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Armed loggers threaten Borneo natives

10 December 2010
For immediate release
BRUNO MANSER FUND, BASEL / SWITZERLAND

Armed loggers threaten Borneo natives

Malaysian company Sentiasa Maju has threatened a protesting Iban community with guns – police accused of collusion with the loggers

KAMPUNG GRAN (SARAWAK), MALAYSIA. Sentiasa Maju, a Malaysian logging company operating in the state of Sarawak in Borneo, is being accused of intimidating protesting locals with guns. The locals from a native Iban community were defending their fruit and rubber trees against destruction by Sentiasa Maju's bulldozers. According to Sarawak Report, villagers from Kampung Gran near Sri Aman said that an employee of Sentiana Maju waved a gun at them and announced that “the company has many gangsters it can deploy.” The incident reportedly took place on 4 December 2010. A short video sequence recorded on a mobile phone shows a Sentiasa Maju bulldozer driver equipped with a gun.

According to witnesses from the Iban village, the Malaysian police refused to take notice of complaints lodged by the villagers and protected the Sentiasa Maju employees in a manner that runs counter to the law. There are further irregularities in respect of the logging company's record with the Malaysian Companies Commission. Sentiasa Maju's Companies Commission record fails to specify the company's shareholders, despite the fact that it was registered in 1980 already.

The Bruno Manser Fund is protesting against the blatantly illegal operations being carried out by Sentiasa Maju and is demanding that the Malaysian authorities immediately launch a criminal investigation against Sentiasa Maju and the local police officers who are colluding with the company. The investigation should also shed light on the question of who the owners of Sentiasa Maju are, and why the company was permitted not to have its shareholders registered with the Companies Commission.

- Ends -
The video evidence is available online under the following link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4PJcV-u7PA

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