The Malaysian government is currently stepping up its efforts to stop a critical book on Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud. Earlier this week, the Malaysian delegation at the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) managed to ban a book presentation by the Bruno Manser Fund at the ITTO's 50th session in Yokohama, Japan. According to information received by the Bruno Manser Fund, the Malaysians acted "upon instruction from the highest level of government in Kuala Lumpur". The BMF delegation has meanwhile left Yokohama as the decision on its admittance as observers remained unresolved even on the third day of the conference
Meanwhile, we have learned from the US-based Environment News Service (ENS) that their websites were attacked by Malaysian government hackers over a report on the book Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia by Lukas Straumann.
Jim Crabtree, the Managing Editor of the Environment News Service (www.ens-news.com) wrote:
"Immediately following your press release announcing the book was transmitted, the ENS and World-Wire servers were severely attacked. Our security team traced the routing back to the Malaysian Government. They managed to shut our servers down for about for two hours (...)."
Crabtree added that the Environment News Service had meanwhile updated their security hardware and said the Malaysian attacks were "not much of a problem", since ENS was set up for this kind of intrusion.
BMF executive director and book author Lukas Straumann said:
"I am shocked to learn that the Malaysian government is resorting to illegal methods to prevent the truth on Taib Mahmud and his regime in Sarawak from spreading. We demand an explanation from the Malaysian government an a guarantee that Malaysian officials will not undertake any further steps to prevent the book from being internationally released and duly reported on."
Meanwhile, due to a pending defamation complaint by Taib's London lawer, Mishcon de Reya, Amazon is apparently delaying the delivery of book orders until 20 November. Interested readers are advised not to order through Amazon but through independent outlets.
(6 November 2014)back to overview