Press Statment 9 August 2019
In conjunction with the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) wishes to repeat our request to the federal government to conduct ground visits in order to understand in detail how monoculture plantations in Sarawak have caused deforestation and the violations of the native customary rights (NCR). We first put this request forward during the launching of our publication, The Land We Lost – Native customary rights and monoculture plantations in Sarawak, on July 21.
This publication stresses on how we must understand the context of large monoculture plantations in Sarawak accurately. First, they involve deforestation. Second, they are a post-logging development, a result of the depletion in timber resources, caused by indiscriminate logging conducted for more than two decades. Third, they involve NCR violations. Fourth, the excessive size of the plantations does matter, along with the manner and context in which the projects are developed, typically by corporations. As such, we continue to be supportive towards any effort to protect the interests of smallholders all over the country. Fifth, the Licence for Planted Forests (LPF) under the jurisdiction of the Sarawak Forests Department, of which 285,520 hectares are under oil palm cultivation, in principle, is the permit for the cultivation of pulp and paper and timber trees. In 2017, the size of LPF areas stood at 2.8 million hectares, larger than the size of oil palm cultivation in Sarawak, which according to the data from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), stood at 1.5 million hectares.Read more
LETTER TO EDITOR 14 February 2019
SAM has recently received reports from the Penan community of Kampung Batu Bungan in Mulu, Sarawak that in January this year, road construction for an oil palm plantation began to encroach on their customary territory, which is adjacent to the Gunung Mulu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Area. In response, the community had set up a blockade and lodged a police report in Marudi to halt the encroachment. However, the blockade was then reportedly dismantled by the road construction workers.
In September last year, the federal Minister of Plantation Industries announced that the new government will not allow any more expansion of oil palm plantations in the country in its effort to ensure that Malaysia maintains a 50 per cent forest cover. By December, Sarawak was also reported to be committed to this. Although we applaud this move, as the Kampung Batu Bungan case shows, there are still many unresolved issues surrounding the matter.
According to the Sarawak Forests Department, under its Licence for Planted Forests (LPF) system, 43 timber tree plantation licences have been issued over 2.8 million hectares. These licences are located on both the reserved permanent forest estates as well as non-reserved stateland forests. Some of the licences are also allowed to devote not more than 20 per cent of their concession areas for the cultivation of oil palm. Plantable areas are estimated to be at 1.3 million hectares and 285,520 hectares for timber trees and oil palm, respectively. As of December 2013, 325,314 hectares and 146,578 hectares have been planted with timber trees and oil palm, respectively.Read more
Meeting between communities from Marudi and Tinjar with a few Sarawak State Assemblypersons and SAM. Picture: SAM
Press Statement 08 October 2018
In Miri today, SAM arranged for two groups of indigenous communities from Marudi and Tinjar, Baram, to meet Sarawak state assemblypersons with the aim of halting the violations of their native customary rights (NCR) by oil palm plantation projects.Read more
Mesyuarat ADUN di Miri bersama penduduk-penduduk Marudi dan Tinjar. Gambar: SAM
Kenyataan Akhbar 08 Oktober 2018
Di Miri hari ini, SAM telah mengatur pertemuan antara dua buah kumpulan Orang Asal, yakni dari Marudi dan Tinjar, Baram, dan ahli-ahli dewan undangan negeri Sarawak dengan tujuan menghentikan pencabulan hak tanah adat (NCR) mereka oleh projek-projek perladangan sawit.Read more
Hari Antarabangsa Orang Asal Sedunia 2018: Ketelusan tentang projek perladangan sawit untuk masyarakat Iban di Marudi
Penduduk-penduduk Rumah Beliang di Sarawak. Kredit Gambar: Rumah Beliang, Sarawak
Kenyataan Akhbar 09 Ogos 2018
Bersempena dengan Hari Antarabangsa Orang Asal Sedunia 2018, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) ingin menyuarakan kegusaran kami terhadap rancangan untuk membangunkan projek perladangan sawit di Marudi, Baram, yang akan menjejaskan hak tanah adat (NCR) sekurang-kurangnya 20 buah kampung masyarakat Iban. Wilayah-wilayah adat ini bukan sahaja masih ada kawasan yang berhutan, malah terdapat banyak sekali ladang-ladang (temuda) para penduduk yang produktif, yang menjadi sumber pendapatan dan makanan yang penting untuk mereka.Read more
Letter to the Editor Aug 8, 2017
SAM is gravely concerned with the proposal to proceed with the construction of the Trusan dam in Lawas, Sarawak, as announced by its Chief Minister on July 21. The dam has a planned generation capacity of 275 MW. It is one of the 12 hydroelectric projects proposed for Sarawak, which also include the Murum, Baram and Baleh dams. The Murum dam has already been completed. The construction of the Baleh dam, with a planned generation capacity of 1,285 MW, is expected to commence in October 2018 and completed in 2025.
However, the construction of the Baram dam was called off by the former Chief Minister of Sarawak, the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem, in March 2016, amid the sustained blockade and protest by affected communities. As reported by Channel News Asia later in May 2016, Adenan stressed that the cancellation of the Baram dam was the result of his examination on the matter. “Thereʼs no need to have another big dam. We can have mini dams and so on, but not a big dam especially when we donʼt supply (power) to west Malaysia anymore.”Read more
Banjir kilat di Sg Linei, Sarawak Gambar: SAM
Berikutan daripada hujan lebat yang berlaku pada sebelah malam pada 19 Januri 2017, sebahagian jalan masuk ke beberapa buah kampung kawasan Marudi dan Linei telah ditenggelami air. Beberapa buah jambatan menuju ke Kampung Sg Linei juga rosak teruk akibat aliran air deras. Laluan jalan kenderaan menghala ke Kampung Sungai Linei dikatakan yang paling teruk akibat banjir ini.
Jambatan Buang, Sarawak Gambar: SAM
Clean Malaysia May 07, 2016
Indigenous Penan communities in Sarawak are mad at the continued destruction of their ancestral forests and they won’t be taking it any more. The Penans, who have traditionally been semi-nomadic forest-dwellers, want all logging stopped in the remote Upper Baram region of Sarawak and the area declared a protected national park.
James Lalo Keso, a former penghulu (paramount chief) in the community of Long Lamai, has sent a poetically poignant letter to the state’s Chief Minister Adenan Satem, urging him to impose a moratorium on all logging. Click to read
Borneo Post Online May 06, 2016
KUCHING: The Penan communities in upper Baram are requesting for a moratorium on the logging activities in their area and for the government to convert it into a National Park to sustain their livelihood.
According to a former Penan penghulu of Long Lamai James Lalo Keso, they were in fact pleased with the government’s interest in the realisation of a park in their area. Click to read
FMT News April 24, 2016
BAKUN: The Sarawak state government is ready to consider a request by natives of the Bakun area, now resettled 60km at Sungai Asap longhouse, for permission to cultivate their native land near the Bakun dam, said State Land Development Minister James Jemut Masing.
He said discussions would be held with the relevant authorities by the state government and Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd, the operator of the Bakun hydroelectric power plant and dam. Click to read