Hornbill Unleashed

February 21, 2012

Malaysia Deforestation Is Three Times Faster Than Rest Of Asia Combined

Filed under: Logging — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:48 PM
Tags: , , ,


TreeNew 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…)


October 27, 2011

Taib and gang cannot dismiss EU logging rules

Joseph Tawie

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…)

October 18, 2011

Baram Penan set up blockade against loggers


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…)


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 1, 2011


. Sarawak Report

More photo inside )( Video link )London kicked off the planned week of international protests against Taib’s 30th year in office this morning.  They staged a show of disgust outside the Central London headquarters of the wealthy propety company that is linked to him, Ridgeford Properties.  A good crowd of mixed Malaysians, Sarawakians and British sympathisers gathered to make their message plain.  “30 years is long enough”!   The banners spoke for themselves and a human monkey danced amongst the crowd to remind the cameras and journalists who had gathered from as far away as Australia and Italy that this protest is not only to support the natives of Sarawak but also the creatures of the jungle who are endangered by Taib’s relentless destruction! (more…)


February 8, 2011

BN must clear Malaysia’s name, it must sue Wetlands International

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…)


November 7, 2010

Update : 50 Sabah Sarawak gas pipeline workers stopped at blockade at 15km out of Lawas town

by democracy4now

Blockaders took shelter under a hut when it rained heavily at noon 

On the 2nd day a Temenggong of Lun Bawang met with James-the Chairman of the Action Committee on Lun Bawang’s land rights, and proposed that they accept some ex-gratia money from Petronas and file a suit against the State Government for declaring their ancestral land as state land. The offer was rejected out right as the residents had discussed it extensively and found that the law suit will span over 10-years, by which time even a favorable judgment can’t set time back!

James said that they had flown to KL to meet Petronas CEO-but didn’t meet him (more…)


October 31, 2010

Bakun Damned: Where have all the waters gone?

 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…)


October 30, 2010

The mighty Rajang River not so mighty after all

By Chris Reubens

Malaysian Mirror

Malaysia’s longest river – the Rajang in Sarawak – is a source of food, income and a mean of transport for the people living along the 640km waterway.

Once the pride of Sarawak, the Rajang is now old and sick with years of abuses, mostly man-made. And recently, there’s growing fear that the water level is running low. It has reached a critically low point as reported.

On Oct 8, the Rajang was suffocated with logjam causing losses of RM2.7 million after bridges and jetties were swept (more…)


October 29, 2010

Petrified Baram natives want ‘dam plan’ scrapped

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…)


October 25, 2010

Awang Tengah : We cannot undo Bakun Dam impoundment

The government will go on with the Bakun hydro dam impoundment, Second Planning and Resource Management Minister Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said.

He added that the government had expected the water level at the Rajang River to recede to a certain degree during the impoundment but not at the current level, which he said was “totally unexpected.”

“We gave the permit to start the impoundment this month because based on studies and weather reports, we are supposed to be in the monsoon season by now. (more…)


October 23, 2010

Raziah – Protestors jailed

By Sarawak Report
In a recent story Sarawak Report exposed the shocking attempt by the firm Quality Concrete to force Iban villagers to hand over their rights to 3,035 hectares of Native Customary Rights Lands in Sebangan for just MR 250 (US$ 80) per family.

The company, of which the Chief Minister’s sister Raziah is one of the Directors,  is after the millions of dollars’ worth of rare and valuable hardwood trees in the area.  However the Ibans are refusing, saying they want to preserve their forest for future generations. (more…)


October 22, 2010

Forestry: an unnatural disaster in Sarawak

By Pak Bui

Sarawak Forestry Corporation Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and forestry department director Len Talif Salleh has dismissed the horrific ecological and infrastructure damage wrought by the Rejang log-jam as a “natural disaster”.

Len Talif argued that heavy rain, rather than over-logging or the impoundment of the Bakun Dam, had caused a catastrophic pile-up of cut logs and debris on the surface of Malaysia’s largest river. The accumulation of rubbish had blocked river traffic, wrecked boat jetties and killed fish and aquatic life, leaving communities without an important source of nutrition. (more…)


October 21, 2010

Logjam disaster: Blame in on the rain, not the loggers

By Joseph Tawie

The blame game between Land Development Minister James Masing and state forest director Len Talif over the recent logjam disaster along the Rajang river has shifted to the weather.

Talif is blaming the rain and is of the opinion that loggers had nothing to do with it.

In a direct challenge to Masing, Talif said the logjam was not caused by logging but due to the changing patterns of rain in the area. (more…)


October 15, 2010

Sarawak’s history of environmental damage control

By Keruah Usit

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has attempted to explain away last week’s massive accumulation of felled logs and driftwood on the Rejang river as a natural phenomenon.

“I can speculate on the reasons,” Taib was quoted as saying on Oct 11 by the Borneo Post, a local daily, moments after he had urged the public to avoid speculating about the source of the logjam, saying the cause had yet to be investigated.  (more…)


October 13, 2010

Rajang logjam caused RM2.7 million loss ?

The massive logjam in the Rajang River has caused an estimated loss of RM2.7 million after bridges and jetties were awash with debris, beginning from the Malataheli timber camp, about 75km upstream from Kapit.

Deputy Chief Minister George Chan said today the logjam, which began since last Thursday, destroyed two logging bridges at the upper reaches of the Baleh tributary, as well as five clinics and longhouse jetties at Entawau, SK Sempilik and Nanga Entelawan. (more…)


Logjam puts S’wak gov’t on the rack

By Terence Netto

The logjam on the Baleh and Rajang rivers in Sarawak, reputed to be 250km long, stretching from the upper reaches to Kanowit down to Sibu on the South China Sea coast, could not have come at a worse time for the government of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The continuing logjam, making river transport nearly impossible and depriving people living in longhouses off the banks of vital fish stocks, has heightened Dayak discontent with the ruling BN coalition, already embroiled in disputes with the community over native customary rights (NCR) land.


October 12, 2010

Hall of shame for Sarawak timber giant

By Patrick Lee

Entering the hall of shame seems to be quite common for Malaysia, especially when it comes to human rights.

Survival International, an international indigenous rights NGO, has named Sarawak timber giant Samling as one of the five biggest violators of tribal peoples’ rights worldwide.

Other companies named and accused of human rights violations by the NGO include French-owned GDF Suez, Brazilian-owned Yaguarete Pora and Botswana-owned Wilderness Safaris.


October 6, 2010

The jungle is a dangerous place

By Sim Kwang YangNONE

For all middle-class urban citizens, the jungle must seem like a primitive, wild place. We urbanites can only be comfortable when we are surrounded by what we consider to be the advanced products of industrial civilization. Plunged into the middle of the jungle, we would probably not survive on our own for more than a few days.

But the Penan are perfectly comfortable in this jungle environment. They are familiar with the forest, and know it like their back of their hand. Like all jungle dwellers, the Penans are totally immersed in the land where they live. They depend on this environment for their survival.


September 7, 2010

One Year After: Penan Communities Re-Blockaded to Protest over Government’s Broken Promises

By Panai Ayat – BMF

On September 2, 2010, around 150 Penan villagers from Long Nen in Sungai Layun,Long Belok and Long Sayan in Sungai Apoh, Tutoh, Long Bangan in Sungai Terawen,Tutoh and Ba’ Marong in ulu Sungai Si’ang, Tutoh gathered to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the simultaneous blockades held by the same communities in the area between August and September last year.

The gathering in fact was held not only to commemorate the anniversary of the protests but also to honour the three-decade struggles of the Penan communities in Sarawak against the continued violations of their Native Customary Rights (NCR). It was held as a reminder to our people to appreciate their rights, livelihoods, traditions and culture that are closely tied to the forests, which have now been largely destroyed by logging companies. (more…)


August 15, 2010

Bakun Dam generates Putrajaya-S’wak tension


By Kuek Ser Kuang Keng

Many were relieved at the announcement that one of Malaysia’s most controversial and largest projects – the Bakun Dam – will finally be completed by this December, after 16 years of construction.

However, problems surrounding the world’s second highest concrete-faced rockfill dam are far from over.

Apparently tension is brewing between the Sarawak and federal governments over who should be the winner in the tariff negotiation.

Some worry that the state government is using its power over the dam impoundment as a bargaining chip to demand a lower tariff.

But Sarawak Hidro Bhd, the owner of the Bakun Dam wholly-owned by the Finance Ministry, has dismissed such speculation.

Taib’s smelter eyeing cheap power (more…)


July 2, 2010

Feudal control over native hospitality

NONEBy Keruah Usit

THE ANTIDOTE Sarawak natives are famed for their hospitality. A hungry traveller in rural Sarawak will almost invariably find a host village willing to take him in, and feed and shelter him for the night.

In local mythology, Keling, a demigod and idealised warrior emulated by Iban men, has a penchant for bejalai, the tradition of wandering the earth. Keling often appears to longhouses as a stranger, in human likeness.

Villagers providing a gracious welcome are showered with blessings, while the converse is true for those who turn the stranger away. (more…)


June 24, 2010

Timber company official assaults Penans at blockade

By Patrick Lee @ FMT

A group of Penans were reportedly assaulted after they defied a police order to dismantle a blockade leading to a timber site at Long Sebayang in Sarawak’s Upper Limbang region.

According to the Swiss-based activist group Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), at about 8pm last Sunday, a manager of Lee Ling Timber threatened one of the Penans with a parang.

The manager known only as Ah New, also punched one of Penans in the face and threatened the natives that he would bring in ‘more gangsters to the blockade site’, said a source, according to BMF. (more…)


Police accused of defending Taib family’s interests

NONEBy Keruah Usit @ MalaysiaKini

Sarawak police have been accused of sanctioning violence by a timber company, Lee Ling Sdn Bhd, at logging road blockades in Upper Limbang.

Raziah Mahmud, sister to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, sits on the board of directors of Lee Ling’s parent company, Quality Concrete.

According to indigenous rights advocate, the Bruno Manser Foundation (BMF), Lee Ling drove three plainclothes police officers, in company vehicles, to the site of the makeshift blockades across Lee Ling’s timber track near Long Sebayang on Sunday. (more…)


March 27, 2010

Go dark for an hour to-night!

Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:22 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Sim Kwang Yang

Dear all out there,

Let’s join the whole world and observe the World Earth Hour to-night by switching off all our lights in the house between 8.30 and 9.30 to-day.

The spectre of global warming is now threatening human kind.  We are Anak Sarawak, Bangsa Malaysia, but we are also citizens of the global village.  Pollution and Carbon emission know no national border, so we have to do our bit in our daily life to live a greener existence.  We must learn to reuse, reduce, and recycle.

Unfortunately, environment destruction on a massive scale is occurring in our backyard in the form of indiscriminate logging all over Sarawak.  Forests are heat pumps of the Earth, absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and releasing life-supporting oxygen back to mankind.   (more…)


March 6, 2010

Must logging companies support rape, lies and bigamy?

By Pak Bui


Logging has brought many changes to the lives of the rural communities in Sarawak. The Sarawak government says these changes constitute development.

The logging companies have introduced dirt tracks, mighty machines and many thousands of Iban, Orang Ulu and Chinese workers into our forests.

They have carried oil slicks and cascades of mud into our rivers. Alcohol and sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhoea and HIV have also followed the influx of these loggers.

The logging companies have ferried in gangsters, and sometimes a police presence, when the natives are restless and blockade the logging roads to protest the loss of their land. (more…)


October 6, 2009

October 10: MCA’s day of reckoning — does anybody care?

By Sim Kwang Yang

OTK VS CSLIn a few days’ time, on October 10 next Saturday to be exact, MCA will be confronting their day of reckoning.  2377 central delegates will be casting their crucial votes, to determine whether Ong Tee Kiat or Chua Soi Lek will have to go.

The mainstream and alternative media have been saturated with news of the campaign for weeks, giving blow-by-blow and state-by-state reports of how the campaign has been shaping up on both sides.

The latest revelation by the commentator and long time MCA member Ho Chee Ping is that the offer for one vote has gone up from a few thousand to tens of thousand of the Ringgit.  Ho should know, because he is a loyal MCA member and has witnessed more than a few MCA internal fights.



September 25, 2009

The Termite and Jabu: Theatre of the Absurd

By Pak Bui

A Tragic Comedy of Quotations in Three Acts


TERMITE, friend of loggers, plantation towkays and dam builders

JABU, servant of Termite

DAWOS, servant of Termite and Jabu

LIHAN, servant of Termite, Jabu and other towkays

CHORUS of villagers, from remote areas

NGOs, non-governmental organisations working for native people’s rights




September 17, 2009

Statement on Sexual Violence against Penan Women and the Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Malaysia

Statement on Sexual Violence against Penan Women and the Situation of Indigenous Peoples in Malaysia

16th September 2009

Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG)

Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)


In the wake of the release of the report of the task force confirming allegations of sexual abuse of Penan women and girls, we – concerned citizens of this country – greet Malaysia’s 46th birthday with a renewed sense of outrage. We are gravely disturbed over not only the status of the Penan girls and women whose rights were violated, but also over how their situation reflects the overall state of the affairs of the Orang Asal: the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia and the indigenous peoples of Sabah and Sarawak. (more…)


September 3, 2009

Why the Penan Blockades

A testimony by Harrison Ngau Laing, former Member of the Malaysian Parliament and now a native land rights lawyer based in Miri, Sarawak:

Dear All,

logo SAMIts very interesting and indeed refreshing to hear and read of our diverse views and comments on the decision of and action by our penan brothers and sisters in “re-setting” their blockades and on the so-called dialogue held between them and YB Lihan Jok, the Resident of Miri Division and the Ketua Polis Daerah Baram recently on the same subject.

In 1987, I was working with the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) (environmental organisation) Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) based in Marudi, Baram and it was at our office there that the penans came to lodge the same complaints that they were making today which forced them to set up their blockades then, which complaints concerned the blatant disrespect for their rights over their lands and forests, the pollution of their rivers,disappearance of wildlife which they hunt, the intimidations from gangsters paid by the companies whenever they try to protest, damages done to their burial grounds, the bias of the government against them in favour of the companies, ignoring their complaints as above, etc.



August 28, 2009

Newspapers smear Teoh Beng Hock and “foreign instigators”

By Pak Bui

Utusan ShitIt’s confirmed! The newspapers are full of propaganda and they stink to high heaven!

Malaysian newspapers have been falling over themselves to fawn over Umno and the Sarawak BN.

The mainstream media in KL have published endless claims of Teoh Beng Hock’s “likely suicide” and his being “on the take.” The whitewash has vacillated between trying to bury the story on the inside pages, and trying to publish the MACC’s version of events, at the same time.

The MACC officers seem to be convinced they can smear Teoh Beng Hock’s name without fear, because they are playing for the side that controls the ball and the referee. They do not see any injustice in accusing a dead man, who cannot defend himself, or sue the MACC – as long as the MACC get off the hook. (more…)


August 8, 2009

The toxic natural and political haze in Malaysia

By Bunga Pakma

kuching_hazeThe dreaded Haze is back, and back bad.  The smoke, the August heat, the chill of air-conditioning, and the fatigue of rushing here and there have weakened my defenses and I have picked up a cold from someone among the teaming masses of the Klang Valley.

To date 15 people have died from the H1N1 virus.  I wonder how many the Haze will kill?  Others than I are coughing, and people with asthma or heart disease must be anxious.

The Haze saddens me.  Almost twenty years I have seen it come each musim kemarau.  Today outside my window the smoke is nearly as heavy as it was in the awful days of August 1997.  That month Haze covered the whole of Malaysia and obliterated sky and horizon.  The mountain three miles away vanished, the trees at the bottom of the yard dissolved into vague shapes.  The sun rose deep red, and so feeble that my son detected—with his naked eyes—a sunspot on its surface. We stayed indoors, and bugs of all kinds too moved in, looking for refuge and dying in heaps.  In the air I saw a flying-fox in daytime, escaping north. (more…)


August 7, 2009

Hungry Penans draw a shrug and a laugh

By Pak Bui

Penan (2)“3,000 Penans near starvation” in Belaga drew a stifled yawn from the State Disaster Chairman, also known as the State Chief of Disaster.

I am very shocked,” Dr George Chan said, “it is impossible…I think we better check whether the story it is true. If nobody does anything to help them in the jungle, they can still survive. The Penans live in the jungle and they have animals, plants, all these things. I have been to the jungle and I know.”

On July 30, Deputy Federal Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Joseph Entulu Belaun, told the world that insects and monkeys had destroyed the crops in six villages, Lusong Laku, Long Avit, Long Kajang, Long Tanyit, Long Malin and Long Midem. The 3,000 Penan are running out of food. (more…)


June 20, 2009

Letter from Sarawak – Outside encroachment & Internal dissent

By Bunga Pakma

THE friction and confusion which our kampong suffered from a recent windfall, about which I wrote last week, is not the only time the tenor of life has been upset by encroachment from the outside or dissension on the inside. The back-story is of some depth.

Our kampong should have a name, a pseudonym which serves, like my own, for a handle. Let’s call it “Kpg. Senyiur.”

The outer world of business first impinged on Kpg. Senyiur before I married into it, over twenty years ago. The kampong proper sits on one bank of a not-inconsiderable river. At that time, the early 80s, the other bank was thickly wooded. A company came in, some say from Sibu, noted the wood, noted that a road (unpaved, but a road) ran nearby, and proposed paying the kampong for permission to log a swathe, and hiring the men to do the work. (more…)


May 28, 2009

“Sayang Sarawak … sungainya sempit”

By Baharuddin Mokhsen  @ Hueditor

“Sayang Sarawak sungainya sempit,sunagi sarawak
Banyak perahu mudi ke hulu,
Sekali pandang rasa tak jemu,
Hatiku merindu terkenang- kenang …”

So the popular Malay song of my younger years goes, bringing back nostalgic and fond memories of those happy and carefree days as a kampong boy in Sarawak.

My beloved Sarawak” (name of the song translated to English) captured and depicted what a beautiful and picturesque country Sarawak was, alas for the numerous meandering rivers, so said the song. (more…)


May 22, 2009

Parangs against the bulldozer: the tale of one Sarawak mountain (Final Episode)

By Sim Kwang Yang

ae542e1nThe names of the politically well-connected owners of the timber concession and the logging contractor did not impress TK Ahmad Sahari and his friends, when this information was passed to them.  It did not mean much to them, so far away from the seat of state government in Kuching City.  Upon my suggestion though, they made many verbal and written requests to meet the Chief Minister of Sarawak Taib Mahmud.  Naturally, they met with a silent brick wall.  I had expected this, but it was necessary for the villagers themselves to dispose of any false hope that their political leadership had their interest at heart.

Of course, I would follow up with oral questions tabled at every Parliament session.  The Parliament was, and still is, a rubber stamp for the ruling coalition, but at times, you can still gleam some information out of it, if you know how to work the rules in innovative ways. (more…)


May 21, 2009

Parangs against the bulldozer: the tale of one Sarawak mountain (Part II)

By Sim Kwang Yang

2788875590_2b73c19f05As usual, it was a low grade but literate civil servant who tipped me off about the brewing trouble at the south-western tip of Sarawak.  I took the trouble of driving the 100 KM myself to kampong Stunggan Melayu, a large cluttered Malay village on the outskirt of Lundu town.  There I met the civil servant in his home.  Over a cup of coffee prepared by his wife, he showed me huge files containing records of infringement onto the mountain side in the past; local people were hungry for land to plant new crops of pepper and cocoa when prices were good.037  IMG_0773_resize (Small)

This time though, the attempt to take logs out of the majestic Gunung Gading seemed very serious.  The Chinese loggers had already opened up an access road all the way to the water-catchments at the very top of the peaks.  The arrival of the15 Cocoa tree and fruits tractors and other forms of heavy machinery and the establishment of a logging camp somewhere up the mountain meant that within the space of a few years, the whole mountain faced the risk of being denuded.

I was then told that there were 18 villages around the mountain side, human settlements that had depended on the mountain for much of their needs for many decades.  The local communities there were very racially mixed, with Ibans, Chinese, Malays, and even the rare Selakaus among them.  They were all farmers and fishermen, and lived an isolated independent existence bothering nobody else. (more…)


May 20, 2009

Parangs against the bulldozer: the tale of one Sarawak mountain

By Sim Kwang Yang

Padan BeachThe sky over Pandan Beach, about 100 kilometres from the Sarawak capital of Kuching, must be one of the most beautiful corners of the universe.  No words can describe its brilliance.  No human artist can ever recreate its splendour.  When you lift your head to the vast expanse of glorious colours against the deep azure background, you have to believe in a God.

Kampong Pandan is a small Malay fishing village consisting of traditional stilted wooden houses lining the water’s edge along a small bay.  The village is nestled against the backdrop of the twin-peaked mountain, the Gunung Gading.  Partly hidden by swaying coconut palms and short brushes, Kampong Pandan is the very picture of idyllic seaside rural charm.  Its picture-perfect serenity could have been what Joseph Conrad tried to portray in Almayer’s Folly. (more…)


May 14, 2009

Signature Forgery Trial Adjourned, Again

Foul play in death of anti-logging Penan chief Kelasau Naan?

By Ken Hu @ hueditor@gmail.com

507fb2185a8eee2fbb8d1774b126e17bThe trial of 2 suspected of forging signature of the son of late Penan chief Kelasau Naan of Long Kerong to dispel suspicion of any foul play in the death of the anti-logging Penan chief had proceeded at the Miri Magistrate Court today, with 3 witnesses called. Originally set for two-day hearing has been adjourned to May 20 for continuation of trial after today’s hearing.

Andrew Wee, an employee of Sarawak timber concessionaire Samling and 2 Penan brothers, Raymond and Ismail gave evidence for the prosecution in the trial of the 2 suspects, Kho Thien Seng and Sedi bin Li, charged for forging the signature in a letter bearing Nick Kelasau’s name and sent to online portal Malaysiakini purportedly denying any element of foul play in the death of his father. (more…)


April 29, 2009

International Shame

Ill-treatments of Penan attract global attention

The longer the government keeps a lid on the task force findings report commissioned by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to investigate into the allegations of Penan women been sexually abused by loggers operating on their land, the more attention and criticisms it will draw from the international communities. Survival International, a renowned UK-based international organization supporting tribal peoples worldwide through education, advocacy and campaigns, released this statement Government urged to release findings on sexual abuse of Penan women on their website most recently.


Survival International campaigner Miriam Ross who returned to London earlier this month from a trip to the Borneo rainforests in Sarawak to investigate the plight of the Penan tribe and to find out about their struggle for survival, have spoken to Ruth Walker of Scotland on Sunday and Frances Tamburin of The Guardian Weekly.



April 28, 2009

Release report on rape of Penan women now



By Apang, Zhang M. L. & Voon

The story started …

f_02mindy1The Penan and other indigenous peoples of Sarawak have been struggling publicly for land rights over two decades now. Without these rights being respected and protected, communities have either lost or continue to lose their lands to timber companies, mono-crop plantations and other supposed development projects.

Along with such model of development come workers, from outside mostly, who suddenly live nearby the indigenous communities. With mostly male workers, it wasn’t long that rape and sexual abuses occurred.

The first known case was a document by a NGO Fact-Finding mission which began in 1995 and followed up in 1996. The final report, published in 2000, and accessible online at documented, among others, the rape of a minor Penan girl in Long Mobui in Upper Baram River in the Miri Division. Two police reports were subsequently lodged. However, there is no known follow-up action from the police to date.

The latest cases that came to light was when the Switzerland-based NGO, the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) broke the news in early October 2008. When the mainstream Malaysian media published the story with details after a visit to several Middle Baram Penan communities, the nation was awakened to the rape and sexual abuse of vulnerable Penan girls. (more…)


April 10, 2009

Nerima duit, Ngirup tang agi BN

Hornbill Unleashed has varied perspectives on the recently concluded Batang Ai by-election. Two friends were heard debating passionately at a coffee shop in BDC just on the outskirt of Kuching after the results were announced. Approach was then made to have them pen their views for the benefits of the broader audience. Today is the first part of the two opposing views – HU Editor

By Andy

For those who don’t know, it means “Take the money, drink up and vote BN”. This is for the uneducated and simple-minded kampong folks. Juxtapose this to the middle class cum intellectual cum yuppies, it means “take the money from BN, accumulate wealth and still consider yourselves as anti-establishment, for self interest.” For the very top politicians, it is just plainly “join the BN for personal benefits if you can’t beat them!”

In terms of money, every voter gets RM50 to vote for BN (normally, but for the recent Batang Ai voters, it was more like RM500 per vote) while their middle voice gets “RM4000 upwards” as salary in their government jobs, at universities, or in government-linked companies etc and their upper voice gets “RM10,000 upwards” with contracts, as some head of departments or ministries or government-owned corporations.

Taib’s loyalists like Jabu gets “multi-millions” while the master gets infinity. Everybody gets something and that is as if how wealth is distributed. All done in the name of the Rakyat of course!

A sickening reality at different levels of society!

Welcome to Sarawak!

So, tell the RM50 voters about reformasi, about democracy, about all the other “cy” (meaning death in Hokkien dialect) while the yuppies accumulate wealth by owning banks (owned by Umnoputra and other cronies, including Chinese of course) for their houses, cars, and even plasma TV etc.

Welcome to the “humancy”, human mati.

RM50 voters voted BN, everything remains the same. Meaning B (more…)


April 9, 2009

Survival International: Stop devastation of Penan lands


Survival International, a renowned UK-based international organization supporting tribal peoples worldwide through education, advocacy and campaigns, today warned that logging, oil palm plantations and hydroelectric dams are and will destroy the last remaining Sarawak rainforests and threaten the basic survival of the hunter-gatherer Penan tribe.

In a press statement released this week, its campaigner Miriam Ross has just returned from a trip to the Borneo rainforests in Sarawak to investigate the plight of the Penan tribe and to find out about their struggle for survival.

Ross says, ‘It was terrifying to see the devastation of the Penan’s land, and all the more so to know how quickly it is happening. I went to Penan communities where the loggers have taken so much of the forest that the animals have gone and the Penan have real difficulty finding food.

‘Where the forests have already been logged to death, they are being replaced with oil palm plantations for biofuels and other uses. Oil palm is even worse for the Penan than the logging, because the plantations leave no space for them to hunt or gather. Their way of life becomes impossible.

‘And this is not all. A series of twelve huge hydroelectric dams is planned for Sarawak, and will submerge the villages of Penan and other indigenous people. The first dam is already under construction, and the Penan in the area have been told they have to leave. (more…)


March 28, 2009

Batang Ai … only NCR Land matters!

By See Chee How

What Sarawakians commonly hear from the state authorities:-

The indigenous land use is “unproductive”;

The indigenous attitudes are “a stumbling block to development”;

The indigenous people must be brought “into the mainstream of development”;

Only the BN government can give the indigenous peoples a better future …

What Sarawakians know:

The state authorities have been consistent in backing privileged few corporations, project developers and contractors to exploit the state’s natural resources, leaving in their trails the hallmarks of devastation of native customary land and properties, displacement of indigenous communities and destruction of indigenous culture.


Batang Ai is on every Sarawakian’s lip these days because this is the name of the state constituency, spells “Batang Air”, where a by-election is impending.

Batang Ai is also the name of the first hydro-electric power dam built in Sarawak.

The mother of all dams in Sarawak (the Chief Minister has confirmed that 12 new dams are to be added to this damned Malaysian state), was planned and approved in 1975. It was completed in 1985. 3,000 Iban from 26 longhouses located in the flooded and catchment area were moved to an 8,000-acres resettlement site below the dam.

An unqualified failure in resettlement

In the World Commission on Dams Resettlement of Indigenous Peoples – final Report 1999, this was said of Batang Ai: (more…)


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