In 2002, the Sarawak Penan Association (SPA) released the Long Sayan Declaration 2002, which was signed by more than 40 Penan community leaders. Among others, the declaration called for the halting of all logging operations on Penan territories, the gazetting of their territories into Communal Forest Reserves and the provision of accessible healthcare, education, quality housing, power and clean water supply as well as agricultural training and support to the community.
However today, more than a decade later – the Penan community of Sarawak by and large are still living without adequate land rights security and in substandard living conditions. Worse, due to the depletion in natural timber resources in Sarawak as a result of three decades of unsustainable logging, timber tree and oil palm plantations are fast taking the place of the declining timber industry. Plantations, which require the total clearing of logged over forests, will certainly bring about more adverse consequences to local communities, although the impacts of logging operations had all the while been severe enough.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is glad to see that the Indonesian Government has decided to abandon their plans for a high-speed rail project.
Malaysia has also made plans for a HSR project that will connect Kuala Lumpur and Jurong East in Singapore.
In May of this year, CAP clearly stated that we are against this project being carried out in Malaysia because of several reasons and we still stand by our beliefs. Some of the reasons we cited before include tremendous cost, mass resettlement, high chance of unprofitability, and the fact that this will be a long-ongoing kind of project, etc.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Kedah state government to maintain grazing land in Kampung Kubang Palas near Kuala Nerang for the use of 200 livestock farmers in this village. The move is justified because the farmers involved are pioneers who have engaged in the livestock rearing activity for generations and are major contributors to the national economy and the supply of meat for the people in this state.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the Fisheries Department and the Penang state government to investigate the source of problems that has led to certain types of marine life in the waters of Balik Pulau threatened and endangered.
CAP’s survey found that in addition to high quality fish like Chinese pomfret and Silver pomfret, other marine life such as cockles, mussels, clams, crabs and shrimp that are major catches of more than 500 fishermen have also declined. The affected fishermen are from Kuala Sungai Burung, Kuala Sungai Pinang, Pantai Acheh, Kuala Jalan Bharu and Pulau Betong.
TPPA Section On State Enterprises Appears To Be Very Damaging: Malaysia Should Not Join In the Conclusion of the TPPA
The Ministerial meeting of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) now taking place in Hawaii should not reach a conclusion of the negotiations because many important issues of public interest have not been resolved. Moreover the public in Malaysia and other countries are still in the dark over what is being negotiated or agreed to.
Even if other countries are willing to reach a conclusion to the whole TPPA draft, Malaysia should not agree to such a conclusion. Instead, the Malaysian delegation led by Dato Sri Mustapa Mohamad, Minister of International Trade and Industry, should give a complete briefing to the public and ask our views on the issues, before deciding whether to join the conclusions of the negotiations.
This need for seeking the views of the public is even more necessary given the information now available on “state owned enterprises” (SOEs) which is one of the most contentious sections of the TPPA. An official summary of the issues and principles of this sub-chapter was made available on Wikileaks yesterday (30 July 2015).