Since 1981, the Malaysian state of Sarawak in Borneo has been governed by Abdul Taib Mahmud, one of the most corrupt politicians in Southeast Asia. While Taib himself has personally profited immensely from the destruction of the Borneo rainforest through logging and oil palm plantations, Sarawak’s indigenous communities have lost their land, the source of their livelihood, and have been increasingly marginalized.
Taib and his family members have used the timber wealth of Sarawak to acquire assets worth billions of dollars in Malaysia, Canada, the UK, Australia, the United States and other countries. All of these assets should be restituted to the people of Sarawak, and the Taib family should be prosecuted for corruption, the abuse of public funds, fraud, money-laundering, tax evasion and other related crimes. (Text from http://www.stop-timber-corruption.org/).
A network of activists from around the world have joined together to take action and to hold protests outside Taib-owned properties, as well as buildings and institutions that have otherwise honored him. The Borneo Project has helped spearhead protests in Seattle and San Francisco, joining forces with activists in Canada, Switzerland, and Australia, to bring light to Taib’s corruption.
Logging’s Ill-Gotten Gains Hidden in Plain Sight, by Judith Mayer, Earth Island Journal
Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia, by Lukas Straumann, Executive Director of The Bruno Manser Fund.