All posts by YH Law

彭亨伐木项目加剧原住民土地权的斗争

一个位于彭亨州的种植项目将砍伐大约85平方公里的森林。居住当地的原住民自2019年就反对此项目。然而,发展商获得了有原住民签名的同意书,显得居民似乎转态支持伐木及种植项目了。到底这些同意书背后的真相是什么呢?

原著:刘耀华;翻译:万绮珊

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奥玛拉尼(Omar Rani)是一名来自彭亨Kampung Berengoi的原住民。他和村里的原住民都是文盲。他们自称:“我们从未上过学。”

去年,他们被要求签署一封同意书,以获得YP Olio私人有限公司提供的免费房子。尽管他们对纸上一个字都看不懂,但他们还是签了字。他们信任的是陪同该公司代表前来的政府官员。

(照片: 在彭亨州的Kampung Berengoi 和 Kampung Mesau的原住民村民齐声抗议发展商在他们的习俗地上伐木。拉尼吉纳(左一), 萨尼科蒂 (左二), 奥玛拉尼(中坐), 马鲁夫阿都拉(右一) | 摄影:Aminah A/P Tan Kay Hoe.)

Continue reading 彭亨伐木项目加剧原住民土地权的斗争

Pembasmian Hutan di Pahang menghambat perjuangan hak tanah Orang Asli

Sebuah projek perladangan di Pahang akan membasmi hutan primer seluas 85km2. Projek ini dibantah oleh penduduk Orang Asli sejak 2019. Namun demikian, terdapat dua surat persetujuan yang ditandatangani penduduk Orang Asli yang kononnya menyuarakan sokongan untuk projek tersebut. Apa sebenarnya yang terjadi?

Diterjemahkan daripada Bahasa Inggeris oleh Adriana Nordin Manan.

Read this article in English. 点击阅读中文版.

OMAR RANI ialah penduduk Orang Asli dari Kampung Berengoi, Pahang. Beliau dan teman Orang Asli sekampung buta huruf – atau seperti dibahasakan mereka: “Kami tidak bersekolahan.”

Tahun lepas, mereka diminta menandatangani surat untuk menerima rumah percuma daripada sebuah syarikat swasta, YP Olio Sdn Bhd. Meskipun tidak memahami sepatah perkataan yang tertulis, Omar dan penduduk sekampung bersetuju untuk menandatangan; mereka percaya kepada pegawai kerajaan yang menemani wakil syarikat.

(Foto: Penduduk Orang Asli di Kampung Berengoi and Kampung Mesau, Pahang, menyuara bantahan mereka terhadap pembalakan atas tanah adat mereka. Rani (kiri pertama), Sani (kiri kedua), Omar (duduk tengah), Abdullah (kanan pertama) | Jurugambar: Aminah A/P Tan Kay Hoe.)

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Deforestation project in Pahang exacerbates Orang Asli land rights struggle

A plantation project in Pahang wants to clear almost 85km2 of primary forest. The Orang Asli who live on the site have been protesting the logging since 2019. But there are two letters signed by the illiterate villagers which purportedly show their support for the logging. What happened?

A version of this story first appeared on Southeast Asia Globe on 21 June 2021.

Baca artikel dalam Bahasa Malaysia. 点击阅读中文版

OMAR RANI is an Orang Asli who lives in the village of Kampung Berengoi in Pahang. Omar and his fellow Orang Asli villagers are illiterate – or as they put it: “We haven’t gone to school”.

Last year, they were asked to sign letters to receive free houses from private company YP Olio Sdn Bhd. Though unable to read a word, Omar and the villagers signed them; they trusted the government officers who accompanied the company’s representatives.

(Photo: The Orang Asli at Kampung Berengoi and Kampung Mesau gathered to speak out against logging around their homes. Rani (first left), Sani (second left), Omar (seated center), Abdullah (first right). Pic by Aminah A/P Tan Kay Hoe.)

Continue reading Deforestation project in Pahang exacerbates Orang Asli land rights struggle

Can Oil Palm Explain The Lower Forest Loss Here?

Last year, tropical forest loss increased worldwide but Malaysia cut down less than it did the previous year, the fourth year it has done so. What explains this good news?

[First posted on 27 April, 12.17pm.]

Last year, the world lost 12% more tropical forest than it did in 2019, according to satellite census by forest monitoring platform Global Forest Watch. Malaysia bucked the global trend: it lost less. 

In fact, Malaysia has trimmed its primary forest losses four years in a row. Losses fell from about 185,000 hectares in 2016 to nearly 73,000 hectares in 2020 (Figure 1).

At the same time, there is a slow down in the expansion of the sector most frequently linked to deforestation – oil palm. Oil palm area in Malaysia contracted in 2020 – the first drop in 44 years.

Could this explain Malaysia’s recent downtrend in primary forest losses? And can we expect forest loss to drop further?

(Photo: Malaysia has been losing less primary forest since 2016. Graph: YH Law)

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Forest-use: The Public Wants A Say

#FORESTFILES: PART 4

Juggling between development and environmental conservation is difficult when it comes to forest-use. But there are ways to be more inclusive. This is Part 4 of Forest Files.

MALAYSIA has had decades of continuous economic and population growth since independence.

In 2019, the country achieved a gross domestic production (GDP) of about RM1.5 trillion, more than a hundred-times the GDP in the 1960s. The population almost quadrupled over the same period.

However, before Malaysia industrialised in the 1980s, it exploited its natural resources, including its most accessible at that time: primary forests, some of the oldest in the world.

(Public participation allows citizens affected by forest-use change to voice out; pictured at the North Kuala Langat Forest Reserve degazettement townhall are [clockwise from top] Kg OA Pulau Kempas’s Tonjoi Bin Pipis and Batin Raman Pahat, and Kg OA Busut Baru’s Rosnah Anak Senin. Pics by Shakila Zen/KUASA)

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Revenue and Power Drive Forest Area Changes

#FORESTFILES: PART 3

To understand forest-use dynamics in Peninsular Malaysia, one must know how state governments – the sole authority on land use – perceive forests. This is Part 3 of Forest Files.

IN AUGUST 2019, when then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched a forestry exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, he took the audience down memory lane.

“At the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, as the Prime Minister of Malaysia back then, I made a pledge that Malaysia is committed to maintain at least 50 percent of our land mass under forest cover,” said Mahathir.

(Photo: Logs, like these harvested from a permanent reserve forest in Johor, are an important source of revenue for many state governments. Pic by YH Law.)

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Excision – The Main Threat to Forests in Peninsular Malaysia

#FORESTFILES: PART 2

Decades ago, rampant logging looked set to decimate forests in Malaysia. That is no longer the case but a less familiar force is driving forest change – one over which state governments have full control. This is Part 2 of the Forest Files series.

THE 1970s were the golden age of logging in Peninsular Malaysia, veteran loggers told Macaranga.

Then the federal government came up with the National Forestry Policy in 1978 and the National Forestry Act in 1984 to promote sustainable forestry in the country.

(Photo: A new road snakes through a permanent reserve forest bloc in Johor which was last logged in the 1970s. Composite pic by YH Law.)

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Forest Loss: Under Whose Watch?

How much forest loss is too much? And are the drivers of this loss the same as in the past? In Forest Files, Macaranga examines the dynamics and mechanics of forest-use changes in Malaysia. Our four-part In-Depth series focuses on Peninsular Malaysia, where more forests were lost in the last 30 years than in East Malaysia.

In Part 1, we look at how much forest we actually have, forest-use policies, and forestry decision-makers. In Part 2, we consider a key driver of forest loss – excision from permanent reserve forests. Part 3 asks what drives decision-makers and we end with Part 4 on how citizens could influence forest-use.

(Photo: A bird’s eye view of the protected primary hill and lowland rainforest of the Royal Belum State Park, 2003. Pic by SK Chong/Sasyaz Holdings)

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What Conservationists Want In Budget 2021

ACCORDING to the Parliamentary schedule, the Malaysian government will table Budget 2021 in the Parliamentary meeting on 6 November. 

The Budget would reflect the government’s plans to carry the country out of the pandemic woes of 2020. 

Malaysians have had a troubled year. Our lives, economy and national policies were derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic and unexpected changes in the Federal government and state governments of Johor, Melaka, Kedah and Sabah

Many conservation groups struggled to keep finances and operations running.

Amidst the turbulence, Malaysians continue to see our environment degrade: pollution of rivers and coasts; clear-felling and degazettement of forest reserves for economic activities; human-elephant conflicts; and poaching. 

Continue reading What Conservationists Want In Budget 2021

Racing to Save a Plantation of Rare Trees

The bulldozing of millions of rainforest trees in private plantation Penawar Hutan has raised the profile of the value of gene banks for conservation.

IN FEBRUARY, endangered tree species in a plantation in Perak, whose lease had expired, were destroyed by a state-linked company. Mounting public concern brought the matter to the Menteri Besar who quickly stopped the bulldozing. The fate of the trees remains in limbo.

The 200-acre tree plantation in Tanjung Malim is owned and operated by private entity Penawar Hutan Sdn Bhd. It housed up to 2.5 million trees of hundreds of species.

(Photo: Penawar Hutan’s Sheila Ramasamy (left) showing the Perak Menteri Besar’s press secretary Adie Suri Zulkefli a bulldozed section of the plantation, Feb 24, 2020. Credit: YH Law)

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