It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
After reportedly making billions of dollars for himself and confederates by pillaging and destroying vast expanses of Borneo's rainforests, former Sarawak timber chief and governor Abdul Taib is now being brought to task by a new book.
Entitled Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia, by Lukas Straumann, the book accuses Taib of massive corruption, despotic behavior, and committing one of the greatest environmental travesties in history.
The forests of Sarawak, a Malaysian state in northern Borneo, have been devastated in recent decades by intensive logging and conversion to oil palm plantations. This has had profound impacts on biodiversity, indigenous peoples, and forest carbon stocks in the region.
Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has referred to the rampant pillaging of Borneo's forests as “probably the biggest environmental crime of our times”.
As reported recently in the leading environmental website Mongabay, lawyers representing Taib and the Malaysian government are attempting to block Money Logging's publication, by threatening its publishers with legal action.
The publishers have announced they intend to press ahead with the book.
In March, ALERT highlighted some of Taib's notorious activities -- slamming him for unprecedented environmental misdeeds and corruption. The scale of Taib's environmental crimes can be seen in this shocking video.
So far, Taib's lawyers haven't said anything to us -- but we'll certainly let you know if they do.