Hornbill Unleashed

November 5, 2014

Taib – ‘This Book Is Bad For My Business Reputation’ (OOOPS!)

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Moves are on to ban the bookSarawak Report

The Governor of Sarawak, Taib Mahmud, has embarked on a high stakes and high risk strategy to ban the book that lifts the lid on timber corruption in Sarawak.

And today, in Tokyo, the Malaysian delegation to the International Tropical Timber Organisation’s (ITTO) annual conference moved to remove observer status from the NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF).

The BMF Director, Lukas Straumann, is the author of “Money Logging – On The Trail Of The Asian Timber Mafia”, which has also been barred from the conference. (more…)

NGO wants probe on Taib book

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taib money loggingJoe Fernandez

GASAK believes that Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud was trying to hide something from the public but stopped short of calling on him to step down and clear his name.

The Sarawak People’s Movement or Gerakan Anak Sarawak (GASAK) wants the authorities concerned to probe the contents of a recently released book, Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia, by Swiss author and human rights campaigner Lukas Straumann.

The author, who also heads the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund as Director, claims in his 300-page book that Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud, his four children and his siblings have stakes in 333 companies in Malaysia and in another 418 spread around the globe. (more…)

Probe Taib on claims in book, urges NGO

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A Sarawak NGO has lodged several police reports against state governor Abdul Taib Mahmud after the release of a new book that made corruption allegations against him.

Gerakan Anak Sarawak (Gasak) said it had lodged 13 police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) reports against Taib, who was state chief minister for 23 years.

The book, entitled ‘Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia’, alleges Taib was involved in corrupt practices in the timber industry when he headed the state as chief minister and resource planning and management minister. (more…)

Group urges police, MACC to investigate Taib over book’s expose

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Members of Sarawak-based Gasak at the Miri central police station today after lodging a report against former Sarawak CM, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud. – Pic courtesy Bruno Manser Fund, November 4, 2014.TMI

Members of Sarawak-based Gasak at the Miri central police station today after lodging a report against former Sarawak CM, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

A Sarawak-based group today lodged two police reports against Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud for alleged corruption and abuse of power, based on a newly-launched book which reveals in detail the former chief minister’s alleged misdeeds.

The Sarawak People’s Movement (Gasak) also lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the allegations in “Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia”, against Taib, who is now the Sarawak governor, this morning. (more…)

Disgruntled employee Taib’s undoing

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Money Logging_taibRobert Ng

Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud’s secrets became public after Ross Boyert, CEO of Sakti International Corporation, filed a suit in Court.

Money Logging by Lukas Straumann, the Director of Bruno Manser Fund in Switzerland, appears to be another fiction hot from the mill, until you begin to realize that the characters mentioned are real people.

For over 12 years, Ross Boyert – “the man who held the key to Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud’s secret real estate empire” – managed his family’s properties in northwest USA as CEO of Sakti International Corporation. (more…)

October 22, 2014

Orang Asal erect new Baram blockade

baramJoe Fernandez

Those who wrecked the earlier blockade vow to be back in three days to re-enact their act.

Orang Asal protesters against the proposed Baram Dam erected a new blockade in Long Kesseh village at KM 15 Jalan Samling to replace a year-old one demolished Tuesday morning by police, Forestry Department officers and loggers seeking access to the timber in the area. There’s another blockade within the same vicinity which was left untouched.

Apparently, those who wrecked the earlier blockade vowed to be back in three days to re-enact their act. (more…)

September 4, 2014

Sarawak minister unaware of mistake in awarding land

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Sarawak’s Land Development Minister James Masing told a sessions court in Kuala Lumpur today that there was a mistake in a letter dated April 2009 by his ministry in awarding Native Customary Rights land to two local companies instead of to conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd.

The two local companies were Nature Ambience Sdn Bhd and Vertical Drive Sdn Bhd, which are allegedly owned by Sarawak businessman Chew Chiaw Ann. The land in question measured approximately 50,000 hectares.

Masing, the third witness in the trial of former Sime Darby chief executive officer Ahmad Zubair @ Ahmad Zubir Murshid (centre in photo), who is charged with criminal breach of trust, admitted that he only discovered the mistake this year, following the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigations. (more…)

August 30, 2014

Baleh Dam will be built first, not Baram

Lian Cheng

Baleh Dam will be built first instead of Baram Dam because all indications point toward that direction.

The Social Environment Impact Assessment (SEIA) studies for both dams have been carried out by SEB. The report for Baleh Dam has been completed and has been submitted to the Natural Resource and Environment Board for approval while that of Baram Dam hasn’t been finalised.

“Looking at the progress so far it looks like Baleh Dam will be built first as we have completed the site investigation while the land acquisition process is almost completed. We hope to start the project by next year,” SEB chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjoveit told The Borneo Post recently. (more…)

August 26, 2014

Bruno Manser honoured on his 60th birthday

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Bruno Manser, who was Sarawak’s most wanted man in the 1990s  and went missing in the tropical rainforests inhabited by the Penan community in the Upper Baram area has been a rare honour.

A team of Swiss scientists have named two recently discovered  animal species in the tropical rainforests of Borneo after Manser.

The Natural History Museum of Berne, Switzerland, made the announcement today, on the occasion of Manser’s 60th birthday. (more…)

August 25, 2014

The reality and hyperbole of high-income Malaysia by 2020

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Government efficiency agency chief Datuk Seri Idris Jala had said yesterday that the gross national income per capita had been climbing steadily. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 24, 2014.THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Government efficiency agency chief Datuk Seri Idris Jala had said yesterday that the gross national income per capita had been climbing steadily.

According to government efficiency agency chief Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Malaysia is on track to achieve its high-income target of US$15,000 (RM47,414) by 2020, if not sooner, as a result of the policies under the National Transformation Programme (NTP).

That is like Manchester United football team coach Louis Van Gaal predicting his team will win the English Premier League this year as a result of his player buys and tactics. (more…)

Do Sabah and Sarawak really want to leave Malaysia?

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Prof James Chin believes that the movement for Sabah and Sarawak to leave Malaysia is real but disguises itself as secession is treason under the law. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 23, 2014.SHERIDAN MAHAVERA

Two prominent East Malaysian politicians have attempted to play down the desire expressed by some people for Sabah and Sarawak to leave Malaysia, but an academic and expert on the subject says the sentiment is fuelling an actual movement 51 years after the country was formed.

The politicians, Sarawak Minister of Land Development Tan Sri Dr James Masing and Sabah federal lawmaker Darell Leiking, claimed that the desire was more of a sentiment rather than an actual movement.

Leiking, who is Penampang MP, said the desire among young Sabahans for Sabah to secede is an accumulation of anger at how they have been treated by the Peninsula-based federal government. (more…)

Native Christians ‘converted’ by state policy

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Bob Teoh

When Juinah binti Paulus, a native Christian, went to the National Registration Department (NRD) to get her new identity card, the NRD changed her religious identity to Islam without her knowledge nor consent.

This is not unusual. Many native or bumiputera Christians in Sabah and Sarawak with bin (son of) or binti (daughter of) in their names, are automatically classified as Muslims in their identity cards, known as MyKad. Once this is done there is virtually no remedy, except to wait in an administrative purgatory.

Christians and non-Muslims consider this as backdoor conversion or “MyKad Islamisation”.

The NRD denies this is done as a government policy whenever it is confronted and put the blame on “technical glitches”. (more…)

Kelantan by-election ‘a litmus test’ for Pakatan

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Pakatan Rakyat needs to use the coming  by-election to prove that the coalition is still strong despite friction between PAS and PKR over the Selangor menteri besar crisis.

“The by-election is an important platform for Pakatan to recover its image in the eyes of the rakyat, especially in convincing them to stay with Pakatan,” Perak PAS Youth election director Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar said today. (more…)

Now ex-Perak MB Nizar faces criminal charges over 2012 speech

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Former Perak menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin (pic) will be charged with criminal defamation tomorrow for allegedly making disparaging remarks against Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the defence forces in 2012.His lawyer Fitri Asmuni said Nizar had been ordered to be present in a Sessions Court tomorrow morning.”The police issued a warrant of arrest against Nizar at the state PAS headquarters before a state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) meeting last Friday. He was instructed to be in court at 9am,” Fitri told The Malaysian Insider.Nizar is alleged to have committed the offence at Taman Desa Pakatan in Ipoh between 9pm and midnight on April 23, 2012.

The current state opposition leader is said to have made the remarks during the run-up to the 2013 general election campaign.

The arrest warrant stated that a report was made against Nizar’s speech by an officer identified only as Major General Datuk Abdul Aziz three days after the alleged incident. (more…)

August 22, 2014

‘Nothing to be proud of in Petronas’ 10pct offer’

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See Chee HowDukau Papau

Sarawak PKR today warned Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem that he should not be too happy to accept the offer of 10 percent equity in the Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas Fourth Plant (MLNG 4) as the state government could be hoodwinked by Petronas.

“The 10 percent is merely an investment, but is blown out to hoodwink the state government and the general Sarawakian public into believing that Petronas is being generous to Sarawak.

“Sarawak should not settle for less than what the Sarawakians deserved, and the minute we settle for less, we get even lesser,” said Sarawak PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How (right) when commenting on Adenan’s statement that Petronas is offering Sarawak 10 percent in MLNG 4. (more…)

Longer tenure for timber licence

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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…)

August 21, 2014

Sarawak ‘invited tender’ projects smack of graft

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Dukau Papau

Sarawak DAP has expressed concern that the construction of the RM150 million Samarahan Bridge will be given to a crony company through an ‘invited tender’ process, as was done in three other multi-million ringgit projects.

“The Finance Ministry should not award the proposed bridge project to a crony company through an ‘invited tender’ process, but award it by the ‘open tender’ process,” Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said.

Chong said this in reference to an advertisement in local newspapers last Saturday on the proposed bridge.

The Finance Ministry has in the past withdrawn the ‘open tender’ process after scores of applications had been received from contractors and changed it to an ‘invited tender’ process, where only 10 listed crony companies are invited to tender, he said. (more…)

August 20, 2014

Native oil palm growers hit by MPOB order

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Dukau Papau

The directive from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to mills in the Sarawak not to accept fresh oil palm bunches (FFB) from smallholders, especially those from estates in dispute, will cause thousands of native landowners to suffer heavy financial losses.

“The losses can run into the millions of ringgit that these helpless farmers have invested in their lands,” Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia (Brimas) executive director Mark Bujang said today.

Hundreds of thousands of hectares of oil palm estates are now in dispute between native landowners and joint-venture companies that are taking them over. (more…)

Adenan indicates early state election

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Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith

CM tells BN elected reps to deliver promises by year end, prepare for state election

In an indication that the state election could be close, Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem directs Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen to deliver all their promises to the people and resolve local issues by the end of the year.

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) chairman Abdullah Saidol said Adenan feared delay in deliveries and broken promises could tarnish the image of the state BN’s credibility and affect the chances of its candidates in the next state election. (more…)


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DAY 300 – “No Consent To Proceed”!Sarawak Report

Grass roots campaigners and International NGOs joined forces in Kuala Lumpur today to ram home the realities about the Baram Dam, pet project of Taib Mahmud.
In summary, they pointed out the plan has no legal right to proceed and flies in the face of a long list of legal obligations that the Sarawak State Government has been doing its level best to ignore.
Baram is just the first of 12 proposed new dams to be built under Taib’s SCORE plan and it would inundate 400 square kilometers of jungle and displace 20,000 people.


August 19, 2014

Kpg Lebor Serian’s NCR landowners feel ‘discriminated’

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Borneo Post

Some villagers in Kampong Lebor Serian are crying foul over Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)’s decision to suspend their smallholder farmers’ licence to sell oil palm fresh fruit bunches (FFB).

According to one of the land owners, Jengga Jeli, on July 26 this year, he received a showcause letter from MPOB demanding an explanation why his smallerholder farmers’ licence should not be suspended or revoked for allegedly stealing FFB from a joint-venture (JV) company, TH Pelita.

The villagers of Kampung Lebor had won their case at the Kuching High Court and, subsequently, at the Court of Appeal that the disputed NCR land belonged to Kampung Lebor villagers. (more…)

August 18, 2014

Sarawak native group takes minister to task for being sidelined

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An Orang Asal think tank, the Dayak Informal Group (DIG), has taken the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office to task for dismissing its concern over an alleged marginalisation of the community in certain departments and agencies.

Richard Lias, a DIG spokesperson, said that the denial made by the Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman (pic) was not enough to put the issue to rest.

“Instead, the government must be transparent by providing the facts to counter the allegation and prove its sincerity and honesty. (more…)

August 16, 2014

Villagers won’t move out from dam area

Bengoh damWinston Way

Bidayuh villagers affected by the Bengoh dam project will not move out from their customary land and will not accept any compensation from the Sarawak government.

Residents of three Bidayuh villages affected by the Bengoh dam project said the government has no right to evict them because it is customary land and belonged to the natives.

The villagers from Kampung Rejoi Nyegol, Kampung Bojong Siting and Kampung Sait-Muk Ayun said the land could not be used for business.

Villagers’ representative Tawet Anak Sanyok said the affected villagers had the right to live on their own customary land. (more…)

Lawas town now ‘den’ for illegal activities

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Dukau Papau

State assemblyperson for Ba’Kelalan Baru Bian is worried that a small town like Lawas, with a population of some 30,000, has turned into a den for drug activities and illegal on-line gambling, attracting students, civil servants and police personnel.

It seems that the authorities are not bothered about it.”The situation has now become very ‘tero’ (serious).

“I was told there are more than 30 illegal centres for gambling on line, and they as parents are worried that their school-going children are involved,” he said.

These centres are mushrooming in the town, and even in residential areas with  many civil servants being  declared bankrupt from the gambling habit, said Baru, who is Sarawak PKR chief. (more…)

August 14, 2014

Sarawak villagers regain NCR land after seven-year battle

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Dukau Papau

It took the residents of Kampung Spaoh, Gedong, Kampung Menat Ili, and Kampung Menat Ulu, Gedong in Sarawak seven years to win the return of 5010 acres of native customary rights (NCR) land after a long and expensive court battle against the state government.

They spent sleepless nights worrying that their NCR land might have been lost forever after the government leased it to three companies.

“But now, they can rest as the High Court yesterday declared that they have native customary rights over the land,” said their lawyer See Chee How (centre in photo).

However, that is the first hurdle crossed as the government may appeal against the decision. (more…)

Singai Bidayuh civilisation faces wipe-out threat

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Dukau Papau

Some 16,800 people of Singai Bidayuh origin are worried that the bedrock of their heritage and civilisation as well as their livelihood embedded in some 3,000 acres of forest around Mount Blassan are now under a serious threat of being wiped out by a crony company.

Twelve village chiefs representing the people have lodged a police report and have written to Chief Minister Adenan Satem to stop the company from clearing their forest for an oil palm plantation.

So far officers from the Forest Department and Land and Survey Department have visited the area following their complaint. (more…)

August 12, 2014

NCR ruling is ‘head intact, body from waist severed’

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The judgment delivered by Justice Stephen Chung in a packed courtroom on Friday Aug 8 at the Bintulu High Court was received with mixed feelings by the people of Long Bangan in the district of Belaga. They consider the judgment as ‘head we get but the body from waist to toes was severed’ and given to aliens.

The judge held that only the cultivated land also known as ‘temuda’ created before Jan 1, 1958, which the plaintiffs had successfully proven, can constitute native customary rights (NCR) land. Although the judge did not specifically mention that pulau galau (reserved forest) and pemakai menoa(longhouse territorial domain) did not form an integral part of NCR land, he omitted discussing the issue. (more…)

August 11, 2014

Anti-dam protesters dig in at blockades as leave deadline passes

Natives protesting against the Baram dam and manning the blockade at Long Kesseh rest outside their quarters during a break in their watch. – The Malaysian Insider pic, August 7, 2014.DESMOND DAVIDSON

Natives protesting against the Baram dam and manning the blockade at Long Kesseh rest outside their quarters during a break in their watch.

Natives protesting against the proposed Baram hydroelectric dam have begun to fortify their positions at the blockades they set up to thwart its construction as the deadline for them to leave the area lapsed on Sunday.

Despite rumours that “the police and forest officers are coming” to dismantle the blockades, the number of people manning it has reportedly increased tenfold from the usual 10 to more than 100.

“We are not in favour of violence but we will do all it takes to defend our land,” Peter Kallang, chairman of Save Sarawak Rivers Network, or known as Save Rivers, told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

August 9, 2014

Sarawak PKR worries over Selangor MB crisis

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Dukau Papau

Sarawak PKR members and supporters are concerned that the controversy surrounding Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim may have a bearing on the performance of Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat in the coming state election.

Their concerns have been conveyed to state PKR chief Baru Bian (right).

Said a PKR divisional leader who did not wish to be named: “The people are getting fed-up with the internal bickering in PKR and the spats between PKR and its partner PAS.

“Some are even angry with what is going on as they have high hopes Pakatan will one day form the federal government. (more…)

Why East Malaysians are unhappy

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asli sabah bnJoe Fernandez

A scholar says federating with the Malayan Federation has not worked out for the two Borneo states.<

Federating with the Malayan Federation in 1963 has not worked out for Sabah and Sarawak for a number of reasons and is causing much unhappiness in the two Borneo Nations.

This is the thesis statement in a presentation by Monash University lecturer James Chin at the Borneo Research Council Conference in Kota Kinabalu recently.

The 20/18 Points, safeguards for Sabah and Sarawak rights, “did not work out (in practice), causing the people to feel they were cheated”, said Chin. “Even government statistics show the high poverty levels in these states, especially Sabah.” (more…)

Sarawak opposition blamed for BN’s failures

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Dukau Papau

For the past 50 years, the Sarawak BN government has been neglecting development in the state constituency of Ba’Kelalan (N70), which comes under the Lawas parliamentary constituency, even though it has been a BN stronghold.

All BN elected representatives are given allocations to develop their constituencies, but Ba’Kelalan has been neglected despite the people crying for development all this while.

And for these failures, the BN is now blaming the opposition. (more…)

PR has Biblical reminder for BN

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baru bian sarawakWinston Way

Baru Bian would very much like to retire to his village in the highlands and BN could perhaps hasten his departure by implementing certain suggestions he had in mind.

Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman Baru Bian has advised his opponent in the last state election, Nelson Balang Rining, that “man does not live by bread alone” in response to the latter urging voters to return the seat to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) if they want development in the area.

“There are more important things in life than mere projects and development,” said Baru in referring to principles and the dignity of the people. (more…)

August 4, 2014

Baram dam issue could turn ‘messy and explosive’

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Dukau Papau

Save Rivers Network Sarawak warns that the construction of the Baram dam is going to be a very explosive and messy issue if the State government of Sarawak disregards the rights of the native communities, said its chairperson Peter Kallang.

The warning was issued following an ultimatum given by the director of forests that the native customary rights (NCR) landowners of Long Keseh and Na’ah must dismantle the blockade at KM15 Long Keseh, Baram

It was erected to resist the construction of the dam. (more…)

August 1, 2014

Stop giving state land to crony firms, Adenan told

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Dukau Papau

DAP today urged Chief Minister Adenan Satem to stop immediately the alienation of 263.6 acres of state land in Batu Kawah, Kuching, to a company it said is owned by leaders of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).The land should instead be used for affordable housing, with the construction of flats equipped with full recreational facilities and two primary schools, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen said today.

DAP is concerned the land, worth about RM400 million, is in the process of being alienated  to a company owned by PBB leaders.

“We don’t want yet another plot of state land to be alienated to a crony company,” said Chong, who is the MP for Bandar Kuching and assemblyperson for Kota Sentosa. (more…)

July 31, 2014

Now Tiong ready to work with PRS

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Datuk Seri Tiong King SingJoe Fernandez

Merger talks were called off just as abruptly after rumours began circulating that “a certain personality” was against the idea.

SPDP Interim President Tiong King Sing has declared that he has a more positive feeling now and confirmed speculation that he was ready to work with PRS in any way that could strengthen both parties.

He stopped short of saying that both parties would resume merger talks. However, he expressed support for the merger idea, “contrary to allegations by certain quarters”.

“I was accused of blocking the merger after some people said that SPDP and PRS couldn’t merge because of me,” fumed Tiong who is also Bintulu MP. “It seems that when something goes wrong, it’s always Tiong’s fault.” (more…)

July 30, 2014

Mawan: I’m not prepared to die, no way man

Dukau Papau

The newly elected president of Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) William Mawan Ikom is prepared to “to lock horns” with any BN party which opposes Teras’ entry into the ruling coalition.

“Teras is prepared to do whatever is necessary to ensure its survival and for that we are prepared to lock horns with Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) in the coming state election, if that is what we need to do,” he said.

“What is it that you are not prepared to do, if that is the only way to survive? I am not prepared to die… no way man,” he said at a media conference. (more…)

July 29, 2014

M’sian oil palm linked to disgraced PR firm


Disgraced UK-based FBC Media, a firm accused of producing fluff content on major television networks under the guise of genuine programmes for those who would pay, had purportedly also offered its services to the government backed Malaysian Oil Palm Council (Mpoc).

This is according to whistleblower site Sarawak Report which released what is said is “a dossier of damning proposals” made by the discredited FBC Media to Mpoc to improve Malaysia’s tarnished oil palm industry image.

“It confirms the strategy of ‘greenwash’ to deliberately mislead the world’s public about the true nature of this massive agribusiness, which is tearing up the Borneo jungle and displacing its inhabitants. (more…)

Alfred Jabu under fire for water shortage woes

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Dukau Papau

Betong town and scores of longhouses and Malay villages in the Layar constituency have been hit hard by water shortage due to the prolonged dry weather but Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang doesn’t think so.On TV3 on Thursday, he denied there were water woes in his constituency.

His denial had not only shocked longhouse folk and villagers, but also angered them, with some demanding that he should step down as deputy chief minister and as their elected representative.

Jabu has been deputy chief minister and their elected representative for the past 40 years.

Last week the Orang Ulu communities in Baram demanded that Jabu should resign from the cabinet as he had failed to help the Dayaks in terms of business opportunities and development. (more…)

Don’t overlook Dayaks, S’wak CM told

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Dukau Papau

Newly formed Dayak Informal Group (DIG) called on Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem to ‘clean’ his government which he inherited from the former chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who had allegedly neglected the Dayak communities in terms of development, business opportunities and civil service appointments.

“The state government should be more serious on inclusiveness. There is a place for every Sarawakian in Sarawak if it’s not just a issue that state leaders preach, but actually implement,”  said DIG spokesman Dusit Jaul.

He added the Dayak community would very much  like to contribute more meaningfully towards the state development. But in the present situation, they cannot play a more important role as they are on the fringe. (more…)

July 25, 2014

Sarawak PKR chief paints dismal picture of Sarawak

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baru bian sarawakJoe Fernandez

Baru Bian said that the two Borneo nations had been “left to languish in the doldrums and their wealth used to fund the peninsula”.

Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Chief Baru Bian painted a pessimistic picture in conjunction with the 51st Independence Day celebrations of Sarawak yesterday.

“It is clear that after 51 years, what the Cobbold Commission report warned has come to pass and Tunku’s vision has failed to materialise,” he said.

Baru Bian cited Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaya’s first Prime Minister as saying, “one of the principal objectives in forming Malaysia was to further the economic development of the Borneo Territories so that their standards of living and technical skills might be raised, and a firm basis provided for accelerated growth”. (more…)

July 24, 2014

Malaysia has failed Sarawak, says Baru Bian

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Sarawak and her people have not benefitted from the Federation of Malaysia in terms of development, economic activities, education, prosperity, justice, fairness and equality.

Instead, the federation has brought more misery, poverty, marginalisation, curbed religious freedom, and caused more suffering due to racial and religious discrimination, said Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian.

He said this when addressing a gathering to celebrate Sarawak’s 51st anniversary of independence yesterday.

“Fifty-one years on, it is clear that what the Cobbold Commission Report had warned about has come to pass. (more…)

Hudud row threatens to split Pakatan in Sarawak

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Anna Chidambar

So the Sarawak DAP wants to get out of Pakatan Rakyat if PAS insists on working with the federal government to implement hudud in Kelantan.

Making this strong stand last week, its chairman Chong Chieng Jen explained that if hudud was implemented, Sarawak would also be affected because all federal government departments at the state level would then have to comply with Syariah law in their administration.

But Chong did not stop there. He also lashed out at the non-committal stance of the Sarawak PKR on the matter and warned that the recent meeting between Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Jamil Khir Baharom had revealed that there was no need to amend the Federal Constitution to allow for implementation of hudud in Kelantan. (more…)

July 23, 2014

‘Stop the dam, we live here, we’ll die here’

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The Borneo Post

Ask Long San folk about the proposed Baram Hydroelectricity (HEP) dam project and the majority of them will tell you they are strongly against it

Anti-dam banners hung outside Long San villagers’ houses.

In fact, many houses in the village in Long San are seen hanging banners bearing the message ‘Stop the Dam’. Some are written in Malay — ‘Kami Tidak Mahu Baram Dam’, which is meant to send a message to the government that they are against its construction.

Local activist and former Marudi Councillor Anthony Lawai Karing, 74, when met by the BAT IV team yesterday, claimed 90 per cent of the villagers from 17 villages affected by the proposed dam project were unhappy with it. (more…)

Sabah, Sarawak top on Anwar’s revamp plan if Pakatan captures Putrajaya


Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has outlined a seven-point plan if Pakatan Rakyat captured Putrajaya, focusing on ties between the federal and state governments, particularly between Sabah and Sarawak.

The opposition leader said priority is the current federal-state arrangement to share petroleum wealth.

In the revamp, petroleum-producing states would be given a better say in how Petronas is managed, he said.

This would be by appointing a director each from Sarawak, Sabah and the other petroleum-producing states to the national oil company’s board. (more…)

Anwar denies keeping mum on hudud

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PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has denied DAP Sarawak’s claim that he has been keeping silent on the hudud issue in Pakatan Rakyat.

Anwar said on the latest occasion, he had touched on the issue at a forum held at the Royal Selangor Club on July 9.

“Contrary to DAP Sarawak’s statement, I already spoke about the matter two weeks ago,” he said.

“It was related to justice for all, regardless of their race or religion. I made specific reference to the hudud issue in Kelantan,” Anwar said at the PKR headquarters last night. (more…)

July 22, 2014

Sarawak DAP threatens to pull out of coalition

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Sarawak PakatanJoe Fernandez

PKR and PAS express shock and surprise at DAP Sarawak’s unilateral move over hudud.

PAS and PKR today took exception to a DAP statement threatening to pull out of Sarawak PR over PAS’ cooperation with the Federal government over hudud.

The DAP is proposing a resolution that it will refrain from holding or participating in any event organised under the name of PR or PAS in Sarawak because of this cooperation.

DAP is angry that PAS is working with the Federal government to implement hudud in Kelantan.

It is unhappy that working with the Federal government is against the PR common manifesto. (more…)

High Court orders return of CDs containing the word ‘Allah’ to Melanau clerk

Lawyer for Jill Ireland,  Annou Xavier (left), and a representative from the Bible Society Malaysia, Alfred Tais, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 30, 2014. Ireland is seeking the return of CDs containing the word 'Allah', which were confiscated in 2008. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Shafiq Safiee, July 21, 2014.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Lawyer for Jill Ireland, Annou Xavier (left), and a representative from the Bible Society Malaysia, Alfred Tais, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on June 30, 2014.

Ireland is seeking the return of CDs containing the word ‘Allah’, which were confiscated in 2008.

The High Court today ordered the return of eight Christian CDs containing the word “Allah” which the Home Ministry had confiscated from Jill Ireland at the then Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang in 2008.

Judge Datuk Zaleha Yusof while ordering the return of the CDs to the Melanau clerk did not set a time frame for it to be complied.However‎, she did not make any ruling on the constitutional issue on whether Christians had the right to use the word “Allah” in their worship.Ireland’s lawyer Annou Xavier said that they would decide on the next course of action after the CDS were returned. (more…)

July 21, 2014

Mawan and Wong explain formation of UPP

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Dukau Papau

Disagreement between supporters of former Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president William Mawan Ikom and supporters of former Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh as to who should lead the Dayak-based party Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) is said to have led Wong and three other elected representatives aligned to him to form their own party – United People’s Party (UPP).

However, Mawan, who is Social Development Minister, and Wong, who is Local Government and Community Development Minister, strongly denied this at a joint press conference yesterday.

Mawan, Wong and eight other state assemblypersons resigned from their respective parties on May 15, 2014 due to internal problems in SPDP and SUPP and joined the newly-formed Teras. (more…)

Baram villagers witness first hand proof of empty promises

Anna Chidambar

Reports that the Sarawak state government has unofficially given the “green light” for the construction of the controversial RM4 billion hydroelectric power (HEP) Baram Dam have not deterred villagers at the anti-dam blockade in Long Lama who are adamant at staying put.

The Long Lama blockade was set up by the Baram Protection Action Committee (BPAC) about nine months ago on Oct 23, 2013 as a sign that the villagers were against the HEP dam project to be sited between Long Naah and Long Kesseh some 200km inland from Miri City.

When strong rumours spread that Baram Dam had received the green light, 170 Baram villagers paid a visit to the resettlement areas of Sungai Asap and Tegulang and Matalun in the Belaga District in mid-July to listen to the experiences of those who had resettled making the way for the Bakun and Murum dams. (more…)

Legality of Marina Park project in Miri questioned

Dukau Papau

Sarawak PKR today questioned the legality of the construction of a multi-billion ringgit Marina Park City project in Miri by Samling Group, which is closely linked to those in political power.

It also accused some Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) leaders of being involved in the project, which has become a very ‘hot’ issue in the city.

“Documents made available to our Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng indicate that the original planning and engineering approvals will take away the existing approved car parks at Jalan Sri Dagang or the Miri Waterfront Commercial Centre,” state PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How said. (more…)

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