By John Donovan

Attn Editor, Borneo Bulletin

Dear Sir or Madam

I read with interest the glowing and reverential account in your newspaper by Magdalene Rogers about Shell Malaysia, its chairman, Saw Choon Boon, and the recent Shell Kenyalang Press Awards. Quite frankly, the article could have been written by Shell’s PR department.

Borneo Bulletin: Shell invests 90 per cent of oil exploration in Bintulu

I would be interested to know why not a single word has been written in the Borneo Bulletin, or indeed any other Malaysian news publication, about the draconian High Court proceedings brought by EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell multinational companies against Dr John Huong, a Malaysian production geologist? Dr Huong, a humanitarian of the highest integrity, worked for Shell in Malaysia for over 29 years.

Is Malaysia a Police State? Why has there been no reporting of this important unprecedented defamation case involving the issuing of multiple injunctions, contempt of court proceedings, threats of imprisonment etc. against Dr Huong?  I have lost count of the High Court hearings on the case. They have also been countless legal documents filed with the High Court of Malaya in KL,  most of which are in the public domain. Yet not one word about these matters has been reported in the Malaysian media. 

Shell obviously has a huge mount of influence with the Malaysia news media and no doubt with the Malaysian government, its business partner.  Otherwise how could the lid be kept on a genuine David v Goliath battle  – one unemployed Malaysian pitted against EIGHT bullyboy multinational giants apparently determined to destroy him. 

Is there a Russian connection? Dr Huong visited Russia at the invitation of a Russian Ministry. Billions are at stake in the Sakhalin II crisis. Consequently it is a very sensitive subject with Shell. Alternatively, the continued gagging of Dr Huong and the associated news blackout could be connected with the Royal Dutch Shell oil reserves fraud. Dr Huong was the first Shell employee to record in a Shell internal document his moral reservations about Shell management giving false information to Shell shareholders in relation to Shell’s claimed hydrocarbon reserves. The subsequent scandal destroyed Shell in the Anglo Dutch format in which it had prospered for over a 100 years. The repercussions are still in progress. Whatever the reason, Shell management appears determined to keep Dr Huong gagged at all costs.

The right of Dr Huong to freedom of expression under the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights has been denied to Dr Huong for getting on to three years. This is the result of a so called “interim” injunction based on flawed evidence brought to the attention of a Malaysian High Court Judge within days of the plaintiff Royal Dutch Shell companies issuing proceedings in June 2004. According to dictionary definition, “interim” means “temporary”.  Apparently this does not apply in Malaysia where “interim” seems to mean years, not days or weeks, as would be the case in legal jurisdictions such as the USA and the UK.

Is there a conspiracy involving the Malaysian media, the courts, your government and Royal Dutch Shell to prevent ordinary Malaysians from becoming aware of what is going on in this extraordinary unreported, but highly newsworthy case. What else can explain the continued news blackout?

I can see now why Shell issued proceedings in Malaysia.

Yours faithfully
John Donovan
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