International Campaign Against Ta Ann Begins To Bite

International Campaign Against Ta Ann Begins To Bite

9 Aug 2011

Act of conviction - who are the real criminals here?

Slowly but surely international attention has started to focus on Abdul Taib Mahmud and his corrupt businesses.

Not only is Taib the single biggest force driving the destruction of the Borneo jungle, but his companies, such as Ta Ann, are causing damage and destruction in most of the world’s other remaining jungles, including Tasmania.

Over the past two days green protesters in the Australian island have once again defied the authorities to protest against Ta Ann’s raiding of of Tasmania’s precious remaining natural heritage. 

They point out that when Ta Ann was granted its licence to operate wood chip and veneering plants the company had pledged to use plantation wood only.  However, now, surprise surprise, they are taking hard wood from the jungle instead.

It was for this reason that two protesters tied themselves to the conveyor belts in the Ta Ann factory in a passive protest that stopped the mills for a period of time.

Angry Magistrate 


Tied to the conveyor belt – Taib’s business was held up!

 Inevitably the gentle protest brought down the full force of Tasmanian law and order on the heads of the two men, who were acting from moral conviction rather than the personal greed, which drives Abdul Taib Mahmud.

 The local magistrate naturally ruled in favour of the corrupt Taib family company, which has illegally sequestered hundreds of thousands of hectares of woodlands from native Sarawakians, robbing them of their trees and replacing priceless tropical jungles with plantations and which is now destroying the Tasmanian jungle too. 

Handing down a suspended jail sentence, he had harsh words for the young men who are desperately defending the areas that future generations will not forgive ours for destroying.  In the process he presented the Taib family as an honest enterprise, running a decent business with no ill effects to others:

“You place your own ideals above the rights of others, affecting businesses and the people who work there” he lectured “I am not politically minded whatsoever. But people should be able to operate a business without interference”.

In years gone by, of course, equivalent fellows would have defended slave owners in their right to their human property, or mill owners in their right to pay children a penny a week.  But the fact is that opinion and understanding moves on and forces changes, which even magistrates eventually get to catch up with.

Opinion is moving

Defying authority - but the world is starting to understand why

Magistrates may thunder, but the news is getting out about Taib, his companies and what they have done to Sarawak.  This is why week after week more and more protesters are showing their outrage at Ta Ann’s activities in Tasmania and a mounting tide of criticism is meeting organisations that seek to do business with Taib companies.

This week a WWF partner the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) was forced to distance itself from  with Ta Ann, after it was accused of green-washing its factory processes.  The Director, George White, admitted his organisation had received RM 15,000 from Ta Ann for signing up to its monitoring, but stressed they had nothing to do with their forestry operations.

The incident provided yet another embarrassment for the establishment-friendly WWF, as the respected environmental organisations Global Witness and the Bruno Manser Foundation joined forces to condemn and blacklist Ta Ann for “clearing forests the size of 20 football fields daily in Sarawak”, including “cutting rainforests in Borneo, including forests within the Heart of Borneo, an ambitious conservation campaign in Sarawak, headed by WWF.” 

Tasmania’s Green Party have also started to fiercely campaign on the matter.  This very week they invited an honoured guest to their shores to give them a legal perspective on the dubious activities of Taib and his family companies such as Ta Ann.  That guest was a man all Sarawakians will recognise – it was none other than the opposition PKR leader and human rights lawyer Baru Bian.

Baru Bian with Senator Bob Brown (left) and Green Party MP Kim Booth

Senator Brown summed up the sentiments of a growing number of local people in Tasmania and Australia when he said simply:

“Ta Ann should never have been allowed in Tasmania’s native forests”

With the world waking up to Taib and what he has done in Sarawak it has become harder each day for businesses associated with the Chief Minister to claim the respectable status accorded by one Tasmanian magistrate this week.

Sign up to receive regular updates from Sarawak Report

Your views are valuable to us, but Sarawak Report kindly requests that comments be deposited in suitable language and do not support racism or violence or we will be forced to withdraw them from the site.

  • sarawakian

    I admire you for investigating Taib's wealth globally.

    • http://n/a Watch Dog

      Well Done Brother BB.

      Don't forget this Saturday,August 13th..RED SATURDAY. We are ready in THOUSANDS….

      March for democracy and protect Sarawak Heritage from being destroyed.Good and clean Government.

      UBAH LAH…Change for the better…


      • hot

        BB is there simply there for publicity stunt.

        he did great in that regard but do remind him the battle front is still at home.

        hope he doesnt get his head too inflated that he began hopping like a big fat katak.

  • Blunt Speaker

    The bad karma on this man Taib and his accomplices is really too heavy! I don't know when or are they going to repent is a big question? At the rate of their corruption and the pace they are destroying life and nature all over the world, they are imposing heavier penalties upon themselves! God, have mercy upon these hardened souls so that they will repent and atone for their heinous sins!

  • Wetsemenet

    'The incident provided yet another embarrassment for the establishment-friendly WWF, as the respected environmental organisations Global Witness and the Bruno Manser Foundation joined forces to condemn and blacklist Ta Ann for “clearing forests the size of 20 football fields daily in Sarawak”, including “cutting rainforests in Borneo, including forests within the Heart of Borneo, an ambitious conservation campaign in Sarawak, headed by WWF.”' – CB

    Citation, please.

    • http://n/a Watch Dog

      Wetsemenet..After seeing all these,are you still protecting your corrupted master who pays you hundreds of thousands??

      What's next Taib's doggie..Peter ..ops..Parker??

  • Richard

    I just cannot believe the Sarawakians have tolerated the corruption by Taib and his hoons for so long.

    Attention should be focused towards the "timber" so-called Barons in Sarawak as well, they are all crooks, the sooner Taib goes the better, but how to get rid of him and the crooks???

    • http://n/a Watch Dog

      Richard..Richard..grow up.Sarawak is communistly controlled by one man, one family,one race and one crony ,A Melanau Muslim Taib Mahmud. Anyone who goes against him is sacked.

      So at last Tasmanians people or Aussies wake up. The ones who are caught are their "hands and legs" or kaki tangan..his dogs,clerks,office boys and drivers while he is laughing and also laughing all the way to the bank and then HELL. HELL is real TAIB…

      RICHARD..He controlled everything in Sarawak..Come and see for yourself..every government servants will hold their balls when stand in line waiting for him.Please think before you speak.

      May GOD bless you.

  • James

    Thank you Sarawak Report for bringing the deforestation crisis in Sarawak and Borneo to world attention. Senator Bob Brown is one of Australia's most respected politicians and forest campaigners. He is the right man to ask these questions in the Australian parliament and in committee. His party have the balance of power in Australia, and therefore very high profile and influential.

  • http://n/a Watch Dog

    Get them Aussies!! Track back to the root who are the devils behind all these destruction of your VIRGIN forest.

    Tell the whole wide WORLD as well as the FINANCIAL community that his wealth is gained from illegal means.Charge him for MONEY LAUNDERING…

    Jail him ,issue an ARREST warrant FAST..Now

    • aborium

      How is this case in Tasmania to be viewed?

      "Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."

      ~Frederic Bastiat, The Law

  • Richard

    Watch Dog, Grow up you say???, I lived and worked in Sarawak for 23 years, so I do know, I do not know what the hell you are on about

    • http://n/a Watch Dog you are a wanker foreigner working corruptedly depriving qualified Sarawakians.Yes I have grown up but I do hate MONOPOLY..Another ball polisher foreigner..Sarawak is for Sarawakians..

      • anak sarawak

        Blamed the voters, your own people. Your own people voted for this TM.

        • Jelivan Bato'.

          Yes that is perfectly true with most of our Dayaks people. As long as the BN barbecue one pig with a bottle of "Chap Ape'" and a bit of petty cash during any election we still vote for TM BN government. When we wake up the next moring all our land have been taken by TM and some given to his crony companies ond YBs.

        • Jelivan Bato'.

          Yes that is perfectly true. When shall we all can learn like other peoples.

  • James

    watch dog,

    This Richard fellow is quite correct as to what he says, particularly when he referred to the "Timber Barons"


  • aborium

    "It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do."

    ~Edmund Burke, Second Speech on Conciliation, 1775

  • http://nil Sam

    keep up the good work to make a better living for our next generation. the truth will prevails ,thank you to show us who the cronnies,the corruption mastters,sucking our sarawak resources which belongs to the rakyat. we sarawakian will support for the truth.

  • dayak thinker

    Sarawakians have been long trained to be ignorant, passive and illiterate. Only the new generations can break this demonic chain.

  • Nelson Mandela Janti

    Its correct to say that Taib has an"absolute" power as a CM of Sarawak. But he cannot do all the corrupt things he does with out the support of those ministers and henchmen around him. All his Malay cabinet ministers and chief political secretary are 101%with him and they are shielding him from all attempts to investigate his corrupts rule.

    • http://n/a Watch Dog

      Nelson Mandela Janting..the power is in ONE hand,one man,one family,one crony and one race..Melanau..please walk in to any state government department,they will tell you who.Those people who mentioned are just his office boys,drivers,clerks,chief clerks,or whatever way you want to call them all fit the bill.

      The power is in one man ,one man alone only bro.

    • anak sarawak

      100% agreed with you.

  • whatsaysyou

    My hats off to Baru Bian and at least Australian protesters in Tasmania know what they are wanting Australia and the world to know right now. Great post and keep it up, Sarawak Report.

  • sarawakian


    • anak sarawak

      NO WONDER………………………….

  • Blunt Speaker

    Seems like there is no stopping this madman from destroying nature and the habitat causing countless deaths and sufferings! This greedy maniac is overwhelmed by his lust for more material gains that he is even willing to sacrifice his eternal soul! How dumb can you get when you know that life on earth is only temporary!

  • MagnisPhyricon

    New satellite imagery shows Malaysia is destroying forests more than three times faster than all of Asia combined, and its carbon-rich peat soils of the Sarawak coast are being stripped even faster, according to a study released Tuesday(09 Aug 2011).

    The report commissioned by the Netherlands-based Wetlands International says Malaysia is uprooting an average 2 percent of the rain forest a year on Sarawak, its largest state on the island of Borneo, or nearly 10 percent over the last five years. Most of it were on logging activities and later being converted to palm oil plantations, it said.

    In the last five years, 353,000 hectares (872,263 acres) of Malaysia's peatlands especially in Sarawak, were deforested, or one-third of the swamps which have stored carbon from decomposed plants for millions of years.

    For further info, pls visit:

  • MagnisPhyricon

    The report by the Netherlands-based Wetlands International on 09 Aug 2011 was further supported by this:

    Tighten on seat belt, because there will be more to come!

    • aborium

      Huge tracts of peatlands in Borneo have been destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations. And when peatlands dry up, they are left behind as wastelands; devoid of water, they become dry and have caused the spread of huge fires and the untold environmental damage that they can further cause. The haze is one example.

      Development in peatland areas would have to account and validate its impacts upon what is already a biomass with a highly sensitive ecology and its unique habitats.

      This is a double-whammy situation – first you use up all the water there's I've holding and in the process destroy what I've got.

      They you leave me highly brittle and dry. Sounds all too familiar?

  • aborium

    Here's a description, part of a story narrated by a Londoner who witnessed the civil unrest:

    "This morning, as the smoke begins to clear, those of us who can sleep will wake up to a country in chaos. We will wake up to fear, and to racism, and to condemnation on left and right, none of which will stop this happening again, as the prospect of a second stock market clash teeters terrifyingly at the bottom of the news reports.

    Now is the time when we make our choices. Now is the time when we decide whether to descend into hate, or to put prejudice aside and work together. Now is the time when we decide what sort of country it is that we want to live in. Follow the #riotcleanup hashtag on Twitter. And take care of one another."

    Do you think we Malaysians would have to make that same choice?

    • miri

      These were not civil unrest in the cities in England but were wanton vandalism carried out by mindless criminal gangs, thugs and opportunists ( most of them were teenages and others were as young as 10 )causing enormous damage to properties and livelihoods, not to mention the damage to the reputation of London where the biggest show on earth will be staged in less than a year.

      These were sheer acts of criminality and thuggery. They took to the streets neither for a cause nor to vent their anger in racism, discrmination, injustice, inequality, lack of education and opportunity, poor housing, unemployment or social deprivation and corruption. They took to the streets to loot and torch.

      The question to ask ourselves is what are we afraid of ? The BN government wants us to stick with the devil we know than the devil we don't know in the face of current crisis in world.

      I know which devil I would choose. Do you ?

  • Jelivan Bato'.

    Yes that is perfectly true. When shall we all can learn.