ROS should prove SAM threat to nation

Statement by Special Officer to Penang Chief Minister on Environment Thing Siew Shuen in Georgetown on 30 Dec 2009:

Datuk Mohd Alias Kalil should prove that whether activities and campaigns by SAM against commercial logging, plantation development, and the building of dams in Sarawak threaten the nation’s interest or rather the interest of BN’s politicians and cronies.

The BN Government announced with much fanfare that it targets to reduce carbon dioxide emission to 40%. However, how is the government going to reduce carbon dioxide emission to 40% if the BN government does not dare to face the criticisms of Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) and even threatens to deregister it?

During the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that Malaysia is adopting an indicator of a voluntary reduction of up to 40 per cent in terms of emissions intensity of GDP (gross domestic product) by the year 2020 compared to 2005 levels subject to assistance from developed countries.

However, the Registrar of Societies (RoS) Datuk Mohd Alias Kalil has clearly shown his indifference to the commitment of the government in Copenhagen. On top of that, he is threatening to take action against the organisation which has been actively campaigning for environmental protection and defending environmental justice for the disadvantaged groups for over 30 years in the country.

While SAM is actively involved in the campaign against indiscriminate and unregulated logging and plantation development, it campaigns as well against the construction of mega dams that deprives the Penan and other indigenous communities of their rights, tradition, culture and livelihood. Clearly, SAM is working to protect the human rights of Malaysians and preserving the natural heritage of the nation.

Therefore, instead of rushing off to make a statement against SAM, Datuk Mohd Alias Kalil should prove whether the activities and campaigns of SAM against commercial logging and plantation development, building of dams in Sarawak is threatening the nation’s interest or the interest of BN’s politicians and cronies?

We oppose any attempt to oppress and deregister SAM. The Registrar of Societies (ROS) headed by Datuk Mohd Alias Kalil should not act like a puppet to the BN government by suppressing the freedom of association in Malaysia. This freedom is a fundamental right which is guaranteed in Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in Article 10 in our Federal Constitution. Therefore we firmly believe that he should withdraw his baseless accusations immediately.

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