Hornbill Unleashed

July 30, 2012

An interesting morning in the court

Clive Kessler

I spent an interesting morning in the courts last Friday, at the Court of Appeal in the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.

Background 

The morning’s business, as has now been widely reported, was to hand down the decision of the three—judge panel which had heard the government’s (here meaning the former Minister of Home Affairs, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar) appeal against the earlier decision of High Court judge Justice Mohamad Ariff Mohd Yusof.

Through an act of judicial review in January 2010 Justice Mohamad Ariff had overturned the ban imposed in July 2008 by the former Home Affairs Minister on the book Muslim Women and the Challenge of Islamic Extremism, edited by Prof. Norani Othman of UKM and published by SIS Forum, generally known as Sisters in Islam. (more…)

October 5, 2011

Pakatan guns for ‘copycat’ judge

FMT

According to Karpal Singh, the Court of Appeal judge allegedly plagiarised a judgment by a Singaporean counterpart in early 2000.

Sixty Pakatan Rakyat MPs are pushing for a motion to censure a Court of Appeal judge for alleged plagiarism.

Leading the pack, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh said that justice Abdul Malik Ishak had allegedly committed the offence while serving as a High Court judge in Johor in early 2000.

The judge was accused of plagiarising a judgment by then Singapore High Court judge GP Selvam and the irony of the matter was that Malik was hearing a case regarding copyright.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament, Karpal said: “We have filed the motion (to discuss the censuring) with the secretary of the Dewan Rakyat.”

“This motion (is in line with) Article 127 of the Federal Constitution which allows for discussion of the conduct of judges if 1/4 of parliamentarians support the motion,” he added. (more…)

September 10, 2011

Constitutional question: Judges let down public

federal court dismisses bat bagi over bakun land 080911 baru bian leading prayers

Hafiz Yatim

A law professor said Chief Justice Zaki Azmi and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum, could have abdicated their oath of office by their refusal to interpret the question of law posed to them.

The question posed before the court was “whether section 5(3) and (4) of the Sarawak Land Code relating to the extinguishment of native customary rights are ultra vires Article 5 (Right to life) and Article 13 (right to property) of the Federal Constitution.”

Islamic International University professor Abdul Aziz Bari said by refusing to deal with the constitutionality issue, the Federal court has abdicated its duty.

“Under the Federal Constitution, the Federal Court which is the highest court of the land is essentially the constitutional court of the country; the main tribunal whose major duty is to take care of the constitution,” he said. (more…)

August 11, 2011

Murum natives: Where’s our money?

Joseph Tawie

Some RM680,000 meant as compensation for the Kenyah community in Sarawak’s Murum Valley has ‘disappeared’.

About 500 members of the Long Wat Kenyah community in Murum Valley where the RM3 billion Murum Dam is sited have not received the RM680,000 compensation for the graves of their ancestors despite the money having been disbursed to a government agency.

According to Dr Elie Luhat, chairman of the Long Wat compensation committee, the authorities claimed the money was paid to the Sarawak Museum for disbursment to them.

“The authorities say that the money has been paid to us, but we have not received it, not even a single sen.

“So where is the money now? No one seems to know where the money is!” he said. (more…)

August 9, 2011

Save the Sebangan Rainforest – Battle starts for natives suing Taib’s sister

(more…)

August 6, 2011

Save the Sebangan Rainforest

Numpang Suntai and 14 others, representing 276 Iban families from the 15 longhouse communities of Kampung Entanggor, Ensika, Lumut, Arus Dayak, Tongkah Dayak, Tongkah Dayak Lubuk Manta, Tongkah Dayak Atas, Tongkah Dayak Rumah Panjai, Lunying, Belimbing Besi, Ketimbong and Bajong Ili, Bajong Ili Atas, Bajong Ili Tengah, Bajong Ili Baruh, all situate at Sebangan, Simunjan, Sarawak, filed their civil suit at the Kuching High Court on November 1st, 2010.

This case is going to be heard at Kuching High Court on August 8th, 2011. This civil court proceeding is scheduled to last a week.  (more…)

August 1, 2011

Former judge calls RCI judges ‘three blind mice’

Yow Hong Chieh

Law Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz holds up copies of the RCI report on Teoh Beng Hock at Dewan Rakyat after it was released July 21, 2011.

A respected former senior judge has branded the three judges on the Teoh Beng Hock royal commission of inquiry (RCI) “three blind mice” for concluding that the political aide committed suicide despite lacking expert opinion.

Former High Court and Court of Appeal judge Datuk N. H. Chan said the commission had “no business” forming such an opinion as none of the experts it called upon gave the opinion that Teoh committed suicide.

He pointed out that this went against Section 45 of the Evidence Act 1950, which states that when a court has form an opinion on a point of science, the opinions of experts are relevant facts. (more…)

May 11, 2011

Fewer Sarawak logs going to S Korea

FMT Staff

South Korea which is the second largest purchaser of logs from Sarawak has reduced its intake following complaints by the Korean Wood Panel Association.

Sarawak’s log exports to South Korea dipped by a painful 42% to 91,529 cubic metres following the Korean Trade Commission’s (KTC) decision to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of Malaysian plywood last year. (more…)

March 10, 2011

“Together, we safeguard our NCR land from land grab”

HU Editor

( Photo Inside ) More than 200 Iban villagers from all corners of Sebangan-Simunjan turned up and crowded the Simunjan Magistrate Court to show their support for Numpang Anak Suntai, charged for criminal intimidating the camp supervisor of Loyal Billion and Quality Concrete Holdings Berhad, a logging company substantially owned by the Chief Minister’s sister, Raziah Mahmud.

(more…)

March 4, 2011

Three ethnic groups in historic NCR lawsuit

NONE

Keruah Usit

Kelabit, Penan and Lun Bawang villagers from Upper Limbang were joined by Penan from Baram this morning, accompanying their lawyer Baru Bian to file an historic Native Customary Rights (NCR) land claim at the Miri High Court against four private companies and the Sarawak Government.
The 50 native landowners, all in good spirits, carried a banner announcing their unity in defending their land rights. Six plaintiffs, two from each of the three ethnic groups, were representing themselves and fellow natives from a total of 14 villages in Upper Limbang in the lawsuit. (more…)

March 3, 2011

Historic NCR land suit filed in Miri

HU Editor

History is made this morning, March 3 in Miri when Ulu Limbang Kelabits, Penans and Lun Bawang NCR landowners file a civil suit jointly against four private companies and the Sarawak Director of Forestry and Sarawak Government to defend their rights. The four companies are logging and tree-plantation companies.

For the first time, 3 different ethnic groups have come together and unite in their struggle to defend their rights. Together, they represent some 14 villages in the Upper Limbang region, where people trace their ancestors back over 200 years ago in their NCR lands. (more…)

March 2, 2011

Taib vs Malaysiakini: Decision on March 17

Regina Lee

Long-serving Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s defamation suit against Malaysiakini will be decided in less than three weeks.

After hearing submissions by counsel for both sides, High Court judge John Louis O’Hara ruled that he would decide on Malaysiakini‘s striking-out application on March 17.

(more…)

February 20, 2011

Nervous watch for police at anti-Taib family event

NONE

Keruah Usit

Police in Simunjan, a quiet district town two hours’ drive from Kuching, showed exemplary caution when facing a crowd of 300 Iban villagers gathered in support of Numpang Suntai this Wednesday.

Only 20 of the supporters were allowed into the courtroom in Simunjan, where Numpang (right) was facing a charge of ‘criminal intimidation’ against Loyal Billion, a logging company contracted to extract timber for a wealthy conglomerate, Quality Concrete. (more…)

October 28, 2010

Iban logging protestors defy Taib’s family

By Keruah Usit

Six Iban longhouses in Sebuyau, Sarawak, have lodged 30 new police reports condemning logging on land they say is their temuda (individual orchards and gardens).

The Ulu Sebangan longhouses have reiterated their opposition to logging, despite the arrest of seven of their leaders in response to allegations of arson at the loggers’ camp.

“Looking at the map showing the licensed area, it is clear that they were logging outside their timber concession area. (more…)

October 14, 2010

Bian offers free legal service to logjam victims

By Joseph Tawie

PKR leader and activist lawyer Baru Bian has offered free legal service to any person or group wanting to sue Sarawak authorities and logging companies over what has been called an “ecological disaster” affecting the rivers Rajang and Baleh.

Referring to the clogging of the rivers by logs and debris, he said:

“The logjam is evidence of a failed forest or environmental policy in Sarawak. I believe anybody affected by the disaster can take legal action. I am prepared to take such action on behalf of such people on a pro bono basis.”
(more…)

October 12, 2010

Ecological havoc: State govt panned

By Joseph Tawie

Sarawak PKR today slammed the state government for its failure to prevent an “ecological disaster” when timber mass and debris clogged the Rajang River for the past five days.

“Its failure to contain the problem shows poor governance and incompetence in dealing with the consequences of developments.

“Sarawakians will suffer greater losses in terms of socio-economic costs and ecological damage,” PKR information chief See Chee How said.
(more…)

October 7, 2010

A westerner who defends Taib’s dams

BY KERUAH USIT

Torstein Dale Sjotveit, the Norwegian boss of Sarawak’s privatised electricity monopoly, Sarawak Energy Bhd, has alleged that European environmentalists protesting against mass displacement of Sarawakian natives are against “economic development”.

In an interview with radio station BFM aired yesterday in the Klang Valley and parts of nearby states, Sjotveit attacked the NGOs for defending the land rights of natives displaced by the Bakun and Murum dams.

Sjotveit ( right) claimed that European NGOs, such as the Basel-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), harboured hidden motives for opposing the building of dams. (more…)

September 30, 2010

No way home for Bakun natives

By MalaysiaKini

Many among the 10,000 Orang Ulu who were resettled by the government to Sungai Asap 12 years ago because of the Bakun hydroelectric dam project, are still nostalgic about their old life in the upstream areas of Sungai Balui, which are full of natural resources and good things to eat.

However, following the completion of the RM7.3 billion project and the commencement of the water catchment process by year’s end, there will be no return to their native customary rights (NCR) land as most of it will be under water.

The remaining highlands will become islands in a lake as big as Singapore, which might then be developed by the government to become new tourist spots for nature-lovers or those who enjoy fishing. (more…)

September 27, 2010

RAZIAH GRABS MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR FOREST FOR JUST RM 250!

In an act of breathtaking meanness and greed the multi-billionaire Taib family are seeking to deprive impoverished Ibans of one of Sarawak’s last remaining hardwood forests, for a paltry compensation of just RM250 per family.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Report has received exclusive new leaks which indicate that the Chief Minister himself stands to personally profit by a million times that amount (an estimated RM250,000,00) in corrupt backhanders from the deal.

Raziah Mahmud and Quality Concrete Holdings (more…)

September 15, 2010

Zaid: Consult the people before gazetting land

Zaid Ibrahim accompanied by Baru Bian commenting on the NCR cases at Kuching court complex this morning. Zaid expressed the need for the government to consult the people before gazetting a land because indirectly the problems regarding NCR won’t happen.

September 5, 2010

A distant cry for help from the jungle

NONEBy Sim Kwang Yang

The year was 1993, and I was serving my third term as an opposition member of parliament (MP) of Bandar Kuching.

In the Malaysian context at the time, the core of an MP’s job was to service the constituency, by solving the little problems created by inefficient administration, like looking after blocked drains, neglected garbage collection, and attending to minor daily problems faced by the constituents. That was how politicians saw their roles in Malaysians’ daily lives.

But I had different ideas about politics. I believed that the duty of our Wakil Rakyat was to serve the whole nation, and in the context of Sarawak, to serve all the people in the state. Therefore, I devoted my energies throughout the 1990s to the contentious battle to protect the forests of my home state, Sarawak. It was a tough job, because nobody was interested in environmental protection, and the powerful timber interests made sure that we were denied access to the mass communication media. (more…)

August 26, 2010

Taib’s $1 Dollar Mansion?

1117 Boylston Avenue, Seattle, USABy  Sarawak  Report ( more photo inside )

Sarawak Report would like to enquire of Abdul Taib Mahmud how much he paid for the mansion that Samling passed on to his family in Seattle, USA ?

The residence forms an enormous property, standing in its own grounds in one of the most prestigious area of Seattle on Boylston Avenue.  It was passed from a Samling-owned company to a company now owned by Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family, for just one US dollar in 1991. (more…)

August 20, 2010

Ibans from Rumah Ranggong start trial at Kuching High Court

By BMF

A press release by BRIMAS, the Borneo Resources Institute in Miri (Sarawak), on a legal conflict  between naive Iban communities and BLD Resources Sdn Bhd., a subsidiary of Kuala Lumpur stock exchange-listed BLD plantations (www.bld.com.my), over new oil palm plantations on native lands in Sarawak. For enquiries, please contact BRIMAS executive direcor Marc Bujang under +60 19 884 36 31 or under markbujang@gmail.com.

PRESS RELEASE

20 August 2010

KUCHING – The much anticipated trial of the residents of Rumah Ranggong longhouse against BLD Resources Sdn. Bhd., the Sarawak Land and Survey Department and the Sarawak Government got off to a lively start yesterday morning at the Kuching High Court, with the representatives of the longhouse holding a peaceful demonstration in front of the court complex.

Around 80 representatives of the longhouse came in two buses at 9am and congregated in front of the court complex and held a short demonstration before proceeding into the court house where the trial started at 10am.

Three witnesses from three neighbouring longhouses were called to testify and acknowledge the existence of the native customary rights claims of the residents of Rumah Ranggong and their communal boundary between them. (more…)

Clean up the judiciary first

By Teoh El Sen

The Malaysian judiciary needs to improve to restore the people’s confidence in the courts, said lawyer-activist Edmund Bon. Bon said that until today, the perception that the judiciary is “executive-compliant” still remains.

“When people have no faith in the courts, then confidence in seeking a fair remedy will be at an all-time low,” said the

Bar Council member and chairman of the constitutional law committee.

Bon admitted there are some “very, very good judges” but said he felt depressed that some do not get recognised or promoted because of their independence.

Asked what should be done, Bon said the judiciary first needed an internal clean-up following the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the VK Lingam judge fixing fiasco. (more…)

August 19, 2010

Two donations – a tale of disparities

By Mariam Mokhtar

Over a week ago, 500 Penans lost everything when fire swept through two longhouses. Personal documents like birth certificates and MyKads which were recently issued, could not be salvaged.

Both longhouses were located in the deep interior of Kapit Division: Long Kajang was in a logging concession zone, near the Sarawak- Kalimantan border, half a day’s drive along timber tracks from Bintulu. Long Luar, close to the Murum Dam site, housed 300 Penan.

In a gesture of kindness, the two timber giants operating in the area donated a princely sum of RM900 in total. This was equivalent to RM1.80 per Penan.

These companies which stripped the jungles bare of trees did not see fit to provide the Penan with timber to rebuild their homes, or offer other essential assistance. (more…)

August 18, 2010

Long Kevok Blockade Stands … Lawas Blockade Erected

By HU Editor

Anak Ulu Baram in his/her comment yesterday wrote: “News from Ulu Baram saying that Petronas is financing the PPF/PGA and local drivers sending their people (armed PPF/army) to clear the blockades by Penan in Long Kevok … Long Seridan area,” He/She enquired if we can verify the “news” he/she received.

Last night, our contact in Ulu Baram verified with us that the blockade still stands. At 9.15am this morning, U, our Penan friend in Long Kevok, made a short trip to the blockade site and called to confirm that it remains where it stands.

The local indigenous communities are not objecting to the laying of Petronas gas pipeline, however it is understood that Petronas contractors have caused unnecessarily extensive damages and destruction to forests, their land and crops, disregarding the voices of grievance and distress by the affected Penan, Kenyah and Lun Bawang settlements.

A claim form was distributed to some of the affected communities, but it was not explained as to the damages and losses that the indigenous communities may be compensated. (more…)

August 12, 2010

Sleepless in Sarawak

By Abang Benet

Whichever way you look at it, the political outlook does not appear rosy for Taib and the other component BN party leaders who are so dependent on his patronage, writes Abang Benet.

It was not meant to happen this way. After all, the government media’s script for elections in Sarawak is that it’s the BN’s ‘fixed deposit’, the parliamentary vote-bank that delivers again and again and again, come rain or shine, through thick and thin.

And just to make sure that this re-occurred as per the official script, PM Najib Abdul Razak, DPM Muhyiddin Yassin, CM Abdul Taib Mahmud and other BN ministers openly abused public resources and poured millions of ringgit of public funds into the by-election. Even the Methodist Church in Sibu, despite their supposed embrace of ‘Christian’ values, unashamedly pocketed a ‘badly timed’ mega-handout! It was a vulgar and unabashed display of electoral bribery. The Sibu contest was little more than a ‘buy’ election.

Except that the Sibu voters (and especially those from the urban Chinese community) had other ideas. And notwithstanding the Election Commission’s shenanigans of delaying the result in a failed attempt – if DAP’s Lim Kit Siang is to be believed – to cook the results, the voters handed the seat to DAP/PR’s Wong Ho Leng by a wafer-thin margin of 398 votes.
(more…)

August 7, 2010

Zaid’s petition: Malaysia’s judicial rot deepens

NONEBy Kim Quek

Justice Azahar’s Mohamed’s decision to strike out Zaid Ibrahim’s application to annul Malaysia’s dirtiest by-election – for the Hulu Selangor constituency – was completely within my expectation.

In fact, the moment I learned that Chief Justice Zaki Azmi – a former Umno stalwart – had appointed Azahar to handle the case, I knew that Zaid’s (right) prospects were doomed.

For, wasn’t Azahar the judge who handed out the atrociously “double-standard” judgment in the Perak Speaker vs Speaker case on Sept 8, 2009?

In that judgment over the chaotic state assembly sitting of May 7,2009, he rejected Pakatan speaker Sivakumar’s complaints against BN speaker Ganesan on grounds that he had no jurisdiction to intervene into affairs of the assembly. (more…)

August 5, 2010

Another victory for the NCR landowners

In a decision  delivered this afternoon (04-08-2010), the Kuching High Court held that there is merit in the native community’s claim for NCR to go for trial, that the injunction is necessary to preserve the physical evidence that would tend to support the Plaintiffs’ claim.

The Plaintiffs are represented by Baru Bian.

The court’s ruling on extension of injunction.

Updated 17:00  (more…)

July 19, 2010

Papua New Guinea judge ticks off Rimbunan Hijau

Filed under: Human rights,Legal,Logging,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:36 PM
Tags: , ,

rimbunan hijau human rights abuse in papua new guinea 02

By MalaysiaKini

A judge in Papua New Guinea has has told off Malaysian-owned logging company Rimbunan Hijau PNG Ltd for abusing the court system in order to harass and threaten a local newspaper from reporting on the logging giant’s activities in the country.

According to a July 13 ABC news report, Judge Ambeng Kandakasi threw out the company’s defamation suit and other motions against the Post-Courier.

Four years ago the logging firm filed a defamation suit against the Papua New Guinean daily after it reprinted an Australian newspaper report headlined ‘The Rape of PNG Forest’.  (more…)

July 17, 2010

Shahrizat: the people’s champion?

By Rosita Maja

Minister for Women, Family and Community Development has said: “The Penan community should know that now they have someone to champion their cause and that is us.”

On July 6, the Penan Support Group (PSG), a coalition of 36 NGOs, released a report, “A wider context of sexual exploitation of Penan women and girls in Middle and Ulu Baram, Sarawak, Malaysia” in Parliament. The PSG brought to light more incidents of rape, sexual abuse and exploitation of Penan girls and women by timber workers. (more…)

July 16, 2010

Penan woman gives birth following alleged rape

By KERUAH USIT

A Penan woman from Long Item, Baram, Sarawak, given the pseudonym ‘Bibi’ by last September’s damning National Task Force Report by the Women’s Development Ministry, has given birth to another baby in February this year. The father was her alleged rapist, an Interhill logging camp worker known as ‘Johnny’ or Ah Hing.

Bibi had made a police report of rape in Bukit Aman in 2008, and had been given refuge by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), a participant in the National Task Force. However, she later returned to Long Item to see her family, and fell back under Ah Hing’s control.

Ah Hing told the police and the Borneo Post, a local daily owned by a logging company, that he was Bibi’s husband and not her rapist. However, the Penan Support Group has documentary evidence that Ah Hing is registered with the government as the father of two sets of children born to two different mothers aside from Bibi: a Chinese woman and another Penan woman. (more…)

July 12, 2010

Where Does Our Country Stand?

icc rome statute logoBy Lord Bobo

While the Attorney General’s Chambers is still playing wait-and-see, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) has chosen Malaysia as July’s target for their monthly campaign. The CICC has released this statement calling for Malaysia to demonstrate its commitment to international justice by ratifying the Rome Statute and acceding to the International Criminal Court.

Global coalition urges Malaysia to Ratify the Rome Statute

ICC Accession should be a Priority to Ensure Accountability

1 July 2010

New York, USA – The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) – a global network of more than 2,500 non-governmental and civil society organisations – called on Malaysia to demonstrate its commitment to international justice and the rule of law by acceding to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The CICC has chosen Malaysia as the target for its July 2010 Universal Ratification Campaign (URC), a monthly campaign launched to encourage countries to join the Court. (more…)

July 8, 2010

Helpless victims of merciless sex predators

By MalaysiaKini

(more…)

Zaid Ibrahim: You have been warned

By Mariam Mokhtar

MALAYSIA gained its independence from Great Britain, but after decades of BN rule, many feel that they traded their personal freedom for their country’s liberty. Thousands have been charged under the ISA, people have suffered from police brutality, and many have been victims of corruption: These are citizens who have first-hand experience of having their freedom curtailed. They also feel betrayed at being denied justice.

Speaking at the launch of the Friends of Pakatan Rakayt on July 4 in London, Zaid Ibrahim said that after 53 years, the BN government had destroyed all sense of fairness, sabotaged democratic values and completely disregarded the core values which all humans subscribe to. (more…)

July 7, 2010

A Wider Context of Sexual Exploitation of Penan Women

By Rosita Maja

The National Taskforce Report released in September 2009 (Laporan Jawatankuasa Bertindak Peringkat Kebangsaan Bagi Menyiasat Dakwaan Penderaan Seksual Terhadap Wanita Kaum Penan Di Sarawak), confirmed that the allegations of sexual violence and exploitation of Penan women and girls by loggers was true.

Another mission, by NGOs, was set up two months after the report was made available, because of the unsatisfactory response by the Sarawak state authorities, and their denial of the findings of the National Taskforce Report.

This new fact-finding mission was initiated by the Penan Support Group, a coalition of 36 NGOs, with the joint efforts of  FORUM-ASIA and the Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (AIWN). The mission aimed to further explore and document the incidences of rape, sexual abuse and exploitation and to bring in new evidence to further confirm that the allegations of sexual abuse of Penan girls and women in Middle and Ulu Baram by loggers are indeed true. (more…)

July 6, 2010

MISSION REVEALS MORE SEXUAL ABUSE CASES

PENAN SUPPORT GROUP

c/o Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

Address: 433A, Jalan 5/46 Gasing Indah, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Tel: +60377843525 / 77835724

Fax: +60377843526

Email: suaram@suaram.net

Press Release: 6 July 2010

NO MORE DENIALS:

NGO FACT FINDING MISSION REVEALS MORE SEXUAL ABUSE CASES AMONG PENAN COMMUNITIES
(more…)

The fact-finding report

The fact-finding report, 

A Wider Context of Sexual Exploitation of Penan Women and Girls in Middle and Ulu Baram, Sarawak, Malaysia,

Downloadable PDF reports :-   Click Here

NGO REVEALS MORE SEXUAL ABUSE CASES

NO MORE DENIALS: NGO FACT FINDING MISSION REVEALS MORE SEXUAL ABUSE CASES AMONG PENAN COMMUNITIES

Following the findings of the National Taskforce Report of September 2009 (Laporan Jawatankuasa Bertindak Peringkat Kebangsaan Bagi Menyiasat Dakwaan Penderaan Seksual Terhadap Wanita Kaum Penan Di Sarawak), which confirmed cases of sexual violence and exploitation of Penan women and girls, a group of non-government organisations set out to investigate further the situation in Sarawak when informed that there were other Penan  women and their families who wanted to share their stories of sexual violence and exploitation.

National and regional NGOs comprising the Penan Support Group, FORUM-ASIA and Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (AIWN)document new evidence in light of Sarawak state government leaders’ repeated refusals to acknowledge that Penan girls were sexually abused by timber workers and their apparent rejection of the National Taskforce Report findings.

The fact-finding report, A Wider Context of Sexual Exploitation of Penan Women and Girls in Middle and Ulu Baram, Sarawak, Malaysia, will be launched in Kuala Lumpur and Kuching today.

Hornbill Unleashed readers can download the fact-finding report here, after the launch.

June 28, 2010

10MP: Cronies First, Corruption Now

By Pak Bui

The 10th Malaysian Plan (10MP) is a misnomer. It does not serve Malaysian interests, and there is no viable planning on display.

The 10MP was “unveiled” with typical fanfare in Parliament like some work of art. The document was bound in a gaudy colourful cover, designed to distract from its lack of content and economic innovation. The 10MP is another prime example of outward appearance trumping substance in Malaysian politics.

Its true slogan should have been splashed across the cover: “Cronies First, Profits Now” (to paraphrase Apco and 1Israel). (more…)

June 27, 2010

Only Connect . . .

By Bunga Pakma

Merciless Necessity drove me away from HU these past two weeks.  Shortly after arriving back in Sarawak for a well-deserved rest, my laptop began behaving capriciously. First it would accept only certain letters I typed, and then the keyboard and trackpad ceased to respond at all.

Are any of you out there old enough to remember the pocket transistor radio? These suddenly became a very popular toy in the early 60s, the perfect thing to listen to Elvis and the Beatles on. Alas, these little radios were doomed to short lives.  First the telescoping antenna got bent, and lost its top sections, then the volume dial developed “dead” spots here and “staticky” spots there, and finally the thing stopped working altogether. You threw it away and (maybe) bought another one.

Computers are the transistor radios of the 21st century. (more…)

June 24, 2010

S’wak BN meet to undertake four ‘arduous’ tasks

By Joe Fernandez

The Sarawak BN meet, scheduled for this weekend in Kuching, has reportedly set up four arduous tasks for itself as a decision is about to be made on whether to go for snap polls.

“These tasks are to consider four major themes for the forthcoming state elections,” confirmed a key Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) polls strategist last night.

The first of these tasks is to strategise on the polls theme that Sarawak needs to be administered by homegrown parties and “not those imported from Peninsular Malaysia”. (more…)

June 19, 2010

TAIBS’ LUCRATIVE LINKS WITH ONTARIO GOVERNMENT

By Sarawak Report

In with the Government in Canada

The Taib family’s local acumen in channelling government expenditure into their business activities appears to have extended into Canada, according to the information gathered by Sarawak Report into their Canadian property empire.

Their company Sakto’s success in attracting tenancies from state organisations funded by the Canadian tax payer can only be described as enviably impressive.  Their string of developments appear to be a magnet for government bodies in search of office space.  Plaques outside Sakto’s key buildings testify to their trusted status as landlords to Provincial and Federal Government agencies.

Most noticeable is the mass occupancy by no less than eleven Ontario Government Ministries at the company’s Preston Square site.  According to an official press release in 2007  by the Ontario Realty Corporation, the provincial government body responsible for locating offices, these are the: (more…)

June 17, 2010

Defamation suit related to PKFZ put off

By HU Editor

Trial of the defamation suit filed by Bintulu MP Dato Seri Tiong King Sing against Penerbitan Cerdas Maju Sdn Bhd & 6 Ors with Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader Dato Seri Anwar Bin Ibrahim named as Third Party) has been put off to a date yet to be determined.

At the hearing (in the Kuching High Court today) of the Defendants’ application for an Order to re-amend their Joint Defence, an Order for the Third Party (DSAI) to defend jointly with the Defendants and an Order to determine, as preliminary issue, whether the words complained of as defamatory of the Plaintiff were true in substance and in fact, the Plaintiff notified the Court that he intends and will shortly file an affidavit in opposition to object the application.

(more…)

June 5, 2010

Malaysia’s democracy on trial

Chris Wright, The Australian Financial Review

Anwar Ibrahim’s trial will be a crucial moment not only for his opposition party, but also the government, writes CHRIS WRIGHT from The Australian Financial Review

But while Anwar is under pressure in court, it’s the government, and in particular the  UMNO party at its heart, that is struggling, and not just with election results. Even in a country with a largely compliant mainstream press (but a vibrant alternative media), the government and the country’s other key institutions have found themselves mired in scandal.

When Anwar Ibrahim walks into the Kuala Lumpur High Court today, (more…)

June 2, 2010

Malaysia’s Anwar in stress, under fire

Defections, disorganization dog Malaysia’s opposition party

Anwar and Parti Keadilan have come under constant criticism for the quality of the candidates they have fielded and for disorganisation and political infighting in the party itself. Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP national chairman Karpal Singh, among others, have urged Anwar to look into the weaknesses in his party that have caused the defections.

Asia Sentinel

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, under the stress of a long-running trial accusing him of sexual perversion, is under increasing strain as the point man for his Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or People’s Justice Party as he continues to be harried politically as well. (more…)

May 30, 2010

Corruption: How much is too much?

Filed under: Human rights,Legal,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Goh Keng SweeBy Terence Netto

Reading the encomiums to Dr Goh Keng Swee, the man his eulogists say was principally responsible for the templates that undergird modern Singapore, one is prompted to recall a discussion in the now defunct, Far Eastern Economic Review, on corruption.

The focus on corruption in a mid-1983 edition of the respected weekly stirred interest because several countries in East Asia were, at that juncture, on the cusp of taking the path towards economic development via infusions of foreign direct investment.

The issue of corruption – what attitude to take towards it, what degree of it to tolerate – was mulled over in the intellectual debate on what paths to take in the quest for economic development of the region. (more…)

May 28, 2010

RPK vs the Malaysian govt: Who dares will win

By Mariam Mokhtar

AFTER 14 months of lying low, Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) finally had his debut in London and received a standing ovation from a packed hall at the BPP Law School in Holborn, London.

The crowd comprised a mix of journalists from the Malaysian media, reporters from the foreign press, Malaysians living overseas, students, interested non-Malaysians and curiously, Malaysian tourists in London who somehow got wind of RPK’s lecture.

RPK’s entourage included his wife, Marina Lee Abdullah and his lawyer, Amarjit Sidhu, who were all escorted by two bodyguards. (more…)

May 19, 2010

Najib: You help me, I help you

Filed under: Corruption,Legal,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:48 AM
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April 16, 2010

The end of the jungle?

The Borneo jungleThe Malaysian government and the palm oil industry has been accused of laying waste to last remaining rainforests of Borneo in what has been described as a corporate land grab.

The Malaysian government and the palm oil industry has been accused of laying waste to last remaining rainforests of Borneo in what has been described as a corporate land grab.

A BBC investigation has uncovered evidence of the latest jungle clearance – where vast tracts of land are being bulldozed to make way for plantations. Indigenous tribes say they are being driven from their lands. (more…)
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