Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blacklisted Illegal-Logging Tycoon Involved In Running Malaysian World Heritage Site

Every tourist visiting the Gunung Mulu National Park contributes to enriching the Taib and the Yaw families - the main culprits in the destruction of Sarawak's tropical rainforest.

By Bruno Manser Fonds

Corruption scandal over the Gunung Mulu National Park widens as Samling owner Yaw Teck Seng and his family holding are identified as significant shareholders of the Royal Mulu Resort

Yaw Teck Seng, the controlling shareholder of the controversial Samling timber group, holds a significant equity stake in Borsamulu Resorts, a company that manages all the tourism activities in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak's UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. Samling has recently been blacklisted by the Norwegian Government because of its involvement in large-scale illegal logging and environmental destruction in Malaysia and Guyana.

Research by the Bruno Manser Fund has shown that two companies, Sarawak Land and Plieran, who hold a 26% stake in Borsamulu Resorts, are closely related to Samling. Sarawak Land is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Yaw family holding that controls Samling. Plieran is jointly owned by Samling founder Yaw Teck Seng and four children of the Sarawak Chief Minister via two front companies, KBE (Malaysia) and Daya Syukra.

Last week's disclosure that Chief Minister Taib Mahmud has a personal stake in Borsarmulu Resort, a company directed by Taib's sister Raziah and her husband, has provoked a storm of outrage in Sarawak. The new findings mean that every tourist visiting the Gunung Mulu National Park contributes to enriching the Taib and the Yaw families - the main culprits in the destruction of Sarawak's tropical rainforest - while the local Berawan and Penan communities hardly benefit from the conservation area at all.

Berawan community protests against Borsarmulu Resort, the Taib- and Samling-owned management company of the Gunung Mulu National Park.

Corruption must not be allowed to be part of a World Heritage Site.

The Bruno Manser Fund is to lodge a complaint with the UNESCO World Heritage Committee concerning the management and ownership structures of the Gunung Mulu National Park. Corruption must not be allowed to be part of a World Heritage Site. The Bruno Manser Fund is asking the Sarawak state government to hand over the Royal Mulu Resort and the management of the park facilities to the local communities whose native lands have been taken off them for the National Park.


Also read: Double ‘green energy’ threat to Borneo tribes’ rainforest at Malaysia Today.

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