Hornbill Unleashed

August 31, 2010

Samling threatens Penan with retaliations over rape allegations

30 August 2010
Logging giant threatens to suspend all transport services for locals unless Penan retract sexual abuse allegations

LONG AJENG,Malaysian logging giant Samling has threatened the indigenous Penan communities of Sarawak’s Upper Baram region with the suspension of all transport services provided for locals unless they retract sexual abuse and rape allegations against the timber companies active in the region.

The new dispute between Samling and the Penan arose after the release of a report by an international fact-finding mission in July 2010. The report had uncovered seven new cases of sexual exploitation of Penan girls and women in the Upper Baram region by timber workers and had asked the Malaysian government to address the grievances of the Penan communities.

According to Penan sources, Jawa Nyipa, headman of Long Ajeng, was asked by Samling officials to sign a statement that the women in the region had retracted their allegations of sexual abuse by timber company staff.

Jawa Nyipa was told that, unless he signed the document, all transport services for the locals would be suspended. The headman refused to sign the statement but the Penan are concerned about the implications of Samling’s threat to suspend transport for the impoverished villagers in the Upper Baram region.

The Penan, who live in remote jungle villages in Borneo, rely on logging companies for transport to rural centres in order to reach the local markets, obtain medical treatment and send their children to secondary school.

Samling’s refusal to provide transport is likely to put them in a very difficult situation as they are unable to afford other means of transport. Last year, logging companies operating in the Middle Baram region ceased to provide transport for a number of communities who had voiced concerns over sexual abuse and rape by timber workers.

Samling (HKEX 3938) is a globally operating Malaysian timber conglomerate with an annual turnover of US$480 million.

Last week, the Norwegian Government Pension fund excluded Samling from its portfolio because of the company’s involvement in illegal logging and the fact that it had caused and is still causing severe environmental damage.

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


  1. It is easy to say “Vote them out” when on the ground there is a struggle to get to the polling station.

    It’s So sad. Democracy is so abused by our neo-colonial rulers who don’t bother with the niceties of being “civilised” as they claimed themselves to be.

    A “GOOD” gov’t will ensure that the gangster companies MUST install all infrastructures before they are allowed to rip up the trees. (A good go’vt would not allow ripping up the trees in the first place- just a joke!)

    But our good go’vt is in thick as thieves with the plunderers so what can you do?? Was it in the island Vanuatu that Samling henchmen got kidnapped by angry locals & had their tractors burnt???

    In the past the jungle people had great leaders who stood up for no nonsense and sacrificed themselves to preserve their land. Need I say more??? Now we have these so-called leaders who sell their soul and the land so easily without a fight.

    Comment by Abang — September 9, 2010 @ 1:36 PM | Reply


    It is time to reclaim what is rightfully yours….Firstly VOTE THE BASTARDS OUT!!!

    Comment by Abang — September 9, 2010 @ 10:53 AM | Reply

  3. Its not the first time they are using these tactic to scare the people in the interior….

    Just go to any Samling camps in the interior…..there are uing the services of gengster to man the gates!

    Its and open secret……James Ho has his own gengsters to man the Baram Camp ‘C’ gate…and Ta Tong has his own geng as well!!! and what make things worst…our PPF/GOF are backing them!

    Comment by Anak Baram — September 3, 2010 @ 7:46 PM | Reply

  4. samling got blacklisted by norweigian government, and now retaliate on the penans?

    Comment by qwerty — August 31, 2010 @ 10:21 PM | Reply

  5. Mata Kuching, your request for friends of Pakatan to chip in to reduce the Penan’s problem is certainly a noble idea. You know, the State government will laugh at us. To provide the basic infrastructure for the rakyat is the duty of the government. We should pressure the wakil rakyat in their constituency to solve this problem.

    Comment by Termite — August 31, 2010 @ 9:23 PM | Reply

    • When the Penans and Ibans from very remote Sarawak have transport to go to the polling stations, they will vote for Pakatan. So Pakatan must ensure these marginalised and neglected voters be given a ride to the polling stations. The Samling boys and other timber and plantation gangsters, acting on the instructions of BN, will definitely plot to prevent them from going to vote.

      Comment by Asri Rahman — September 1, 2010 @ 8:56 PM | Reply

  6. Pakatan and friends of Pakatan can chip in to buy a few good but second-hand landcruisers for the Panan folks to use unless UMNO controlled BN government see it as its responsibility to do so.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — August 31, 2010 @ 1:21 PM | Reply

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