Gangsters in Bakun and in Sarawak’s jungles!

Posted on August 23, 2011

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Sarawak gangsters…they’re everywhere it seems!

A few years back, they made national headlines when Sibu’s notorious gangster boss was locked up (but now sort of free, as he’s under restricted residence up north).

At the time, the stories that came out, especially from the gangsta’s paradise of Sarawak was that they were charging “tax” on eggs and other sundry items that were sold in gangsta’s paradise market.

In the outskirts, there were even stories of owners of rubber estates and fruit orchards who lived in fear as they were terrorised by gangsters who plied their trade and “controlled” the economy in the rural areas.

Now The Borneo Post has uncovered another one of their activities – illegal logging.

The reason that they’re operating so far from civilization is probably because the money is too good to pass up.

That is why right now, according to The Borneo Post they’re harvesting logs illegally and with impunity at Bakun lake! 

Bakun Lake has such a huge eco-tourism potential and could bring millions, if not billions of Ringgit for our beloved State, in terms of future tourism revenue.

For these gangsters and illegal loggers, who are harvesting timber even to the edges of the lake waters, all this doesn’t matter.

For them, logging represents a quick buck.

It doesn’t matter to them if the lake water in Bakun turns to the all-too-familiar teh tarik colour, from its beautiful clear colour now.

Sustainable logging doesn’t mean a thing to them!

Our only hope is that the proper authorities handle the situation soon.

Since the security forces in our State are under the Federal authorities, maybe they should focus on this more seriously because what these gangsters are doing is akin to terrorism, especially when they terrorise the residents in the area, and threaten the economic prosperity of our beloved State.

When I think about it that way, maybe it’s time we send in the army!

Whatever the solution we do come up, let’s not just take a short-term view of the problem.

Let’s also hope the authorities concerned come up with effective long-term solutions that are both practical and sustainable.

 

 

How The Borneo Post ran the story:

Illegal loggers protected by gangsters harvesting logs and creating fear for the past 10 months

August 23, 2011, Tuesday

– Photo from Borneo Post Online

BINTULU: Illegal loggers and gangsters have been harvesting logs illegally and with impunity at Bakun lake for the past 10 months, disturbing and hampering the daily collection of debris in it.

The presence of these outsiders has created fear among locals looking for fish, wild animals and other jungle produce to make a living.

Representatives of the Orang Ulu in Belage led by Pemanca Umek Jeno, Pemanca Tony Kulleh and Pemanca Ajang Sirek expressed concern over the possibility of untoward incidents occurring among the local people or between rival business groups involved in this illegal activity.

They urged the government to act immediately – through its enforcement and security agencies – against rampant illegal logging activities being carried out by these outsiders around the Bakun lake area.

“They have brought in heavy machinery, tugboats, speedboats and longboats to the area and some even engaged well-armed ‘gangsters’ for protection and to threaten others,” they said. Another complaint from local residents is logs from the illegal logging often cause log jams at the jetty near the dam site, said the leaders.

“We hope the authorities concerned will act fast and put a stop to this as it is not good for the district and can jeopardise the safety of residents involved in site clearing for fish-farming projects in the lake.

“Some locals who do the clearing for fish farming complain that they were forced to sell the logs they fell to these so-called Bakun gangsters.”

http://www.theborneopost.com/2011/08/23/illegal-loggers-protected-by-gangsters-harvesting-logs-and-creating-fear-for-the-past-10-months/