Sarawak govt knows best, Taib tells environmentalists


Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is not amused with activists calling for environmental protection in the state. “Before they open their mouth, they must understand what is happening now. There is no government project which will destroy the environment,” he was quoted as saying.

Come again? Okay, no “government projects” – but what about private sector projects approved by the government? Are they really environmentally sustainable? We all know the answer to that!

“The government also has the responsibility to ensure that members of the future generation inherit the good environment,” he added.

The million dollar question is, is the government living up to that responsibility? Where have all the rainforests gone?

So the Sarawak state government is concerned about economic prosperity. But economic prosperity for whom? Who gets the lion’s share of this “prosperity”? Which companies will benefit from all these logging and dam projects?

This report from The Borneo Post:

We’ll decide our own future, Taib tells activists

KUCHING: Environmentalists may have their say on the environment but it would be the people in the government who decide on how best to charter the course of the state’s future and also to further develop its economy.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, in stressing this here yesterday, said the 12 hydro-electricity dams would go on for the sake of economic development despite the constant criticisms, sometimes destructive, coming from certain activists.

“They voice their concerns but the government decides.

“And we have to weigh development and its impact on the environment,” he said, adding that he could not allow a small group to decide on the betterment and the future of the people.

He added such development would enhance the economy which would then benefit the people of the state.

Taib was speaking during an interview in connection with the state’s 45th independence anniversary at his office here.

He said criticisms, particularly from some environmentalists, only focused on their own point of view or concerns but failed to consider other aspects including economic prosperity.

“What will the people get in the future if they listen to these activists who want the projects dropped?

“After they had protested, would the economic-related problems like hunger and poverty be solved?” he asked.

On the other hand, the government was looking at all angles and perspectives including the economy and the social and environmental factors before implementing or even planning such projects, he pointed out.

He added that it was contrary to what the environmentalists thought because they only looked at the aspect of conservation of the environment.

Should he ever discuss the issue with the environmentalists, Taib said, first of all they must understand the criteria of sustainable and balanced development.

Most importantly, they must understand what the Sarawak government intended to do to generate economic activities.

“Before they open their mouth, they must understand what is happening now. There is no government project which will destroy the environment.

“The government also has the responsibility to ensure that members of the future generation inherit the good environment,” he said.

The government’s plan to build the 12 hydro-electricity dams in Sarawak has been criticised by environmentalists.  Among other things, they questioned the impact on Mulu National Park, if the Tutoh dam goes on.

They also worry that the dams would lead to the destruction of Borneo’s natural environment and wildlife and also the displacement of the rural people.

Besides Tutoh, the other proposed dams are located at Ulu Air, Metjawah, Belaga, Baleh, Belepeh, Lawas, Limbang, Baram, Murum and Linau rivers.

The plan which seeks to meet future industrialisation needs would also include an extension of the Batang Ai dam.

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Andrew T. Y. Lim

Sarawak is the only State that have not adopted the Manual Saliran Mesra Malaysia ( MASMA ) since 2001. Why???

Andrew T. Y. Lim

Sarawak is the only State that have not adopted the Manual Saliran Mesra Alam Malaysia ( MASMA ) since 2010. Why???


I got an idea… Take Taib and his family and bring them to my village to live there in a week or a month. Live like other villagers without compromise… Okay ke??


what does this taib mahmud know about environment? sustainable? what sustainable? if he ever learn about environment, he sure knows about the future impact of his projects…

why need so many dams? bakun dam enough meh? bakun dam more than enough to generate electricity for thousand years in sarawak….

Delren Douglas

In the last one year, I have had the rare opportunity and privilege to travel and live in the state of Sarawak. In the travels, I stayed in each of the following towns for a month, Kapit, Mukah, Batu Niah and Bintangor and a week each in Sibu and Miri. Having stayed in those places and experiencing first hand the conditions there, let me share some of the difficulties the people there face in going about their daily lives. Firstly, the road conditions are horrible. The trunk roads leading to Mukah from Sibu are one of the worst in Sarawak.… Read more »


Hei ‘white hair’, the RAKYAT didn’t put you there to do as you please. Was the RAKYAT’s opinion sought? You are there because of the RAKYAT and you should respect our views. This only shows that the BN … only has greed on their minds. Anyway, you (people’s political) days are numbered.

mike iskaner

i am tired of how the state is being run, how much longer are we going to really live under the occupation of such regime? i long to see equality & real independence.


This is the mindset of leaders Staying too long in power He thinks he can manipulate his one way track view He thinks he knows best about environment The natives know how to treat the forests They live there for generations and after generations Now look at the forests in our country It has slowly dying by the greedy corporate and state leaders Telling us they know best………………! If they do We don’t have so many eco problems here Even in my area hill cutting for houses still do I don’t know what the authority think sitting in the cool… Read more »


This story get me MORE DAMMMMM ANGRY.
This people said they knows the best for people.
This people know the best how to con people.
THIS PEOPLE CALL LEADERS is a real DEMON for the people.

rajraman666.still looking for my last frontier from this DEMON.


Arrogance is the word what this bn govt is all about.They will not stop the rape and plunder of Malaysia till they are overthrown.


just two questions.

who is going to buy the excess energy? setting up more polluting and energy gobbling industries such as aluminium smelting?

who is going to get all the timber? your croneis…? (which firm) gonna get the lion share again?

guess, too many questions for you, Taib?


I’ve been following your posts about the Sarawak dam situation for quite awhile. It’s very refreshing to finally find a writer who calls a spade a spade in this damn matter. Please continue to write about this and the other fishy business that has been carrying on for so long. Sarawakians can smell the stink in their land coming from the state’s highest offices, but corruption and abuse of the media has been entrenched for so long and so deeply it’s gonna take a while for local socio-political bloggers to establish themselves and their networks, and for the locals to… Read more »


Yo Bro Anil

Where you been dozing off man? In the oil palm derainforested music festival?

“Before they open their mouth, they must understand what is happening now. There IS NOW no government project which will destroy the environment,” he was quoted as saying.


All that was already gloriously achieved under MP8. Didn’t you know?

Apologise or be prepared to be sued for RM 100 hornbillion !! lol


No government project?? Heck. The projcts (allegedly) all goes to his own stable of companies albeit under, ostentatiously, the names of other members of his family. For the people? Heck. Do you know of anyone who hijacks a heriage site for himself? Witness Mulu Resort smack in the Mulu reserve. And that highly destructive airport in that area. Heck. DO you know of anyone … in the world who would … alienate himself again, premium land – with water fronts -along the narrow to Santubong? As if he is the only who can provide and bring development benefits in Sarawak?… Read more »


The S’wak government should really be careful with their projects, whether it is to build dams or for oil palm plantations.

Here in NZ, already there are groups wanting to boycott products that use palm oil, saying that oil palm plantations are the ONE threat to orang utans, with Malaysia spearheading the list of “bad countries”.


CM’s lamentative curse should read like this:

[quote]“Before they open their mouth, they must understand what is happening now. There is no government project which will destroy the environment,”[/quote] =

“Hey, environmentalists, you must keep your bloody mouth shut. This is my land. I am the ruler here. My ministers and I rule here and we are in full power here. Don’t you dare stop my mission. Damn you. It’s my lang, so I will do what I want to do. Who cares?”

Sun Yat Sen

Of course we know the government knows best how to muck up the environment. So if Taib is concerned for the environment why is he negative about environmentalists? If Taib is concerned about economic prosperity then leave the environment alone. Look at Singapore – they clean up their rivers and conserve their environment and that is why they have economic prosperity. Taib should come clean and leave the environment alone.


Meeting some future need….when they can’t even meet our present basic needs properly. Maybe we should vote for them in the future, distant, most definitely.