Friday, March 15, 2013

Does Sulu Sultan own the Gomantong Caves?

Gomantong Caves are famous for its bird nest harvest. It is situated near Sandakan, Sabah.

Gomantong Caves consist of 3 caves namely Simud Hitam, Simud Putih and Bobong Bulud which are interconnnected.

The three caves are huge and occupied by two natural inhabitants. There are swiflets and bats. One can see the spectacular view in the evening when the bats move out from the caves in millions in the form of "smoke" seen from far. Slightly later the swiflets return from their day time foraging to the caves in almost the same strength.

The natives used to harvest the bird nests for sales to traders.

In 1881, the British North Borneo Chartered Company acquired Sabah and expelled the Sultan of Sulu. It claimed ownership of the Gomantong Caves. It introduced a tender system for the bird nest harvest. The harvestors had to declare its bird nests to administrators before sales to traders.

In 2000, the decendants of the heir of Gomantong Caves formed an action committee to claim its right of ownership from the Sabah government.

With the recent Sultan of Sulu claimed the ownership of Sabah, which creates tension in that region, may be the bird nest harvest will be delayed for a while.

Posted by Chai Yong of

Thursday, March 14, 2013

When can Malaysia export bird nest to China?

It has been two year plus since the China government banned the import of bird nest from Malaysia to its country.

Two years have seen continous effort from the Malaysian bird nest industrialists, at the early stage sporadic, turning to concerted effort involving government departments to deal with its counterparts in China.

As the government agencies are beaurocratic, to date the export issue has not been resolved.

Two weeks ago, some bird nest industrialists went for peaceful demonstration on their plight. As a result, two days ago Malaysia government special agent, Dato' Ong Ka Ting has met with some bird nest organizations and promised that he would co-ordinate with China counterparts to arrange for inspection of some bird nest cleaning factories in Malaysia. Hopefully, this can be arranged in the shortest time possible.

The Malaysian government is concerned with the processed bird nests. How about the unprocessed or raw one? The raw bird nest occupies about 90% of the bird nest export to China before the outburst of the blood bird nest incident in China.

It seems that the bird nest industrialists wish to resolved the cleaned bird nest first before touching on the unprocessed one.

Posted by Chai Yong of