Destroyer of Penan’s forests given honorary knighthood

Penan, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Penan, Sarawak, Malaysia.
© Robin Hanbury-Tenison/Survival

The founder and chairman of a Malaysian timber company that has logged the forests of the Penan tribe for decades has been given an honorary knighthood.

Tiong Hiew King, the billionaire founder of the Rimbunan Hijau Group, has been awarded the honorary knighthood by the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, reportedly for services to commerce, the community and charitable organizations in Papua New Guinea, where his company also operates.

The hunter-gatherer Penan tribe of Sarawak, in the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo, have been struggling for more than twenty years to prevent logging companies, including Rimbunan Hijau, destroying the forests they rely on for their survival.

The Swiss organization Bruno Manser Fund has dubbed Tion Hiew King ‘Knight of the Chainsaw’.

Source: Bruno Manser Fund