Hornbill Unleashed

May 5, 2014

Governor Taib to sink teeth into onshore oil and gas next?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,

Hazlan Zakaria

While officially retired from active politics in Sarawak, after having alleged to have sucked dry the riches from its lands and forests, state Governor Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, apparently has no plans to let go of the Borneo state’s natural resource jugular.

I know I named him as the Last King of Sarawak, but that was done more in relation to Idi Amin’s “Last King of Scotland” moniker than of any real royal intent but perhaps there is some regal right royal ‘bone’ in him, after all.

Some say that he still rules the state executive. This, by proxy of Tan Sri Adenan Satem, seen by many of his detractors to be a weak leader who will lean heavily on what Taib says.

And it does seem as if Taib, as the head of state, really does have the sultans and rajahs in his DNA, so to speak.

As the Malay proverb goes, “bersultan di mata, beraja di hati”. A phrase used to describe a person whose greed is unbridled by regard for others and only follow what he wants, taking all that he sees and as his heart desires, to the detriment of others.

In Taib and his cronies’ case, it is their greed for wealth that has them lording over the rakyat and taking what is not truly theirs.

If reports are true, the titular head of state, via alleged proxies and allies, are extending his fangs, so to speak, to suck out Sarawak oil and gas next. Literally.

Anti-Taib whistleblower website Sarawak Report has reported over a year ago that while offshore oil and gas rights have been signed over to the Federal Government, onshore oil and gas are still there for the taking.

And with his hands then still in the state’s resource till at the time, Taib and his proxies had evidently set plans into motion to harvest them.

The news has now been confirmed, as timber tycoon Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King, seen by some to be Taib’s crony, and his group are now moving in to claim onshore oil and gas reserves in the state.

In its latest expose, Sarawak Report said that RH Petrogas, which it claimed is owned by Tiong, won 80% of a joint venture with Petronas to exploit the 11,600 sq km onshore field SK 331 in Balingian, his former state constituency no less.

Sarawak Report furnished company documents on its website to prove its claims, documents that show Tiong’s apparent involvement in the deal.

The people of Sarawak, having suffered deforestation for oil palm, dams and property development, may now look forward to pollution from onshore oil extraction.

Experts have long warned that the exploitation of oil and gas on land is just as possibly devastating to the environment as it is offshore drilling. However, as oil and gas resources dwindle, more and more are looking to land-based wells and even ‘fracking’ or breaking into oil-rich shale, with untold dangers to the local geology.

Similarly, reports have stated that onshore drilling has the potential of polluting the land and the ecosystem as sludge and other effluents can be released into surrounding terrain, destroying soil and habitats.

While gasses and noise may cause atmospheric and air pollution, there is also the social cost as the building up of industrial habitation, infrastructure and facilities, and the oil drilling may disrupt native livelihood or destroy it altogether.

Indeed like the damn dams and mushrooming oil palm estates, soon we shall see natives displaced again by the oil and gas industry this time.

Though, just like before, despite all the inconveniences of development, to the people of Sarawak, they will likely not see one iota of benefit from this, still without power, clean water, proper transport, comfortable livelihood and the freedom to enjoy the fruits of their own land.

As the Sarawak Report article pointed out, the past has shown that all the profit will allegedly go to Taib and his cronies while the people continue to live a deprived and depressing existence.


  1. Where are all the good and well educated people in Sarawak? Do we have any? Or we don’t have any courageous ones? Why let this corruption and rot set in and continue in Sarawak? Arise and arrest all these corrupt leaders by changing the government and start a brand new and clean independent country.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — May 6, 2014 @ 7:51 AM | Reply

  2. What a pity, as Malaysian in Borneo its indeed very disturbing. While over viewing future of Malaysia, there is another worse scenario than this that Borneo people have to worry about; the Malayan leaders cannot be trusted. Look at the oil and gas which belong to the States all sucked up to KL, emergency law has been lifted no leaders say anything about it, not even the opposition like PR because that would affect their interests. In as far as PETRONAS is concerned they’re operating illegally, because law in which PETRONAS dependent was void. ..

    Comment by Borneo Rainbow — May 5, 2014 @ 10:40 PM | Reply

  3. First they stole the forest, then the lands and now the OIL? Taib must know that giving away Sarawak’s wealth to his Chinese cronies is simply wrong. Bila lagi dia MATI and bring tiong with him!

    Comment by Brian — May 5, 2014 @ 9:34 AM | Reply

    • Taib is a pekmo (white haired aka. shark). All business opportunities must go through the stomach of the shark.

      Comment by roobeen — May 9, 2014 @ 8:03 AM | Reply

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