Hornbill Unleashed

November 8, 2013

Taib: Hero or hypocrite?

Mariam Mokhtar

If Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud can sound like the voice of reason, then it is clear that Umno-Baru is in terminal decline.

When the verdict on the Allah word issue was announced last month, Taib’s speech resonated with many Malaysians when he said, “To us (Sarawakians) there is no issue. We have lived with people of different races and different religions for many decades, even before Malaysia.”

Taib is a shrewd politician who has the benefit of age and experience. He appears to be more in touch with his grassroots supporters, unlike Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who panders to extremists. (more…)

November 5, 2013

BMF lodges complaint against Sarawak Energy CEO

BMF lodges complaint against Sarawak Energy CEO


  • Picture: NGO campaigners protest in front of Mr. Sjotveit’s home in Bekkestua, a suburb of Norway’s capital, Oslo (Picture: BMF/FIVAS)

(OSLO / NORWAY) In a surprise move, Swiss rainforest advocacy group, the Bruno Manser Fund, and its Norwegian partner, FIVAS, have lodged an urgent complaint against the state-owned Malaysian power supplier, Sarawak Energy, with Norway’s anti-corruption agency, Okokrim. The complaint is directed against Sarawak Energy’s Norwegian CEO, Torstein Dale Sjotveit, for unduly favouring the family of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. Under Norway’s tough anti-corruption laws, Norwegian citizens can be held accountable for their involvement in corruption anywhere in the world. (more…)

November 4, 2013

Baram Malaysia Meets Baerum Norway…And Sjotveit Is Reported To OKOKRIM

Baram Malaysia Meets Baerum Norway…And Sjotveit Is Reported To OKOKRIM

Sarawak Report

When he is not tearing down tropical trees in Sarawak, the chief officer of Sarawak Energy has his home in a very smart, leafy suburb of Oslo in Norway, known as Baerum.

Last week, appalled at the latest round of mega-projectshanded out by this hired Norwegian to companies owned by his boss, the autocratic ruler Taib Mahmud, NGOs decided it was time to inform the residents of Baerum about the corrupt activities of their wealthy neighbour, who spends so much time on the other side of the world.

So, they came to Bearum, Norway to distribute leaflets explaining what Sarawak Energy (SEB) boss Torstein Dale Sjotveit is doing in Baram, Sarawak and how the entire project is linked to Taib Mahmud’s kleptocratic destruction of the world’s oldest rainforest. (more…)

October 31, 2013

Budget 2014: What’s next?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Raja Ahmad Shahrir

  • Are we to just sit back and go back to business as usual, with the frame of mind that all these plans tabled last Friday will bolster the economy as it said it would?
As expected, Budget 2014 included the GST implementation, reduction of subsidy (one item now but more in the near future), and allocations to boost the economy, all within the Prime Minister’s “five thrust” framework, with the hope of improving the fiscal deficit.

From a planning perspective, I believe that the budget contains steps needed to grow and enhance the economy through the development of basic infrastructure, enhancing human capital development by focusing on the right sets of skills and knowledge, boosting economic activity to increase domestic and foreign investments and restructuring the tax system to enhance revenue. However, this is the same general view, year in, year out. (more…)

October 30, 2013

Allah issues: Taib turns table on Najib

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Herald AllahMohd Ariff Sabri Aziz

  • Unlike any other Chief Minister or Menteri Besar, Taib Mahmud has the mental disposition to disassociate himself and his party PBB from Umno’s machinations.
Umno president Najib Tun Razak and his brand of politics has no place in Sarawak and the Chief Minister made that pretty clear recently.

Although Taib Mahmud invited Najib to officiate the Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) congress assembly recently, he didn’t waste any time in giving Najib a few lessons in mature politics. (more…)

October 23, 2013

Taib’s loyalty pledge or veiled threat?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Winston Way

Sarawakians doubt Taib Mahmud’s ‘loyalty’ pledge to Malaysia, while others see it as ‘veiled messages’ to Najib.

KUCHING: Sarawakians voiced their disbelief and disgust on Taib Mahmud’s recent remark that the people of Sarawak have “unwavering” loyalty towards the nation.

However, a number of them, commenting on Facebook, speculated that the Sarawak chief minister might have “insinuated” some hidden messages to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in making that statement.

Most Facebook users, when commenting on the issue reported by a local English daily here today, called Taib’s statement a “flattery” meant for Najib. (more…)

June 21, 2013

NRC battles: Civil servants risk contempt of court

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Keruah Usit


Civil servants in Sarawak are being compelled by their political masters to risk contempt of court when summoned as witnesses in native customary rights (NCR) land cases.
PKR electoral candidate for Hulu Rajang Abun Sui Anyit (left), and DAP Piasau state assemblyperson Alan Ling Sie Kiong, told Malaysiakini that Joseph Belayong Punan, the Baram District Officer, failed to attend a court hearing last week, in an NCR case filed by members of the Berawan community of Long Terawan, Mulu.

“Mr Joseph Belayong stated in his letter (to the court) he is still waiting endorsement from the State Secretary to attend the court trial as a witness.” said Abun Sui, lawyer for the Long Terawan plaintiffs. (more…)

April 25, 2013

Taib Panics And Offers Headmen A Living Wage!

Sarawak Report

Inside his Rolls Royce – fear is opening Taib’s tight purse….

What better sign of BN’s panic that they may lose this election than the frantic handouts and sudden promises of ‘projects’ that we have been seeing this week?

In 2008 the average election bribe that BN paid to poor rural folk per vote was a mere RM10.  Yet this week the timber tycoon MP Tiong Thai King was going round offering a fat RM1,000 each!

So, now people are starting to learn what these politicians can really afford and why it pays to stand up to the bullies in BN. (more…)

Taib not keen to talk about retirement

Kow Gah Chie

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud was non-committal over a retirement date, despite promising in April 2011 to step down in two years.

Met at a function in Sibu today, Taib was asked about his retirement plans, to which he replied with another question.

“You want me to retire? When are you going to retire? You tell me,” he said. “I decide when is the best time to leave.”

Throughout the Sarawak state legislative assembly election campaign in 2011, Taib was dogged with the question of when he would step down which was a major campaign issue for Pakatan Rakyat. (more…)

March 24, 2013

No escape for Taib Mahmud

Kim Quek

The embarrassingly weak retort by Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to the recent crystal-clear Global Witness video expose of his timber corruption virtually confirms his guilt.

The video produced by the London-based NGO Global Witness captures the conversation between its undercover investigator and Taib’s first cousins,.

It stunningly reveals the truth about how Taib and his family make illicit fortunes from the illegal disposal of Sarawak’s vast timber land. The video was posted on YouTube, and featured in global TV network Al Jazeera on March 18. (more…)

Taib Mahmud Dynasty: A Regime-Changing Time Bomb

PRU – Think tank Political Studies for Change

Taib Mahmud Dynasty: A Regime-Changing Time Bomb

An investigator for an international non governmental organisation (NGO), Global Witness went undercover posed as a foreign investor in an undercover sting to expose the corrupted and fraudulent activities of the family members and business partners of Sarawak’s chief minister (CM), Taib Mahmud that was committed at the expense of the people of Sarawak in order to gain illegal profits worth millions if not billions of Malaysian ringgit.

Global Witness published an approximately 16-minute long short film, with a title aptly named Inside Malaysia’s Shadow State, perfectly describing the beastly corruption of Sarawak CM Taib, his administration, family and business associates. Although during the course of the film Global Witness investigators did not negotiate with Taib himself, the Global Witness investigator did negotiate with the other family members of Taib, which claimed to have a close relationship with him and those close acquaintances include his cousins, lawyers, and others. Those negotiations with his close acquaintances proved that those individuals had heavy backing from Taib Mahmud himself. (more…)

March 21, 2013

Taib Blames His Own Uncle And A Conspiracy To “Frame” Him!

Sarawak Report

“It’s nothing to do with me, right?”

The strain on Taib was there for all to see yesterday, after the corruption video exposing his family and his entire regime went viral.

Speaking to journalists on camera yesterday a rambling Chief Minister attempted to appear jovial and easy-going, but his anger was barely concealed.

Sarawak Report has learnt that his London lawyers spent weeks trying to gag the Global Witness expose before it was released.. (more…)

Undercover sting exposes Malaysia land-grab

Florence Looi

Allegations of corruption get louder following secret tapes showing plunder of resource-rich Sarawak province.

Long Napir, Malaysia – Plantations and logging are ravaging Malaysia’s majestic Borneo region and indigenous people who have lived for centuries here say they are increasingly being uprooted from their once-pristine lands.

But as the timber and palm oil companies swarm over the rugged landscape of resplendent rivers and ancient rainforests, villagers in Long Napir in the country’s biggest state Sarawak have vowed to thwart any further land-grabs. (more…)

January 13, 2013

Stop Doing Business With Taib!

Sarawak Report

Where is the money Taib? – Sarawak’s Finance Minister/ Chief Minister/ Planning & Resources Minister in his trademark Rolls Royce.

The mounting evidence about Malaysia’s world-beating levels ofcorruption has raised growing questions for those international companies which are risking their reputations by engaging with characters like Abdul Taib Mahmud.

For example, DAP have once again drawn attention to the gaping Black Hole in Sarawak’s recently published public accounts.

It represents RM11billion of public funds which have disappeared without explanation amounting to 50% of Sarawak’s entire budget over the past 8 years! (more…)

November 29, 2012

Taib says S’wak victim of ‘economic sabotage’


Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said today systematic campaigns to discredit individuals and even a legitimate government were tantamount to economic sabotage which warranted a serious response from the state government.

Taib, who is also Sarawak finance minister cum resource planning and environment minister, said he did not condone such systematic campaigns which tried to prevent a small developing economy from growing even though in a democracy the people were free to assert their wishes.

“Increasingly, we notice that negative actions are being organised in Sarawak to gain global attention and a handful of local organisers seem to lead this opposition to get funding from foreigners,” he said when winding up debate in the state assembly meeting, at Petra Jaya, Kuching. (more…)

October 30, 2012

Happy Families? Taib Gets A Public Kicking From Ragad!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 4:00 PM
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Sarawak Report

Has Ragad now got the upper hand?

Earlier this month, Friday 12th October, onlookers in the Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Kuching were treated to an astonishing scene.

The elderly Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud and his very young wife Ragad indulged in a public row in the foyer of his office building.

Ragad had apparently turned up at the building and demanded to see her husband, for whom she waited until he came downstairs. As one person reported: (more…)

September 27, 2012

Taib’s hard-won apology a pyrrhic victory

Keruah Usit

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has won an apology from the lawyers of two state PKR leaders, See Chee How and Wan Zainal Abidin Wan Senusi, over a political incident in 2007.

Wan Zainal, a chartered accountant and See, a lawyer, had distributed leaflets to the public, alleging that Japanese timber importers had paid RM32 million worth of kickbacks to a company connected to Taib’s family.

In exchange for this apology, Taib withdrew his libel lawsuit against See, a state PKR vice-president, and Wan Zainal, its deputy chairperson for communications. (more…)

September 24, 2012

Do you believe probe into graft claims against Taib ‘still on’ ?

Andrew Sagayam, The Malay Mail

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said yesterday allegations against Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud that he illegally amassed large sums of money have been over-politicised and the commission should be allowed to continue its probe without interference.

Confirming that the investigation was still going on, MACC head Abu Kassim Mohamed said the issue had been “blown out of proportion”.

“I cannot comment on the progress as we are still gathering information on how the wealth was obtained,” Abu Kassim said. (more…)

September 20, 2012

Groundbreaking study details Taib’s US$21bil empire


A ground-breaking report released by Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) estimated the assets of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family at US$21 billion (RM64 billion).

The wealth of Taib himself has been put at a whopping US$15 billion (RM46 billion), making him Malaysia’s richest man, outstripping tycoon Robert Kuok who has US$12.5 billion.

The report entitled ‘The Taib Timber Mafia: Facts and Figures on Politically Exposed Persons from Sarawak, Malaysia’ was released today in Brussels to coincide with a visit by the Malaysian Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Bernard Dompok to the European Commission. (more…)

September 10, 2012

Will PM enforce Taib’s exit promise?

Kit Siang

In a press release today, Lim noted that Taib had publicly said yesterday that there was no need for a leadership change as the people of Sarawak currently “enjoy peace, political stability and organised development”.Come April, Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s self-imposed deadline to step down will expire, but there is little sign that it will happen, said DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

Should Taib refuse to step down next April, Lim (left) warned that it would be a serious setback for Najib who revealed in April 2011 that he had brokered Taib’s retirement date. (more…)

September 7, 2012

NGO reports Sjotveit to MACC

FMT Staff

MACC was today handed a dossier on how Sarawak Energy Board CEO Torstein Dale Sjotveit’s allegedly ‘abused’ his powers.

A coalition of NGOs and concerned individuals here have lodged a formal report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against Sarawak Energy Board (SEB) chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit.

Save Rivers Network representatives also handed over documents and evidence detailing how Sjotveit allegedly abused his power by awarding contracts for projects belonging to SEB to the family members of his employer, Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. (more…)

August 9, 2012

In ‘ANYTHING GOES’ BN, politicians PLUNDER with impunity

Moaz NairIn 'ANYTHING GOES' BN,  politicians PLUNDER with impunity

Sabah and Sarawak are two of the poorest states in the country despite being in the Malaysian federation for the past 49 years. These states are endowed with natural resources that could have made them flourish but this has not materialised under BN (Barisan Nasional) government.

In the penetratingly criminogenic political settings of today, many international banks have been alleged to have become the accessory to corruption in the third world where the money is most needed for development.

Some major banks are known to be accessory to international money-laundering cases involving corrupt leaders. As they say, it takes two to tango. Some banks are ever willing to do business with corrupt regimes. (more…)

August 7, 2012

Planning Robbery – Some Answers To The Mystery Of Awang Tengah’s Vast Wealth

Sarawak Report

How did Tengah afford this on a few thousand ringgit a month?

Yet another ministerial mansion has sprouted up in Kuching and it tells us all we need to know about the corruption of the state.

The proud owner is Awang Tengah, the Second Minister for Planning in Sarawak (Taib is, of course, the First Minister for Planning) and after a year of construction Tengah has just moved in.

Locals in the surrounding district of Petra Jaya have been left wondering how it is that a state minister, who receives approximately RM17,000 a month, has been able to possibly afford such an enormous construction? (more…)

May 9, 2012

New Sarawak state polls when PR takes Putrajaya


The stakes could not be higher for Sarawak BN in general, and Sarawak’s longest-serving Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud in particular, come Malaysia’s 13th General Election, which will be held any moment now.

With the Prime Minister and his national coalition under siege, the BN continues to use public funds continue to lure voters. The latest bait is the RM15,000 per household for FELDA settlers. It is no coincidence that the vast majority comprises rural Malay voters.

While the stakes are high for a few obvious key federal ministers – with the prime target among them being the Prime Minister – there are BN supporters in the civil service and elsewhere, working overtime to ensure that the ruling coalition will remain in control of the federal government. (more…)

April 18, 2012

Taib’s son or a local for Kota Samarahan?

FMT Staff

While rumours are rife that another Taib will contest for the Kota Samarahan parliamentary seat, word within the party is that the candidate will be a local woman.

Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) – the lead partner in the Sarawak Barisan Nasional – is likely to field a woman candidate to replace its incumbent Sulaiman Mahmud in “family-held” Kota Samarahan parliamentary constituency.

Sulaiman is Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s younger son, and went “missing” following his mother’s death in 2009. (more…)

March 29, 2012

Masing: If we tell you to walk backwards, do it

Keruah Usit

When most Malaysian cabinet ministers open their mouths to talk, you might not expect much in the way of reasoned debate or intelligent conversation.

But James Masing, rejoicing under the stupendous title of Senior Minister (for land) in Abdul Taib Mahmud’s Sarawak cabinet, ought to be different.

He has a PhD in anthropology. He was once a dissident, a leading light in the opposition Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS). (more…)

December 9, 2011

Taib family fortune ‘RM4.6bil in Malaysia alone’

Keruah Usit

Sarawak’s Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud famously boasted that he has more money than he can ever spend.

A Swiss NGO campaigning against corruption in Sarawak, the Bruno Manser Fund, has now fleshed out this assertion. The BMF reports that Taib’s family owns US$1.46 billion (RM4.6 billion) in corporate assets in 14 wealthy companies – in Malaysia alone.

According to the BMF, Taib himself, his four children, eight siblings and his first cousin, Abdul Hamed Sepawi, have a stake in 332 Malaysian companies. In the three largest of these companies, the BMF contends, the Taib family owns substantial shares in Cahya Mata Sarawak or CMS (84 percent of net assets of RM2.4 billion), Custodev Sdn Bhd (25 percent of RM1.6 billion) and Ta Ann Holdings Bhd (at least 35 percent of RM1.4 billion). (more…)

November 20, 2011

More Big Boobs By Taib!

Sarawak Report

How much ‘economic analysis’ does it take to produce stuff like this?

Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and PM Najib Razak have been trumpeting their economic policies in the light of plaudits given by an outfit called the Oxford Business Group..

Explaining the significance of the praises lavished on Sarawak and Malaysia by the Oxford Busines Group, the Chief Minister’s ownwebsite claimed that the publication “provides in-depth detail on Sarawak’ current economic outlook and what the future holds for the state”.

However, the Editorial Director of these reports is none other than a former Editor of the UK’s most ridiculed porn rag, the Daily Sport, which closed earlier this year.

Peter Grimsditch was sacked 4 years after having launched the Sport for the UK ’Porn King’, David Sullivan in 1988. He was also sacked as Editor of another low-brow red top, the Daily Star, and is now based in the Middle East. (more…)

October 17, 2011

Taib summoned in son’s divorce case

Aidila Razak

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud will be called as a witness in the divorce proceedings of his son Mahmud Abu Bekir, when the case resumes on Jan 16.

This is because Abdul Taib had lived in the same compound as his son and then wife Shahnaz A Majid and was a witness to disputes between them, the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court heard today.

“He can prove whether or not (Bekir) assaulted (Shahnaz) as they lived in the same compound,” said Shahnaz’s lawyer Rafiee Shafiee.

The seven who will be called as witnesses in January include Taib’s daughters Jamilah Hamidah and Hanifah Hajar, and his brother Onn Taib.

Rafiee told judge Muhammad Abdullah that these witnesses will be called to testify about contracts involving companies Titanium Management and Cahya Mata Sarawak, of which Bekir is group deputy chairperson. (more…)

July 29, 2010

Fadillah trying to curry favour with Taib


Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Fadillah Yusof is a man in a quandary.

He had hoped that his recent brazen declaration that Parti Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth wing would send its own fact-finding team to Ulu Baram to look into the issue of rape victims in the Penan community would get the backing of his members and party leaders.

But the whispers filtering through the grapevines are saying otherwise.

One source said Fadillah in his rush to consolidate his position with Chief Minister Taib Mahmud had picked a wrong issue because the nonchalant attitudes of both state leaders on the rape issue had already stoked temperature here.

Fadillah’s insensitive remarks had merely added to the embarrassment and compounded an already pus-infected wound.

July 18, 2010

Kudos to Sarawak Report

By Bunga Pakma

We Sarawakians, and all Malaysians, owe great gratitude towards the dedicated women and men of the site Sarawak Report. Sarawak Report made its first appearance on the net in January of this year, with a mere two posts. They were warming up. February’s six posts showed us that Sarawak Report was something new and exceptional. Then in June and this month they published four major articles founded on original research.  At last, through the efforts of these diligent journalists, Sarawakians and the world learned the extent and worth of Taib’s overseas property.

It is easy enough for a person like me to sit in front of a keyboard and compose “reflections”  on affairs. Every human being on earth has an opinion about something, most of us are eager enough to blab it to anyone we can grab, and thousands of bloggers in Malaysia alone produce every day a flood of pages.

Facts are what we think with, and facts are rare. As the philosopher Heraclitus said, “Those who seek gold dig much dirt and find little gold.” Without solid knowledge, words are just words. (more…)

June 17, 2010


Canadian properties worth in excess of a hundred million dollars

Twin glass towers and a swish shopping complex at Preston Square in downtown Ottawa form just part of an enormous foreign property portfolio controlled in Canada by the family of Sarawak Chief Minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud, according to our exclusive investigations.

These buildings alone are worth at least one hundred million dollars and generate a healthy rental income from some of Canada’s top corporations, including Xerox, Adobe and Sun Life, who rent office space and retail outlets.  Numerous Canadian Government Ministries are also listed at the building. (more…)

January 21, 2010

A Great Day for Justice

By HU Editor

It was an emotional day for native landowners in Sarawak.

Outside the courthouse in Kuching, tears of joy were flowing  freely and native landowners from all parts of Sarawak hugged and congratulated each other.

Baru Bian, usually cool and composed, was seen talking to reporters with his eyes red, and voice shaking with emotion: “This is justice for all Sarawakians, particularly the oppressed native communities.”

High Court Judge Datuk David Wong had just delivered his ruling on two cases in Kuching this morning: Agi Ak Bungkong & Others v Ladang Sawit Bintulu Sdn Bhd and Mohd Rambli Kawi v Superintendent of Lands & Surveys Kuching Division and Another.

In both cases, the High Court Judge held that the respective communities had proven that they have native customary rights over the disputed land, and awarded them damages and costs. (more…)

August 6, 2009

The politics of face

billclintoZhangBinyangBy Sim Kwang Yang

This Bill Clinton is really something.  He flew into the most secretive country in the world, met its sick but top man Kim Jong IL, had dinner with him, and secured the release of two American journalists sentenced to 12 years in hard labour camp for spying.  Then he flew these two journalists back to the old US of A with him in the same plane.

Many commentators in the West have been harping on endlessly about how important the “face” factor is in this happy story.  Bill Clinton gave face to North Korea big time, and North Korea returned the face to the US.

When Bush was the president, could such an event have happened?  I doubt it. Bush is the super-bellicose WASP, and he could never understand the concept of “face”, except that of his own “face”.  Obama has lived in foreign countries, and therefore is more sensitive to the cultural differences between different civilisations.  He is less likely to engage himself in this nonsensical talk of “the clash of civilisations”. (more…)

July 3, 2009

Keeping Umno out of Sarawak

By Pak Bui

Umno road trip to sarawak (Small)Prime Minister Najib blogged about his recent visit to the Bidayuh village of Kampung Pichin in his posting “1Malaysia is Alive in Sarawak”.

Najib praised Sarawak’s multiculturalism to the rafters. He hailed Sarawakians as a ready-made model for his 1Malaysia sales pitch. But most Sarawakians consider this laughable.

Najib’s 1Malaysia chit-chat sits uneasily with his divisive 2PerakMB constitutional vandalism, mass arrests of peaceful demonstrators, and unrelenting impoverishment of the people of Sarawak and Sabah.

The PM boasted in his blog that he had followed in his father Tun Razak’s footsteps in Serian. This was unadorned irony. Najib has big boots to fill indeed. Abdul Razak was the Father of Racial Politics, the most vociferous Umno proponent of “Ketuanan Melayu”. In May 1969, Razak staged a bigger putsch, within Umno and the Cabinet, than Najib has ever managed in Perak. (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…)

April 23, 2009

Sarawak: My state, my government, my business

By Chee How

Cahya Mata secures RM232m jobs from SEB“, the Financial Daily wrote last Thursday.

The news that was missed by all local and national dailies revealed:
“Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd’s (CMS) unit CMS Land Sdn Bhd has secured RM232 million worth of construction contracts from Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) to develop and construct the latter’s proposed headquarters building at Isthmus in Kuching, Sarawak.

CMS Land, in turn, awarded the contract to design, develop, construct, complete and transfer the proposed building to Putrajaya Perdana Bhd’s (PPB) wholly owned unit, Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd, for RM221 million.

CMS is a major shareholder of PPB via its 100%-owned Concordance Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Concordance holds a 28.3% stake in UBG Bhd and an indirect 51% stake in PPES Works (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, which in aggregate holds more than 15% of UBG.

UBG in turn has a 85.9% direct interest in PPB.”

“Another mega project in CMS’ bag?” My well-informed friend Wong said with much disgust in his tone, “How true what Aziz Hussain had said that it is easier if you have personal contact with the Chief Minister.” (more…)

April 21, 2009

What is racism?

By Sim Kwang Yang ( SKY )

My fellow blogger Sarawak Headhunter had in recent days posted two very controversial entries.

First, he proclaimed that the PKR defeat at the Batang Ai by-election should have buried the skeletons of Dayakism in Sarawak forever. Then he declared war on racism, targeting an Utusan Malaysia headline calling on Malays to rise and be united. It is a pity that his ideas are not more widely discussed in Sarawak’s blogsphere.

UN conference on racism boycotted

Meanwhile, Australia and the Netherland joined the US, Canada, Italy, and Israel in boycotting a United Nations conference on racism in Geneva. The United States and Israel had walked out of a previous conference in South Africa, after Arab states sought to define Zionism as racism. (more…)

April 18, 2009

An invitation to freedom

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:04 AM
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By Sim Kwang Yang ( SKY )

I was the top dog of the Sarawak DAP for a number of years. I was also an important member of the DAP CEC for many years. I attended many meetings, in which I liked to introduce new ideas.

Once, (I think it was in the 1990s), I proposed that we sold off the party building in PJ to raise RM one million for our Tanjong project to finance our campaign to take power in Penang. It was shot down after a prominent member of the CEC said, “What if every state DAP request RM one million to finance their state project.”

One day, I proposed that the CEC administration be computerised instead of relying on the old physical filing system. The Treasurer brought up many objections, saying we had no space, no trained personnel, and no money for computers. Naturally, he knew nothing about computers. (more…)

April 16, 2009

What would you do if you are the Sarawak CM?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:55 AM
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By Sim Kwang Yang

Recently, I posted an entry, wondering whether free universal health care would be possible or not for Sarawak, based on my Canadian experience.

One reader questioned whether Taib can be prevailed upon to implement this concept. Another wondered whether I was being too idealistic. Fortunately, a young Canadian undergraduate at my old alma mater the University of Winnipeg came to my rescue out of the blue and confirmed that universal free health care is indeed being implemented in Canada.

Apparently, my readers missed an important hypothetical assertion in my entry that day: “If I were the chief minister of Sarawak….”

The Internet is a wonderful tool, and the Sarawak blogs are our precious alternative media. The cyberspace there is the only refuge where I can seek reprieve from the deadening sterility of the Sarawak print media.
As I trawl through the political blogs in Sarawak every day, I am often moved by the bloggers’ expression of love and concern for our fair land and her people. That is the kind of love and concern that I share.

But something bothers me deeply in Sarawak’s cyber space.

There, we hear the cry of frustration and helplessness of our fellow Sarawakians, (more…)

April 4, 2009

Longhouse politics in Batang Ai

Filed under: Alternatives,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 3:58 PM
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by Sim Kwang Yang @ MalaysiaKini

During these last few critical days of the campaign period in Batang Ai, the exhausted campaign workers on both sides must be preparing for their final push, while the Iban fence-sitting voters must be getting more and more confused from the last bombardment of political propaganda. Sarawak city folks and concerned citizens on the Malaya Peninsula would probably be hungry for news on the Batang Ai ground. They are bound to be frustrated, because the Iban people in the jungle of Sarawak do live in a separate universe in more ways than one. Political news from and about them seldom find its way to the outside world.

Full Article @ MalaysiaKini

Najib and Taib: An Arresting Couple

By Pak Bui

Recalling 1987

Operation Lalang on October 27, 1987 was the last time the ISA was used on a “megaproject” scale – the biggest crackdown siunce May 13, 1969. Mahathir Mohamad used the ISA against his opponents, when his position as Umno president was challenged by Tengku Razaleigh.

Mahathir had just won the Umno election amid furious allegations of cheating. Umno was turned into a new party – or was it? Um, no it wasn’t, it stayed the same old racist party it always was.

Faced with a divided party, Mahathir adopted a traditional Umno solution: stir up racial hatred, declare a threat to national security, and jail political opponents. Then relax, lean back and watch an uplifting American family TV programme like Eight is Enough.

Mahathir’s critics were seized in a bully’s binge: 106 politicians, environmentalists (including Harrison Ngau Laing in Sarawak), religious converts, social workers and teachers were sent out of sight, out of mind, and certainly well out of earshot, to the ISA detention camp, “Universiti Kedua”, in Kamunting, Perak.

KK tan under ISA

I met one ISA “graduate” shortly after he was released from Kamunting. Tan KK was Vice President of the Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia. He had the unwelcome privilege of being the first ISA detainee to be arrested.

Tan was an academic from Taiping, (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…)

Live reporting from Lubok Antu, Sarawak 29.03.2009


11.24 am LAST POSTING Hornbill Unleashed team leaves the nomination centre, will keep you updated with upcoming events.  Thank you

11.18 am It’s OFFICIAL! Straight fight for N29 Batang Air between No. 1 PKR Candidate Jawah gerang against No.2 BN Candidate Malcolm Mussen Lamoh.

11.12 am We are now waiting for the official announcement for the candidacy of N29 Batang Air By-election.

10.16 am Police confiscated more than 10 PAS flags giving explaination that PAS is not contesting in the by-election thus it should not appear in the nomination centre.

10.09 am Businessman and Blogger, Johnny Chuat appeal to all his supporters to give full support to PKR candidate, Jawah Gerang after withdrawal from nomination.

p329026610.06 am BREAKING! Unofficial! N29 Batang Ai, Straight fight between BN candidate Malcolm Mussen Lamoh and PKR Candidate Jawah Gerang.  The independent candidate Johnny Chuat withdraws at the last moment

9.33 am It mighnt not be a stright fight because Johnny Chuat has just handed in the nomination forms!

9.20 am GENTLEMAN! Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim walked over to the BN camp and exchange greetings with Chief Minister of  Sarawak and all attending VVIPs

9.11 am BN arrival also acoompanied by Chief Minister of Sarawak Pehin Abdul Taib Mahmud,  George Chan, James Masing, Abang Johari and many more VVIPs

9.08 am BN Candidate Malcolm Mussen Lamoh arrives at the nomination centre with 100’s of supporters

8.59 am Jawah Gerang the candidate for PR is the first to enter the p3290133nomination centre.

.20 am A bus load of DAP members all carrying the rocket flags brave the jam and has made their way to the nomination centre.

8.02 am Businessman and blogger Johnny Chuat just entered the nomination centre. Is he SERIOUS?

7.30 amp3290186 The BN supporters are smaller in number and the PR are certainly more vocal. Are more BN people coming? It is certainly very unlike BN

7.27 am Hey! BN supporters are in the compound. They are all quiet, no wonder we didn’t notice them…

7.24 am PR supporters led by Selangor MB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim arrives at the nomination centre, the Dewan Sukan LA

p32900877.15am PR members and supporters estimated to be a thousand now, are marching towards the nomination centre

6.54 am Menteri Besar Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim having breakfast at Be Do Corner cafe with YB William Leong and others

6.49 am Cars with PKR and DAP flags are lining all the roads n lanes in Lubok Antu. A DAP truck is repeatedly blaring the song: Just Change! This is a PR Bazaar, for now!

6.44 am Lubok Antu is now packed with PR supporters. Every coffeeshop n hawker stall are filled with PKR n DAP Supporters

6.15 am Goooooooooooooooood Morning LA!

Live Broadcast Here!

N29 Batang Ai By-election

Nomination day live reporting from Lubok Antu, Sarawak (29.03.2009 from 6.00am)

Santa Claus is Good for You

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:01 AM
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By Pak Bui 


Old White Haired Santa Claus appears at the opening of a private hospital in Kuching. He calls for improved health care in Sarawak, particularly in the fields of cancer and kidney care. Applause all around!

The owners of the private hospital, UMNO cadres from Johor, fall over themselves to shake Old White Hair’s hands, almost in tears. The private hospital is declared open – open to all, it seems, or at least all those with a credit card and money to burn. The entire farce is reported on the front page of local papers.
Why focus on cancer and kidneys?

But why focus on cancer and kidney care? (more…)

March 27, 2009

Damn the Dams — They only make the First Family richer!!

By Apang

Batang Ai is more often than not associated with the hydro electric dam that supplies electricity to other places outside of Batang Ai, such as Kuching. The Sarawak Chief Minister of donkey number of years had just confirmed in public that there will be 12 more dams in Sarawak.

n_01sarawakdams1Same old developmental arguments are used. The dam projects will benefit the people of the area and of course of the state’s economy as well blah blah blah. Of course what is not mentioned in the public domain is the development of the personal wealth of family members and cronies.

The Stark reality in Batang Ai

In Batang Ai, (more…)

March 26, 2009

Termite infestation in Sarawak

Sim Kwang Yang (SKY)

This is the first official article of the new kid on the blog in Sarawak, the Hornbill Unleashed.  I really want to say something about the termite, but something else appropriate seems to be in order for this opening ceremony.

Why this particular bird?

hornbillThe majestic Rhinoceros Hornbill with the proud crown is the State Bird of Sarawak; it is proudly installed on our State Crest.

It represents one of the most powerful gods among the Ibans, Singalang Burung, who plays a central role in Iban religious rituals and festivals such as the Gawai Kenyalang.  It is an important omen bird, sending signals from the gods of tidings to come to the Ibans.  It is also a symbol of courage and strength.

Our beloved state of Sarawak has also been known as the Land of the Hornbill (Tanah Kenyalang), in recognition of the importance of the Iban and other Dayak communities in Sarawak.

As far as this blog is concerned, the hornbill is the symbolic embodiment of our fair land of Sarawak and all her people, irrespective of race, religion, and creed.

The Hornbill is sick

Our Hornbill is sick (more…)

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