Hornbill Unleashed

August 10, 2010

Taib expresses regret over NGOs’ unfriendly views


Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has expressed regret over the issue of the Penans being hurled at the state all the time by “unfriendly” non-governmental organisations (NGOs), particularly foreign NGOs, which he said held the wrong view that they should be left to roam the jungles like the orang utans.

However, he said, if the government left the Penans to roam like animals in the forests, then the state would be accused by human rights groups of not doing its duty to help them develop.

“To date, some 500 of the Penans are still wandering as nomads in the forests,” he said during a recent interview with a British television station at Oxford, near London.

Extracts of the interview were made available in a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office here today.

Nevertheless, Taib said, he was happy that most of the Penans had begun to settle down while some of them had been able to earn a good income from cultivating oil palm.

He said there were Penans among the civil servants, and added that they excelled in education at school.

“Although they are late starters, they are increasingly becoming part of the Sarawak community,” he said.

Taib said his visit to London was to look into the possibility of tapping the expertise and knowledge of the academia, particularly those at Oxford, on how to get in touch with big investors and players in the global market to participate in the development of the Tanjung Manis Halal Hub in Sarawak.

Also present at the interview were Sarawak Land Development Minister James Jemut Masing, Deputy Foreign Minister Richard Riot and Kuala Rajang MP Norah Abdul Rahman.



  1. Pekmo please do not your shoe at us. How much do you actually know the ethnic groups of Sarawak? So much the indigneous interests had been absconded through various means leaving them to wait for falling stars from the sky because their basic amenities were vanished. They are the defenceless tribes. No ammunition but only a home made spear and a blowpipe for hunting purpose only. Land …. lost, where are to migrate; hunting ground …. disorientated, animals were hunted down by outsiders; jungle produce the only food source … gone, tree crops were hewed down for timber; thus our natural habitat among the jungle trees were hijacked to churn more money for the rich and where is our share then? Can your opulence residence open for us temporarily stay for a day or so?

    Comment by Miaowkia — August 10, 2010 @ 7:18 PM | Reply

  2. Tan Sri Taib never ceases to confuse the issue by accusing NGOs of making museum pieces of the Penans, an old worn out anicolonial rant. His emphasis of educated Penans and their employment in the civil service are damning proofs that much more could have been done, not just to make them civil servants but along other Sarawakians, proud Sarawakian participating in a more succesful, vibrant and open community equitably contributing to further economic growth and progress.

    Baroness Ludford, Liberal Democrat, MP EU Parliament in no uncertain terms clarified problems on policy implementation and its impact on society, Penans and others included. The EU is very concerned by politely emphasizing that the US and the EU share these problems. In exemplary diplomatic decorum they’re suggesting, the results of bad policy impacts will land at their doorstep. Coupled with the slow demand for biofuels from both the US and EU markets, understandbly because of the recessionary impact of financial woes, something else more constructive and supportive of growth with good policies and implementation need a rethink and new solutions to roll out.

    Comment by Watcha — August 10, 2010 @ 8:49 AM | Reply

    • well..i guess we are looking at someone who does not believe in the existence nor contribution of civil society full stop! sad sad sad

      Comment by gaharu — August 10, 2010 @ 6:05 PM | Reply

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