Categories Asia, Malaysia, Updates

#StopTheSlapp: The ICCA Consortium joins call to drop defamation suit against SAVE Rivers

We stand with over 100 organizations in condemning Samling's bullying of Indigenous environmental and human rights defenders in Sarawak

First published on 08/30/2021, and last updated on 10/03/2021

The ICCA Consortium has joined a hundred organizations signing a letter to ask Malaysian timber giant Samling to withdraw its defamation suit against our Member, SAVE Rivers, and its board members. SAVE Rivers support Indigenous Peoples’ resistance to logging. We stand with over 100 organizations in condemning Samling’s bullying of Indigenous environmental and human rights defenders in Sarawak. 

The full text of the letter was first published by The Borneo Project

Samling: #StopTheSlapp

To: Yaw Chee Ming, CEO, Samling Group

Dear Mr. Yaw Chee Ming,

The following organisations ask that Samling withdraw its legal suit against SAVE Rivers and its board members, and provide the communities of Samling’s Gerenai and Ravenscourt concessions in Sarawak with all of the environmental and social impact assessments conducted for the certification, including the High Conservation Value assessment. 

The suit claims SAVE Rivers made defamatory statements about the company in several press releases throughout 2020 and 2021. We believe this suit is strategic litigation against public participation (SLAPP), and is part of a growing international trend of silencing human rights and environmental defenders. 

Instead of addressing the very legitimate concerns of Sarawak’s indigenous communities and engaging in a meaningful dialogue, Samling has resorted to legal action. The suit against SAVE Rivers was filed while a case is pending with the Malaysian Timber Certification Council’s Dispute Resolution Committee. This undermines the necessary and clearly regulated dispute resolution process. 

The following signatories fully support Save Rivers and the Indigenous communities expressing concerns over certification, and demand that Samling refrain from legal action against civil society organizations and local communities. 

We urge Samling to drop the SLAPP suit against SAVE Rivers and its directors, to release all relevant project documentation, and to engage in meaningful consultations with local communities about their lands. 


1stopborneo wildlife Asia Japan

Advancing Knowledge in Democracy and Law initiative 

Agora Society Malaysia

Alaska Clean Water Advocacy


All Women’s Action Society

Alternatives to Violence Project Malaysia

Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM)

Association of Toy Libraries Malaysia 


Blueprint for Free Speech

Bob Brown Foundation

Bruno Manser Fund

BRWA (Badan Registrasi Wilayah Adat) – Indonesia

California Trade Justice Coalition


Caritas Diocese of MiriI

Center for Orang Asli Concerns

Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center)

Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) Malaysia

Childline Foundation 

Clean Air Action Group

Climate Wise Women

COECOCEIBA – Friends of the Earth Costa Rica

Colong Foundation for Wilderness

Covenant Tribal Solar Initiative

Earth Island Institute


Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

Environmental Paper Network (EPN)

Environmental Protection Information Center

Environmental Protection Society Malaysia (EPSM)

Family Frontiers 




Forum Ökologie & Papier

Free Tree Society Kuala Lumpur

Friends of the Earth International

G25 Malaysia

Gabungan Darurat Iklim

Green Empowerment


Greenpeace Southeast Asia 

Health In Harmony

ICCA Consortium

International Forum on Globalization

International Rivers

Japan Tropical Forest Action Network

Jaringan Kerja Pemetaan Partisiaptif (JKPP)

Justice for Sisters 

Kaoem Telapak

KERUAN Organisation

Kiu & Co.

LEAP – Land Empowerment Animals People

Malaysian CARE

Melbourne Rainforest Action Group


Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme Asia 

Non-Timber Forest Products Exhange Programme Malaysia

North South Initiative 

Nuclear Consulting Group (NCG)

OGM dangers

Ohmsi Sdn Bhd

Oil Change International

Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS)

Penang Forum

Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)

Persatuan Kesedaran dan Keadilan Iklim Malaysia – Klima Action Malaysia ( KAMY )

Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor

Pertubuhan Alam Sekitar Sejahtera Malaysia -GRASS 

Pronatura – Friends of the Earth Switzerland

Pusat KOMAS 

Rainforest Action Network

Raptors Are The Solution

Real Food Real Stories

Rettet den Regenwald (Rainforest Rescue)

Sacred Land Film Project

Sahabat Alam Malaysia, Friends of the Earth Malaysia

Salva la Selva, Spain


Seeding Sovereignty

Sisters in Islam (SIS)

Siti Kasim & Associates 

Society for Threatened Peoples (STP)

Stop Fish Bombing USA

Sustainable Development Network Malaysia


Terabai Kenyalang Heritage Association of Sarawak 

The Altai Project

The Borneo Project

The KL & Sel Chinese Assembly Hall Women Division 

The Oakland Institute

The Woodland League

Third World Network

Thousand Currents

Treat Every Environment Special

Undi Sarawak

Viva Sierra Gorda

Western Australian Forest Alliance (WAFA)