Sunday, June 27, 2010

After Raping Forests, they rape daughters...

Look! Is this the support that you have been giving to these Barisan Najis animals from Sarawak??? Want to wait until they rape your daughter before you can wake up?
Living in fear of rape and destruction
Sun, 27 Jun 2010

FEATURE KUCHING: Like all Sarawak’s indigenous people, the Penan are faithful practicing Christians who treat their women with respect and do not take more than one spouse.

Despite the temptations of the modern world they live a simplistic god-fearing life eating mainly from the forest.

Last Sunday, several gun-waving policemen threatened the Penan community in Long Sebayang, who had erected a blockade in protest against the savage destruction of their hereditary lands by Lee Ling Timber Company, which incidentally is linked to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s sister Raziah Mahmud.

The incident is not new.

The fact remains that the Penan are constantly harassed and intimidated by gangs of loggers - armed with heavy vehicles, chainsaws and weapons - and their foreign workers, who rape and destroy not only their rainforest but their women as well.

The Penan women live in constant fear of these intruders who prey on their villages when the men are out hunting or attack hitch-hikers looking for transport to the nearest towns and schools.

Last September, the federal government disclosed a report which revealed strong evidence of numerous rape attacks, many of them on young girls trying to get to school, some of them as young as 10.

A number of babies have been born as a result of this abuse.

Federal investigators also noted a number of cases where logging workers pressured Penan girls to enter into unwilling relationships with them.

The report said that some managers in the logging firms were indulging themselves by keeping up to “three wives” in this way.

On desperate Penan father had told the investigators that he had approached a manager asking that he choose one wife and leave the others alone, “but he dismissed our concerns.”

Said the father: “The loggers have taken away our land, so they think they can take everything even our daughters.”

BN ministers have failed to act

In spite of the findings contained in the official report, Sarawak BN ministers have remained tacit, dismissing these incidents. They have refused to take steps to bring the attackers to justice.

Instead these leaders have continued insulting the Penan and their women, blaming them for these problems.

In an interview with BBC earlier this year, Sarawak Land Minister James Masing had reportedly described Penan women as “naturally promiscuous” and “normally start relationships as young as 12 years.”

To add insult, he alleged that the Penan were “very good storytellers”.

The so-called “stories” told by the Penan community are not isolated. It also occurs in other native communities.

Under the new Score development plans announced in January, over half a million more Sarawakian natives will be pressed from their lands in the same way as the Penan.

All this so that BN ministers can continue to exploit their territories and the loggers their women.

-The original version first appeared in Sarawak Report.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Easy solutions to wildlife crimes

It is a vicious cycle to this issue of wildlife crimes. But here are easy solutions:-
1. If smuggle wildlife - Punishable by death to the smuggler.
2. If corrupt wildlife official releases smuggler - Punishable by death to the wildlife officer
3. If corrupt judge releasing corrupt wildlife officer - Punishable by death to the judge
After several rounds of punishable by death - I am sure wildlife crimes will disappear altogether.
Our wildlife will extinct one day if we don't do anything (read article below)....And to do the above, we need to start by CHANGING THE CORRUPT & PEROMPAK GOVERNMENT! The rot starts from the head!

June 22, 2010 16:36 PM
Corruption Main Challenge In Overcoming Wildlife Crimes

KOTA KINABALU, June 22 (Bernama) -- Poaching and smuggling of exotic wildlife here continues unabated as these wildlife crimes are aided by a 'third force'.

That 'force', which goes by the unsavoury name of corruption, is considered the main challenge in combating such crimes.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said, although the situation was not alarming in the state, there have been instances where, out of the blues, Borneo wildlife was recorded or photographed in other parts of the world, suggesting foul play at work.

"Suddenly, we see pictures on 'Youtube' or somewhere online, of some Borneo animals sitting comfortably in other parts of the world, for example wild cats.

"As far as we are concerned, it is impossible that wild cats are smuggled out (of the state) without our means some people have been opening doors for these people (smugglers).

"I can only say it must have cost the fellow for that door to be opened, because you don't open doors for no reason and I can only see corruption as the main reason," he told reporters after opening the Heart of Borneo (HoB) Wildlife Trade Regulation and Species Identification Course on Tuesday.

Therefore, Masidi reasoned, no matter how strict the imposition of regulations, if corruption was still part of the culture here, it would be difficult to overcome the smuggling of exotic animals.

To address wildlife crimes, Masidi said the government had come up with three steps. They are:

* ensure no poaching or illegal hunting was carried out;

* step up enforcement skills to detect new means of smuggling; and,

* keep tabs on the use of courier services to transport animals.

He said the three-day course would see the three countries involved in HoB, namely Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia, exchanging notes and finding ways to share new strategies to combat wildlife smuggling.

"HoB is a cross-boundary area encompassing more than one quarter of whole area of Borneo, which we believe, houses some of the most exotic animals in Borneo," he added.


Penan Attacked by Cronies of Pek Mor

Penan attacked as communities set up road blockade to protect their rainforests
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Source here and here

Instead of investigating a reported incident of violence against a Penan man by a timber company official, the police officers instructed the natives to dismantle their blockades. The police officers were using timber company vehicles, not police vehicles.

By Bruno Manser Fund

Lee Ling Group must stop violence in the Upper Limbang - Community rights must be respected

LONG SEBAYANG, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA. A Penan hunter has been attacked by a logging company official at a timber road blockade in Sarawak, East Malaysia. This has been reported this morning by Penan community sources.

According to our sources, a Penan named Aking Anung from Long Keneng was yesterday attacked by Ah New, a timber company official employed by a sub-contractor of the Malaysian Lee Ling timber group. Ah New had reportedly tried to attack the Penan hunter with a "parang" (bush knife). According to the Penan, Aking avoided being hurt by running away. He later lodged a police report in Limbang.

The incident took place at a newly erected timber road blockade near a timber camp at Long Sebayang in Sarawak's Upper Limbang region. The blockade had been set up jointly by Penan, Lun Bawang and Tabun natives in an attempt to prevent their land from being re-logged and converted into plantations by Lee Ling and its subcontractors.

"Our communities need support and we ask you to spread this news worldwide", a community spokesman said. The Bruno Manser Fund asks the Lee Ling Group to stop its violence immediately and to respect the native communities' customary rights in the Upper Limbang region.

Lee Ling Timber and the plantation company, Limba Jaya Timber, form part of the Lee Ling Group, which has its headquarters in Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak. The group is owned by the Tiang family and has been partly incorporated in Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd., which is listed on the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange. Quality Concrete is linked to the family of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud. One of Taib's sisters, Raziah Mahmud, is a member of the company's Board of Directors.


We have just got the latest blockade update regarding the situation in the Upper Limbang region of Sarawak:

According to Penan sources, the Lee Ling Timber subcontractor brought in three plainclothes police officers to the blockade site at Long Sebayang on 20 June 2010. One of the policemen was armed with a pistol. Instead of investigating a reported incident of violence against a Penan man by a timber company official, the police officers instructed the natives (Penan, Lun Bawang, Tabun) to dismantle their blockades (two blockades have been erected one of which appears to have been dismantled). The police visit at the blockade took place on 20 June betweeen 3 and 4 p.m. The police officers were using timber company vehicles, not police vehicles.

After the police left, at around 8 p.m. local time last night, the timber company manager, whose name has been reported to be Ah New (spelling might be different), hit one of the blockade supporters, Bita Pelisi, on the face and left him with his nose bleeding. Following that, the Lee Ling subcontractor announced he would bring in "more gangsters to the blockade site".

The Penan, Lun Bawang, and Tabun went to Limbang to lodge a further police report on the issue but hitherto the police have not undertaken any action. The Bruno Manser Fund urges Lee Ling Timber and contractors to immediately stop the violences against the natives and respect the communities' legitimate demands. The Royal Malaysian police is asked to investigate these incidents and to stop colluding with Lee Ling Timber.

What you can do:

Please help the Penan communities by protesting with the Royal Malaysian Police and with Quality Concrete, in which part of the Lee Ling Group is incorporated, to stop all violence and respect the community rights:

Royal Malaysian police:
Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd.:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Consequences of BP disaster

Sea creatures flee oil spill, gather near shore
Associated Press Writers Jay Reeves, John Flesher And Tamara Lush,
Wed Jun 16, 3:49 pm ET

GULF SHORES, Ala. – Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.

Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange — and troubling — phenomena.

Fish and other wildlife are fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast. But that is not the hopeful sign it might appear to be, researchers say.

The animals' presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen. Also, the animals could easily get devoured by predators.

"A parallel would be: Why are the wildlife running to the edge of a forest on fire? There will be a lot of fish, sharks, turtles trying to get out of this water they detect is not suitable," said Larry Crowder, a Duke University marine biologist.

The nearly two-month-old oil spill has created an environmental catastrophe unparalleled in U.S. history as tens of millions of gallons of have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem. Scientists are seeing some unusual things as they try to understand the effects on thousands of species of marine life.

Day by day, scientists in boats tally up dead birds, sea turtles and other animals, but the toll is surprisingly small given the size of the disaster. The latest figures show that 783 birds, 353 turtles and 41 mammals have died — numbers that pale in comparison to what happened after the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska in 1989, when 250,000 birds and 2,800 otters are believed to have died.

Researchers say there are several reasons for the relatively small death toll: The vast nature of the spill means scientists are able to locate only a small fraction of the dead animals. Many will never be found after sinking to the bottom of the sea or getting scavenged by other marine life. And large numbers of birds are meeting their deaths deep in the Louisiana marshes where they seek refuge from the onslaught of oil.

"That is their understanding of how to protect themselves," said Doug Zimmer, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For nearly four hours Monday, a three-person crew with Greenpeace cruised past delicate islands and mangrove-dotted inlets in Barataria Bay off southern Louisiana. They saw dolphins by the dozen frolicking in the oily sheen and oil-tinged pelicans feeding their young. But they spotted no dead animals.

"I think part of the reason why we're not seeing more yet is that the impacts of this crisis are really just beginning," Greenpeace marine biologist John Hocevar said.

As for the fish, locals are seeing large schools hanging around

piers where fishing has been banned; apparently the fish feel safer now that they are not being disturbed by fishermen.

Also, researchers believe fish are swimming closer to shore because the water is cleaner and more abundant in oxygen. Father out in the Gulf, researchers say, the spill is not only tainting the water with oil but also depleting oxygen levels.

A similar scenario occurs during "dead zone" periods — the time during summer months when oxygen becomes so depleted that fish race toward shore in large numbers. Sometimes, so many fish gather close to the shoreline off Mobile that locals rush to the beach with tubs and nets to reap the harvest.

But this latest shore migration could prove deadly.

First, more oil could eventually wash ashore and overwhelm the fish. They could also become trapped between the slick and the beach, leading to increased competition for oxygen in the water and causing them to die as they run out of air.

"Their ability to avoid it may be limited in the long term, especially if in near-shore refuges they're crowding in close to shore, and oil continues to come in. At some point they'll get trapped," Crowder said. "It could lead to die-offs."

The fish could also fall victim to predators such as sharks and seabirds. Already there have been increased shark sightings in shallow waters along the Gulf Coast.

The counting of dead wildlife in the Gulf is more than an academic exercise; the deaths will help determine how much BP pays in damages.

Roger Helm, chief of the Fish and Wildlife Service's contaminants division, said the government expects a battle with BP over the extent of the damage and has every incentive to be scientifically credible.

"Both sides go to their own corner and interpret the data the way they want," Helm said. "This is a legal process, and if we can't get an agreement we'll end up in court."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Papan - I have not forgotten too

I still remember the hardship faced by people in Papan, Perak. There were news everyday on that controversial dumpsite. Asian Rare Earth (ARE) produced television tube. There were huge demonstrations. Many were ISAed. People who don't live near Papan just couldn't care. I was in my 20s and was blur-blur over that hu-ha. I visited Papan a few years ago and the company ARE, was still around. Lately, Mahafiraun (aka Mamak Kutty) dares to reveal the truth. He was the one that caused all the problem and he is now telling us about the problem. What did he do then? Greatest liar on earth and also the most racist and also the most provocator of war (remember the Fortilla to Israel? - he was the organiser that like to jeopardise world peace). This is the most hypocrite creature on earth. He condemned people of Papan, he ISAed people of Papan and now he has the gut to tell about that danger. I don't know when he will repent. Can he?
Read the articles below. Google Asian Rare Earth to learn about this dark episode.

Sunday June 13, 2010
A long-drawn battle against ARE

THE people of Papan demonstrated for two months in the town and along the main road and even sent a petition written in blood before the Government decided to negotiate with them.

Papan-Pusing-Siputeh Anti-Radioacative Waste Dump committee chairman Low Tong Hooi, 69, remembers that the people of Papan and nearby towns were determined to fight Asian Rare Earth Sdn Bhd (ARE) because the issue involved the health of their future generation.

Papan resident Lau Chin Yau, 73, said almost everybody in town was involved in the demonstrations.

“Tents were set up along the main road and the people, including many from Batu Gajah, Pusing, Siputeh and Lahat, took turns to be there round the clock. We had our meals at the site as bags of rice and lots of biscuits were donated by supporters,” she said.

Nine children suffering from various sicknesses including brain tumour and leukaemia were initially registered with the Perak Anti-Radioactive Commit­tee. Five have since died.

Cheah Kok Leong is one of those alive. He receives RM150 each month from PARC chairman Hew Yoon Tat.

Cheah, 27, lives in Bukit Merah with his single mother Lam Lai Kuan, 68. He was born mentally retarded and almost blind, with cataracts in both eyes.

“I have to be at home with him to attend to his needs round the clock,” said Lam who had worked as a contract labourer in ARE while pregnant with Cheah.

“We were not informed about the materials processed there. Some people even used the waste as fertiliser, claiming that they were advised to do so by factory employees.”

A private practitioner, Dr T. Jayabalan, said he found 13 children from Bukit Merah suffering from leukaemia in 1984 and there was a high number of cancer cases among the 11,000 villagers.

Dr Jayabalan remembered that a survey he carried out in Bukit Merah showed the number of miscarriages in the village was high, adding that tests on a sample of 60 children revealed high levels of lead in their bloodstream.

However, his medical findings submitted in the villagers’ 1985 suit in the Ipoh High Court were dismissed by the judge.

Sunday June 13, 2010
Dumpsite danger

It has been 28 years but the people of Bukit Merah and Papan have not forgotten. Triggered by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent comments about the radioactive waste in Perak, The Star has unearthed some new developments there.

FOR almost 30 years, the country’s cache of dangerous radioactive waste has been stored in drums in a concrete facility – and not buried “deep in the ground” as claimed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former prime minister, commenting on the Government’s proposal to build a nuclear power plant, told a press conference on May 14 that there was ‘’a small amount’’ of nuclear waste buried in Perak and that the disposal site was still regarded unsafe.

‘’In Malaysia, we do have nuclear waste which perhaps the public is not aware of. We had to bury the amang, a by-product from tin mining.

‘’It is not radioactive but it is not good to handle. We had to bury it in Perak, deep in the ground. But the place is still not safe, and we have almost one square mile that is dangerous,” he said, adding that he did not know where the site was.

Following his remarks, The Star has discovered that 80,000 200-litre drums containing radioactive waste are currently being kept at the dump located in the Kledang Range behind Papan town. The site is about 3km from Bukit Merah and Papan and about 15km from Ipoh. And the waste is thorium hydroxide, not amang.

In fact, it is only January this year that work finally began on the building of a proper underground storage facility called an engineered cell (EC).

For the residents of Bukit Merah and Papan, Dr Mahathir’s acknowledgement of the danger comes as a bitter vindication of their long-drawn battle to stop Asian Rare Earth Sdn Bhd (ARE), a company located at the Bukit Merah Industrial Area in the 1980s, from disposing of its radioactive waste near their towns.

And if the rest of the country has forgotten what they went through 27 years ago, the people of Bukit Merah, Papan and other settlements have not.

Perak Anti-Radioactive Committee chair­man Hew Yoon Tat took Dr Mahathir to task for seemingly making light of the matter.

“The waste was never buried and the amount is not small. I would also like to remind Dr Mahathir that the radioactive waste came from a company approved by the Government to process rare earth,” he said.

Hew, 66, a butcher from Bukit Merah, added that the ARE factory extracted yytrium from monazite, one of the minerals found in amang (tin tailings), which were exported for use in high technology products.

In the production process, thorium hydroxide was produced. Both monazite and the waste contained thorium, which has a half-life of 13.9 billion years.

“Cancer-causing radon gas is released during decay,” he added.

ARE, which started production in 1982, had constructed the facility in the Kledang Range after former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam declared a proposed dumpsite on a durian hill near settlements in Papan unsafe and ordered the company to look for an alternative site.

Countering Dr Mahathir’s statement that “perhaps the public is not aware” of the waste, Hew said: “People involved in the series of protests, court case, and those whose lives were affected by ARE will never forget.

“These are the people who had suffered illnesses, braved clashes with the police during demonstrations, were arrested under the Internal Security Act, spent time away from work to show support during protests in Papan, Bukit Merah, Kuala Lumpur, and even in Tokyo.”

Hew was arrested under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang in 1987.

Papan-Pusing-Siputeh Anti-Radioacative Waste Dump committee chairman Low Tong Hooi, 69, is also astounded by Dr Mahathir’s statements.

“Why is it only now that he has admitted the radioactive dump is dangerous? In 1984, he maintained that the poorly constructed trenches for the waste in Papan in 1984 were safe,” he said.

Low added that experts from America, Britain, Canada and Japan brought in with the help of Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Consumer Associa­tion of Penang and the Environmental Protec­tion Society of Malaysia declared the factory and the dump unsafe but the Government preferred to heed another view.

Although the ARE factory ceased operations in 1994, the company still maintains an office in a Menglembu housing estate.

The Star has learnt that it was only nine years later, between 2003 and 2005, that a decommissioning and decontamination exercise was carried out at the factory.

ARE’s general manager (administration) Kazuhiko Nishikawa said that about 250,000 tonnes of contaminated equipment, concrete structure, soil and materials were removed and transported by specially designed lorries approved by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board to an engineered cell called EC1 constructed at the 41ha site in the Kledang Range at the back of Papan.

“AELB has confirmed that the former factory site has been fully cleaned and is free from radioactive contamination. The lot was returned to the state government last year,” he said in an interview.

Kazuhiko said the company was now carrying out a project to construct another engineered cell (EC2) next to EC1 to store the thorium hydroxide accumulated during ARE’s operations between May 1982 and July 1984. The EC2 will decommission the use of the present storage facility and dispose of everything underground to a depth of 10m, similar to EC1.

Details of the project took three years to be worked out and had been reviewed by local and international experts and approved by AELB, he said.

“The project was designed in accordance with international and Malaysian standards and regulations set by agencies such as the International Commission on Radiological Protection, the International Atomic Energy Agency, AELB and the Department of Occupa­tional Safety and Health.

“It is also being monitored by the Perak Government and its consultant is the Malay­sian Nuclear Agency,” he said.

Kazuhiko said 500,000 tonnes of contaminated materials comprising debris from the concrete facility which would be demolished, 80,000 drums of wastes, and soil would be sent to EC2.

ARE has tasked US-based environmental and geotechnical engineering design and construction services specialist GeoSyntec Consultants Inc and its Malaysian subsidiary, GSM Consultancy (M) Sdn Bhd, with the management and implementation of the project.

Work of the project commenced in January. AELB would supervise and inspect all works during construction and the Perak government, relevant state agencies, and the PARC would be briefed on its progress, said Kazuhiko.

GSM Consultancy (M) Sdn Bhd director Anthony Goh said EC1 had been properly designed and constructed, based on its monitoring over the past six years.

Goh said frequent monitoring at the site had been carried out since 1992 and the results reported to the AELB.

“We did not find any increase in the background level of radiation and radon gas. Tests on ground and surface water and vegetation in the area did not suggest any contamination,” said Goh.

He added that all those involved in EC2, scheduled for completion in 2013, would be given a dosimeter badge to check on contamination and would undergo medical check-ups every month.

“Mechanised handling of the drums and waste will be introduced when transferring into EC2. We will solidify and repack the waste if the drums are corroded,” he said.

He also said the operation did not pose any public risk as there was no one living within 2km from the site.

“The dump will have a 200m buffer zone from its fence where no human activities would be allowed,” he added.

Both the engineered cells would then be “capped” with a final single cover to ensure safe disposal and minimal impact to the environment, he added.

AELB will monitor the site for two years before it is handed to the state government for long-term management and maintenance to ensure security.

Kazuhiko added that ARE was bearing the cost for the project but declined to reveal the amount.

PARC’s Hew said no one could ensure that the dump would not pose any danger in the long run. He hoped that future state governments would not forget about the dump and would continue to monitor it for the sake of the people.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Penang Boleh...courtesy of Barisan Najis

June 12, 2010
Animal lab operating on the quiet for three years

BUKIT MERTAJAM: While animal lovers are up in arms over the setting up of an animal testing laboratory in Malacca, a similar facility is believed to have been operating on the quiet here for the past three years.

According to the company’s website, it is an independent contract research organisation offering toxicology services to the worldwide pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agrochemical and industrial chemical industries.

It claims to conduct toxicology tests on a range of animals. It said some animals were used for regulatory pre-clinical toxicity testing of pharmaceuticals and certain chemicals, such as agrochemicals and biocides.

The RM52mil facility includes a state-of-the-art dog unit, purpose-built to provide the highest standards of animal care and advanced study procedures.

There were also 15 animal rooms, each designed to hold up to 40 dogs and enabling the housing of one study per room, the company said in its website.

The company also said its non-human primate building included eight animal rooms.

It added that the primates would be supplied from the company’s own biosecure breeding facility.

The website stated that the company had a 3,200 sq m barriered rodent facility for short-term toxicity, carcinogenicity and reproductive toxicity studies.

The existence of such a laboratory comes as a surprise to the state Wildlife and National Parks Department, which wants to investigate the company operating at the Penang Science Park in Bukit Minyak.

Penang-based Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is shocked that the company is operating in its own “backyard” without its knowledge.

Department director Noor Alif Wira Othman said it had not issued any permit for primates to be bred for research purposes in the state.

“Breeding primates for research requires several permits such as for catching, keeping, breeding, selling or buying of the primates. We will conduct an inspection on this premises to find out if they have the necessary documentation,” he said.

SAM president S.M. Mohd Idris expressed shock and disappointment when informed about the facility.

“We have been actively fighting with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Selangor against the animal testing lab in Malacca.

“Little did we know there was a lab conducting similar activities here in Penang,” he said.

A state official-cum-animal lover, who declined to be named, said he was disappointed with the previous administration for allowing the facility to be set up in Penang.

“I believe the company had once mentioned that it chose Penang to set up the facility because the laws on animal testing in European nations were more stringent,” he said.

Former state executive councillor Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said: “The issue should not be over-politicised as I am sure proper procedures are observed to avoid causing unnecessary discomfort to the animals.”

British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research said about 115 million animals were used in scientific research globally in 2005 based on official national figures and estimates from the number of scientific papers published involving animals.

Only Liechtenstein and San Marino have banned animal testing.

A check by The Star yesterday showed that there were fewer than 15 cars parked in the compound and CCTV cameras installed around the two-storey building.

There were hardly any activity in the compound except for a few people believed to be suppliers and contractors going in and out of the premises.

When met at the entrance, a security guard claimed that the company had not started formal operations yet.

He said his boss was busy and could not see any visitors.

Although he took down the name and contact number of the reporter, and said his boss would telephone, no call came from the company.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Survival urges Malaysia to uphold tribes’ rights

Survival’s director Stephen Corry has written to the Malaysian government, urging it to uphold the rights of the Penan and other tribes of Sarawak.

Malaysia’s Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said last month that the Malaysian federal and Sarawak state governments were, ‘in the process of finalising a mechanism on how to solve the issue of native customary rights land in the state,’ according to the government news agency Bernama. The minister made his statement during the run-up to a hotly contested by-election in the Sarawak town of Sibu.

The Sarawak government does not uphold indigenous peoples’ rights to their land, and allows logging and plantation companies to operate on it without the tribes’ consent. The Penan tribe rely heavily on the forests, and have repeatedly mounted blockades to keep the logging companies out.

In letters to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Stephen Corry wrote, ‘The Sarawak government’s failure to uphold the Penan’s rights to their land is in violation of the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The activities of logging and plantation companies have impoverished them, destroying their sources of food and clean water. We are also concerned that Penan and other indigenous people are threatened with displacement for the construction of the Murum dam and other hydroelectric dams across the state, again without their consent.

‘I urge you to ensure that the rights of the Penan and other indigenous peoples of Sarawak are respected, and that all logging, plantations and other developments on their land without their consent are halted.’

Link to Survival International here

Animal testing on Cows

There are alot of stray cows in India. They should test it on cows?
Thursday June 10, 2010
‘No’ to animal testing lab plan

KUALA LUMPUR: Animal lovers, activists, a Senator and a beauty queen were among those who gathered in front of the Indian High Commission here to protest the plan by an Indian drug company to build an animal testing laboratory in Malacca.

The Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA) drove home their point by using a “rat” mascot.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Selangor chairman Christine Chin, handed a memorandum to High Commissioner Vijay Gokhale, which was received by Second Secretary Birbald Anand.

Also present at the protest was Miss Malaysia/World 2009/2010 Thanuja Ananthan.

Lyn Wong, 38, said: “People must be made more aware that testing on animals is not necessary as there are many alternatives in terms of medical research.”

Mohani Niza, 22, said the Indian company had expressed its intention to use monkeys in experiments to test drugs “because they think monkeys are not as cute as cats, but they do suffer as well.”

Also lending support was Senator Dr S. Ramakrishnan of the DAP, who said in a statement that animal testing should be banned because it was cruel, not reliable, inaccurate “and below human decency.”

It was reported that Indian drug company, Vivo Biotech, was planning to build a multi-million dollar animal testing laboratory in Malacca to test-trial medicines on primates, dogs, and small mammals.

Tioman corals dying, says diver

June 10, 2010

PULAU TIOMAN: A team of divers has found that corals here have changed colour, a signal that they are dying.

“The cabbage corals, brain corals and staghorn corals have turned white,” said Kids Scuba director and scuba educator Syed Abdul Rahman Syed Hassan.

He said the underwater temperature had also changed.

“In my numerous dives here previously, the temperature was between 25°C and 27°C. However, in my two days of underwater discovery, the temperature was at 32°C,” he said.

Syed Abdul Rahman led a group of divers on Sunday and Monday for activities at Kampong Salang and Pulau Batu Malang here.

His team dived 26m deep and about 300m from the Kampung Salang beach on the first day.

The following day, they were at the same depth at the Pulau Batu Malang coral site, which is 200m from Pulau Tulai.

Syed Abdul Rahman’s forecast was that the corals in Tioman Island would die soon due to the warmer weather.

“There are some corals which are still intact and colourful. However, most of them are changing colour, showing that they are not healthy.”

He hoped that the wet weather would come soon.

During his four-day stay in Kampong Salang, he said the villagers told him that the climate was hotter now. “What is happening to the corals is quite sad. I would not be surprised to see all of them turning white and dying,” he said.

He also said that he found more sea urchins during his dive.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Blast from the future

Evil comes from humans, never from nature. Unless human beings, especially those in power, wake up to this reality, the future of planet Earth and its inhabitants will remain balanced on the sharp edge of the knife - Stanley Koh

Thu, 03 Jun 2010
By Stanley Koh

“A gleaming explosion will transform the Earth into a glowing white cloud of gas in less that five one-hundredths of a second, while the chain reaction will run into free space with the speed of light to transform everything into gas and destroy it through exploding and burning up.

“Everything that will be pulled into the gleaming mass will fall into destruction with the speed of light and vaporize without the possibility of stopping.”

Thus writes Eduard Meier in his book Existing Life in the Universe (1978). It is his hypothetical description of a nuclear-triggered holocaust, a grotesque scenario of unimaginable devastation in which millions of human beings perish within seconds.

The threat of a global nuclear war hangs like the sword of Damocles over mankind.

“It is important to remember that while the world is concerned over the impact of global warming, starvation in too many countries, worldwide pandemics and threats of terrorism or biological weapon attacks, only nuclear weapons have the capacity to obliterate entire cities with one bomb and entire countries in massive nuclear exchanges, and perhaps destroy most life on earth,” said John D Isaacs of the Council for a Livable World a paper he presented recently at an international conference on US foreign policy held in Kuala Lumpur.

Albert Einstein was one of the most brilliant and wisest men who ever lived. After the invention of the atomic bomb, he said, “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything, save our modes of thinking. And we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophes.”

Isaacs said that before the election of Barack Obama, hawkish president George Bush was promoting a policy that made nuclear weapons a central tenet of American national security and acted not only to preserve thousands of nuclear warheads, but would have built a new generation of nuclear weapons.

“Fortunately Congress denied funding this,” he said.

“Sixty-five years after the dawn of the atomic age and despite many international negotiations to deal with the problem of nuclear weapons, there remain an estimated 23,000 nuclear weapons held by nine nuclear powers.”

The United States and Russia own more than ninety per cent of the 23,000 atomic bombs, most much larger than those that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Isaacs, who has devoted most of his life to stopping the nuclear arms race, said our planet still faced the threat of nuclear destruction although the Cold War ended 20 years ago.

The risks and fear of a nuclear attack by warring nations or by terrorists are a global problem.

No escape for anyone

Isaacs said a Malaysian journalist recently asked him why Malaysia should care about this issue. “Isn’t the nuclear threat a problem for the United States and not here?”

Many Malaysians would probably harbour the same sentiment.

In answer, Isaacs quoted former US Senator Sam Nunn, who said:

“If you were trying to draw a circle to mark the overall impact of the blast—in social, economic and security terms—the circle would be the equator itself.

“No part of the planet would escape the impact.”

Even if a relatively minor nuclear explosion occurs, life would change drastically because people everywhere would fear another, perhaps stronger, blast. Travel, international trade, capital flows, commerce would initially stop, and many freedoms we come to take for granted would quickly be eroded in the name of security.

According to Isaacs’ paper, Malaysia had played a positive role in trying to prevent such a disaster. It has passed a law aimed at blocking illicit nuclear trade by countries such as Iran, Pakistan and North Korea.

There were indications of danger in 2003 and 2004 when it was reported that smugglers had used Malaysia as a transhipment point to ferry parts useful in making nuclear bombs.

The offending shipping container bore the label of a Malaysian company, but Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has said the government was not involved.

“Malaysia is committed towards ensuring that nuclear materials and technologies do not fall into the wrong hands,” Najib said recently in address at the Nuclear Security Summit held in April and attended by the leaders of 47 countries.

On the part of the US, Obama has been forthright about the dangers of nuclear weapons.

“I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.

“As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavour alone, but we can lead it, we can start it,” Obama said in April last year.

Evil comes from humans

However, the going will not be easy for the Obama administration.

“The North Korean nuclear challenge, along with the Iranian nuclear issue, is going to be a litmus test for the Obama administration’s determination and capacity in realizing the objectives of non-proliferation (of nuclear weapons),” said Professor Choi Kang, director general for American Studies of the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS) in Seoul.

Nevertheless, a nuclear holocaust is not the only threat against a world that is already overpopulated.

The likelihood of a runaway global warning getting worse and the probability of regular “super” storms, human exploitative activities inclining toward desertification, massive floods, more frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and the melting of glaciers are just some of the threats brought on by human stupidity and the selfish use of the earth’s resources.

Evil comes from humans, never from nature. Unless human beings, especially those in power, wake up to this reality, the future of planet Earth and its inhabitants will remain balanced on the sharp edge of the knife.

Stanley Koh is a Free Malaysia Today contributor

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Postcards to the PM with a green message

Thu, 03 Jun 2010
By Michael Kaung
Source here

KOTA KINABALU: If all goes according to plan, the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya will be flooded with postcards, with an environmental message from Sabah.

Postcards to the Najib Tun Razak are the latest in a series of tactics being used by the Sabah anti-coal-fired power plant lobby to halt the construction of the controversial plant in the state.

Scores of visitors thronging the Kadazandusun Cultural Association compound during the weekend's Harvest Festival celebrations stopped by a booth set up the ground to view the postcards of a idyllic beach on the east coast of the state that may be destroyed in the name of development.

The postcards show scenes of the now pristine Dent peninsula and its tranquil waters on the east coast, which is part of the globally important Coral Triangle and where the proposed 300-megawatt plant is to be sited.

Green SURF (Sabah Re-Unite to Power the Future), a coalition of local environment groups, decided that a direct message to Najib from the people of Sabah was the best way to halt the project.

Staff of WWF-Malaysia, along with other coalition members -- Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP), Sabah Environmental Protection Association (Sepa), Malaysia Nature Society and Partners of Community Organisations (Pacos) -- spent two days explaining the issue to visitors at the festival.

Green SURF officials said visitors asked a number of questions about the proposed plant and many signed the postcards, which are also available for download at

Local entertainment celebrity Atama also dropped by the Green SURF booth and shared his views with fans on the perils of coal power, while DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang signed a petition asking the government to scrap the project.

The project called “Postcards2PM” is the brainchild of Sabah artist Yee I-Lann who wanted to do her bit for the environment now facing the threat of destruction from the impact of such a plant.

Yee took photographs of the site three years ago during a road trip and was struck by the beauty of the place.

"The Postcards2PM project was done on the spur of the moment as a way to reach out to the prime minister. I hope that if he sees the place about to be ruined, he may understand and put a stop to the coal plant.

"The prime minister is the only person who can do this," said Yee who was disappointed that the site chosen for the plant is along the most pristine coastline in Malaysia and just a hundred kilometres from the renowned Sipadan Island.

Stiff resistance

Darvel Bay, which environmentalists say will be hard hit by pollution from the plant, is the mainstay of the state's fisheries industry that is already tottering as foreign fishing fleets continue to deplete the state's marine resources.

The site near Kampung Sinakut is close to the ecologically sensitive Tabin wildlife reserve where the Borneo wild cat and leopard projects are being undertaken. Darvel Bay is said to be a rich source of food and the potential for seaweed farming is estimated at RM3 billion.

The power plant, the first in the state to run on coal, has met with stiff resistance.

Lahad Datu Energy Sdn Bhd, which will manage the plant, has said that the east coast of Sabah would benefit from the project as it would provide reliable electricity supply to the area which, in turn, would attract investors.

The detailed EIA study of the proposed site is in progress and the final report is expected to be submitted soon.

Initially, the power plant was to be located in Silam but later the site was changed to Sandakan and finally to Lahad Datu.

Those lobbying against the plant pointed out that its lucrative business links in high places have kept it on the government's agenda.

Speculation is also rife that contracts have been signed and that even money has changed hands.