Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith
CM says this will ensure logging operators obtain Sustainable Forest Management certification
Tenure for the timber licence can be extended up to 60 years from the date of issuance as the state encourages timber players to practise sustainable forest management.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem said the long term timber concession will become an incentive for logging operators to obtain Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) certification.
He said one of the conditions that would be imposed is that licence operators should incorporate the requirement for certification within three years from the date of approval. Failure to comply with the condition shall cause the licence to be terminated. (more…)
WWF-Malaysia CEO Dionysus Sharma says that this step ensures a win-win solution for both environmental and industrial needs in the move towards sustainability
Timber companies in the state must obtain internationally recognised forest management certification by 2017.
World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) in a statement said that it is 100 per cent in support of Sarawak Chief Minister, Adenan Satem’s proposal that timber companies must get international certification.
WWF-Malaysia CEO Dionysus Sharma said that this step ensures a win-win solution for both environmental and industrial needs in the move towards sustainability. (more…)
The Norwegian government has blacklisted two of Sarawak’s giant timber companies for severe environmental damage caused by their logging operations in the state.
The US$760 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) – the world’s largest sovereign fund – had divested its stakes in WTK Holdings Bhd and Ta Ann Holdings Bhd, based on the recommendations from the fund’s Council of Ethics.
Both WTK and Ta Ann, have extensive logging operations and timber plantations in the Borneo state.
According to the Auditor-General report, Sarawak timber industry development corporation Harwood has been consistently registering a post-tax profit until 2012.
Sarawak timber has been well managed and proved to be lucrative with the Sarawak timber industry development corporation Harwood Timber Sdn Bhd (Harwood) reporting a profit after tax of RM3.94 million in 2009, RM4.27 million in 2010 and RM4.60 million in 2011.
The recently released Auditor-General (AG) report had announced that an audit conducted from October 2012 to February 2013 revealed that Harwood’s overall financial performance was good. (more…)
It was some two decades ago when I first visited Pontianak in Kalimantan Barat, or Kalbar as Indonesians call it. Kalimantan is administratively, and perhaps politically, carved into five regions: Kalimantan Barat, Tengah Utara, Selatan and Timor.
Sarawak and Kalimantan share the island of Borneo, partitioned by the British and Dutch colonial occupiers. The division is not only physical in nature, but has socio-cultural and political consequences, felt until today.
One must refer to these historical facts and the subsequent divergent ideological and political leanings of both countries over our shared history, to attempt to answer the question “I wonder why the Indonesian and Malaysian states continue to have flare-ups now and then over supposed border disputes, and over the mistreatment of migrant workers in Malaysia.” (more…)
Corruption and companies taking advantage of lax enforcement and murky regulations to clear forests are the major causes of the haze that is smothering Malaysia and Singapore, an Indonesian-based eco-business writer has charged.
And here is the really bad news for Malaysians and Singaporeans: the hunger for kickbacks increases when elections are around the corner. As elections are due next year, this may be one reason why the burning of forests is worse this time around.
The writer noted that as soon as it became clear the bulk of the burning was taking place in the Riau province, fingers were pointed at the leading suspect in the issuing of illegal logging permit: Rusli Zainal, the governor of Riau. (more…)
Prof Dr. Maketab Mohamed
POLITICIANS! MAKE A GREEN STAND!
THE MALAYSIAN NATURE SOCIETY (MNS) CALLS FOR NATURE CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION TO BE KEY ISSUES OF THE GENERAL ELECTIONS
The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) notes with serious concern the recent cases of environmental mismanagement that have been highlighted by the media, and calls on all political parties to pledge real action to halt unsustainable development. (more…)
An native customary rights lawyer in Sarawak has accused the Selangau police and a Sarawak Administrative Officer of abusing their power in remanding two siblings.
Two native customary rights (NCR) land activists, were not only arrested for lodging a report against a company for illegally logging on their NCR land but also denied proper court procedures.
Matek anak Geram, aged 40, and his brother Tambi, 60, who are members of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) were arrested last Sunday, and on Monday they were produced before a Sarawak Administrative Officer (SAO) who sat in as a magistrate. (more…)
New satellite imagery shows Malaysia is destroying forests more than three times faster than all of Asia combined, and its carbon-rich peat soils of the Sarawak coast are being stripped even faster, according to a study released Tuesday.
The report commissioned by the Netherlands-based Wetlands International says Malaysia is uprooting an average 2 percent of the rain forest a year on Sarawak, its largest state on the island of Borneo, or nearly 10 percent over the last five years. Most of it is being converted to palm oil plantations, it said.
The deforestation rate for all of Asia during the same period was 2.8 percent, it said. (more…)
Decades of political corruption are seen as the main contributor to the depleting natural forest cover, says Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M), with the felling of timber being the foremost revenue for political funding.
“Unfortunately, corruption has become a root cause of deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, including Malaysia,” TI-M’s secretary-general Josie M Fernandez said.In her keynote address at a TI-M forum under the Forest Governance Integrity Programme (FGI), Josie said countries rich in forests are well-known to “suffer” from a high level of corruption. (more…)
“Billions of illicit assets”: Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Godfather of Sarawak
Research by the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has uncovered the vast dimensions of the Malaysian Taib family’s illicit assets. According to the Swiss organization, the inner family circle of Malaysian potentate Abul Taib Mahmud has a stake in over 400 companies around the globe and holds illicit assets worth several billion US dollars.
Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”) has been Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Planning and Resources Management Minister of Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak, since 1981. He has been long criticized for corrupt practices and abuse of office but Malaysian authorities have failed to take action against him, despite an ongoing investigation by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC). Taib is a key supporter of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. (more…)
Sarawak can no longer ignore EU regulations governing import of timber because it will eventually affect ‘finished products’ originating from Sarawak.
Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s administration cannot continue to dismiss European Union Timber and Trade regulations because it would inevitably affect ‘finished products whose origins are traced back to Sarawak.”
Opposition assemblymen concerned over the State Government’s stubborn refusal to comply with the regulations are expected to raise the logging issues during the State Legislative Assembly sitting next month.
Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said the recent decision by the Netherlands’ Independent Appeals Board was not merely linked to raw logs but also ‘finished products such as furniture which could be traced to Sarawak.” (more…)
Tasmanian Independent MP Paul Harriss hob-nobs while ‘on holiday’ in Sarawak with corrupt dictator Taib Mahmud’s two top cronies Awang Tenggah and Len Talif Saleh.
Taib’s foreign business partners are working hard to present a picture that all is well in Sarawak and to imply that there are no issues with the wood logged from the state or its plantation programmes.
Indeed, last week Ta Ann Tasmania’s Chief Executive David Ridleylaunched a barage of justifications defending his company against a report that has revealed that Ta Ann products are falsely promoted as ‘eco-wood’, thereby deceiving consumers.
Still no answer to the charges of false eco-labelling! (more…)
The Penan communities have mounted a blockade in an attempt to stop further logging of rainforests in the middle Baram region.
According to the NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), about 70 people from the communities of Ba Abang and Long Kawi set up the blockade on the logging road near Ba Bunau river to stop Miri-based company Interhill.
“According to community information, the blockade was erected last Thursday, Oct 12, and was attended by more than 70 Penan tribespeople,” it said.
BMF, in a press statement yesterday, said that the blockade is located within the land claimed as native customary land of the Ba Abang community. (more…)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,
We have just received the news that the Penan communities of Ba Abang and Long Kawi in Sarawak’s Middle Baram region have started blockading a logging road to prevent the further felling of their rainforests.
According to community information received by the Bruno Manser Fund, the blockade has been erected last Thursday, 13th October 2011, and has been attended by more than 70 Penan tribespeople. The blockade is located near the Ba Bunau river within the claimed Native Customary Rights land of the Ba Abang community. It is mainly directed against Interhill, a Malaysian logging company based in Miri, Sarawak. Interhill is also known to be the owner of the Pullman 5-star hotel in Sarawak’s capital, Kuching. The Pullman Kuching hotel is being operated by the French Accor group. (more…)
Sarawak is not prepared to kow-tow to timber import regulations set out by the European Union.
Sarawak is stubbornly refusing to comply with the international timber certification and trade regulations simply because the state “already has its own set of timber industry policies”.
State Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said: “The international sanctions focus on the question of legality of the timber certification, native customary rights (NCR) and human rights activities.
“These issues are irrelevant as they are well taken care of all this while by the government,” he said in reference to the US and European Union’s (EU) timber certification and trade regulations. (more…)
Papua New Guinea (PNG) police admitted they were paid by a company owned by Sarawak tycoon Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King to crack down on locals protesting against a controversial oil palm project there, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported today.
The state-owned media channel’s “The World Today” programme reported that villagers in PNG’s East New Britain province were arrested and beaten last week by a squad of police officers under orders from Rimbunan Hijau (RH).
RH is Tiong’s multi-industry company with the biggest logging and oil palm plantation shares in the South Pacific country. The 76-year-old is said to be worth US$1.1 billion (RM3.5 billion) and is ranked by Forbes to be the world’s 840th richest man. (more…)
. Sarawak Report
“Eco-friendly and sustainable” – Japanese retailers advertising Ta Ann wood products highlight it Tasmanian origin
Last week Ta Ann accused The Green Party in Tasmania of false advertising over logging in Sarawak.
But now advertisements promoting Ta Ann’s products as ’Eco-wood’ have been challenged by a devastating expose of the company’s own role in Tasmania!
The report, published today by the Huon Valley Environment Centre of Tasmania, spells out Ta Ann’s hypocrisy and it is uncompromisingly titled “Behind the Veneer: Forest destruction and Ta Ann Tasmania’s lies”. [click for report]
Over 50 pages, the troubling expose details how the Sarawak timber giant’s decision to invest in Tasmania was specifically aimed at targeting the growing market for environmentally friendly, sustainable wood products, but has ended up deceiving consumers. (more…)
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…)
Both Sarawak and Sabah timber industry players are demanding that the government simply ban export of timber.
Sarawak furniture manufacturers are demanding to know why the government is enforcing double standards on the industry.
Calling for the ban on the export of timber, which is already in place in Peninsular Malaysia, to include Sarawak, they said the exports have crippled their downstream furniture industry.
Sarawak Furniture Manufacturers’ Association Wong Yiew Chai said shortage of certain timber varieties such as the red meranti wood had acutely affected their production. (more…)
Code Green Tasmania
Environment groups raise concerns as logging companies jeopardise forest solution
This morning, grassroots forest groups the Huon Valley Environment Centre, Still Wild Still Threatened and Code Green have taken action at the Ta Ann veneer mill in Smithton. 12 conservationists entered the site at 6am and two activists are locked on to machinery, halting operations. The protestors are displaying a banner reading “Ta Ann terminating Tasmanian forests.
This action takes place in response to Ta Ann’s role in blocking a solution for Tasmania’s forests. Grassroots environment groups are raising concerns over yesterday’s Intergovernmental Agreement on forest. (more…)
BRUNO MANSER FUND, SWITZERLAND
SOCIETY FOR THREATENED PEOPLES, SWITZERLAND
07 June 2011 – for immediate release
ITTO criticized over failure to reach its goals – a new approach is needed
International Tropical Timber Organization report admits that less than 10% of tropical forests are being managed sustainably
(BERN, SWITZERLAND) The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) has been criticized for not making sufficient progress in the promotion of sustainable forest management, the core goal of the multilateral organization. According to the ITTO’s report “Status of Tropical Forest Management 2011”, which has been released today in the Swiss capital of Berne, less than 10% of tropical forests are being managed sustainably. (more…)
Don’t bulldoze our forest.
Sarawak Report has received an exclusive dossier of photographs showing the full extent of the violence and anger that has broken out in the normally quiet, law-abiding communities of Tebedu, Serian.
The trouble broke out a fortnight ago, as Taib’s logging raid on this valuable area of remaingin virgin jungle got under way.
Village headmen were threatened and there was an unprecedented attack on the machinery and transportation trucks belonging to the logging company. The loggers, mostly foreign workers of course, had fled in advance. (more…)
5 native villagers Papai Ak Atin, Barak Ak Kolol, Mani ak Marin, Karia Ak Daruh and Peter Ak Laiong of Kampung Mawang from Tebedu, Sarawak, are ordered by the Magistrate to be remanded at 4 different police stations in Kuching for 4 days and shall be produced in court on 18 May (next Wednesday) at 10.00am.
According to the investigating officer, Insp Azlan, the 5 Bidayuh villagers are allegedly involved in the torching of workers quarters, bulldozers, tractors and other machinery at a timber camp on May 9. (more…)
Natives from 10 villages in Tebedu, Sarawak, are said to have torched dormitories, bulldozers, tractors and other machinery at a timber camp on May 9.
The Bidayuh villagers had been blockading the timber access road of logging contractor Alliance Bahagia to defend their Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.
According to witnesses, nobody was injured in the arson attack. Police arrived at the scene in Tebedu, about 90 minutes’ drive from Kuching, in time to see the equipment and buildings aflame. (more…)
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…)
. Sarawak Report
The wave of protests and disgust against the destructive regime of Taib Mahmud in Sarawak is continuing and it has gained further attention in the international media. There have been demonstrations outside properties owned by the Taibs in the UK, Canada and the US and now it has been announced that further protests are planned in Australia, Austria and Switzerland.
Today’s Sunday Times Newspaper, Britain’s premier weekly, has also reported on these developments and summarised the reasons why so many people the world over are rallying to support the plight of the people of Sarawak in the face of the greedy plunder of their jungles and natural resources. The message is clear – you have not been forgotten and there are many in the world who will move to help you once you are rid of Taib Mahmud. (more…)
Gordon Brown in The Independent, UK
I have a declaration of interest to make at the outset. Clare Rewcastle is my sister-in-law. She is also a journalist who has had a lifelong fascination with the environment. She was busy raising a family – and was not hunting for the next big exposé. But, as she researched into the community where she had been brought up, she stumbled upon what is probably the biggest environmental crime of our times. (more…)
( 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.
Sarawak PKR has lambasted State Planing and Resource Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan for his comments in a local daily.
KUCHING: A Sarawak minister who accused the opposition of harping on the “old issue of NCR land” is himself recycling the same answers for the past decade and treating the people as if they were ignorant of their rights, said Sarawak PKR information chief See Chee How. (more…)
Sarawak PKR information chief See Chee How said the opposition parties and human rights groups were concerned at the accelerated rate of leasing out NCR lands to plantation companies since last year.
“We want to find out the reasons for the acceleration of leasing out NCR lands to companies. Has it got to do with somebody who is about to leave politics?” he said when asked to comment on Sarawak Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Awang Tengah Ali Hasan’s attack on the opposition and rights groups on the NCR land issues. (more…)
A father and son, who were bashed by thugs, are wondering why police have not initiated an investigation.
KUCHING: Nine days after Minggat anak Nyakin and his son Juan were attacked at a timber log pond at Sungai Rusa in Sarikei Division, their families and relatives are wondering why the authorities have not taken any action against their attackers.
According to Sarawak Native Landowners Network (Tahabas) spokesman Bernard Nyumbang Anank Barau, there has also been no police investigation into the alleged illegal logging activities. (more…)
A new issue allegedly involving Land Minister James Masing is brewing over the NCR land dispute between natives and BLD Resources.
Land Development Minister James Masing has come under fire for his alleged involvement in converting a native customary rights (NCR) property into state land, which has resulted in a legal dispute between the natives of Rumah Ranggong in Ulu Niah and BLD Resources Sdn Bhd. (more…)
J. D. Lovrenciear
The published report about Malaysia depleting its natural resource is indeed most alarming.
The report by Wetlands International – the Netherlands based satellite observatory on deforestation and damage to the world’s ecological system alleges that Malaysia is truly raping the earth – beating the whole of Asia. (more…)
Peter Sibon, Borneo Post
Some 2,100 students from Belaga district have benefited from the Bakun Trust Fund in the last 12 years, disclosed Minister of Land Development Dato Sri Dr James Masing.
Of those recipients, 1,200 have completed their diplomas and degrees.
“We have only spent about RM3 million in the last 12 years for the education of students from Belaga district,” Masing told The Borneo Post after receiving an additional RM5 million allocation from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a meet-the-people-session at Rumah Belor, Sg Asap, here on Saturday. (more…)
The arrests pictures expose police collusion with SS Gas Pipeline contractor
November 13, 2010 by democracy4now
The pictures from the arrests scene are finally in-which expose the collusion between the Lawas police and the SS Gas Pipeline contractor. Even done in the quiet away from the public and media view-technology is empowering the people to record such astrocious action of the police-who keep quiet when the land owners complained about the land encroachment for a long time, but spring into action after 1 week of the blockade! 4 persons were arrested on the 1st day-and they had all been, under public pressure, released by now. (more…)
By Keruah Usit
The company records for Quality Concrete, the timber licence holder at the centre of a land dispute that has led to mass protests, shows how ‘the politics of development’ work in Sarawak.
Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd, a company with interests in logging, construction, pipes, cement and plastic bags, has RM57.96 million in paid-up shares, according to information made public by the Companies Commission of Malaysia. A third of the shares are assigned to nominee companies, likely to be proxies. (more…)
By Keruah Usit
Some 100 Ibans from 15 longhouses in upper Sebangan in Simunjan, Sarawak, appeared en masse at the Kuching High Court this morning, to sue two logging companies, two of their own government-appointed village leaders and the Sarawak government.
The Iban, accused by logging company Royal Billion of setting fire to a local logging camp on Oct 15, announced they are taking the fight for their Native Customary Rights (NCR) lands to court.
The 15 villages are proprietors, occupiers, holders and claimants of NCR lands surrounding Kampung Entanggor, Ensika, Lumut, Arus Dayak, Tongkah Dayak, (more…)
By Chris Reubens
Land issues which had caused a lot of unhappiness in Kuching and Simujan last month had now shifted to Sarawak’s central region where 13 Tuai Rumah have formed a committee to fight against a Sibu tycoon who was alleged to have bought over 6,000 hectares of their Native Customary Right (NCR) land in Daro.
Nine Tuai Rumah from Daro, a two-hour boat ride from Sibu had lodged police reports during the weekend while four went to the Sibu Central Police station Monday to lodge their reports against the company which was said to have encroached into their NCR lands at Block 12 Engkilo/Seradang Land District along Sg. Lengan Labaan, Pulau Lebaan, Daro. (more…)
By HU Editor
(Video link inside)We have just received a call from Daniel, a Kenyah teacher, in Belaga: “Nanga Merit, Nanga Metah, Punan Bah, SK Long Terawan, SK Nanga Merit, SK Punan Bah, Kampung Terawan … All the schools and villages below Belaga Town are cut off because the river has dried up due to the impoundment of Bakun Dam.”
“Even the engineers of Sarawak Hydro are telling us that the state government has no plan to overcome the problem because they are unlikely to stop the impoundment.” (more…)
By Joseph Tawie
Some 20,000 indigenous natives of Kayan, Kenyah, Saben and Penan communities living in the Baram division are horrified to hear about the voluminous fast-flowing Rajang River drying up, a phenomenon blamed in part to the impoundment of the controversial Bakun dam which began on Oct 13.
The unexpected dry spell and the continuous impoundment has caused untold misery and hardship for those living along the Kapit, Belaga, Nanga Merit and Pelagus areas. (more…)
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…)