Blatant Greed Will Crash Sarawak's Ambitions To Make Easy Carbon Money

Mambong assemblyman Datuk Dr Jerip Susil has revealed that Sarawak might pass a law or Bill on carbon credit trading this year.

When that happens, the state will be the first in Malaysia to do so.

Dr Jerip, who is also  Assistant Transport Minister said, “This year, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg is going to enact a law or Bill to ensure that there is carbon credit trading (in the state). By June this year, there will be laws to ensure how to do carbon credit trading. It will be one of the big things coming this year.

“Our neighbouring country, Indonesia is already far ahead with carbon credit trading.

“After all, with the climate changes in the world, there are people who are going to pay a certain amount of money for  preservation of forest and timber  in the jungles. But we need laws for that, so either by May or June, the law will be there..

“There is also going to be a huge conference in Sarawak this year on how to do environmental sustainability in all these areas because Borneo is one of the oldest rainforests that still exist  (in the world),” he said during the official launch of the new logo for Persatuan Usahawan Bidayuh Penrissen (PUBP)  at a renowned hotel here on Saturday (Feb 19).

“Imagine all the Bungs – Bung Penrissen, Bung Bratak, Bung Sepit – all the mountains, all the Tapang trees being preserved and  every Tapang tree being paid five United States dollars every year,” added the assistant minister.

Our comment

Back in 2006 the Editor of Sarawak Report was invited to Sarawak to attend a grand ‘Environment’ Conference…. about conserving the oldest rainforest in the world.

What she discovered was that the then Chief Minister, having grabbed control of all the levers of power and positions of state, had in fact been mowing down the 150 million rainforest as fast as he could cash it in. In the process he had magically become a multi-billionaire. Sarawak Report was formed and has been watching these greedy hypocrites ever since.

Now his successor has plainly decided to follow much the same playbook. Having conducted a preposterously stage-managed election in the middle of Covid to secure his position against his rivals Abang Jo has now likewise taken control of every position worth having in the government to make absolutely sure no one can question anything he does. Parliament tends to sit for a fortnight a year in Sarawak.

However, now that most of the once abundant rainforest is in fact destroyed he is looking to his various options. On the one had he is seeking to destroy what little jungle is left along the borders with Indonesia where his government this week said it was applying to Putrajaya to get support to ‘develop’ the region to take advantage of Indonesia’s plans to move huge numbers of people to destroy the other side of the border to build a new capital (having sunk the previous one).

On the other he hopes to make money out of pretending there is jungle to claim carbon credits off besides the areas he is seeking to log and destroy.

A basic education is needed for these power grabbers who are blinded by the dollar signs in their eyes. REDD credits are not going to be offered to a country who destroys what jungle they have, whilst promising to grow something somewhere else. And palm oil plantations do not count as ‘conserving jungle’ either – nor do Acacia or other plantations. To brag about the oldest jungle in the world when you are responsible for having destroyed it is an obnoxious advertisement for the rest of the world as well.

The present rulers in Sarawak do not love nature, the trees or the people and animals they love cash. They want all the symbols of extreme wealth without realising these are things you cannot eat and that the resources they are destroying are finite. However, those who are proposing to pay for carbon credits do understand these things and they will not invest in a sham that does them no favours with regulators or their governments.

It is time these greedy old men were replaced by a more sensitive and educated younger generation who might just be able to repair some of the epic damage that has been done to save a living habitat for their own children and beyond.

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