Hii Family Connection to Asia Plywood And Taib Family

By Sarawak Report

Industry insiders have revealed that the main suppliers of timber to the cheating Asia Plywood Company, are the well-known Sarawak tycoons, the Miri-based Hii family.

Asia Plywood, which rents the major saw mill ‘Tegas Kesuma’, based in Tanjung Manis, is Malaysia’s largest plywood company.

Earlier this week it was caught out deceiving regulators and customers in the UK and elsewhere by pretending that hardwood chopped out of Sarawak’s dwindling forests was sustainable pinewood. [see our investigation]

Tegas Kesuma – saw mill chewing up Sarawak’s precious Meranti to make plywood.

We can now disclose that a major provider to Tegas Kesuma is the company Fonsen Timber Sdn Bhd, owned by the Hii family concern Fonsen Holdings.

The Hiis have been granted licences by their close associate, Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, to strip the remaining forests from areas around Bintulu, earmarked for further oil palm plantations.

Another major supplier to the mill was the now dissolved Excellent Future, which was registered at the same address in Jalan Masjid in Miri as Fonsen Holdings and likewise controlled by the Hiis.

Hii King Chiong, key crony and Taib funder

Insiders have confirmed that the main director of the companies is Hii King Chiong, who is the son of Hii Yii Peng, the tycoon who is best known as the owner of Kingwood Hotel group.

Top Taib cronies

Taib, who issues all concessions in the state, is personally responsible for the relentless and unrestrained plunder of timber over the past 30 years.  Before him it was his uncle, whom at the time Taib saw fit to criticise for his greedy destruction of Sarawak’s irreplaceable jungle!

It is worth pointing out that no wood from Sarawak has ever achieved certification from the internationally recognised Forest Stewardship Council, simply because Taib’s logging has been so unsustainable.

Mr Charitable Gesture – Hii is back by Taib’s side

So, it is particularly revealing to investigate the business interests that link the Hiis, who are such key beneficiaries of timber and plantation concessions, with the Chief Minister himself and his family.

Take, for example, one of the largest plantation enterprises in Sarawak, Delta Padi, which is currently blessed with concessions handed out at rock bottom rates by the Chief Minister.  Delta Padi has lucratively logged thousands of hectares of wild forest in Pulau Bruit and in other areas around Mukah, before setting about planting oil palm.  Local people were offered nothing for the destruction of their livelihoods.

Again, charitably at the CM’s side….. Mr Hii supports Mukah Chinese Benevolent Board Building

So, who owns Delta Padi?  It turns out to be a joint venture between the Hii family and a company Mesti Bersatu.

We have mentioned Mesti Bersatu before.  It turns out to be owned by Abdul Taib Mahmud himself and members of his own family!

As numerous insiders have testified, the corrupt system favoured by the Chief Minister is for the money for such joint ventures to by put up by favoured tycoons.  His own contribution to the venture is his willingness to abuse his position of political power.

Read more at: www.sarawakreport.org/2012/02/hii-family-connection-to-asia-plywood-and-taib-family/