Monday, August 31, 2009

Senyum Kambing - Malaysia 52 Tahun Merdeka?

Taib Mahmud The Thief Minister Of Sarawak

Getting Rich in Malaysia
Cronyism Capital Means Dayak Lose Home

By Yoolim Lee

Comments by Sarawak Headhunter in red.

Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) -- After a stomach-churning takeoff from a 550-meter runway at Long Banga airstrip on the Malaysian side of the island of Borneo, the 19-seat plane soars over a green tropical wilderness. This is one of the world’s last remaining virgin rain forests.

About 30 minutes into the flight to the bustling oil town of Miri, the lush landscape changes, and neatly terraced fields of oil palms take the place of jungle. Twenty years ago, this was forestland. Now, those forests are lost forever.

The shift from rain forest to oil palm cultivation in Malaysia’s Sarawak state highlights the struggle taking place between forces favoring economic development, led by Sarawak state’s chief minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud, and those who want to conserve the rain forest and the ways of life it supports.

It is actually not as simple as that. Conservation of a substantial area of the rain forest and the ways of life it supports is not incompatible with economic development, nor is the struggle merely against economic development - far from it. The so-called "economic development" that Taib Mahmud favours is not one which benefits the poorer segment of the Sarawak populace but only his family and a few favoured already-rich cronies.

During Taib’s 28-year rule, his government has handed out concessions for logging and supported the federal government’s megaprojects, including the largest hydropower site in the country and, most recently, oil palm plantations. The projects are rolling back the frontiers of Borneo’s rain forest, home to nomadic people and rare wildlife such as orangutans and proboscis monkeys.

At least four prominent Sarawak companies that have received contracts or concessions have ties to Taib or his family.

The number is more than that. See for example, "How Taib Uses Timber To Divide And Rule The Ibans".

Transforming Malaysia

The government of Malaysia plans to transform the country into a developed nation by 2020 through a series of projects covering everything from electric power generation to education. The country’s gross domestic product, which has been growing at an average 6.7 percent annual pace since 1970, shrank 6.2 percent in the first quarter.

In Sarawak, Taib’s government is following its own development plans that call for doubling the state’s GDP to 150 billion ringgit ($42 billion) by 2020. Sarawak Energy Bhd., which is 65 percent owned by the state government, said in July 2007 it plans to build six power plants, including hydropower and coal-fired generators.

What is the point of having a high GDP if the majority of Sarawakians are not going to benefit from it and will still live in poverty while the rich get richer?

The state government also wants to expand the acreage in Sarawak devoted to oil palms to 1 million hectares (2.5 million acres) by 2010, from 744,000 at the end of 2008, according to Sarawak’s Ministry of Land Development. Companies that formerly chopped down hardwood trees and exported the timber are now moving into palm plantations.

There is just not much commercial timber left and they don't want to replant. Why wait when they can reap the harvests from oil palm much earlier?

Lawsuits Filed

Meanwhile, many of the ethnic groups who have traditionally lived from the land in Sarawak -- known as Dayaks -- have filed lawsuits that aim to block some projects and seek better compensation.

Sarawak’s ambitions could be hindered by a lack of good governance, which would shut out overseas investors, says Steve Waygood, head of sustainable and responsible investment research at Aviva Investors in London, which manages more than $3 billion in sustainable assets.

What "lack of good governance"? There is no proper governance under Taib Mahmud at all.

“Even just the perception of corruption can lead to restricted inflows of capital from the global investment community into emerging markets such as Sarawak,” says Waygood, who wrote about reputational risk in a 2006 book, “Capital Market Campaigning” (Risk Books).

“The largest and most responsible financial institutions are very careful to avoid funding unsustainable developments,” he says.

Unilever, which buys 1.5 million tons of palm oil a year -- 4 percent of the world’s supply -- for use in products such as Dove soap and Flora margarine, announced in May that it would buy only from sustainable sources.

No Direct Purchases

“Unilever does not source any palm oil directly from Sarawak,” says Jan Kees Vis, Unilever’s director of sustainable agriculture. “We buy from plantation companies and traders located elsewhere.”

He says Unilever has committed by 2015 to buy all of its palm oil from sources certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a group representing palm oil producers, consumers and nongovernmental organizations that seeks to establish standards for sustainably produced palm oil. The Malaysian Palm Oil Association, a government-supported group of Malaysian plantation companies, is a member of the RSPO.

About 35 percent of the world’s cooking oil comes from palm -- more than any other plant, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And 90 percent of the world’s palm oil comes from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Skittles and Soap

The oil is an ingredient used in everything from Skittles candy to Palmolive soap to some kinds of biodiesel fuel. Palm oil futures have climbed 45 percent this year as of Aug. 24 on concern that dry weather caused by El Nino may reduce output. Crude oil prices rose to a 10-month high of $74.24 a barrel, spurring demand for biodiesel.

Malaysia lost 6.6 percent of its forest cover from 1990 to 2005, or 1.49 million hectares, the most-recent data available from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization show. That’s an area equivalent to the state of Connecticut.

Neighboring Indonesia lost forestland at the fastest annual rate among the world’s 44 forest nations from 2000 to 2005, Amsterdam-based Greenpeace says.

“Palm oil is the new green gold after timber,” says Mark Bujang, executive director of the Borneo Resources Institute in Miri, a city of about 230,000 people in Sarawak. “It has become the most destructive force after three decades of unsustainable logging.”

While Malaysia’s palm oil exports have more than doubled to a record 46 billion ringgit in 2008 from 2006, according to the country’s central bank, the gain has come at a price.

And that price is being paid by the people who can least afford it, the downtrodden and oppressed rural poor of Sarawak.

Displaced People

Development projects and palm plantations have displaced thousands of people, some of whom have lived for centuries by fishing, hunting and farming in the jungle. Almost 200 lawsuits are pending in the Sarawak courts relating to claims by Dayak people on lands being used for oil palms and logging, according to Baru Bian, a land rights lawyer representing many of the claimants.

A handful of activists have been found dead under mysterious circumstances or disappeared, including Swiss environmental activist Bruno Manser, who vanished in the jungle in 2000.

Cutting down rain forests to cultivate palms in Sarawak has consequences far beyond Malaysia, says Janet Larsen, director of research at the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute.

The forests that are being destroyed help modulate the climate because they remove vast stores of carbon from the atmosphere. Chopping down the trees ends up releasing greenhouse gases.

‘Lungs of the Planet’

“These last remaining forests are the lungs of the planet,” Larsen says. “It affects us all.”

Chief Minister Taib, 73, has multiple roles in Sarawak. He’s also the state’s finance minister and its planning and resources management minister -- a role that gives him the power to dispense land, forestry and palm oil concessions as well as the power to approve infrastructure projects.

Until last year, Taib held the additional role of chairman of the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp., which fosters wood-based industries in the state.

Anwar Ibrahim, the former Malaysian finance minister who’s the head of the country’s opposition alliance, sees parallels between Taib’s rule and those of other long-standing leaders in Southeast Asia, such as former Indonesian President Suharto and former Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos.

“It’s an authoritarian style of governance to protect their turf and their families,” says Anwar, who was fired as deputy prime minister by then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in 1998 and jailed on charges of having homosexual sex and abusing power. The sodomy conviction was overturned in 2004.

‘Driven by Greed’

Sim Kwang Yang, an opposition member of parliament for Sarawak’s capital city of Kuching from 1982 to 1995, agrees with Anwar’s assessment. “It is crony capitalism driven by greed without any regard for the people,” he says.

Taib’s adult children and his late wife, Lejla, together owned more than 29.3 percent of Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd., the state’s largest industrial group, with 40 companies involved in construction, property development, road maintenance, trading and financial services, according to the company’s 2008 annual report.

See also "A Small Part Of Taib Mahmud & Family's Corporate Empire".

Local residents jokingly say that the company’s initials, CMS, stand for “Chief Minister and Sons.”

In total, CMS has won about 1.3 billion ringgit worth of projects from the state and the federal government since the beginning of 2005, according to the firm’s stock exchange filings.

Taib declined to comment for this article. In an interview he gave to Malaysia’s state news agency, Bernama, on Jan. 13, 2001, Taib said CMS’s ties to him had nothing to do with its winning government jobs.

‘Not Involved’ in Contracts

“I am not involved in the award of contracts,” he said. “No politician in Sarawak is involved in the award of contracts.”

Not only is Taib a thief but a liar as well.

He told Bernama he doesn’t ask for special treatment of his sons. “I never ask anybody to do any favors,” he said.

But if they don't they're gone.

Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, the elder of Taib’s two sons, is CMS’s deputy chairman and owns 8.92 percent of the firm, according to the annual report. Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib, the younger son and CMS’s chairman until 2008, holds an 8.94 percent stake.

Taib’s two daughters and his son-in-law are also listed in the annual report as “substantial shareholders.”

Taib’s History

Taib, a Muslim who belongs to the Melanau group -- one of about 27 different ethnic groups in Sarawak -- entered politics at the age of 27 after graduating from the University of Adelaide in Australia with a law degree in 1960.

He held various ministerial positions in Sarawak and Malaysia before taking over in 1981 as the chief minister from his uncle, Abdul Rahman Yaakub. Rahman, now 81, ruled Sarawak for 11 years.

Taib, who has silver hair, appears almost daily on the front pages of Sarawak newspapers, sometimes sporting a goatee and a pair of rimless glasses, at the opening of new development projects or local events.

He lives in Sarawak’s capital city of Kuching, an urban area of about 600,000 people on the Sarawak River. Its picturesque waterfront is dotted with colonial buildings, the legacy of British adventurer James Brooke, who founded the Kingdom of Sarawak in 1841 and became known as the White Rajah. Brooke’s heirs ruled the kingdom until 1946, when Charles Vyner Brooke ceded his rights to the U.K. Sarawak joined the Federation of Malaysia on Sept. 16, 1963, along with other former British colonies.

There was no "Malaysia" before September 16, 1963 for Sarawak to join. Malaysia was only formed on this date with Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore joining up with the states of the Malayan Federation.

Cousin’s Role

At Taib’s mansion, which overlooks the river, he receives guests in a living room decorated with gilt-edged European-style sofa sets, according to photos in the July to December 2006 newsletter of Naim Cendera Holdings Bhd., which changed its name to Naim Holdings Bhd. in March.

Naim is a property developer and contractor whose chairman is Taib’s cousin, Abdul Hamed Sepawi. He is also chairman of state power company Sarawak Energy and timber company Ta Ann Holdings Bhd., and is on the board of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp. and Sarawak Plantation Bhd.

Naim and CMS jointly built Kuching’s iconic waterfront building, the umbrella-roofed, nine-story Sarawak State Legislative Assembly complex. Naim has won more than 3.3 billion ringgit worth of contracts from the state and the federation since 2005, its stock exchange filings show.

Companies Respond

Ricky Kho, a spokesman for Naim, said the company declined to comment for this article. Naim’s deputy managing director, Sharifuddin Wahab, said in an interview with Bloomberg News in July 2007 that the chairman’s family ties weren’t why the company won government contracts.

“We have been able to execute our projects on time, we stick to the budget and the quality of what we hand over to the government is up to their expectations, if not more,” he said.

“Our teams have always acted professionally” when working with the government, whether on large or small projects, CMS’s group managing director, Richard Curtis, said in an e-mail. “CMS is governed by the strict listing regulations of the Malaysian stock exchange,” he said, adding that the chairman and the group managing director are both independent.

“The large projects carry with them an equally large risk, including a huge reputational risk, particularly for crucial projects by the government,” he said. “It is the government’s prerogative and discretion to award projects using a variety of approaches that includes open and closed tenders as well as directly negotiated processes, to the contractors and developers they feel will deliver the project as promised.”

Malaysia’s reputation as a place to conduct business has deteriorated in recent years, according to Transparency International, the Berlin-based advocacy group that publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index.

‘Monument of Corruption’

Transparency ranked the country 47th out of 180 in 2008, down from 43rd in 2007. Transparency also has singled out the Bakun Hydroelectric Dam, under construction on the Balui River in Sarawak, as a “monument of corruption.”

The index lacks fairness, says Ahmad Said Hamdan, chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, because it doesn’t take into consideration the size of the population of the countries in the ranking, for example.

“I’ve seen a lot of improvement in civil service in the past 10 years,” he says.

Sarawak Headhunter has also seen a lot of wild pigs flying in the jungles of Sarawak.

Dead Fish

Early this year, hundreds of dead fish started floating on the muddy river near the Bakun dam site. The fish were killed by siltation, which was triggered by uncontrolled logging upstream, Sarawak’s assistant minister of environment and public health, Abang Abdul Rauf Abang Zen, says. He says the Bakun dam has very strict environmental assessments and isn’t to blame for the siltation.

In January, Tenaga Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state- controlled power utility, and Sarawak Energy said they won approval from the national government to take over the operation of the hydropower project through a leasing agreement. Sarawak Energy also won preliminary approval to export about 1,600 megawatts of electricity from the 2,400-megawatt Bakun project, once it begins operating, to Peninsular Malaysia. The remaining power will go to Sarawak.

Taib announced a plan called New Concept in 1994. The aim was to bring together local people, with their customary rights to the land, and private shareholders, who would provide capital and expertise to create plantations. The plan called for companies to hold a 60 percent stake in the joint ventures, the state to own 10 percent and the remaining 30 percent to go to local communities in return for a 60-year lease on their land.

‘Emotional’ Disputes

That time period equals about two complete cycles of oil palm development. An oil palm typically matures in 3 years, reaches peak production from 5 to 7 years and continues to produce for about 25 years, says Nirgunan Tiruchelvam, a commodities analyst at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Singapore.

The policy has led to some disagreements. In his interview with Bernama in 2001, Taib said land acquisitions by the state have led to “emotional” disputes because some people seek too much compensation.

“We are not allowed to pay more than market value,” he told Bernama. He said people need to prove that they have traditionally lived in an area -- for example, by providing an aerial photograph -- in order for the state to grant them title to the land.

“If there are disputes, they go to the court,” Taib told Bernama.

Some local people say they received no compensation at all for their land. In Kampung Lebor, a village about a two-hour drive from Kuching, 160 families, members of the Iban group that was formerly headhunters, live in longhouses and survive by fishing and some farming. The Iban are Sarawak’s largest single group of Dayaks, who make up about half of the state’s 2.3 million population.

Land Overlap

In mid-1996, the state handed out parcels of land that overlapped with the community’s customary hunting and fishing areas to the Land Custody and Development Authority and Nirwana Muhibbah Bhd., a palm oil company in Kuching.

In mid-1997, the authority and the company cleared the land with bulldozers and planted oil palm seedlings, according to a copy of Kampung Lebor’s writ of summons filed to the High Court in Kuching.

Government ‘Cruel’

“The government is cruel,” says Jengga Jeli, 54, a father of five in Lebor. “Fruit trees have been cut down. It’s become harder to hunt and fish. Now we are forced to get meat and vegetables from the bazaar, and we are very poor.” Jengga’s village filed a lawsuit in 1998 against Nirwana, LCDA and the state government in a bid to get compensation.

The case was finally heard in 2006 and is now awaiting judgment, according to Baru Bian, who is representing the Iban in Kampung Lebor. Reginal Kevin Akeu, a lawyer at Abdul Rahim Sarkawi Razak Tready Fadillah & Co. Advocates, which is representing Nirwana and LCDA, declined to comment.

The cases show that the development projects, including plantations and dams, haven’t helped poverty among the local people, many of whom live without adequate electricity or schools, says Richard Leete, who served as the resident representative of the United Nations Development Program for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei from 2003 to 2008.

Poverty Remains

“This is the paradox of Sarawak -- the great wealth it has, the natural resources in such abundance, and yet such an impoverishment and the real hardship these communities are suffering,” says Leete, who chronicled Malaysia’s progress since its independence from Britain in his book “Malaysia: From Kampung to Twin Towers” (Oxford Fajar, 2007). “There has no doubt been a lot of money politics,” he says.

Taib calls it the "Politics of Development".

In the rugged hills about 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of Kuching, some 160 Bidayuh families, known as the Land Dayaks, are clinging to their traditional habitat, while a dam is under construction nearby. They live by farming and fishing.

With only a primary school in the village, children have to go to boarding schools outside the jungle to get further education, crossing seven handmade bamboo bridges and trekking two hours over the hills when they return home.

The state has offered the Bidayuhs 7,500 ringgit per hectare, 80 ringgit per rubber tree and 60 ringgit per durian fruit tree in compensation for their native land, says Simo ak Sekam, 48, a resident of Kampung Rejoi, one of four villages in the area. In Rejoi, about half of 39 families have refused.

Bamboo Bridges

“We don’t want to move because we are happy here,” Simo says. “We feel very sad because our land will be covered with water. The young generations won’t know this land. They won’t see the bamboo bridges.”

The builder of the local reservoir is Naim Holdings -- the company headed by Chief Minister Taib’s cousin. The government awarded Naim the 310.7 million-ringgit contract without putting it out for bids. Naim’s statement announcing the deal in July 2007 said it won the job on a “negotiated basis.”

One of the most threatened groups is the Penan, nomadic people who live deep in the jungle on the upper reaches of the Baram River. On a steamy equatorial morning in late October 2007, Long Kerong village leader Kelesau Naan and his wife, Uding Lidem, walked two hours to their rice-storing hut. Kelesau, who was in his late 70s and who had protested logging activity in their area, told Uding he’d go check on an animal trap he had set nearby. He never came back.

Skull and Bones Found

Two months later, his skull and several pieces of his bones, along with his necklace made of red, yellow and white beads, surfaced on the banks of the Segita River. Inspector Sumarno Lamundi at the regional police station says the investigation is ongoing.

It was just the latest tragedy among activists working for the Penan since the early 1990s, when rampant logging took place. At least two other Penan were found dead, including Abung Ipui, a pastor and an advocate for land rights for his village. His body was found in October 1994 with his stomach cut open.

Manser, the Swiss activist for the rights of the Penan, vanished without a trace from the Borneo rain forests in May 2000 and was officially declared missing in March 2005.

Kelesau’s death has made the Penan willing to stand up for their survival.

“We are scared of something terrible happening to us if we don’t resist,” says grim-faced Bilong Oyoi, 48, headman of Long Sait, a Penan settlement close to Long Kerong.

Penans’ Resistance

Bilong, who wears a traditional rattan hat decorated with hornbill feathers, says his group is setting up blockades to resist logging activities. They are also working with NGOs to get attention for their plight and filing lawsuits.

With the help of the Basel, Switzerland-based Bruno Manser Fund, an NGO set up by the late activist, Bilong and 76 other Penan sent a letter -- which some signed using only thumb prints -- to Gilles Pelisson, the chief executive officer of French hotel chain Accor SA.

The letter urged Accor to think twice about partnering with logging company Interhill Logging Sdn. to build a 388-room Novotel Interhill in Kuching. The Penan community says Interhill’s operations in Sarawak have a devastating effect on them. Accor responded by sending a fact-finding mission to Sarawak to investigate Interhill’s logging activities.

“If the worst-case scenario occurs and if no action plan is implemented, we will not continue with our partnership,” Helene Roques, Accor’s director for sustainable development in Paris, said in June. In mid-August, she said she expects “good results” by the end of September.

Rio Tinto Venture

No foreign investor has made a larger bet on Taib’s development plans than Rio Tinto Alcan, a unit of London-based mining company Rio Tinto Plc. A joint venture between Rio Tinto and CMS for a $2 billion aluminum smelter has been negotiating power purchase agreements with Sarawak Energy for more than 12 months, according to Julia Wilkins, a Rio Tinto Alcan spokeswoman in Brisbane, Australia.

CMS meets Rio Tinto’s requirements as a joint-venture partner, she says. “CMS is a main-board-listed company with its own board of directors,” she says. “It has a free float of shares in excess of the minimum market requirement. The chairman and the group managing director are both independent.”

Malaysia grants special economic advantages to the country’s Malay majority and the local people of Sabah and Sarawak states on Borneo, collectively referred to as Bumiputra -- literally, sons of the soil.

Still, the country is leaving behind many of its ethnic minorities, says Colin Nicholas, a Malaysian activist of Eurasian descent who has written a book about the mainland’s oldest community, “The Orang Asli and the Contest for Resources” (IWGIA, 2000).

‘Completely Powerless’

One person trying to help the Dayaks is See Chee How, 45, a land rights lawyer who became an activist after meeting Sim, the former opposition member of parliament in Kuching.

In 1994, See witnessed an attack on Penan demonstrators who’d erected a roadblock to prevent logging trucks from driving through their land. A 6-year-old boy died after security forces used tear gas on the demonstrators, he says.

“They were completely powerless,” recalls the soft-spoken, crew-cut See, sporting a white T-shirt and a pair of jeans, in his office above a bustling market in Kuching. “They were depending on logging trucks to move around because their passageways had been destroyed by logging trails.” See now works with Baru Bian, 51, one of the first land rights lawyers representing the Dayaks in Sarawak.

Lawsuits and Votes

Nicholas says Sarawak’s people have to fight for their rights not only through lawsuits but by voting.

“The biggest problem we have with indigenous people’s rights is that we have the federal government and state government run and dictated by people who have no respect or interest for indigenous people,” he says. “We need a change of government.”

The prime minister’s office declined to comment.

Opposition leader Anwar says change is possible. His alliance won control of an unprecedented five states in Peninsular Malaysia in a March 2008 election. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling coalition has lost at least four regional polls held this year.

“I think this is a turning point,” Anwar says.

Still, Taib’s coalition won 30 of Sarawak’s 31 seats in March 2008 parliamentary elections. That helped the ruling National Front coalition led by then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi retain a 58-seat majority, ahead of Anwar’s People’s Alliance. Sarawak is due to hold the next election by 2011.

Taib defended his government’s program to turn forestlands into oil palm plantations as a way of improving living standards for the Dayaks at a seminar on native land development in Miri on April 18, 2000.

“Land without development is a poverty trap,” he said, according to his Web site. Many Dayak people, who have seen their land transformed as a result of Taib’s policies and companies linked to him, say they are still waiting to see their share of wealth.

Land with development is Taib's trap. The Dayak can wait for their share of wealth, they will never see it until they get rid of Taib.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yoolim Lee in Singapore at yoolim@bloomberg.net

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Senyum Kambing - Kepala Lembu Di Shah Alam



ATAU







Bukti bahawa UMNO Dalang Insiden Kepala Lembu:



Dan juga, sila lihat blog ini.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Merdeka For Sarawak!

A reminder to all Sarawakians to ponder as the Malayans celebrate their Independence Day this 31st August, 2009:

"How Sarawak Was Conned Into The Formation Of Malaysia".

Independence For Sarawak!

Sarawak Headhunter

Senyum Kambing - Tunjuk Semangat Patriotik

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Merdeka? What Merdeka?



See also "Pengemis Kemerdekaan Yang Tercicir?"

Senyum Kambing - Masyarakat Berbilang Kaum Kekuatan Malaysia

Seminar Hak Tanah Adat Di Long Banyok, Baram


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Seminar Hak Tanah Adat Di Long Banyok Baram

Bagi semua penduduk kampung dari kawasan Baram Tengah dan Tutoh Apoh,tuan/puan dialu-alukan untuk menghadiri Seminar Hak Tanah Adat yang akan diadakan di Long Banyok Baram seperti maklumat di bawah. Turut hadir ke program ini adalah jemputan Khas dari NGO, TAHABAS yang dijangka memberi ceramah kesedaran tentang Hak Tanah Adat Orang asal dari perspektif perundangan.

Tempat: Kampung Long Banyok Baram
Tema :"Daleh Ilu Tana Ilu, Tana' Ilu Udip Ilu"
Tarikh: 20 Sept 2009 : Bermula 8.00pm
21 Sept 2009: Bermula 8.00am-3.00pm

Jemputan : Semua penduduk kampung Long Banyok Baram dan juga penduduk dari kampung-kampung dari Baram Tengah dan Tutoh Apoh. Bagi semua tetamu, pihak penganjur ada menyediakan penginapan dan makanan. Sambutan tetamu dijangka hingga pukul 5.00 ptg, 20 Sept 2009.

Untuk memudahkan persediaan awal, perwakilan dari semua kampung dinasihatkan memberi butiran jumlah yang datang dan masa dijangka tiba.

Untuk maklumat lanjut dan pertanyaan, sila hubungi individu di bawah:

En Charles Gau:019-8331578
En Vinsien: 019-8155177
En. Anthony Saging: 016-6548684
En Simon Thomas: 019-8866850

Nota daripada Paul Raja (di bawah ini):

Beberapa Peguam Orang Asal yang berpengalaman dalam undang-undang tanah adat hak bangsa asal seperti Harisson Ngau, Paul Raja, Ali Basah dan Abun Sui dijangka hadir untuk memberi ceramah pada masa itu.

Senyum Kambing - Pembalakan Jejaskan Sumber Makanan Orang Penan

Saturday, August 22, 2009

BN's Chickenshit Minister Of Misinformation Shows His True Colours



Another uncouth, uncultured, arrogant UMNO boor

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The 2nd Great Highway Robbery


Proposal submitted to take over Plus Expressways

from Malaysian Insider

Comments by Sarawak Headhunter in red.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — A proposal to take over Plus Expressways from the state by former executives of the listed highway concessionaire has been submitted for consideration to the country's powerful Economic Planning Unit which oversees privatisations.

After the first privatisation failed, how is it possible that a second privatisation, by parties who were involved in that first privatisation, is even being considered by the government? Hasn't the government learnt its lesson? Or are we about to witness another Great Highway Robbery about to take place? ALL at the expense of the Malaysian taxpayer and tollpayer.

According to executives familiar with the matter, the senior executives include Ibrahim Bidin who used to be chief executive of Plus over five years ago.

Ibrahim was also a key lieutenant of Halim Saad, the former owner of the Renong conglomerate, the previous owner of Plus until the government took over all the assets in late 2001.

This means that Ibrahim Bidin was instrumental in helping Halim to rob Plus - on behalf of Daim Zainuddin, Mahathir and UMNO - it must be said, and to cover up that robbery as well.

Halim's name, however, does not surface in the proposal although the market speculation is that he could be linked to the offer. But the tycoon has told some analysts that he isn't involved.

Even if Halim really isn't involved this time, what about Daim Zainuddin on behalf of Najib? This is not mere speculation, as Sarawak Headhunter will make clear below. Halim was in any event nothing more than a highly-paid glorified nominee for Daim Zainuddin. The pertinent question now is who is Ibrahim Bidin going to be a highly-paid glorified nominee for?

No details of the offer were immediately available but the executives said that if the proposal was accepted, the new owners of Plus were prepared to cut toll rates by at least 20 per cent. It seems likely, however, that they would also ask for an extension of the concession period.

With the kind of cashflow that Plus has, they can very well afford to cut the toll rates, but we better believe that they are not going to do anyone any favours by doing this, palatable though it may sound - it is just a trick.

They will undoubtedly get much more back from the extension of the concession period, but then again we must not be so naive as to believe that they will wait for the extension period to commence the robbery.

The robbery will commence immediately and will go into full gear when they can leverage the future earnings from the toll collections over the extended concession period. This was partly how it was done earlier. The same modus operandi will probably be used again.


It isn't clear if the government would agree to Plus's privatisation: it is the crown jewel in the United Engineers conglomerate — the former Renong group — with the strongest cash flows.

How else would Najib maintain his power and position in UMNO? And how else would Najib and UMNO be able to steal the next General Elections from Pakatan Rakyat?

The vast amounts of money (tens of billions) which Daim Zainuddin siphoned off from Plus and other corporate vehicles - which were supposed to be UMNO's but became only UMNO-linked through nominees like Halim Saad after the deliberate demise of the old UMNO (masterfully engineered by Zaki Tun Azmi) - was what kept Mahathir and UMNO in power for so long.

Now Najib out of desperation is trying to steal a page from this old book so that both he and UMNO can stay in power.

How much Daim Zainuddin used for this purpose and how much he kept for himself is another story. As far as Sarawak Headhunter is concerned, Daim Zainuddin is Malaysian Public Enemy no. 1 (Mahathir is only no. 2 and Taib Mahmud no. 3).

The tens of billions which they intend to rob through this and other piratisation schemes will be used to bribe the whole hierarchy of UMNO to maintain the status quo during each UMNO party elections and also the Malaysian voters as a whole during general elections.

Moves are right now being put into motion for Najib's men to take over all the money-making apparatus of the Government, especially Khazanah and PETRONAS.


According to the executives, however, it could form part of a new plan where the government would divest some of the assets of government-linked companies like United Engineers and Sime Darby to private hands.

Don't say we were not warned or we were not aware of what they planned to do. They have already done it under Mahathir's regime and they will continue to do it under Najib's regime.

This 2nd Great Highway Robbery will be done in broad daylight, in full view of the Malaysian public and will be executed by these executive nominees like Ibrahim Bidin with the connivance of a compliant administration and lawyers, accountants, merchant bankers, stock brokers and supposed government regulators as co-conspirators.

All will be done in the name of "Malay" interests and anyone who denounces it will be counter-denounced as a "traitor" to the Malay race.


It also isn't clear how the deal's promoters plan to fund it. The firm, which principally operates a highway traversing the length of Peninsular Malaysia, made a net profit of RM1.1 billion on revenues of almost RM3 billion.

This is "kacang" as they say, after all don't they also control the banks and other government investment agencies who would be more than willing to fund it, since they can justify - at least on paper - its viability? Paper losses will be taken care of later of course - the theory being that since they will still control Parliament and thus the Federal Government, this will also be "kacang".

Peanuts to them, hundreds of billions to the rest of the Malaysian people.


Will enough number of Malaysian voters continue to be fooled or bribed into giving these crooks - who hide behind the name of the Malays and Islam - yet another mandate in the coming Sarawak State Elections or in the next General Elections?


It is 64 per cent owned by United Engineers which is itself wholly owned by Khazanah Nasional, the investment agency of the federal government. At present market values, that 64 per cent is worth RM10.5 billion.

The North-South Expressway was completed in the 1990s by Halim's Renong group. The tycoon leveraged the tolled road into a bewildering slew of businesses from telecommunications and banking to construction and infrastructure.

Take note of the key word above - "leveraged". The mastermind behind all this was not Halim but Daim Zainuddin.

Indeed, Halim, now 55, helped create modern Malaysia. Renong, which at its peak had assets of over RM40 billion, built highways, sport stadiums, bridges and mass rapid transit systems. But the group also racked up debt of over RM20 billion which left it vulnerable to the Asian financial crisis.

The amount was closer to RM25 billion. How could a conglomerate with assets of over RM40 billion rack up debts or rather losses of close to RM25 billion? This was the amount that was siphoned off by Daim Zainuddin, less maybe a couple of billion for mismanagement expenses.

In late 2001, after Halim had unsuccessfully tried out various restructuring schemes, Kuala Lumpur lost patience and effectively nationalised Renong by taking over affiliate company United Engineers.

It wasn't a simple matter of losing patience, the government nationalisation was the cover-up. Hasn't anyone wondered why with the government taking over, the tolls still kept on increasing, the reason always being given that otherwise the government would would have to compensate the toll operator?

If the government now owns the toll operator, why would it have to compensate itself?

The answer is that they are still covering up, now using government money - the people's money - of course, the latest "compensation" recoverable as at 30th June this year being RM2.18 billion, according to this report in the Star.

Only in Malaysia could the ruling elites have engineered such a perfect crime and get away with it and still lay claim to the gratitude of the Malays in whose name it was committed but who have benefited only marginally.

But sooner or later they will have to answer for all that they have done. Judgment Day will come and they may find themselves on the Highway to Hell. The toll will be their souls.


Halim stepped down from the board and has since adopted a low profile although he continues to run businesses in Malaysia and abroad. — Business Times Singapore

The latest heard of him is that he has teamed up with another former Daim Zainuddin nominee, Samsuddin Abu Hassan. Is Daim still pulling their strings and also that of Ibrahim Bidin?

Keep a watch out Malaysia, be very very careful and ever vigilant!

Senyum Kambing - Pembangunan Atau Perompakan?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Matek Anak Geram In Mukah

Iban farmer arrested for defending his NCR land

Matek Anak Geram, an Iban farmer, a member of TAHABAS (Sarawak Native Customary Rights Network) and Committee Member of Jaringan Orang Asli SeMalaysia (JOAS) was arrested by the police on 13 August 2009 for the crime of allegedly restraining the workers of an oil palm plantation.

Unarmed, he was taken into custody by 10 fully-armed police personnel at 8.45 am and detained for two hours at the Mukah Police Station and charged for allegedly wrongfully restraining the workers of an oil palm plantation company, Saradu Plantations Sdn. Bhd. under section 341 of the Penal Code before being released on bail.

For over a year, Matek and his immediate family have been guarding their property against Saradu Plantations who have been encroaching on their native lands.

In individual shifts, they have blocked an access road built on their land.

JOAS questions the heavy use of force and intimidation against one unarmed man and calls for neutrality of the state infrastructure in this legal dispute between the private company and indigenous peoples.

Saradu Plantation Sdn. Bhd. is a Sarawak oil palm company, which has been given 15,000 hectares of land by the state government to develop oil palm in Balingian.

Saradu is also linked to the Sarawak Chief Minister as his brother-in law, Robert Geneid and sister, Raziah Mahmud are majority shareholders of the company.

JAOS said: “Matek Geram’s case is just one of hundreds of land encroachment and conflict cases between indigenous peoples and oil palm plantation companies in Sarawak.

“In light of this, JOAS reiterates its support for the recent call from TAHABAS and other indigenous peoples organisations for a moratorium on plantation development projects.

“JOAS reiterates its position that the State Government-issued provisional leases are encroaching illegally into our constitutionally-recognised customary lands and forests.

“Until the government moves towards a meaningful solution with the full and effective participation and consent of indigenous peoples, incidences like Matek Geram will continue to take place throughout the state, to the detriment of the rights of indigenous Sarawakians, the sustainable development of the Sarawakian population and the image of the state of Sarawak and Malaysia,”
it said.- The Broken Shield

Friday, August 14, 2009

Geram In Baram


OPEN LETTER TO OUR REPRESENTATIVES


Dear YB Dato Jacob Dungau Sagan and YB Lihan Jok.

Without prejudice.

"Are you defending us your voters in Baram or defending Taib?"

YB Dato Jacob Dungau Sagan our MP for Baram during a visit to Kampung Long Banyok, Baram recently told his audience not to listen to those who oppose the proposed Baram hydro project or dam sited between Kampong Long Nahah'a and Kampung Long Kesseh in the middle Baram. YB Jacob even said that he has been forewarned by the authorities that the dam will be implemented elsewhere and the billions of ringgit worth of projects associated with it will also be channelled elsewhere if the Baram people opposed the dam.

YB Lihan Jok on the other hand has said that the proposed dam is "God's gift" to the people in Baram.

But then, Dato Jacob, what is the worth of all the timber from Baram extracted by the big companies all these years? Surely, they were worth hundreds of billions of ringgit. And the remaining timber? Surely, they are at least worth tens of billions of ringgit too. And what about our NCR lands in Baram now illegally alienated by your BN boss, Taib Mahmud, also to the big companies for oil palms and acacia trees? Surely, they are not only worth hundreds of billions of ringgit but will generate tens of billions of ringgit in time to come.

For many terms now you are our wakil rakyat, our MP. Now you are even a Deputy Minister. Do you understand what the roles of wakil rakyat are? You are holder of a master's degree. Surely you know that.

As a wakil of the rakyat of Baram, surely you know it is your most important role to act, speak and fight for and to defend the rights and interests of the rakyat of Baram without whose vote you would not have been what you are today.

So why is it that you have to go along with Taib and the BN govt in threatening the people of Baram that if they do not support the proposed dam, the dam will not only be relocated elsewhere but so-called projects worth so-called billions of ringgits associated with the dam will be channeled elsewhere?

Is it because you want to save your post as Deputy Minister that you so readily support Taib and the BN to threaten our Baram people on the dam? If you do, that means you have abused our trust, mandate and votes as your real purpose is not to be our wakil rakyat but wakil your own personal pocket, agenda and interest!

If you are scared to stand up to speak, fight and defend the rights and interests of the Baram people then you are definitely UNFIT to be our wakil rakyat. A wakil (leader) must be courageous like our ancestor warriors!

There is no point that you became Deputy Minister and enjoy all the many perks and privileges from it but your rakyat in Baram who had steadfastly voted for you for many many terms are continually bullied, humiliated, threatened or held to ransom (with withdrawal of so-called projects) and robbed of our NCR lands and all our resources in it.

If you do not speak out, fight and defend us, then, you are not only failing us as our wakil rakyat but are also consciously SIDING with Taib and the BN and the big companies who robbed and are still robbing us of our rights, our NCR lands, our resources, etc.

Surely, you are fully aware of the continual and aggravating problems faced by the settlers of the Batng Ai and the Bakun dam! If not, pay a personal visit there and talk to the settlers directly about their situation. And don't talk out of ignorance or worse still just simply parrot what your bosses Taib and Jabu (who caused his own Iban people to continue to be the poorest in Malaysia today) say.

Remember! Taib, Jabu, James Masing and the BN also said or promised the same thing before, that the Batang Ai and Bakun dams will bring progress and development! But today they all have abandoned the people affected. SUHAKAM commissioners who personally visited Bakun recently reported that the problems faced by the settlers are worsening!!!!! And the Penans in Belaga are even facing food shortages!!!

YB Lihan Jok, don't simply sell God's name especially when it involves something that destroys HIS blessings, gifts and creations to the people of Baram, namely, the mighty Baram river, our NCR land and its resources and environment which all have supported our people for many many generations without which you and YB Dato' Jacob won't be what you are today.

Remember, it was not Taib, Jabu or the BN that provided your parents the means and resources to send you to school. It was the NCR land that God blessed your parents with and its resources in Baram that enabled your parents to send you to school.

By the way, if you really believe and trust in GOD, then protect and defend God's creations, gifts and blessings, namely, our Baram river from being dammed by Taib!

Don't be afraid but stand courageous and put your complete trust in God's protection of your position as YB, as wakil rakyat or your post as Deputy Minister (like what God did to Daniel when he was thrown into the lions den).

Also do not be worried of being blackmailed or held to ransom with the threat of projects and billions of ringgit to be withdrawn from Baram if we do not support the Baram dam. Those are but only human or worldly threats from Taib, Jabu and the BN! GOD is still the ALMIGHTY One above them. GOD will still provide all our needs according to what we deserve to get from HIM.

Unless you do not trust GOD but your bosses Taib and Jabu!

Hope to hear an early response from our two YBs soon on this.

BARAM VOTERS

Senyum Kambing - Parai Kitai!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who Is Shahrizat Protecting?


Shahrizat stonewalls on 'sexual abuse' report


from Malaysiakini

Keruah Usit
Aug 12, 09
11:59am

Minister for Women, Family and Community Development Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has been resisting mounting pressure to make public a controversial report on the alleged rape and sexual abuse of Penan girls in Sarawak.

Civil society groups have documented 15 reports of alleged rape or sexual abuse of young Penan girls in the Baram area by logging workers. Many of the survivors are minors.

The allegations provoked national outrage when the stories of two teenagers from Long Item and Long Belok were highlighted in the mainstream media last year. The reports described unwanted pregnancies as a result of the sexual abuse.

Survivors have said reports made to the Sarawak police have been disregarded. They claimed the police told them investigations could not be successfully carried out, because the alleged crimes had been committed in remote areas.

The Bar Council, the Women's Aid Organisation (WAO), Suaram, and other civil society groups called for Bukit Aman to send an investigative team to the Baram villages.

The groups said last year that a police report on the alleged rape of a 12-year-old Penan girl had been made as far back as 1994, yet no meaningful attempt at investigation had ever been carried out.

“There has been a loss of confidence in the Sarawak police force,” then Bar Council head Ambiga Sreenevasan argued last October.

Sarawak Police Commissioner Mohamad Salleh said the police could not act without official reports, but victims have accused the local police of refusing to accept reports.

Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu anak Numpang treated the rape allegations with contempt. He dismissed the claims as unfounded, without waiting for any investigation by the police.

“I have not heard of any such complaints from Penan communal leaders in my many trips to ulu Baram,” said Jabu, chief of the state government's steering committee on the Penan.

Marudi district police chief Jonathan Jalin echoed Jabu, saying police had interviewed teachers from Long Item and Long Belok, but “the teachers told us they had received no reports on the matter”.

Jalin went on to say that police had also interviewed workers from the two logging companies operating in the area, and had found no incriminating evidence. He did not mention whether the survivors of alleged abuse or their families had been interviewed.

The appeals by civil society groups to Bukit Aman have also been ignored after it initially promised to investigate the reports.

Silence not explained

The only 'investigations' that have been made public were on the front page of a local newspaper, the Borneo Post, owned by KTS, a logging company.

A team from the newspaper interviewed several villagers from Long Item and Long Kawi, and reported that those interviewed had not heard of any cases of sexual abuse.

The Borneo Post went on to report that a Chinese man, referred to as 'Ah Heng', a worker at a timber camp, had said he is “married” to one of the alleged survivors of sexual abuse and admitted he had fathered her two children.

However, 'Ah Heng' could not substantiate his claims of marriage. Local sources alleged that the girl herself and her parents continue to insist that 'Ah Heng' had forced himself on her over several years.

Around the same time as these articles, two large logging companies - Interhill and Samling - made unsolicited public statements denying that their employees were involved in sexual abuse of girls from local communities.

Civil society groups turned to the federal government to seek redress for the victims and to protect the vulnerable Penan from logging workers.

Shahrizat's predecessor Ng Yen Yen responded by sending her ministry's task force to Baram last October.

The team was headed by director-general Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur and included representatives of the Women's Centre for Change (WCC) and WAO.

Ng had claimed the cabinet “was very supportive” of the task force.

“We are very focused on looking into the plight of Penan women and girls…we must ensure that Penan women are protected and not exploited,” Ng said.

The report was submitted to Shahrizat last November. However, nine months later, she has continued to refuse to release the report to the public.

“Interested parties can come to the ministry, and we can discuss the details of the report,” she said.

Shahrizat did not offer to transport Penan women from rural Baram to visit her ministry to discuss the report.

“So long as the report is not shared with the public, the Penan community continues to become more vulnerable,” said WAO executive director Ivy Josiah (left), a member of the task force.

Prema Devaraj of WCC, another member of the team, noted: “The public has a right to know the outcome of the investigation, and what the government plans to do with regard to the information in the report.”

Shahrizat has declined to answer questions regarding the findings. She has also refused to provide any reasons for with holding its recommendations from the public.

The deprived region of Baram is vast: it covers an area larger than Selangor. The rural poor in remote areas remain in the thrall of the wealthy timber, plantation and dam-building companies.

The Sarawak government continues to assert that logging brings development to rural communities.

The elite of the state and the federal governments, the police, the mainstream media, and the mammoth logging companies have shown close historic cooperation, in crushing dissent against logging.

Frustrated civil society groups see the suppression of the 2008 report on sexual abuse of Penan girls as another example of this collaboration.


KERUAH USIT is a human rights activist - anak Sarawak, bangsa Malaysia. His 'The Antidote' column, which appears in Malaysiakini every Wednesday, is an attempt to allow the voices of marginalised people to be heard all over Malaysia.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Taib's Politics Of Theft


"Not Development But Theft"

Testimony of Penan Communities in Sarawak against Taib Mahmud's evil plan to dominate the state and exploit its resources for his own, his family's and their cronies' entire benefit: the "Politics of Development", which is actually the "Politics of Theft".

Click on each graphic to read.
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"This conflict centres on land"

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"Harassment, victimisation and marginalisation of those in indigenous communities (and any one else protesting for native customary rights has been constant and even intensified. In this, the mobilisation of state institutions, including the police and judiciary, has been a feature".

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"What is certain is that none of these proposals or initiatives addressed what for many was (and is) the basic grievance: that their land and cultural rights be recognised".

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"We have seen the problems and experiences of the other communities affected by the logging activities, and we don't want to suffer the same fate".

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"On 28th February, over 1,000 Riot Police, armed with machine guns and tear gas, confronted and threatened the lives of the Penan at the blockade".

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"Why would they need to resort to such action if their interests really are being looked after by the government?"

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"In the same breath that the Sarawak authorities are promoting the Cultural Village near Kuching as a major tourist attraction, revealing the rich cultural diversity of the state, they are destroying the land and rights of exactly those indigenous people, including the Penan, they claim to promote".

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"The (Samling) camp manager promised that they would inform the villagers first before the company started any logging operation in the area. However, two weeks after the meeting, villagers of Long Benalih heard the noise of bulldozers coming from the mountain, and the noise of chainsaws and trees being felled'.

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"The company's spokesperson also promised that monetary compensation were ready for all villagers, while food and drinks are ready at the camp. The villagers refused to go to the camp and the trucks went back... About half an hour later, at least six pick-up trucks arrived at the site. There were about 50 people from the logging company, 50 police field force personnel..."

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Download PDF version here