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17 Jun 2021

Danielle Keeton-Olsen, Mongabay

Malaysia: Timber company Samling accused of threatening legal action against Borneans forest defenders

'Threat of legal action against Indigenous Borneans protesting timber company', 1 June 2021

... For more than a year, the Indigenous communities have been speaking out against Malaysian timber, plantation and construction conglomerate Samling Group and its subsidiaries. They allege the company has encroached on community land, has withheld key documents about the certification process, and failed to obtain free, prior and informed consent of affected communities during the certification process. Samling has consistently refuted these allegations, saying it has followed all due and lawful processes in its certification process, and has met all document disclosure requirements... Sarawak-focused environmental justice NGOs Bruno Manser Fund and the Borneo Project call the recent legal threats an attempt to silence the Indigenous communities who have spoken out. In a letter dated May 26 ... Samling subsidiary Syarikat Samling Timber warned the Long Moh village community in Sarawak’s Miri division that it reserved the right to take legal action against parties alleging the company was involved in trespass, damage or destruction... Earlier this month, Penan and Kenyah communities filed complaints with the Malaysia Timber Certification Council, accusing Samling of failing to properly consult the communities and disregarding the way they use the land...