Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem has been urged to investigate claims made in the book ‘Money Logging’ as part as his stance against corruption in the timber industry.
PKR Sarawak chief Baru Bian said that an impartial probe on the evidences provided in the book by Swiss author Lukas Straumann is in order so the state’s name is not tainted globally.
“The scale of corruption exposed is the reason that Sarawak is one of the poorest states in Malaysia despite being wealthy in natural resources.
"The ‘big fish’ is still swimming freely in cool waters while the smaller fish are feeling the heat.
“This is the one big thing that has ‘painted a bad name on us internationally’, to borrow the chief minister’s words,” Baru (right) told reporters today.
Baru was referring to the book launched in Kuching recently, which implicates long-time Sarawak CM and now governor Abdul Taib Mahmud in corruption in the timber industry.
Abdul Taib has issued letters of demand to the publisher, author and distributor of the book, claiming defamation.
Baru was commenting on the Adenan’s call on the timber industry to halt any form of corruption and illegal logging.
Adenan, however, later clarified that he did not accuse the industry of corruption, but rather reminded it against graft.
The Ba’Kelalan MP also urged Adenan to heed the grouses of the indigenous community who are struggling to defend their native customary rights against dam builders, who are empowered by the state.
Baru, who has represented many native communities in customary land disputes, said agreements signed for land clearing for the purpose of these dams should also be scrutinised for elements of corruption.
He also urged Adenan to reconsider the state’s “dam-frenzy”, as the building of 12 hydroelectric dams in the state is displacing thousands of natives.
Walk the talk
He said that while Adenan’s stand and the signing of a corporate integrity pledge by timber players are commendable, it is the implementation of the pledge which matters more.
“What the chief minister has done is a start, but the results must be seen, if the skeptics and cynics are to be convinced," he said, calling on all to support Adenand’s (left) stand.
Baru also called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Comission (MACC) to take the CM’s statement seriously.
He urged that the MACC be given enough resources and protection if necessary, to probe the complaints.
He said that this is as ultimately, the people judge based the prosecutions and convictions, and not mere pledges.