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Archive for February, 2011

Suaram is appalled with the silence maintained by the government with regards to the release of a list of secret foreign assets connected to the family of long-serving Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud by the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF).

Taib, who has been the chief minister since 1981, is also the state finance minister as well as the state planning and resources minister. He and his family is believed to have set up a worldwide business empire across eight countries and is estimated to be worth at least several billion ringgit, according to the list released by the BMF on February 21.
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The political scene is warming up slowly even though everyone knows full well that the election must be held before July-merely 4 months to go. The latest theatrical from the political scene is a debate challenge from the soft spoken PKR leader Baru Bian to Taib Mahmud, the BN Chairman for Sarawak. The old man has been trying to defend against criticism on his colosal unaccountable personal wealth by spewing out some homespun arguements like `don’t be jealous about the rich’, `everyone has equal chance to be rich’, `natives will be poor if their NCR lands are not developed’ etc. So finally he was reported by Borneo Post -a logging company paper, as saying he accept the debate challenge on NCR, where he reminded his opponent to bring `strong evidence’, as though the numerous facts and unanswered criticisms in Sarawak Report is not sufficient!

Yet another date of significance is the Mar 26th date -the 30th anniversary of the Chief Ministership of Taib Mahmud.  Some rallies overseas have been organised around the timber corruption by environmental and human rights groups in Europe and the US, while some folks in the emails are calling for the same in Sarawak itself!

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We wish to inform you that the following cases will be heard in the Federal Court in Putrajaya at 8.30am on March 1, 2011.

Bato Bagi & Others v State Government of Sarawak &
Jalang Ak Paran & Another v State Government of Sarawak & Another

For the first time at the Federal Court, the lawyers for these cases Tuan Haji Sulaiman Abdullah and Mr Baru Bian will argue that native customary rights is akin to right to life under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution.

The Court will also hear arguments on other fundamental rights under the Federal Constitution and the constitution of the State of Sarawak and on the issue of adequate compensation.

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Just because the radio expose the dirty business of the Chief Minister?If you think the information is wrong why not put forward your right version? By jumping on the option to suppress the radio reflect that these folks may have something to hide! Meanwhile the few people behind the radio has surfaced in a British paper to challenge the Taib government with daily expose.

MCMC Can Act Against Radio Free Sarawak Says Deputy Minister

  • By: BERNAMA Friday, February 25, 2011, 21:50 MST
Salang Gandum 

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‘Give us back our NCR land’
Joseph Tawie
| February 25, 2011

Natives in Rumah Ranggong, Ulu Niah, intimidated by armed thugs last week are demanding the government reinstate the status of their land

KUCHING: An expected protest by natives, in Miri, against Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s land grab policies did not materialise.

Instead, it turned into a discussion when residents of Rumah Ranggong, Ulu Niah, met with government reps and a local oil palm plantation company, BLD Resources Sdn Bhd.

Harrison Ngau, the residents’ lawyer, said there was no protest as such and natives brought to the meeting table their concerns and demands.

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Halo folks,

Invitation to the 1st training of Sarawak State Elections Observation Mission(Mar 5th, 2.00pm-6.00pm, SADIA Office-Kota Sentosa)

Intro: The state elections are coming soon.Much is at stake for Sarawak’s future and democracy, and there will also be much pressure on the conduct of the elections. We as the civil society need to get prepared to observe the election conduct to provide the counter-pressure against frauds and foul plays.

Election observation: is a global citizens movement now and it has played significant role in the successful democratisation process in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia.
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A few PBB flags in front of a meeting venue in Lawas

Flags taken down later

From Jameson

Lawas Policemen have atleast done their work today by getting PBB Boys to remove all their party flags displayed earlier in the evening as if campaigning has started. A reliable source told me that no Police permit was applied. A photograph taken at 5:00pm showing flags all over the new Hotel Seri Malaysia.
Another photo was taken hours later at 8:00pm without a single party flag flying outside. Looks like this is organized by the PBBYouth Wing.

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You can be excused to think that the Election Commission and Registrar of Society of Malaysia are somehow guided by `unseen hands’-just look at the latest turn of events:
a. In conjunction with the Merlimau by-election the EC announced that the EC will now allow component parties of Pakatan to display their own posters and banners-whereas previously they are stopped from doing this; The prohibition on Pakatan was not paralleled by similar prohibition on BN’s component parties on the excuse that BN coalition is registered as a coalition by….BN. But Pakatan coalition is not registered by…BN. If truly the registration was an issue why not BN just register Pakatan? Previously it was BN who challenged Pakatan to get registered-calculating to cause conflict within the new coalition partnership.But now after the Pakatan had submitted all the neccesary documentation it is BN who refused to approve the registration! Now without approving the registration of Pakatan the BN, through EC, allow the PAkatan to display their component parties’ logo and banners-is there some unseen hands moving thlgs along? If the BN truly insist on Pakatan being registered why it is not willing to approve it when the ball in now at their feet?
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There are protests against land grab policies in Sarawak in Miri today and also protests in UK and Canada in a few days. Objections to Taib’s rule is growing by the day:

A posting in Facebook by Baru Bian for CM have this to announce:

Protest Demonstration by the residents of Rumah Ranggong over land dispute planned at Miri Resident Office …tomorrow(posted yesterday).

BMF

International human rights and environmental campaigners announce protests against Taib family companies in London and Ottawa – indigenous leaders from Malaysia to lead the protests

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The state government tried to get out of the charge of land grab by claiming that their aerial map shows that the land taken away by the state was not NCR land according to their pre-1958 aerial photo. Did they have aerial photos for all NCR lands in Sarawak? How did they determine if a piece of land, which look like a jungle as any other, is cultivated or not? How do they determine if a piece of jungle is not a communal forest purposely left unplanted to allow collection of jungle products and hunting? In any case : has the government’s aerial maps been published for public scrutiny?

Associations: All parties must learn from Niah standoff

By STEPHEN THEN
stephenthen@thestar.com.my

 

»The confrontation served as a clear warning that the issue has reached boiling point« PETER KALLANG

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