Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dances with Dayaks

Azly Rahman Nov 24, 08

"We did not ask you white men to come here. The Great Spirit gave us this country as a home. You had yours. We did not interfere with you. The Great Spirit gave us plenty of land to live on, and buffalo, deer, antelope and other game. But you have come here, you are taking my land from me, you are killing off our game, so it is hard for us to live. Now, you tell us to work for a living, but the Great Spirit did not make us to work, but to live by hunting. You white men can work if you want to. We do not interfere with you, and again you say why do you not become civilized? We do not want your civilization! We would live as our fathers did, and their fathers before them." - Crazy Horse of the Sioux tribe

I was just thinking that of all the trails in this life there is one that matters most. It is the trail of a true human being - Kickin Bird, (quote from the movie Dances With Wolves)

The recent happenings in Sarawak interest me; something West Malaysians must learn from. A new era is dawning – of culture and consciousness in the face of state-sponsored corporate crony capitalism. The Sarawakians are dancing to reclaim ownership of their sacred land.

Eco-feminism and ecosophical thinking of Rachel Carson, Anais Nin, and even of the "Lakei Penan" or "Penan Man" Bruno Manser is resurfacing amongst the indigenous peoples of Sarawak and hopefully Sabah too. For too long, Mother Earth has been subjugated by those who do not understand what "development" means. For too long the Sarawakians and the Sabahans have been colonised by emperors in newer clothes who go into the land of the Orang Asal and install individuals, ideologies, and institutions alien to the natives and call it "progress". In the classic play "Kisah Perjuangan Suku Naga" (The Struggle of the Naga Tribe". The Javanese poet WS Rendra called these outsiders "ogres" from Tanah Seberang.

This brings us to the bigger and global question: are we environmentally doomed? Are we at the eleventh hour of total environmental destruction? How devastating has the impact of carbon dioxide emissions been? How serious is the depletion of the ozone layer? How much of the rainforests of the world have been destroyed? How fast are the polar ice caps melting, speeding up the looming disaster of Armageddon/ Qiamat of humankind? How many more frequent, major flash floods must we endure?

The Chinese philosopher and mystic Lao Tzu once said, 'Man should not have carved the stone' meaning man should not have invented things for, '... as Man began carving the stone, the process of destruction begins'. Light bulbs, automobiles, power-plants, factories, telephone lines, bombs and computers are inventions that have historically transformed nature. Human beings 'carve the stone' and build structures of power and wealth which transform or even rape Nature in the process.

Ancient philosophies and the teachings of 'revealed religion' (of the Judeo-Christian tradition) warned against the exploitation of the physical environment so that humanity would continue to be close to Nature and closer to the realisation of the Natural Self. Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and probably the most extreme of all Hindu sects, Jainism, teach human beings to respect living things as part of the great chain of beings.

But Western scientific ideology has taught Man to be free from not only thinking about spirits and spirituality, nature and the natural self, religion and deep reflection, but has also 'enlightened' human beings into mastering Nature and using its resources for the 'progress' of mankind. Progress, measured linearly and scientifically, is then equated with 'civilisation'.

What price progress?

Civilisation carries with it the necessity for technological progress and more inventions. But if Nature is destroyed in the process of creating 'civilisations', what does being 'civilised' mean? Would 'going back to Nature' and 'destroying civilisations' be a better way to conceive the meaning of human progress? Must human beings de-evolve, de-urbanise, de-technologise and de-construct themselves in order to save Humanity from its environmental doom?

Industrialisation is a process of transforming nature to culture by the state's appropriation of natural resources. The resources are transformed into technology and techniques and applications derived from the use of science help fuel inventions. Inventions are products/artifacts of the activities of the human mind, activities that are fueled by the need to master man's destiny and the environment. But these inventions contain 'inert capital’ in them, transforming human labour into technologies.

Technologies are then used to further transform nature into culture. Culture in this sense means the culture that comes into being as a result of human beings' economic activities. Modern governments, such as those installed in Sabah and Sarawak, are the necessary evil – they use the state apparatuses and transform the environment by collaborating with powerful multinational corporations in speeding up the use of natural resources, leaving the land barren and human beings in famine and poverty-stricken. Enlightened citizens must collectively revolt against governments that systematically destroy the environment in the name of 'civilisation' and 'progress'.

Citizens must raise the consciousness on the power of these post-modern multinational corporation in that the power these primarily Western-industrialised corporations have are used to bring destruction to the peoples of this Earth as evident in the refusal of powerful nations to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and other global treaties that are enforced to save planet Earth.

Eco-philosophical thinking

Thinking of the Penans and of the blockades against logging, I think of a world inspired by ecological security as a paradigm of a post-global Depression Obamanomics era.

"Ecosophy" or the paradigm of thinking that synthesizes "ecological security" and "natural philosophy" ought to be explored if we are to honor Mother Earth and tame Father Hell. We need to engage in a form of thinking that takes preservation of the environment as a philosophy of development.

Amongst this is to "reuse" and not "recycle". Recycling takes a lot more energy. We need to explore what paradigm of thinking to "reuse" and what to avoid "recycling".

We should not even "recycle" politicians who are corrupted or has a record of destroying the environment. We should not even reuse them.

To engage in an "ecosophical" thinking means to go back to the drawing board of everything and rethink even the way we think. It is going even beyond metacognition; beyond even understanding the way we think about how we think about the world around us.

This might be a mentally paralysing notion even for the thinkers in our government ministries but it is worth exploring. "Ecosophy" takes into consideration not only the environment but the radical ideas about the self itself.

I believe the Orang Asli of Malaysia - the "un-modernized" Temuans, Senoi, Semang, Jakun, Sakai, etc. - can explain this idea of human development better than any expert in any international development bank or in the Ministry of the Environment. I believe too that the Orang Asal of Sabah and Sarawak, the different tribes of the Dayaks, can teach the modern "civilized" man how not to plunder and rape ancestral lands. I believe these natives can teach us in Putrajaya what "ecosophical" thinking means.

"Ecosopohy", independence, and freedom are not a slogans but an existential state of mind and a condition of 'lived democracy', one in which citizens are aware of how oppressive systems that destroys the environment are cultivated. From ecosophy we might learn how to "revilligize" and relearn what "kampong-ism" means, a form of economic thinking that values pastoralism.

Philosophy of "kampong-ism"

We must embrace pastoralism or what we may call "kampongism". For too long the word "kampong" has taken a wrong semiotic turn to connote "backwardness". For too long the word "progress" has been equated with development projects coming from the top and dictated by people who make decisions in four or five star hotels far away from the lives of the natives.

For too long "development" and "national progress" has become meaningless mantra shoved into the minds of the natives, be they of the Orang Asal or the Orang Asli. What interests these "ogres from tanah seberang" is logging and plundering at the expense of the lives of the natives. The history of the Penan for example is a classic example of an ongoing saga of the displacement of the natives under the shibboleth of developmentalism.

Kampong-ism brings the human mind away from complex theories, complex systems, competitive and cutthroat economic philosophies, and combative male-female relationships. Kampong-ism is driven by the philosophy of Eastern existentialism, sound metaphysical construct, harmonious conception of kinship, a good balance of patriarchy and matriarchy, and an economic production system based on the good old farming system that is not "bio- technologically" driven. It is not a philosophy that kow-tows to the dictates of Wall Street, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

Kampong-ism is not race-based, ethnicity-based, gender-based, greed-based, sexual-preference- based or ideology-based philosophy of human liberation and organisation. It has the potential of reorganising societies based on the themes Rousseau, Reason, and Revolution in Human Consciousness. More than that it can be inspired by the philosophy of ecological sustainability and closeness to Nature as embodied by the Orang Asli and Orang Asal.

If there is a revolution of spiritual consciousness emerging out of the awakening of the Dayak Spirit, we in the "modern world plagued by the disease of corporate crony capitalism" ought to rejoice. We ought to learn what the new dance of the Dayaks mean. No longer will this dance be one exploited for Malaysia's tourist and hospitality industry to showcase "shallow and meaningless Malaysian multiculturalism", but a new dance for a new era grounded in Mother Earth, inspired by the Great Spirit of Dayak Awakening.

Will this dance with the Dayaks displace despotic regimes and dying demagogues? The answer lies in the way the dancers becoming the dance.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monkey tales at the Johor state assembly

At a meeting been a YB and a chief monkey somewhere down below.

YB Parit Yaani (YB) : Chief Monkey, why do you harass our kampungs everyday?
Chief Monkey(CM) : Because economy bad. People are not feeding us anymore. It is difficult to find food in the jungle......
YB: Why difficult to find food in the jungle?
CM: You don't know meh? Didn't you see the timber trucks plying the road? They are logging and killing our food source so where got food left...
YB: Why don't you find other forest?
CM: But why? In the first place, we were taken here from Penang many years ago....and now you want us to move again?

Note: Monkeys "exported" from Penang have been a nuisance to many states all over Malaysia. Human blamed the monkeys. And monkeys blamed human. So who exactly to be blamed? Anyway it will be interesting to see politician negotiating with monkeys. Politician can talk monkey language now......another Malaysia Boleh! Read story below:-

November 24, 2008

JOHOR BARU: The Johor state assembly went into fits of laughter Monday as Ng See Tiong (BN-Parit Yaani) spoke at length about a monkey menace in his constituency.

Ng complained that thousands of “very smart” monkeys were harassing kampung (village) folk in Seri Mengkal, Parit Ismail and Kampung Baru Mukim 7.

“Some of these monkeys even break into houses, raid fridges and steal food,” he said, sending the assembly into roars of laughter.

He said at least 200-300 monkeys would surround their “targeted” house, with the “taiko” (big brother) monkey entering the house first followed by its supporters.

“The monkeys even steal chicken eggs, biscuits, and take milk from babies,” he said, adding that the problem had gotten worse over time as initially the monkeys only stole fruits and vegetables from plantations.

Ng, who was debating the state Budget, said that hundreds of families had their livelihoods affected as monkeys were “harvesting” their plantations on their behalf by eating the fruits.

He pointed out that the Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) had tried to shoot the monkeys, but had only managed to hit one or two of them as most of the primates escaped back into the jungle.

When Ng urged Perhilitan to come up with more effective solutions to overcome the problem, Speaker Datuk Ali Hassan interrupted to ask how Ng proposed to settle the problem.

“After this, I’m going to meet with the chief monkey to have a discussion,” he quipped, sending the assembly into another round of laughter.

When contacted after the assembly, Ng admitted that among the reasons for the monkey menace was because their natural habitat had been depleted from logging.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bamboo Gardens - Blame Barisan Najis Please!

I was astonished and felt annoyed to read that the Bamboo Garden (Bambusetum) at the Botanic Gardens was blamed on Pakatan Government. Read here. How come people are so stupid? Pointing finger without knowing who is right and who is wrong? People are still blind. Now, even after they are no more in the Penang State Government, their "kentut" are still around. People are blaming the smelly shit from LGE. Please look at the proof below:

You can see this signboard inside the Coronation Camp, now called Bamboo Garden (Picture taken on 19 Nov 08)
Closeup above: Ground breaking was on 26th July 2007 by Teng Chang Yeow.

Above: Picture taken on 19 Nov 08. A bridge over Sg Air Terjun.

Above: Picture taken on 19 Nov 08. Muddy ground.

Above: Picture taken on 19 Nov 08. Nice path.

Above: Picture taken on 19 Nov 08. And the open space.
My Question: Why nobody protest about this Bamboo Garden last year??????? Why only now? What is your motive?
Another money making project by TCY here
You can read more of the wastages by Barisan Najis if you search in this blog. There are so so many.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Perhilitan uses Internet to stop wildlife trader

I think this could be my first time that I would like to commend the Wildlife Department in my blog for a job well done. Hope more such efforts be taken to protect our natural heritage. Congratulations to Perhilitan officers from Shah Alam and keep up the good work. Please ensure that the wildlife are release into the wild...and not auction off!


Friday November 21, 2008
Perhilitan uses Internet to stop wildlife trader

PETALING JAYA: Going where it has never gone before, the Wild-life and National Park Department (Perhilitan) trawled the Internet and struck pay dirt — it found a man offering to sell protected wildlife.

On Sunday, four Perhilitan officers from Shah Alam staked out the USJ toll plaza parking lot in Puchong.

The man was waiting for the “buyer” when they closed in on him.

When officers inspected his car, they found seven Ball pythons, four Burmese pythons, one Green Tree python, one Carpet python and two Blood pythons.

On Wednesday, Kee Song Yong, 28, was fined RM9,300 by a Petaling Jaya magistrate after pleading guilty to possession of five protected species of snakes.

Perhilitan legislation and enforcement division director Dr E. Sivanathan said there were blogs where people advertise the sale of wildlife.

“We are actively looking at this avenue now to catch these violaters,” he said yesterday.

While unable to put a value on the seized snakes, he said that several were definitely rare.

Earlier this month, Perhilitan seized several wildlife species and leather bags in three operations at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and in Perak and Johor.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Petition to amend the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972

Since Malaysia loves to use ISA. Why not use it on smugglers? Smugglers are threat to national interest. Our natural heritage being destroyed. So ISA them, what say you Botak?
28th September 2008
Malaysian Nature Society
TRAFFIC Southeast Asia
Wildlife Conservation Society

Better Law for Wildlife in Malaysia
Petition to amend the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972

Petaling Jaya, Selangor – Today, the world celebrates International Tiger Day, a celebration of the tiger in its wilderness. While we celebrate its strength, beauty and perseverance, today also presents the ideal opportunity to mark our commitment to save the Malayan tiger

Currently, tigers and other wild animals in Peninsular Malaysia are protected by the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972. This 35-year-old law is severely outdated and riddled with loopholes.

There is a serious need for the Malaysian government to remedy the loopholes and beef up the law, as many species continue to be poached and illegally traded at alarming rates. Wildlife
offenders often escape arrest, prosecution and punishment.

We understand that the government is in the process of revising this law. However, we urge the government to seek public input in this process.

Examples of amendments needed; i)That all products containing or claiming it contains parts of totally protected species to be made illegal; ii) That mandatory jail sentences and stiffer fines
are imposed for serious wildlife offences.

Help us reach the target of 100,000 signatures for our Malayan tigers. Your voice to this petition will make a difference, for tigers and other wildlife in Peninsular Malaysia.

Sign this petition at www.petitiononline.com/MYLaw/petition.html

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A letter from the Sarawak forest

Sim Kwang Yang
Nov 15, 08

The sprawling impenetrable primary rain forests in Baram in northern Sarawak is certainly not the place to lose one’s way, if one happens to be travelling through them. Nevertheless, that was what Ismail Salleh 31, and Rano Sani 26, did - losing their way in the jungle - in late October.

They were among 50 surveyors carrying out demarcation work for a multi-billion ringgit inter-state 500km gas pipeline project from Kimanis near Kota Kinabalu in Sabah to Bintulu in Sarawak. Then they went missing on October 28. The police sent out search and rescue teams but they could not be found. They were in great peril.

Fortunately for our lost travellers, some Penans hunting and gathering in the jungle of Long Seridan found them and brought them to safety in their mountain settlement. For the Penans, the wild frightening jungle of Borneo is just like their backyard. They have been at the forefront of many such search and rescue missions in the past.

This story with a happy ending was reported in the Star on November 3 under the headline Penans decline reward. The Penans are a shy people; they would indeed never dream of getting a reward for doing what they see as a natural moral duty to help one another in the jungle in times of great peril. Being shy, they would shun all forms of public attention.

My question is this: when the Penans need help in their turn, how is the rest of Malaysia going to respond to them?

Recently, two letters found their way to my desk. I published the first one in another net portal www.thenutgraph.com. The second letter is rather long, and so I have chosen to publish it below in my English translation of the original Bahasa Malaysia version.

The letter

The Letter is addressed to the the chairperson of Suhakam with a copy to the Ministry of Health. It was dated 9 September 2008. It goes as follows:

‘Dear Sir,

Re:A Penan patient untreated

We are writing this letter to complain about one Penan woman, J from Long B, 36 years of age, who had died due to bleeding from her private part after giving birth without getting proper attention from the Dresser (Medical Assistant) C.

Ms J had delivered her baby in November 2006. She was healthy after giving birth to her baby and there was no sign of sicknesses. Suddenly in the middle of December 2007, Ms J had found that her private part started bleeding like period, but the bleeding would not stop. She went to Long L clinic on the same month and her private part was washed and checked by a nurse named JA. After medical treatment, more blood came out from her private part in two weeks’ time. Two weeks after the treatment by the nurse, she felt very weak and almost fainted on the morning on 2 January 2008.

WKK (Village Health Committee member) Mr H went to Long L Clinic at 8.30am and met Dresser C. He told Dresser C to inform the doctor to send helicopter to save Ms J’s life because her private part kept bleeding and it was getting so bad that she could not move anymore. She couldn’t take the 40 minute boat trip from Long B to Long L because she was too weak.

Dresser C said “It is not easy to get a helicopter; it will cost us a lot of money. If the sickness is not serious, people will scold me. Just take her to Long L by today. I will go down to Marudi by today at 10.15 am by MAS”.

Mr H said “Ms J cannot reach Long L, and I was hoping you Dresser C to look after Ms J and give her some medicine while she is waiting for the helicopter”.

Dresser C said “Ms J’s husband didn’t take his wife to go down to Marudi while she was pregnant, as instructed by me, and so if she dies, perhaps that was his responsibility”.

Mr H, “Ms J did not have enough energy to go down in 2006. This sickness was not her choice either”.

Dresser C said the clinic phone was not working properly. Mr H was asking Dresser C to give him permission to use the phone at Long L’s School. He went to the said school. After that Mr H came back to meet Dresser C again just to inform him that the phone at the said school was working properly and the principal has approved its use, in accordance with Dresser CJ’s instruction.

Dresser CJ said, “I have no time and am too busy trying to go down to Marudi. If the bleeding has been going on for two weeks, usually there is no escaping death.”

Mr H said, “Ms J is still alive; she’s not dead yet. You have to try your best to treat her. She is a human being just like us”.

Dresser Charles said, “Perhaps, I might get the helicopter to Long L when I reach Marudi later, while you wait for it in Long B by tomorrow morning”.

Mr H heard from the nurse telling Dresser C that she couldn’t treat the said patient properly even if they take the said patient at Long L’s clinic. Then, Dresser C left for Marudi.

Mr H went back to Long L at 12.30 pm. Ms J couldn’t sit and talk anymore, but was still able to eat.

Finally, she died at 5.30 pm on 2 January 2008. There was no helicopter coming to Long L or Long B.

We hope there will be nobody who will not take care of the Penan people. We are not lying, if we say we do not have money to go to Marudi hospital for our medical care. We accept medical care and development with an open heart.

According to Mr H’s son, Dresser C even said to him “your father is not a good guy because he led people to mind the blockade to fight with the timber company. That makes it hard to have development in Long B.

Penan people are human too and their lives are as important as others. We disagreed with the timber’s company but agreed with the development that would provide us with the facilities such as medicine, education, clinic and MAS airport. Our land is our life.

H, Committee of Health Village, Long B

J J, Eldest son of J

The letter ends there.

Truth has to be told

I have no way of verifying the facts of the case, since the Penan complainants live in the deep jungle, and I, in KL. But I have verified with the person before whom the letter was written, and to whom the letter was entrusted. This witness is a long-time close friend whose integrity is unquestioned. Penans do not lie, except for those odd ones who have been bought by the timber companies or intimidated by the government.

I have hidden the identity of the medical offender in order not to cast aspersion on him unjustly. More importantly, I have hidden the identity of the Penan complainants to protect them from vindictive punitive actions by the local Little Napoleons. In the jungle of Sarawak, nobody can hear your scream when great harm descends upon you from behind trees. Bruno Manser found that out. And so have a few Penans in the past.

The story in the letter is told in typically Sarawak native fashion, long, winding, full of details, but forever respectful. You have to use your imagination to fill in the gap, for what is important is what is not said. You may even have to dig out the map of Sarawak to appreciate the vast expensive distances over very rough terrain that has to be travelled by the Penans between the places named in the letter.

The message conveyed in this long tale in the letter is an appeal for help. They do not need logging as their form of “development”, because logging destroys their heritage and their food source like wild game and wild sago. The forest to them is like the Giant supermarket to us, except that the forest never charges them any money. On the other hand, logging only produces fabulous wealth for the handful of politico-business elites.

The Penans do need development like schools, airports, and clinics, and infrastructure to get to their hospitals in the faraway major towns in northern Sarawak. For that, helicopters are a necessity.

I wonder whether this letter has reached the Ministry of Health or Suhakam. Frankly, I do not have much faith in either of these two agencies.

So I have decided to publish this letter on Malaysiakini. There must be some place where the Penans’ feeble and plaintive voices can be heard, so that the truth can be told.

The story told in the letter is also valuable, so that Penans’ suffering is given a human face and a name. Wherever they are, whatever their skin colour, ladies all over the world can feel the excruciating pain of the type of post-natal bleeding that attacked a fellow lady by the name of J. Perhaps, J did not have to die. As the letter writer H said so eloquently, J did not choose to get sick!

If you are lost in the wild dangerous jungle, you will jump for joy if you bump into some Penan hunters, and thank them as angels sent by God to rescue you. But what if the Penans sent out a letter for your help?

SIM KWANG YANG was Bandar Kuching MP from 1982-1995. He can be reached at kenyalang578@yahoo.com

Friday, November 14, 2008

Peat Land vs Oil Palm

We know peat land is a sustainable reservoir of water body, home to rich biodiversity and a place to sustain the ecosystem. But wait, there is one spin politician in Sarawak who think from the arse, who claimed that oil palm was more sustainable than peat land. And now he is wasting tax money on his stupid claim.
We know, with oil palm, there are pesticides, there are fertilisers, there are erosions and he called that sustainable. Do you need pesticides, fertilisers and drainage in peat land? Such simple reasoning! Anything natural is always sustainable. Left alone they can sustain naturally. Anything man-made is not.
Generate credible scientific data? Bullshit. Generate wealth & greed would be a better reasoning.

Sarawak sets up peat R&D lab to back palm oil lobby
Friday November 14, 2008

KUCHING: The state government has set up the tropical peat research laboratory unit to counter anti-palm oil campaigns by western non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said the NGOs claimed that planting of oil palm on tropical peat land was unsustainable as it would lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions.

“To counter the allegations, we need to generate credible scientific data in those areas,” he added.

Towards this end, Dr Chan, who is also state Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture, said the government set up the laboratory to gather relevant scientific and technical data related to the use of tropical peat land for palm oil cultivation.

“It will evaluate the influence of tropical peat structure and decomposition on peat subsidence dynamics and determine the nutrient dynamics of tropical peat land,” he said on Wednesday.

The unit recently organised an international seminar to update the recommended practices for oil palm cultivation.

Dr Chan said Sarawak has some 1.65mil hectares of peat land, representing 13% of the state, which the government planned to open up for oil palm cultivation.

On a plan to turn Sarawak into the country’s second rice bowl, Dr Chan said the Federal Government had allocated RM80mil this year to fund seven projects.

Of the amount, he said, RM47mil would be used by the Agriculture Department to carry out land levelling.

It will also provide mechanisation services and supply fertiliser, lime and pesticides.

The balance would be used by the Drainage and Irrigation Department to maintain drainage and irrigation facilities as well as develop farm infrastructure.

He said the state hoped to become self-sufficient in rice in four years’ time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

RM3 million worth of wildlife seized in Bolehland

In 2004 he was fined RM7,500 for smuggling wildlife.
Today he was out on bail with only RM19,000.
By next February 20 (case mention), he could probably be fined around RM20,000.
No wonder this illegal smuggling will never cease.
If you are a business man, think of this logic. If you escape the smuggling, you make RM3 mil. If caught, you only pay a minimum in fine. Pay a few officers on the take and you still make alot. Probably you can still get back the "goods" as they will be auctioned out.
So tell me how can this illegal smuggling be stopped?
NO Way....unless the authorities are serious.
Read the story below......


November 12, 2008
About 7,000 monitor lizards saved from the cooking pot

KUALA LUMPUR: More than RM3mil worth of live and dead animals were seized when the Wildlife and National Parks Department raided two locations in Johor last week.

Among the animals were more than 7,000 clouded monitor lizards, 1,000 owls, pangolins, crested serpent eagles, pythons, mousedeer, Malayan porcupine, wild pigs and bear parts.

A 49-year-old man was charged in a magistrate’s court in Tangkak on Nov 7 and is out on a RM19,000 bail.

The black market value of the wildlife seized in Muar and Segamat, is believed to be more than RM3mil.

Director-general Datuk Abd Rasid Samsudin said that this was the second time the man was detained for a similar offence.

He was fined RM7,500 in 2004 for possessing 182 pangolins and 1.3kg of pangolin scales.

“The live and dead animal parts can be distributed for consumption as exotic dishes in restaurants, “ he told a press conference on Wednesday.

He said the dishes, cooked with herbs were widely popular among diners, especially men, and were often priced at RM300 per bowl.

To meet the demand, the protected animals are highly paid for by restaurants in Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.

Mohd Rasid said eight members of the Wildlife Crime Unit seized 13 species of protected wild animals at the man’s house during the first raid which was conducted in Muar on Nov 4 at about 8am.

The dead animals were in several freezers while the live animals were found in the backyard.

The team raided another location in Segamat three days later and found 7,093 live clouded monitor lizards kept in a holding centre.

“The monitor lizards, weighing approximately 35,000kg, can fetch between RM50 and RM80 per kilo in black market trade,” he said. The case is due for mention on Feb 20 next year.

Logging 'threatens Terengganu's endangered rhinos'

Yesterday was Perak. Today is Trengganu.

A mature timber tree is worth a minimum of RM10K (US$3.3K). No wonder you find every state Government is going for the kill. It doesn't matter about wildlife, water resources or even livelihood of people living on the fringes of the forest. Chop the trees - for the $. Nevermind about extinction of rare wildlife, polluted water, animal-human conflicts....afterall, the people who approved the project could be rewarded by "commission". This is the fact - the greedy fact. A norm.

It has always been a ploy to build a highway. Then, the timber. I was right when I sensed that the road from Gua Musang to Kenyir Dam has to do with timber. And it was so true now. Development and infrastructes are all bullshit. Timbers & logging are the main objective.


Nov 12, 08 6:34pm

Terengganu government is planning to log two forest reserves which is home to the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros and endangered Malayan tiger.

The proposed logging was revealed in a detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA), which was recently made available for public viewing.

The DEIA, which is done by an independent agency, is the process of examining the environmental effects of the proposed plan to log of the forests.

Source: Malaysiakini

The study revealed that the state government has proposed to log 12,630 hectares of forest adjacent to the 6,130 hectares of forest reserve currently being cleared for the construction of two hydropower dams.

“The Tembat and Petuang Forest Reserves, which also act as a water catchment area for Tasik Kenyir, are currently being logged to build the Puah and Tembat dams,” said conservation group World Wildlife Fund in a press statement today.

It said that a survey conducted as part of the DEIA has revealed evidence of the presence of the elusive Sumatran rhinoceros within the Tembat Forest Reserve.

“Both the forest reserves are also habitat for other endangered wildlife, namely the Malayan tiger and Malayan tapir which are totally protected animals under the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972.”

The environmental impact assessment also exposed a shocking fact - that logging has already begun in the forest reserves despite that no approval has been given.

“Satellite images in the DEIA indicate that clear felling of the reservoir area and adjacent hills has begun since 2005-2006.

“According to the DEIA, the site of the catchment area has already experienced changes of between 25 and 30 percent and new logging tracks have already been constructed,” said WWF-Malaysia.

“There seems to be little regard for relevant laws and the DEIA process,” lamented WWF chief executive officer Dr Dionysius Sharma.

One-third of elephants to be forced out

According to the study, the logging will also affect the elephant population in the forests, where about one-third will be forced into nearby plantations, creating more human-elephant conflict.

“This will result in loss of revenue to plantation owners and property damages. In the long run, the government will incur higher cost for human-wildlife conflict management,” said Dionysius.

The DEIA also states that the high soil erosion and sedimentation as a result of the logging will affect fish biodiversity and spawning grounds.

“The Kelah fish population found in rivers there will undeniably decrease. Kelah has high conservation and commercial values,” said the WWF chief executive.

Dionysius also added that eco-tourism activities will be affected, translating to loss of revenue to the eco-tourism operators in the area.

The WWF has called on the state government to protect the two forest reserves by classifying them as wildlife sanctuaries under the National Forestry Act 1984 and gazetting them as water catchment forests.

“Logging or clear felling should not be allowed to take place at any time,” he said.

Lojing Highlands Case

November 12, 2008
Company charged with polluting Lojing Highlands

GUA MUSANG: An agriculture company was on Wednesday charged in the Sessions Court here with causing environmental pollution at Lojing Highlands in January last year.

Syarikat Liquid Gold Sdn Bhd, represented by its project manager Ainul Izmi, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial to the charge before judge Asmadi Hussin.

According to the charge sheet, the company, which has its headquarters in Kota Baru, was involved in activities to convert a land, covering 50 hectares or more, at the highlands for other purposes without obtaining prior approval or an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report from the director-general of Environment as required under Section 34A(6) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

The offence was alleged to have been committed at 2.30pm on Jan 29, 2007 at Lot Pt 5326, Lot Pt 5327 and Lot Pt 5328 in Lojing here.

If found guilty, the company owner is liable to a fine not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisonment of not more than five years or both.

Hearing has been fixed for Dec 17.

The company is the first to be charged by the Department of Environment for causing environmental pollution in Lojing.

Counsel Rozita Zahari represented the company while DOE prosecuting officer Mohd Ridhwan Ramli prosecuted. - Bernama

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Concern over logging plan

Just when the dust has just settled, another appeared. This time logging in Perak. Another environment concern to people of Perak. Wake up dear Pakatan Government of Perak!
Concern over logging plan
Tuesday November 11, 2008

IPOH: The Perak Environment Asso­ciation has opposed the selection of two forest reserves which were re­­cently opened for tender for logging.

Association president Abdul Rah­man Said Alli said logging in parts of the Pondok Tanjung and Kota Siam forest reserves would have dire consequences to the ecosystem.

According to a notice put up at the state Forestry Department, the two forest reserves were among 28 sites selected for open tender for logging, he said.

“The Pondok Tanjung reserve is a 5,000ha wetland in the Larut Matang and Selama districts that serves as a natural water catchment area for overflowing water from the Bukit Merah reservoir.

“Logging activities will destroy the land there and worsen the flooding problem in Bukit Merah and some areas in the Kerian district,” Abdul Rahman told a press conference here yesterday.

The forest reserve was home to a wide range of protected animal and plant species and was also a popular research site for Universiti Sains Malaysia, he said.

The Kota Siam Forest Reserve in Manjung district would also see the destruction of wildlife habitat if logging were to be conducted there.

“The 300ha forest reserve is like an island surrounded by oil palm estates and other plantations.

“If the wild animals’ habitat is destroyed, they would be forced to intrude into human settlements, cau­sing conflict between them,” he said.

Abdul Rahman pointed out that the Kota Siam reserve was one of the smaller forests gazetted by the Forestry Department and that there were many other more suitable sites for logging.

“We are not against logging and have no problems with the other sites but Pondok Tanjung and Kota Siam should be off the list (of 28 sites for tender),” said Abdul Rahman.

He said the association would write to Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jama­luddin for appropriate action to be taken.

Efforts to get confirmation from the Forestry Department about the matter proved futile.


EIA wanted on planned logging in Pondok Tanjung
Tuesday November 11, 2008

TAIPING: An environmental impact assessment (EIA) may be sought from the Department of Environment to protect river tributaries in Pondok Tanjung near here from indiscriminate logging activities.

Larut Matang and Selama district officer Datuk Mahmod Morsidi said this was the best option to protect these rivers -- that supply water to the Bukit Merah reservoir -- from active siltation.

He said the fear of active siltation was one of the reasons why no tin mining activities in Pondok Tanjung had been permitted.

Both logging and mining excavation permits had been sought in Pondok Tanjung, he told reporters after launching the national Coastal Rehabilitation Awareness Campaign 2008 at the Kuala Sepetang Eco-education centre near here on Tuesday.

However, following objections from various technical departments, no tin mining activities have been permitted there.

Mahmod said the Perak Government had approved about 600ha of land at three different locations in Pondok Tanjung for group agriculture schemes to provide more income to the local population.

To turn such sites into agriculture plots, trees must be felled, he said.

Mahmod said a choice would have to be made between allowing the three sites to remain as jungles, and allowing logging and converting them into agriculture schemes.

“Perhaps we may disallow jungle clearing activities at the hilly terrain there but allow logging at the lowland,” he said when commenting on an objection raised by the Perak Environment Association on Monday.

The association said that logging activities in Pondok Tanjung, a 5,000ha wetland that serves as a natural water catchment area for overflowing water from the Bukit Merah reservoir, would damage the land and worsen the flooding problem in Bukit Merah and in parts of Kerian district.

Forestry Department director-general Datuk Seri Azahar Muda, who was present at launch, said it was up to the Perak Government to act on the matter as logging activities came under its purview.

Once there is a request for an EIA, the state Forestry Department must study the matter and take into consideration the views of the community, said Azahar.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Plan to revive rivers on track

I don't have the confident that Sungai Pinang can be rehabilitated to Class 2 by 2015. I quote, Class 2 is clean enough for people to swim in it. No way. No way. Houses used the river as garbage dump. Raw kitchen wastes went straight into the drains and into the river. See for yourself my previous photo essay here. I hope the DID's officer is still around to swim at Sungai Pinang. I just want to see how he's going to swim.
I can't comment on Sungai Juru as I have not done any research on it. But I would think Sungai Juru could be possible due to the present of large area covered with water hyacinth and aquatic plants which acted as filter.
No way for Sungai Pinang unless they are going to put in education and more regulations.
Monday November 10, 2008

PENANG is confident of rehabilitating its former dead rivers — Sungai Pinang and Sungai Juru — from Class 5 to Class 2 by 2015.

Class 5 has been classified as the most polluted with no marine life while Class 2 is clean enough for people to swim in it.

State Drainage and Irrigation Department director (DID) Hanapi Mohamad Noor said both rivers had been under rehabilitation for the last 10 years. They were under Class 5 and are now at Class Three, a stage allowing fish to survive in the rivers.

“Apart from increasing enforcement against polluters as well as public awareness, the department spends about RM100,000 annually to clean up each river,” he said at an environment awareness programme opening at the Sungai Juru water catchment area in Butterworth recently.

Hanapi said the department was presently preparing a master plan to rehabilitate Sungai Juru at the cost of RM300mil.

He said, although Sungai Pinang’s RM450mil rehabilitation master plan was ready this year, it could not be implemented due to problems in relocating some 200 squatter houses in the area.

“We hope the state government will help settle the squatter problems soon so that we can go ahead with the Sungai Pinang rehabilitation master plan under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

“The Sungai Juru master plan affects a smaller number of squatters and we hope to carry it out under the 10th Malaysia Plan,” he said.

He noted the Class 2 status for both rivers could be achieved by 2015, if all recommendations in both master plans, which included the provision of recreational facilities near the riverside, could be fulfilled.

Hanapi also said the department would spend about RM1mil in the next two years to add 100 log booms to trap rubbish in major monsoon drains leading to Sungai Pinang, Sungai Juru and Sungai Prai.

Presently, he said, there were 150 log booms placed at major river mouths throughout the state.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Semi-nomadic tribe goes back into jungle after delivering lost surveyors

"...they should be given a banquet"?
C'mon, are they so cheap? Give them their basic need. The need to survive in the jungle. Give them the freedom to roam the jungle. Stop logging. Stop logging.
These are what they want!
Read the rest of the story below....
Monday November 3, 2008

MIRI: The group of Penans who rescued two surveyors lost in the deep jungles of Long Seridan in remote northern Sarawak have declined any reward for their heroic deed.

The Sarawak police are impressed by not just the bravery and kindness of the semi-nomadic Penans but also their humility.

So too is Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman Nelson Balang Rining, who stressed that the Penans had been at the forefront of many search and rescue missions in the jungles and mountains of Sarawak but had never asked for any reward or publicity.

Surveyors Ismail Salleh, 31, and Rano Sani, 26, went missing on Oct 28 while carrying out demarcation work for a multi-billion ringgit inter-state gas pipeline project between Sabah and Sarawak.

The two men were in a group of 50 surveyors that is handling the task of drawing up a land route to lay the 500km-long gas pipeline from Kimanis near Kota Kinabalu to Bintulu town, the gas capital of Sarawak.

The duo were found in a mountain village on Saturday afternoon following an aerial and ground search mission launched by the police.

They were rescued by a group of Penans, who were out hunting and gathering jungle produce, and escorted to the village.

Baram district police chief Deputy Supt Jonathan Jalin said he had spoken to the group of surveyors via satellite phone from Long Seridan yesterday.

“They are weak, but otherwise unhurt. They confirmed that it was the Penans who saved them, not any of our search parties.

“The group of Penans led them out from the jungle to a settlement after giving them food and water.

“My conversation with them was brief because of connection problems, but the surveyors said the Penans left them in the hands of the villagers and promptly went off into the jungle again.

“We (police) are trying to find out who these Penans are, and which settlement they are from. We must give them due credit,” he said.

Asked if the duo would be brought out for medical treatment, DSP Jalin said that they were still recuperating in the camp and did not seem to be in need of urgent medical help.

Long Seridan is located between Long Lellang and the Bario highlands. It is eight hours by land from here via Long Lama village.

Balang, whose constituency also covers Long Lellang, Bario and the area north of Long Seridan, said the Penans who rescued the duo should be given public recognition.

“It is the Penans’ nature to be helpful and yet shun publicity. They know the jungle like their backyard. They are capable of walking from Long Lellang to Bario non-stop,” he said.

Balang called on the police and the survey firm to try to trace the Penans who saved Ismail and Rano, saying that at the very least, they should be given a banquet.