Wednesday , 27 May 2015

International Hydropower Association accused of excluding indigenous peoples and supporting Taib’s corruption

Notice: Undefined index: tie_hide_meta in /var/www/html/world-wire.com/wp-content/themes/sahifa/framework/parts/meta-post.php on line 3

One month before the hydropower World Congress is due to be staged in Kuching, Malaysia, dam-affected communities and NGOs are criticizing the hydropower lobby organization’s cooperation with the corrupt regime of Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud.
 
KUCHING, Malaysia / LONDON, UK, April 30, 2013 –/WORLD-WIRE/– The International Hydropower Association (IHA), an industry body that claims to promote the ‘sustainable’ use of hydroenergy, has come under fire over organizing its upcoming World Congress in Sarawak. The Malaysian state of Sarawak is infamous for corruption and the disfranchisement of its indigenous peoples. Hydropower is a particularly hot issue in Sarawak at the moment due to the state government’s plans to displace thousands of indigenous people to make way for twelve new dams in the Borneo rainforest.
 
In a letter to IHA director Richard Taylor, Sarawak’s SAVE Rivers Network, together with NGOs from Switzerland and the US, criticize the industry body for banning the people of Sarawak who are affected by the dam from the World Congress by levying prohibitive admission fees. Admission to the Congress, which will be discussing issues of the utmost importance for the future of Sarawak’s native communities threatened by the dams, costs 1950 US dollars.
 
“By pricing low-income communities out of your conference, you are complicit in denying affected communities a voice,” the NGOs write. “We, the affected communities and the undersigned supporting NGOs therefore demand that IHA give free access to the congress to at least 20 affected people and an opportunity to talk.”
 
Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is currently under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). He is known to have abused his political position to grant timber and plantation concessions to members of his family. Consequently, his family has amassed stakes in over 300 Malaysian companies during his thirty years in power. Companies owned by the Taib family have also profited from state contracts granted by Sarawak’s state-owned power supplier and dam-implementer, Sarawak Energy.
 
Aware of these allegations of corruption against Sarawak Chief Minister Taib, the signatories of the letter criticize IHA for holding their World Congress at the Borneo Convention Centre, a building complex constructed and run by the family of Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud. While Taib’s sister Raziah Mahmud Geneid is the chairperson of the centre, Taib’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib is one of its directors.
 
“It is an absolute scandal that the IHA has chosen the Taib family’s Borneo Convention Centre for their congress,” said Bruno Manser Fund director, Lukas Straumann. “The congress centre’s operators are the very same people who are the main beneficiaries of Sarawak’s corruption-driven dam plans. We demand that the IHA immediately change the conference venue. Otherwise, the IHA will lose all credibility in addressing corruption in the hydropower sector.”
 
The International Hydropower Association’s World Congress is taking place from 21 to 24 May 2013 in Kuching, Malaysia. It is expected to attract more than 500 hydropower experts from around the globe.
 
For more information on corruption and human rights violations in Sarawak:
Bruno Manser Fund (2012) “Sold Down the River”, http://www.stop-corruption-dams.org/resources/Sold_down_the_river_BMF_dams_report.pdf

Bruno Manser Fund (2012) “The Taib Timber Mafia”, http://stop-timber-corruption.org/resources/BMF_Taib_family_report_2012_09_20.pdf
 
Contact:
Bruno Manser Fund, Socinstrasse 37
4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 261 94 74
www.bmf.ch, www.stop-corruption-dams.org
 
 

Check Also

BMF_LOGO

Tennis Star Roger Federer Urged to Help Stop Credit Suisse From Funding Deforestation in Indonesia

Sumatra rainforest communities send a cry for help ahead of crucial meeting with Swiss bankers ...

Full page photo

New Rock Ballad Gives Mother Earth a Voice

  Vyškov, Czech Republic, February 25, 2015 –/WORLD-WIRE FEATURE/– Darek Forejtar of the Czech Republic ...

Full page photo

Ducks Unlimited Launches Online Film Series

Memphis, Tennessee, February 25, 2015 –/WORLD-WIRE FEATURES/– A new online film series from Ducks Unlimited ...

LAND_TRUST_ALLIANCE_300

Land Trust Organizations Mark Milestone Achievement

301 Land Trusts Now Hold National Mark of Distinction Saratoga Springs, NY, February. 25, 2015 ...

UGE_200

Eiffel Tower Installs UGE Renewable Energy System as Part of Monumental Retrofit

Two UGE Wind Turbines Now Producing Energy On-Site at the Paris Landmark NEW YORK, NY, ...

noaa_logo

NOAA tests unmanned systems for research and management in National Marine Sanctuary System

HONOLULU, HI February 25, 2015 –/WORLD-WIRE/– NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has successfully tested ...

DOCK_TO_DISH_LOGO_300

Keys Commercial Fishermen to Celebrate Opening of Florida’s First Community Seafood Market (CSM) on February 14, 2015 in Key West

Invitations are going out to join local Dock to Dish® fishermen and the Florida Keys ...

SAN_DIEGO_ZOO_GLOBAL_LOGO_300

Teens Making a Difference: San Diego Zoo Safari Park Conservation Corps Members Restore Native Habitat at Lake Hodges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VIDEO NEWS RELEASE Teens Making a Difference: San Diego Zoo Safari Park ...

Fish Lake

Wilderness Committee Appears in Court to Answer Taseko’s Defamation Charge

Courthouse gathering to show support for the right to comment without fear of prosecution VANCOUVER, ...

konning 120

Dutch Technology Reclaims Humic Acid at Drinking Water Plants

Circular Economy innovation by Dutch water supply company Vitens helps Royal HaskoningDHV obtain value from ...