Malaysia: NGOs write to Princess Anne, claim Sarawak power firm withheld Murum Dam facts

Source: Asian Correspondent

The Murum Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) is located in the Belaga District, Kapit Division.. The plant provides up to 944MW electricty for Sarawak, and additional power for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) - Pic from Asian Correspondent

The Murum Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) is located in the Belaga District, Kapit Division.. The plant provides up to 944MW electricty for Sarawak, and additional power for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) – Pic from Asian Correspondent

CIVIL society groups fighting for the rights of the indigenous people of Sarawak, East Malaysia, have reached out to Britain’s Princess Anne, urging the royal to use her influence to help those displaced by the construction of the controversial Murum Dam.

The NGOs, led by local grassroots network SAVE Rivers, penned a letter this week to the princess alleging that Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), Sarawak’s power supplier, had glossed over the situation at resettlement sites there when she visited their headquarters in October last year.

They claimed that although three years have passed since local communities were evicted from their homes to make way for the construction of the dam, the government has yet to deliver the compensation package for their resettlement. Vigilant protests and diplomatic pressures have done little to solve the problem and as a result, hope is running thin for those displaced. Read more

Human Rights Activist, Charity Demand Leonardo DiCaprio Return “Ill-Gotten” Donations

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Getty Images. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jho Low. Pic drawn from The Hollywood Reporter.

Save Rivers, which is active in Malaysia, and Ambiga Sreenevasan, recipient of the U.S. International Women of Courage Award, are the latest to speak out about money linked to a corruption scandal.

Leonardo DiCaprio dropped by the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday to present the world premiere of his latest environmental doc Before the Flood, directed by Fisher Stevens, to a packed audience at the Princess of Wales theater.

The film, which follows the Oscar-winning U.N. Messenger for Peace around the world as he sees the devastating effects of climate change firsthand, was warmly received, The Hollywood Reporter‘s John DeFore describing it as “well-intentioned,” noting the special access available to its star, who speaks to John Kerry, Barack Obama and Pope Francis.

But the very same day Before the Flood bowed at TIFF, another charity added its voice to a growing list of organizations and activists criticizing DiCaprio’s association with individuals connected to a major corruption scandal and called on him to return millions of dollars in donations made to his environmental charity.

DiCaprio has been the focus of intense scrutiny over the past two months after he appeared as “Hollywood Actor 1” in a major Justice Department filing relating to a billion-dollar money-laundering scandal involving controversial businessman Jho Low and Riza Aziz, stepson of the Malaysian prime minister and co-founder of Red Granite Pictures, which produced The Wolf of Wall Street, allegedly with money diverted from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.

The actor is also alleged to have accepted donations originating from 1MDB to his environmental charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the focus of an exposé in THR questioning its ties to the scandal and lack of transparency. Read more