Hornbill Unleashed

November 14, 2012

James Masing tells clean energy activists to ‘stop breathing’

Bakun dam during construction. Photo by: Mohamad Shoox.mongabay

Bakun dam during construction. Photo by: Mohamad Shoox.

A top minister in the Malaysian state of Sarawak has told activists campaigning for cleaner energy to ‘stop breathing’, reportsThe Borneo Post.

“I would like to throw a challenge at them (critics) on two fronts,” Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing told the newspaper. “Firstly, please provide us with the best source of alternative power besides fossil fuel, and secondly, they have to stop breathing if they criticize just for the sake of criticizing.”

Masing was responding to the South-East Asia Renewable Energy People’s Assembly (Searepa), a five-day conference that took place in neighboring Sabah. The conference concluded with a set of proposals to shift toward less damaging sources of energy. One of the recommendations was a halt to a series of large dams planned in Sarawak. Critics say the dams will displace thousands of people, flood vast areas of rainforest, and serve primarily as a vehicle for state corruption. The dams, which will cost tens of billions of dollars, will produce substantially more energy than Sarawak consumes.

“We understand that the 12 dams if developed fully will generate 20,000 megawatts in Sarawak. Based on media reports quoting leaders, Sarawak will have a surplus of electricity for many years now that there is power generated from the Bakun dam,” said SEAREPA Programme Coordinator Gabriel S. Wynn in a statement. “We also urge Tan Sri Masing to address the key concerns of the group as communicated through two declarations that had raised the impact of development projects on the people and ecosystems of Sarawak.”

Masing toldThe Borneo Postthe dams would be built as needed to “produce electricity on a commercial scale”. He added that “Hydro-electricity is renewable and clean”.

However research in the Amazon indicates that tropical dams in forest areas can be a signifiant source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

“The myth can no longer be sustained that tropical dams produce clean energy,” said Philip Fearnside, a researcher at Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia in Manaus.

“Dams release methane, a gas with a much higher impact on global warming per ton than carbon dioxide, especially during the first decades after construction. These emissions are often even higher than those of generating electricity from fossil fuels for decades, thus corresponding to the narrow time interval when global warming must be brought under control to avoid massive impacts.”

Searepa involved some 120 participants from 11 nations. The meeting was called after local activists effectively blocked a controversial coal plant in Sabah last year. That plant would have jeopardized local forests and a portion of the Coral Triangle, an area renowned for its marine biodiversity. Opposition to the plant was grew after a team led by Dan Kammen, a renewable energy expert from UC Berkeley, produced a comprehensive assessment showing clean energy options that could replace the coal plant.



    Comment by Anak James — November 15, 2012 @ 12:07 AM | Reply

  2. His master has deserted him by allowing SWP to contest all seats alloted to PRS in GE13 . James is now going for broke by positioning himself to be a chief minster if not thief minister material by spewing absurdity and lies.

    Comment by Irene Kana — November 14, 2012 @ 10:57 PM | Reply


    Can you, Mr Masing, really and truly convince us of the need for the 12 HUGE DAMS besides the unimaginable wealth that Taib,you and the likes of taib and you together with your chinese cronies will make from the construction of these damned dams alone. Tell us, how many of the factories and indutries in the Score projects are to be built and meant to be owned by the Native Dayaks as COMPENSATIONS for lands Taib and you will flood for your pocket money? Infact if you really care for your Native Dayaks brothers, you will fight to give them lands as huge as those flooded by these Damned dams as compensation for the untold hardships they are going to go through for generations. But what did you do in Bakun,you promised them the moon but gave them a few stoney acres to toil as in Sg. Asap! And do you know why the Dayaks are drawn towards supporting SNG SweepArse Party? Its because of you and other Dayak leaders like you who only care for the crumbs you get from supporting taib and his evil plans to control the resources of Sarawak for his own family survival! Perhaps you and other dayaks leaders go to the long houses with eyes closed!

    What commercial scale are you talking about when 12 damned dams will generate huge surplus beyond the need of Sarawak for centuries? What if Brunei, Kalimantan, Sabah and the Philipines decide to built their own damned dams? Who are you going to sell those surplus to?

    Please lah Masing, don’t be a party to Taib’s evil plans. Be a champion of your own kind, not a toy boy for taib. We know he wants to leave a legacy, built something for people to remember him by when he finally stop breathing but what he plans is not good for us Dayaks, it will only destroy us. Everything we have will be under water forever like taib will be in a 6′ by 4′ hole forever after he i gone. How about you?

    Comment by brian — November 14, 2012 @ 3:54 PM | Reply

  4. So far I have yet to hear any logical ideas from this chap who has a doctorate in anthropology. But the best politicians do not necessarily need Ph. D. in Anthropology. Sarawak do not need so many dams but a system of electricity supply which will not be disrupted as occured last sunday and Monday. A dam built in the early eightees – Batang Ai still has unsettled issues to this day. I think we prefer those with logic to govern this state rather than politicians who speak more with their heart than their head.We need a Tan Sri who thinks and talks with utmost statemanship, wit, wisdom and common sense.

    Comment by professor dee — November 14, 2012 @ 3:17 PM | Reply

  5. ALI BABA of the Forty Thieves fame going to bring his money to firery hell soon.

    Comment by white hair — November 14, 2012 @ 1:52 PM | Reply

  6. Building the 12 white elephant dams is an excuse of the Sarawak Government leaders to extract corrupted and sinful money from timber extraction and related contract works etc.at the expense of the affected natives. In addition to the toxic air affecting their health they are deprived of their original land and have to start at a new location for their livelihood. Unfortunately some of the government leaders are Christians and the following biblical extracts are relevant to them:

    Curses On The Dishonest: “A crooked man is an abomination to the Lord” (proverbs 3:32)

    “He who profits illicity troubles his own house” (proverbs 15:27

    Comment by Christian — November 14, 2012 @ 1:45 PM | Reply

  7. Masing shud shut th fuck up! His boss already in trouble what with the Lebanese problem which has many implications.

    Double trouble: identical twin sisters courted generals, lived the high life and racked up millions in debt

    Jon Swaine in Tampa, Florida
    Published: November 14, 2012 – 11:15AM

    Petraeus shockwaves jeopardise more top jobs
    Timeline: the Petraeus affair
    Who’s who in the Petraeus scandal

    The twin Florida socialites at the centre of the David Petraeus affair gained intimate access to America’s military and political elite through their high-rolling lifestyles even as they quietly racked up millions of dollars in debts and credit card bills.

    Jill Kelley, whose complaint over threatening emails prompted the FBI inquiry that has ensnared two generals, is mired in lawsuits from a string of banks totalling $US4 million, court filings obtained by London’s The Daily Telegraph in Florida show.

    ‘Dishonest and lacking integrity’

    Mrs Kelley’s identical twin Natalie Khawam – who obtained testimonies to her good character from Mr Petraeus and General John Allen during a messy custody dispute after her divorce – declared herself bankrupt this year with liabilities of $US3.6 million, filings show.

    Ms Khawam was described by a judge in the custody case as dishonest and lacking integrity, The Associated Press reported, citing court documents.

    The 37-year-old sisters have emerged as central players in the saga gripping Washington’s national security establishment since Mrs Kelley was named as the “second woman” allegedly harassed by jealous emails from Paula Broadwell, Mr Petraeus’s biographer and mistress.

    General sent Kelley ‘more than 20,000 pages of emails’

    Mrs Kelley was also named as the woman with whom Marine General John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, exchanged more than 20,000 pages of emails, some of which were characterised as “flirtatious”, one senior US official told AP.

    The emails between General Allen and Mrs Kelley were not sexually explicit or seductive but included pet names such as “sweetheart” or “dear”. The official said that while much of the communication – including some from General Allen and Mrs Kelley – was relatively innocuous, some could be construed as unprofessional and would cause a reasonable person to take notice.

    The sisters also have direct links to Florida’s highest political circles, London’s The Daily Telegraph has learnt. Ms Khawam once dated Charlie Crist, the state’s former governor, a Republican source said, while Pam Bondi, its attorney-general and a close ally of Mitt Romney, attended a function at Mrs Kelley’s home.

    Mrs Kelley, a mother of four and unpaid “social liaison” for the US military in Tampa, is said to have spared no expense at such parties to honour top brass stationed at nearby US Central Command. She was pictured at one event at her $US1.2 million mansion in 2010 with Mr Petraeus, who arrived in a 28-car motorcade. The sisters are also believed to have attended the farewell party for Sir Nigel Sheinwald, the former British ambassador to the US, in Washington last year.

    Peter King, a Republican congressman for New York who was at the event, told CNN that he had met Mrs Kelley at “one or two events at the British embassy”. An embassy spokesman declined to check, saying that it would take too much time.

    Guests at Mrs Kelley’s own parties were treated to lavish buffets, drank champagne and puffed on cigars while being entertained by string quartets, according to insider accounts.

    Facing multiple lawsuits

    Yet she and her husband Scott, a surgeon, were soon being sued for $US1.9 million by Central Bank after allegedly failing to keep up with mortgage payments on a house they bought after starting their own property company. A similar $US1.8 million property lawsuit from Regions Bank followed soon after.

    Later in the year, Regions Bank filed another claim against the Kelleys for $US453,000, before Bank of America sued Mrs Kelley for $US25,000 in allegedly unpaid credit card charges. All four cases remain open. The banks’ lawyers declined to comment. Mrs Kelley’s lawyer did not return a request for comment.

    In a further revelation this morning, the Huffington Post alleged that the Kelleys ran a “questionable charity” – the Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation – that spent all its money not on research, as it claimed on tax forms, but on entertainment, travel and legal fees.

    “There are obviously financial issues,” said one associate of the Kelleys. “Scott goes to work and works his ass off, and Jill takes care of the social stuff, and gets them into the society pages. They are nice people, and I feel sorry for them.”

    Why did generals vouch for Ms Khawam?

    The sisters grew up in Pennsylvania, the daughters of a couple who emigrated to the US from Lebanon during the 1970s. Their parents, who had two other children, owned a restaurant and a vehicle registration firm, records suggest.

    Ms Khawam, a lawyer, called on their high-level contacts during a custody battle over her four-year-old son in Washington this year. Mr Petraeus and General Allen sent letters to the court supporting her case to overturn a ruling denying her custody.

    Informing the court in a September memo that he knew Ms Khawam well and had hosted her for dinner last Christmas, Mr Petraeus testified to having seen “a very loving relationship – a mother working hard to provide her son enjoyable, educational and developmental experiences”.

    Two days later, General Allen – who is accused of exchanging thousands of emails with Miss Khawam’s sister, Jill – made his own unusual intervention, writing on headed notepaper and signing off with his title as a general in the US Marine Corps.

    He said that she “clearly loves” her son, adding: “In light of Natalie’s maturity, integrity and steadfast commitment to raising her child, I humbly request your reconsideration of the existing mandated custody settlement.”

    ‘Misrepresentations about virtually everything’

    But AP reported that Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz last year criticised Khawam for her behaviour and said her “misrepresentations about virtually everything” would continue.

    “Ms Khawam appears to lack any appreciation or respect for the importance of honesty and integrity in her interactions with her family, employers and others with whom she comes in contact,” the judge wrote in November 2011.

    Not only did the judge in the case award her ex-husband custody last year of their three-year-old son, John, but he also told Ms Khawam to pay his legal bills amounting to $US350,000. Khawam filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in April after racking up more than $US3 million in debt, according to federal court records.

    The status of her most recent custody appeal was not immediately known. She did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday, AP reported.

    Her relationship with her ex-husband, Grayson Wolfe, grew to levels of remarkable acrimony as detailed in court papers. She made repeated claims of abuse, which the judge called “an ever-expanding set of sensational accusations” against Wolfe that were “numerous”, “extraordinary”, and, “so distorted that they defy any common sense view of reality”.

    Separately, Ms Khawam is being sued in Maryland for $US100,000 in legal fees and in Florida by her former boss Barry Cohen, a prominent Tampa lawyer, who claims in his lawsuit that she “fraudulently omitted Rolex watches, sable mink furs and a diamond ring” from her bankruptcy filing, which she denies.

    Mr Cohen’s action came in response to a lawsuit against him from Ms Khawam, who accused him of breach of contract and failing to take action to a complaint of sexual harassment. Mr Cohen denies the allegations.

    The Daily Telegraph, London, with AP, smh.com.au

    This story was found at: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/double-trouble-identical-twin-sisters-courted-generals-lived-the-high-life-and-racked-up-millions-in-debt-20121114-29bhu.html

    Comment by twitpeaks — November 14, 2012 @ 12:23 PM | Reply

  8. Don’T talk cock. Do we need that many DAMS in Sarawak ????? Please answer this question first. What is the purpose of having 12 DAMS in Sarawak ?? The motive is simply to reap money as soon as possible irrespective whether its for the good of Sarawak or not.

    Comment by gagojackman — November 14, 2012 @ 12:07 PM | Reply


      The Bakun produced 2400 mega watts of power which the eco-vandals originally planned to sell to Malaya Indonesia and Philippines.

      This project was scrapped. So there is all this power literally pissing into the Bakun River.

      And Sarawakians are paying expensive electricity!

      If they got so much power why to supply 3 countries why the need for more dams?

      Why can’t the Bakun supply power to SCORE.

      Any way do we want this fcuking “SCORE” when they are planning another aluminium smelter which will cause great harm to the environment and people’s health as in Mukah?

      We know who will be selling concrete for all the 12 dams and making billions.

      May be it time to send off that big time gangster chief in concrete boots under the Bakun!

      Comment by FCUKMSIA! — November 14, 2012 @ 12:48 PM | Reply

      • P.S include Jemut de Masing

        Comment by FCUKMSIA! — November 14, 2012 @ 12:49 PM | Reply

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