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Archive for the ‘Land Rights’ Category

BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL / SWITZERLAND

07 December 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Blacklisted illegal-logging tycoon involved in running Malaysian World Heritage Site

Corruption scandal over the Gunung Mulu National Park widens as Samling owner Yaw Teck Seng and his family holding are identified as significant shareholders of the Royal Mulu Resort

MIRI (SARAWAK) MALAYSIA. Yaw Teck Seng, the controlling shareholder of the controversial Samling timber group, holds a significant equity stake in Borsamulu Resorts, a company that manages all the tourism activities in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak’s UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. Samling has recently been blacklisted by the Norwegian Government because of its involvement in large-scale illegal logging and environmental destruction in Malaysia and Guyana.

Research by the Bruno Manser Fund has shown that two companies, Sarawak Land and Plieran, who hold a 26% stake in Borsamulu Resorts, are closely related to Samling. Sarawak Land is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Yaw family holding that controls Samling. Plieran is jointly owned by Samling founder Yaw Teck Seng and four children of the Sarawak Chief Minister via two front companies, KBE (Malaysia) and Daya Syukra.

Last week’s disclosure that Chief Minister Taib Mahmud has a personal stake in Borsarmulu Resort, a company directed by Taib’s sister Raziah and her husband, has provoked a storm of outrage in Sarawak. The new findings mean that every tourist visiting the Gunung Mulu National Park contributes to enriching the Taib and the Yaw families – the main culprits in the destruction of Sarawak’s tropical rainforest – while the local Berawan and Penan communities hardly benefit from the conservation area at all.

Corruption must not be allowed to be part of a World Heritage Site

The Bruno Manser Fund is to lodge a complaint with the UNESCO World Heritage Committee concerning the management and ownership structures of the Gunung Mulu National Park. Corruption must not be allowed to be part of a World Heritage Site. The Bruno Manser Fund is asking the Sarawak state government to hand over the Royal Mulu Resort and the management of the park facilities to the local communities whose native lands have been taken off them for the National Park.

For more information, please contact us:

Bruno Manser Fund, Socinstrasse 37, 4051 Basel / Switzerland

www.bmf.ch, info@bmf.ch, Tel. +41 61 261 94 74

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Wing from Belegakini blog reported this very timely report about 1 Sg Asap community group blockading logging companies which damage their roads. Another group at Ulu Bakun is reported to be inspired to do the same in Ulu Bakun.Watch out!

Penduduk Bakun Bangkit Berdemonstrasi.

By belagakini

Bakun,Belaga:07.12.2010. Hari ini penduduk penempatan semula Bakun Sg.Asap bangkit berdemonstrasi dengan membina penghadang dan menghalang lori-lori balak yang melalui Jalan Bintulu-Bakun. Dr. Elli Luhat yang menjadi ketua penganjur dan selaku pengerusi Jawatankuasa Keselamatan Penduduk Bakun menyifatkan kerosakan jalan itu selama ini adalah satu perbuatan Vandalisme oleh lori-lori balak yang dimiliki oleh tycoon-tycoon pembalakanSarawak.

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A land grab victim of CM Taib Mahmud-more are uncovered day by day!

There is a recent video about the victims of Pulau Bruit land grabs here. Sarawak Report have further details:

Sarawak Report has been piecing together documentation that enables us to prove for the first time that the Chief Minister has conducted land thefts on a massive scale from the people of Sarawak. Using a number of sources, many of which Taib has shamefully attempted to keep secret, we are now unravelling detailed information showing the full extent of his seizures of Native Customary Rights Lands for himself and his family and also the extraordinary profits he has made at the expense of his people.

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Wednesday December 1, 2010

Protecting orang asli title rights

By SHAILA KOSHY
koshy@thestar.com.my

More and more cases of encroachment onto orang asli lands are coming to light but there are not enough lawyers in the Bar Council’s Legal Aid Centre to act for them.

THE orang asli in West Malaysia are the original orang asal but their lives could not be a more sorry one.

Progress is a double-edged sword and not all attempts for their development have been welcome, especially those that ignore their native customary rights and their ties to the land and those that would cause them to lose their identity.

At a public forum on Oct 9 organised by the Bar Council’s Committee on Orang Asli Rights (COAR) that was attended by about 190 orang asli from throughout the peninsula, there was a deluge of appeals for help.

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New pressures on the NCR lands

The same James Masing who claim that there are basis to defend the NCR lands (Going to court running on Common laws) over encroachment by those who are given Provisional Leases by the State Government (via Land Code provision)now revel his true colour: he want more aggressive methods to `develop’ NCR lands! More land grabs if he has his ways. Watch out!

Tuesday November 30, 2010

Sarawak to double oil palm plantation area

By JACK WONG
jackwong@thestar.com.my

KUCHING: Sarawak, which recorded its fastest pace in opening up land for oil palm cultivation in the past one year, targets to double its plantation area to two million hectares.

State Land Development Minister Datuk Dr James Masing was optimistic that the new target could be reached by 2020, making Sarawak the biggest crude palm oil producing state in Malaysia.

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Long Terawan's land also include Mulu National Park-but all now threatened by oil palm plantation.

While the Long Terawan residents organised a para-legal land rights workshop on last Saturday the oil palm company which intend to take away the villagers’ land ran a religious seminar in the Royal Mulu Resort to distract the villagers from attending the land rights workshop. All the village committee of Long Terawan attended the religious seminar while only 1 village committee member attended the opening of the land rights seminar on Friday. A 10-member delegation from Miri, comprising mainly NGO Brimas staff travelled 300 km to support the program, but only a dozen or so villagers attended the workshop which provide vital information to the villagers on land rights.

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Protests have been going on continually against the take over of ancestral land of the Terawan, Tering and Penans around Mulu National Park which is a World Heritage area-but ignored by oil palm plantation giant KTS Pusaka.

While the scandal around the Mulu National Park is brewing there is another scandal happening just outside its doorstep: At Long Terawan and a few villages around it -the oil palm company KTS Pusaka has taken over 800 000 hectares of NCR lands by securing the village chief’s consent, but notably ignoring the majority of the villagers and other ethnic groups like the Penans. The agreement between the company and the Terawan chief has been kept away from the villagers. See the video here.

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The 3 persons arrested at Lawas blockade reported to the Lawas police station this morning-only to find the Investigation Officer missing! They decide to return on Dec 15th along with the other 4 who reported to Police station yesterday-but told to come back on Dec 15th.

This could be a good sign for the residents as it may reflect a lack of resolve by the local police to press any charges against their fellow residents! Let’s keep an eye on this.

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More and more land grabs are coming into lights-this is another one-from the Long Terawan region:

APPEAL FOR HELP TO STOP ROBBERY OF BERAWAN’S ANCESTRAL LAND ADJACENT TO ONE OF THE WORLD’S HERITAGE SITE (UNESCO),GUNUNG MULU NATIONAL PARK

We, the Berawan (one of the ethnics group in Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia) of the village, Kampung Long Terawan in the Tutoh river, Baram, Miri Division, Sarawak, East Malaysia wish to make and urgent Mulu info appeal to our fellow beloved citizens of the world for help to stop the robbery of our ancestral lands, our heritage, our birth right, which is our sources of survival as native peoples.

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Many crazy ideas had been proposed by outsiders to connect Sarawak’s interior to the outside world. Latest is the `wifi village’ idea from the government. Previously there was a `philantropic’ idea to donate mobile phones to Sarawakians. However the better ideas seems to be SW radios. 

WiFi village project turns into a farce

Sunday, 21 November 2010 13:58(Malaysian Mirror)
KUCHING – The people of Nanga Berkiok at Merurun, Julau cannot be blamed if they thought that the government’s ‘Kampung WiFi’ project recently implemented at Rumah Guntol was a mere publicity stunt. 

A satellite dish which was installed in the longhouse last Sept 17 broke down less than a week later.
(more…)

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