Hornbill Unleashed

July 9, 2012

What Justice For The Victims Of Timber Gangs In Sarawak?

Sarawak Report

Minggat Anak Nyakin – beaten and strangled by gangsters last year

Fear of gangsters is widespread in Sarawak and with good reason.  These are the operators outside the law who enforce the greedy land grabs and logging concessions handed out by Taib to his cronies.

By using gangsters, Taib and his business partners avoid being directly implicated and can pretend to have nothing to do with illegal methods.

However, the police know better.  They stand aside and turn a blind eye to the thugs, because they know who they really work for and it is not for the poor natives whose lands and livelihoods are being taken away.

We featured one such attack on Sarawak Report last year. Minggat Anak Nyakin and his son Juan Anak Minggat were beaten to within an inch of their lives by vicious gangsters who were teaching them a lesson for protesting against the destruction of their lands by loggers.

So what justice for the victims of gangster attacks?

Juan anak Minggat – beaten mercilessly

A year later a team fromRadio Free Sarawak have just revisited the family to discover what justice they have received since the attack.

Minggat is still permanently affected by the violent attempt to strangle him and cannot easily speak.

However, he told his story in hoarse tones to Radio DJ Peter John Jaban, reliving the evening in February 2011 when he and his son were brutally beaten and left for dead.

The pair had arrived in their fruit gardens at Pulau Galau above the Sarikei water catchment area (Gerugu Dam) to find that loggers had been destroying their trees.

Angered, he remonstrated with the towkay of the logging company working the neighbouring concession, threatening to go to the law over the desecration of his property by lodging a police report.

Father and son – reliving their ordeal. But, so far no one has been prosecuted for this offence

He then recounts how, as he turned away, he felt a massive blow to the back of his head which laid him out cold on the ground.

The rest of the savage beating was carried out as he lay unconscious and totally at the mercy of the thugs. His glasses were splintered on his face and he just thanks God that he was not blinded.

His son rushed to his aid but was also brutally beaten by the gang, though he later managed to crawl away into the bushes, walking two hours into the jungle before being rescued by a Chinese farmer.

As Sarawak Report wrote in its original coverage, Minggat was left for dead on the steps of the Company Manager’s office. In fact, Juan tells RFS that his hope at the time was only to recover his father’s corpse, so sure was he that the attack had been fatal.

In the end it took 4 days before Minggat recovered consciousness in hospital and it has been a long, painful road since.

So, over a year on, what have the police done about this shocking attack?  Minggat says he is still waiting for progress on the case, even though he and his son were able to identify the criminals. Only one of the gangsters has been arrested, but the case has not been pushed forward against him and this man is now free to roam Sarawak.

According to Minggat, the man is even continuing with in his illegal logging activities unhindered elsewhere in the area.Understandably, this law-abiding citizen who still bears the scars of his ordeal, is angered by the apparent lack of interest the police have shown in his plight.

Driven to take justice into their own hands?

Waiting for justice more than one year later

Worryingly, Minggat, like others who have been subjected to land grabs, threats and intimidation, is running out of patience.

As he himself says, he is getting older and does not have the time to wait for a resolution.

In his interview he told Radio Free Sarawak that his frustration is such that he is tempted to take matters into his own hands again, because after more than one year he has started to despair that the authorities will ever do anything to bring his case to justice.

Despite years of failure by the Forestry Department, the Land and Survey Department and the police to act over his numerous reports of illegal logging in his 3,000 acre plot, he had still maintained some hope that they would not ignore such an outrageous attack on his own person.

That confidence has now been shaken.  How much longer can Sarawak continue to be run for the benefit of thieves and thugs and the ordinary people left to suffer under them?

The full interview can be accessed via podcast on www.radiofreesarawak.org.

Victims should not be forgotten



  1. These intimidation are done by uncivilised people. Those who beat someone who is defending his domain are just like those barbarians we read in the history books. They are only strong when many but have thier tails wrapped tightly under their groin when confronted one on one. Cowards who are protected by the so called People’s Representatives or the YBs and their cronies whose interests these lowlifers are paid to protect. That is an uncivilised tradition brought in from a foreign country and now thriving in native land sarawak as a mean to oppress,to grab,to force,murder, enslave and rule over the natives. Perhaps now is the time the natives used their superior numbers on these thugs and their minders!

    Comment by Brian — July 11, 2012 @ 3:59 PM | Reply


    Comment by TERENCE — July 11, 2012 @ 8:24 AM | Reply

    • The Major Thugs are the Timber Tycoon. Now they support what you call BN gov’t, and if you kick out the BN Gov’t they will support the New Alliance whoever is in power and continue to be the Major Thugs.

      Comment by Lian Tero — July 22, 2012 @ 2:43 PM | Reply

  3. What is Sadia, DBNA and other Dayak associations stand on violence against the native of Sarawak by timber and plantation companies’ thugs? If your association and its committee cannot make a stand, those members who are enraged should proudly voice their anger and make their individual stand and call for actions to be taken against the culprits and BN cronies involved..

    Comment by Mohd Rashid — July 11, 2012 @ 6:33 AM | Reply

  4. A formal complaint should be lodged with the disciplinary section of PRDM against the Police Commissioner of Sarawak for not taking any actions against the culprits.

    Comment by Mohd Rashid — July 10, 2012 @ 7:57 PM | Reply

  5. If the police in Sarawak expect respect and unbiased comment on their performance they are dead wrong as they had not acted aganst the timber gangsters who are well connected with Taib Mahmud cronies. This is not the first and will never be the last incidents of timber gansters attacking longhouse folks who tried to defend their land rights.

    Comment by Sabestian Jacob — July 9, 2012 @ 10:05 AM | Reply

    • whoever doesn’t agree with you is blind, dumb a shameful Sarawakian. In fact we are fearless and can defend ourselves against the timber gangsters but we abide by the law of the civilized world that’s why we don’t take the matter in our own hand.

      Comment by Lian Tero — July 22, 2012 @ 2:50 PM | Reply

    [video src="http://c375872.r72.cf0.rackcdn.com/Warriors%20Trailer%2015.m4v" /]

    Comment by anon — July 9, 2012 @ 9:53 AM | Reply



    The bashing of Minggat and his son is an example of how the people dare to fight back and continue to expose the evils of the Taib regime.

    This gangster regime set the example and has led the onslaught on the people and their land. The land rights struggle reflects the struggle against Brooke territorial expansion.

    This mobster behaviour is not surprising as Taib has established himself as the new Rajah.

    Like the old Rajahs he started a land grab all over the country. The only difference seems to be that the Old Rajahs did preserve Dayak land rights and even warned them against selling their land.

    Taib does the opposite and gives warnings of land seizures notices of eviction of people from land they owned and tilled!

    If they resist they do not hesitate to use brute force to convince the people to move.

    The sad part is resistance has been patchy.

    However things are changing.

    The Miri land owners respond to the recent eviction notice was something different. They sharpened their knives and waited for the next move by the land grabbers.

    The Sarawak warrior spirit has returned….

    Comment by anon — July 9, 2012 @ 9:45 AM | Reply

  8. The late Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew and Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing are the two timber mafias in Sarawak with the tacit blessing of the thief minister Taib Mahmud who is the grand timber thief himself.

    Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — July 9, 2012 @ 9:02 AM | Reply

  9. Aren’t you Malaysian ashamed at what we read n see, If this thought ” it happens to them n not me ” then I’d suggest that when it’s you and your family’s turn to get the same treatment then I gladly say ” Padan Muka “,then we see what you feel.Remember every dog has it’s days.Go on then,let’s vote in more Barisan’s parties.

    Comment by Lok1 — July 9, 2012 @ 3:10 AM | Reply

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