ancestral land, which was located within the dam area, as national park. (more…)
Surik Anak Muntai – beaten up as he picked up his son from school – had led the protest against loggers in Melikin
Taib Mahmud has complained that Sarawak is in the ‘media spotlight’ after years of ‘obscurity’.
But, thanks to that obscurity and his own media blackout, gangsterism has been allowed to flourish unreported against the native people of the state.
For years these organised thugs have waged systematic violence against rural communities, in order to enforce the timber and plantation concessions handed out by this Chief Minister. (more…)
At the weekend Taib Mahmud bemoaned that the recent ‘spotlight of publicity’ on Sarawak has created negative perceptions of his government of the state.
So, clearly he wants no further light shone on the disgraceful treatment of the Penan at the Murum Dam site.
The tribe are still holding out in protest against his authoritarian command to start filling the dam before compensation has been agreed or even the government’s own promises fulfilled.
However, one team of observers has just made the tortuous 9 hour journey to see the beleaguered community, who are maintaining their blockade at the site, despite a heavy and menacing armed police presence and the arrest of one of their leaders last week. (more…)
The government has dispatched more police personnel including 43 members of the Public Order Riot Unit (PORU) to the Murum dam site in Belaga in an effort to arrest 40 Penans said to be involved in putting up blockades to protect against the impoundment of the dam.
Last Wednesday, their leader Ngang Buling, was arrested and detained, but was released on Friday on police bail.
He is to be charged under Section 448 of the Penal Code for trespassing and is expected to appear in court on Nov 4, 2013. (more…)
It was some two decades ago when I first visited Pontianak in Kalimantan Barat, or Kalbar as Indonesians call it. Kalimantan is administratively, and perhaps politically, carved into five regions: Kalimantan Barat, Tengah Utara, Selatan and Timor.
Sarawak and Kalimantan share the island of Borneo, partitioned by the British and Dutch colonial occupiers. The division is not only physical in nature, but has socio-cultural and political consequences, felt until today.
One must refer to these historical facts and the subsequent divergent ideological and political leanings of both countries over our shared history, to attempt to answer the question “I wonder why the Indonesian and Malaysian states continue to have flare-ups now and then over supposed border disputes, and over the mistreatment of migrant workers in Malaysia.” (more…)