17 Jul 2011

More Solidarity For Sarawak

More Solidarity For Sarawak

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay

This morning, in distant Tasmania, an intrepid group of young protesters defied Taib’s family company Ta Ann.

They boarded a boat laden with wood that Ta Ann had taken from their own primary jungle, climbed right to the top of a crane tower and chained themselves to it.

And they wanted to make their message clear.  They were not only fighting to protect their own rare jungle from the short-sighted and greedy plunder of the already fabulously wealthy Taib Mahmud, they were standing in solidarity with the people of Sarawak.

This was the statement by the Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Webber:

“Today’s protests on Hobart’s waterfront was taken by Huon Valley Environment Centre to highlight Ta Ann’s continual disregard for not only Tasmania’s wild forests but the indigenous people of Sarawak”

 

Taib’s global reach is making him internationally notorious

The campaign in Tasmania against Ta Ann is a sign of the developing international international awareness of Taib Mahmud.  The people of Sarawak were the first to suffer from his greedy pact with the timber tycoons to strip the forests bare.  However with most of Sarawak’s own forests now logged out, he and his cronies have spread their tentacles abroad, engaging in plunder across the world’s few remaining areas of virgin jungle.  Tasmania is developing a strong movement to prevent that happening.

Ta Ann is run by Taib’s cousin and well-known proxy, Hamid Sepawi, who also owns over a third of the shares in what is billed as a public company.  Onlookers were astonished when the multi-million dollar concern managed to get a grant from the Australian government to invest in a wood veneering factory in Tasmania, which it was hoped would breath life into a struggling industry.

Questions are still being asked over why the Australian government would PAY Taib’s company to strip their forest?  The Green Party says no satisfactory answer has been provided so far.

However, the promise Ta Ann made when it opened the project was that the factory would rely on plantation forests and not extract wood from Tasmania’s remaining high conservation value forests – its primary jungle.  However, environmentalists say that the factory managers are now saying that the quality of the plantation wood is not sufficient for their factory and they are demanding hardwood from the jungle.

According to Jenny Weber:

 “The Tasmanian Government and Ta Ann are locking in the logging of native forests to meet a wood supply contract till 2027. High Conservation value forests are being lost to feed Ta Ann’s mill, when they should be in a moratorium now”. 

Worse, the environmentalists say Ta Ann are now putting the Tasmanian authorities under pressure to provide them with access to primary jungle hardwood until 2042!

Taib brings his distinct brand of destruction to Tasmania - Ta Ann's forestry.

Powerful political links protecting Ta Ann

Despite the outrage of many local people in Tasmania and also the overwhelming view of Australians that all logging of primary jungles should be stopped, the Taib company has developed powerful political links in Australia’s remotest region.  Logging is an old and outdated industry in Australia, but there is still a strong lobby which is attempting to keep it going.

Therefore, protests and actions like the one today are being met with strong arm tactics and contempt by the authorities.  Ugly gangs of loggers have been allowed to threaten the mainly youthful demonstrators directly on a number of occasions.  Protesters say these gangs are not being restrained, while their peaceful protests are treated as if they are behaving violently.

Show of defiance

In response to the growing concern about Ta Ann and the rising level of protests around Tasmania’s port areas, earlier this  year the Tasmanian Port Authority announced a 50 metre exclusion zone around all vessels exporting wood chip and veneer.  It was an attempt to prevent protest actions from holding up Ta Ann’s exports.

Today’s action was a gesture of defiance proving that despite such restrictions a group of of protesters were still able to board a Ta Ann boat and delay its passage.

The group of mainly young women were appallingly treated.  The authorities debased themselves by strip-searching them and confiscating their film, as if they were criminals rather than concerned citizens representing the views of the majority of people in their country.  One of the group remains in custody.

There is a danger that such hard-line tactics against protesters by the authorities in Tasmania will create an even stronger sense of solidarity between them and the beleaguered indigenous people of Sarawak.  The breaking down of blockades and the brutal beatings by gangs has not lessened the anger of the Penan and the other tribes, who have lost their forest lands in Borneo.

Likewise, similar treatment will not lessen the anger of the young people of Tasmania, who can see that the wealth of their forests is being stripped to even further enrich the greedy and ruthless Taib family, along with their business allies.

  • http://hotmail Anti-Taibetes

    THANK YOU ALL TASMANIAN ANTI-LOGGERS

    Protecting your precious forests is also helping us in our fight to stop more logging in Sarawak.

    • miri

      A Japanese logging company in Sarawak in the 1970s was asked why they don't chop down their own trees in Japan. " Ah…. our trees are sacred in Japan ", came the answer.

    • hot

      wow … Tasmanian anti loggers was blindly let to believe that white is the one that was responsible for these …

      they should know that the poor native sarawakians were the ones that were abetting white hair.

      they gave white hair the votes for long 32 years. they are the indirect actual criminals.

      long live stupid …. errr …. native.

      • Concerned Native

        That is uncalled for , u of all people should know not all the natives even have IC furthermore can even register as voters. So do mind ur words carefully and dont generalize.

  • http://n/a Watch Dog

    TASMANIA,AUSTRALIA WHEN WILL YOU EVER LEARN FORM SARAWAK. GOD CREATES AND TA ANN..TAIB MAHMUD DESTROY..

    THE SPIRIT OF HORNBILLS WILL SOON HAUNT TAIB AND JABU AS THERE ARE NO MORE FOREST FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND GRAND CHILDREN TO PLAY.

    NEXT WILL BE THE SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIAN BIRD KOOKABURRA .IT'S BETTER BE FAST OTHERWISE YOUR FOREST WILL BE GONE LIKE SARAWAK IN BORNEO.

    DO YOU THINK THAT TAIB MAHMUD WILL CARE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FOREST,NO ALL HE CARES IS A FAT BANK ACCOUNT WITH THE BANKS IN AUSTRALIA.

    ACT NOW OR YOU WILL REGRET IT LIKE WE SARAWAKIANS.THIS MAN MUST BE STOPPED.

    • http://na Mirian

      Not only stop but kill his will mission. He will grab your forest ACT PROMPTLY OR REGRET LIKE SARAWAKIANS.

  • Proudmalaysian

    The RAPE of our Sarawak Virgin Forest has nearly been completed. Now is time to eye other Virgins, to plunder and destroy to satify their greed. In utter disregard for the environment, what God had watered and planted, the sadists come with their sickles to gather the spoils of the land. Whoever stands in their way will be tossed aside , assured that even their generations cannot prosper. The indigenous natives living off what God provides, simple and unspoilt will forever be tarnished and if possible, forgotten. But God is not mocked. In His time and in His place, the young will arise and defend their land and rights.

  • Nature Lover

    Stop deforestation now otherwise it will be too late. How many more to chop down from land which only occupy 30% out of this planet surface?

  • http://www.facebook.com/swkiana2 Sarawakiana2

    Long Live Taib. Long Live Taib. Long Live Taib. Long Live Taib.

    • http://n/a Watch Dog

      sarawakian2..Your boss and thief master is already suffering from stomach cancer buy yet you didn't bless him. Here I am the "WATCH DOG' bless Taib Mahmud so that he may repent so that his soul will be saved.This depends on him now.

      Father,may you hear our cries for help and please touch this crocked ruler's heart so that he may realized what he is doing is totally wrong and going against your teaching O'Lord. Heaven and Hell is real and touvh his heart so that he realized and finally repent and NOT dependent on his Delima Merah,batu Rukan,Pacak Bumi,toyol,djins,evil spirits and Lucifers. In Jesus name we asked ..AMEN!!

      • http://na Mirian

        Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • anak sarawak

        White hair is a muslim and not a christian. Aman means nothing to him.

  • Blunt Speaker

    This Taibitic parasite is just like a virus spreading it's epidemic all over the globe! It's just like wild fire engulfing and destroying the jungles of Sarawak and now spreading to other parts of the world! The greed of this man and his gang is beyond control! They are the destroyer of nature and contributor to global warming! Let God deal with them, to punish and destroy them or to touch their hearts and let them repent!

  • lucipal

    Plunder and keep on plundering Taik. Just remember to give my 1/5 share of the booty.

  • http://oldfart50.blogspot.com Paul Warren

    Sarawak Report has to understand one thing. Taib Mahmud and family are not the same as Rupert Murdoch! When Rupert Murdoch was caught out, he shut The News Of the World, apologised, and is moving on to contain the damage that is now befalling his empire. This is what happens when you concede so early.

    Taib Mahmud and family can be caught out any number of times. You will never get any concession from him. No apologies, no stopping of work. No review of strategies. No nothing! If he has legal entitlement to those logs on that ship, he will get it!! No amount of protests in the world will stop him or get him to show remorse.

    Rupert Murdoch and Taib Mahmud are two different species altogether. Some might consider both beasts. Still they are different!!

  • Urban people

    More gound works have to be done to educate and share information about how rich is Taib in the rural areas of Sarawak.

    Then change of members of parlimetn. Then change of federal government.

    Then reform Anti Corruption Agency Malaysia is controlled by Prime Minsiter Department.

    • anak sarawak

      Yes, you can vote for other But why you voted for him for the past 30+ years because you guys supported him to be CM even in the election 2012-416. Blameed siapa?

      • Kong Boh Yong

        anak sarawak, from which jungle of Sarawak are you appearing from? For 30 yrs, we never even have a single home grown opposition party, though I've been voting for the headless independent candidates, my whole life.

  • Avenged Sevenfold

    Alongside the black gold, timber is in the hottest demand in the world market today. I supposed, NGOs and people in those countries affected by deforestation due to rapid and massive timber logging activities should draw up a petition to the United Nations and timber importing countries to reduce and limit the uses of timber products. After all, it's a global phenomenon/problem and required an urgent reactions, need to be readdressed promptly and collectively.

    It's time, Sarawak's timber industry should be limited to domestic demands only!

  • aborium

    Sarawak's refusal for its timber to get accreditation by the relevant Malaysian Timber authority shows Taib defiance of good governance and transparency. Why? Because if you're not under the direct control of KL, you can do most anything you wish with your timber. Meaning, it can be sold by contraband or unofficial means and channels, providing greater room for business negotiations for personal gains.

    There is a black market for timber run by cartels who may or may not wear a Texan hat, stays in the most expensive hotel in town & far removed from the scene of the crime but who are ruthless,nonetheless.

    The sacrifice others have given to right the situation will not be forgotten,and those in power needs at some point (the sooner the better) to address the timber issue as part of an overall State Renewable Timber Policy to be assessed or reviewed and monitored by an independent oversight committee. This is to ensure governance and transparency, the very ingredients needed for boosting investor confidence.

    Thank you to the Tasmanian Anti-loggers for their selfless sacrifices and thinking of us. We shall reciprocate in whatever way we can to achieve our common goal. Godspeed.

  • Kraft of Pristine va

    Hang on, I live in Tasmania and our native forests are sustainably managed under the Federal and state government's Regional Forest Agreement that reserves about half of the native forests and 2 million hectares of high quality wilderness, most of which is in the world heritage area.

    So I know that wild forest is not being harvested but only multiple use forests set aside by law for harvesting.

    I also know that it is not Ta Ann who does the harvesting but Forestry Tasmania who does the logging and regenerating under their sustainable plan see http://www.forestrytas.com.au/sfm

    The Ta Ann business only receives logs in billet form that used to be exported as chips. Now the Ta Ann rotary veneer mills value add this low grade timber creating jobs and wealth to local communities. Most Tasmanian families welcome the contribution Ta Ann makes to the state, its community, its economy and its environment.

  • Urban people

    The rural people in Sarawak do not have electricity and computer to see all these and how rich is Taib. Corruption of leaders causes people to be poor:

    If you don't change federal government, you don't reform Anti Corruption Agency which is controlled by Prime Minister Dept since Mahathirs' time.

    As reported by Transparencey International:

    How does corruption affect people’s lives?

    Around the globe, corruption impacts people’s lives in a multitude of ways. In the worst cases, corruption costs lives. In countless other cases, it costs their freedom, health, or money. It has dire global consequences, trapping millions in poverty and misery, while breeding social, economic and political unrest. Corruption is both a CAUSE of poverty, and a barrier to overcoming it.

    http://www.transparency.org/news_room/faq/corrupt

  • Robert Gray

    Many in Tasmania are concerned about whats happening in trodical forests. We want to support the WWF and its global forest and trade network to ensure forestry is sustainable. Hopefully you can make sure that Ta Ann is part of that network allows the WWF and other ENGO to inspect their forest harvesting proposals.

    Many Tasmanian have demanded that there is no harvesting in our wild forests and special places. We have created national parks and conservation reserves that are the envy of the world and cover almost 50% of the island. No logging is allowed in these reserves that protect rare and endangered species.

    Under the law only timber billets from forest designated for timber production and certified under PEFC are delivered to Ta Ann who do not do the logging.

    Whilst the protesters seem well meaning, the polical green party seems to have misled them about Tasmania. The editor should visit Tasmania and have a look at Ta Ann's operation!

  • najibrazak

    So! The RMP, my police force, is not the only one in the world to behave like thugs and gangsters attacking peaceful protesters. The Australian police do the same! Makes one proud to belong to the Commonwealth!

    • http://n/a Watch Dog

      Oh ya…Foolish Force…poorly trained and ill educated and cannot speak foolish force..they will obey their master's command obediently.

      The brand "BERSIH" is enough to send the chill down their spines.All policemen froze when mention the brand BERSIH..next will be BERSIH 3..a new TV series " KL 90711".

      Can any TV producers in any part of the world produce the sitcom series model on EBRSIH ,KL90711.

      Maybe you are powerful on earth but once died,you maybe burnt in hell with all your barking..shepherds.

      However,it is not too late to repent yet,still has time.

  • Hulubalang Layar

    Is this reported false again?.since many of complainent were denied,ask the minister to defy all of report.let them still defend their boss,

  • Basil Hickey

    I write as a local Huon valley resident to correct recent information provided by Ms Webber.

    The impression on uncontrolled forest management created by the few activists (8) for the green party that invaded a ship in Tasmania is totally wrong. They do not represent either the Huon community or the facts. It needs to be corrected and a brochure on Australia’s sustainable forest management available at http://www.daff.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/000… that was produced in 2007 by the Australian government tells the facts.

    Tasmania is the island State of Australia and has an area of 6.8 million hectares, and native forest that covers 3.3 million ha, of which almost half (47%) is protected in nature conservation reserves. Of the forest outside these high conservation value reserves ownership is evenly split between private owners and the State Government.

    All forest harvesting must be done in accordance with the forest practice code and in areas that have been designated for production by an agreement between the National and State Government. High quality wilderness, including the World heritage Area that covers 1/5th of the State are protected. One million ha of old growth or primary forests is reserved. Rare and threatened species are protected in reserves and also by logging controls that are regulate by an independent scientific authority.

    The major environmental-industry-union and community groups are currently negotiating a common position on forest use in Tasmania. To help the discussions, the environment groups claim for 570,000 ha of new reserves has been put under moratorium (not logged before September 2011), except for 2% of the area. Logging occurs in this so called ‘HCV’ area only under the process adopted by the environmental-industry-union and community groups.

    Ta Ann’s involvement in Tasmania is restricted to operating two rotary peel veneer mills. They are not involved in harvesting, not cutting a single tree. Ta Ann process billets only supplied from Forestry Tasmania which is from regrowth, (not old growth) that would otherwise be made into woodchips and have strong community, union and government support.

    Forestry Tasmania makes a sustainable forest management report available each year to allow the public to see for themselves how the forest is managed. The 2010 report is available at http://www.forestrytas.com.au/

    Basil Hickey

    Huon Valley