EMAIL TO MR CHARLES WIWA, SECRETARY, NATIONAL UNION OF OGONI STUDENTS INTERNATIONAL, 11 July 04
Mr Charles Wiwa
National Union of Ogoni Students Intl.
THREAT BY ROYAL DUTCH SHELL GROUP TO HAVE SHELL WHISTLEBLOWER DR JOHN HUONG, COMMITTED TO PRISON
Thank you for your recent kind comments. I would be delighted if you put in a link to Shell2004.com from your NUOS INTERNATIONAL website as you have suggested.
I have some interesting news. I believe that Shell has made a blunder of incalculable proportions by instituting legal proceedings for defamation. The issues covered in the High Court Action include Shell’s disgraceful record in Nigeria and its role in creating unnecessary pollution. As far as I know this is the first time that Shell has put itself into such a vulnerable position.
Shell says that it will have “no hesitation in pursuing this action to its very end”. I have no doubt that McDonalds were similarly gung ho before the start of what became known as the McLibel trial – a legal action which neither McDonalds management or its shareholder are ever likely to forget, as it was an unmitigated disaster for McDonalds.
For over 10 years I have been trying to goad Shell into issuing libel proceedings against me. Now ironically they are suing someone else for information published on my website.
Shell’s timing could not be worse for its shareholders given the fact that Shell’s reputation is at an all time low, being completely in tatters. Given the recent reserves scandal resulting in forced resignations at the highest levels of Shell, investigations by the regulatory authorities and a host of mammoth class action law suits launched against Royal Dutch Shell, its senior management is now about as popular as flatulence in a crowded lift (if you will forgive the crude analogy).
I believe you and your colleagues are aware of the former Shell geologist, Dr John Huong, the courageous Malaysian who used a section of the Shell2004 website under the heading of “Shell Whistleblower No2.”
Shell fell out with Dr Huong when they realised that they had an extremely dangerous man in their ranks - a geologist with a social conscience. He was then subjected to an internal trial – a so called “Domestic Inquiry” on allegedly trumped up charges. It went on for what must be a record-breaking duration of 10 trauma filled days for Dr Huong as he had no legal representation. His accusers were also his judge and jury. Dr Huong was then fired. Naturally he resented how badly he had been treated after faithfully serving his employer for almost 30 years.
Royal Dutch Shell management subsequently simply ignored his written protestations or got their lawyers to send threatening letters. No action was taken against him until the web pages of Dr Huong were published on my website.
The published articles contained far-ranging comments including an indictment of the exploitation and pollution arising from Shell’s operations in Nigeria (Dr Huong had expressed to me his desire to make his expertise available to the Ogoni people in connection with that matter.) The articles were also peppered with insider references to the overstatement of Shell’s oil reserves which has resulted in the aforementioned scandal.
Shell had apparently concluded that because the website provided a global forum on which Dr Huong could freely express his opinions (which obviously carried far greater weight because of his background) they had to shut him up at all costs before he was contacted by the media or a representative of one of the many US law firms involved in the class action law suits.
This resulted firstly in 8 Shell companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group taking the draconian step of issuing defamation based High Court proceedings against Dr Huong in Malaysia. Shell also obtained an injunction for the removal of information from my website, even though it is not in the jurisdiction of the High Court of Malaya and is owned and operated by me, not Dr Huong, who has no control over it whatsoever.
Shell effectively blackmailed Dr Huong into applying pressure on me to remove the alleged defamatory comments. Shell obviously relied on their knowledge that I was sympathetic to his worthy cause. I gave in because Dr Huong is in my judgement a man of high moral principles.
In this connection I attach below messages posted on a website forum in April 2003 and July 2003 involving Dr John Huong and Doctor Roger Peebles, the President of the International Association for Environmental Hydrology. Dr Huong answered an appeal from Dr Peebles for technical assistance in the development of sustainable water supplies for the people of Iraq. Although remuneration had been offered, Dr Huong ignored the monetary aspect and stated: “It is my love as a social worker to contribute to the need and well being of others including my Iraqi friends.” That speaks volumes about the bona fides of Dr Huong.
The latest development is that Royal Dutch Shell threatened to have Dr Huong committed to prison unless I removed the Writ and associated court papers from the website. As far as I know, the court papers are in the public domain as they would be if issued in the US or the UK. Like the US law system, Malaysian law is also based on English law. Hence I had posted the court papers on the site. They are now removed while I await clarification on this point.
I have once again been forced to accede to Shell’s blackmail/terror tactics against Dr Huong because he is a decent, courageous family man and I obviously do not want him to end up in jail.
I faxed a letter on Friday 9 July to His Excellency, Kofi Annan, advising him of the plight of Dr Huong and seeking his intervention/assistance and his moral support: - http://www.shell2004.com/2004%20Documents/faxed_letter_to_his_excellencyKofiAnnan9July04.htm
The letter sets out more detailed information about the overall background circumstances.
The following day Dr Huong faxed a letter to me which had been delivered to him by courier from Shell’s solicitors, containing the imprisonment threat.
In general terms are you able to assist by making testimony available which will support the comments attributed to Dr Huong concerning Nigeria and the related evil conduct of Shell management?
Although I have absolutely no authority to speak on behalf of Dr Huong, he is alone in facing the combined might and financial resources of eight Shell companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group. I know he is a deeply religious man and is praying for help.
Perhaps we can be the instrument of providing support and in so doing, achieve other objectives in the fight for right against might.
WEBSITE FORUM INVOLVING DR ROGER PEEBLES AND DR JOHN HUONG.
"A helping hand"
Posted by rpeebles on Apr-18-03 at 05:23 PM
LAST EDITED ON Apr-18-03 AT 06:44 PM (GMT)
Welcome to our new forum - Iraq water resources. We are assembling a database of experts in water resources in Iraq and the southwest Asia region to lend assistance in development of sustainable water supplies for the people of Iraq.
Please post your name and qualifications in this forum. We are also interested in your availability, and your remuneration requirements. And don't forget your contact information, including email.
To post, click on the "Iraq water resources" link above, then click "post", and leave your information.
Thanks in advance!
Dr. Roger Peebles
(International Association for Environmental Hydrology)
RE: A helping hand"
Posted by Dr. John Huong Yiu Tuong on Jul-11-03 at 02:43 AM
I have hands on experience for nearly 30 years with the exploration and production of oil and gas. As geologist I specialised in Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Reservoir Geology, Production and Operational Geology with emphasis on Field Work on data acquisition and Drilling in a technical team-based environment.
My academics were in Business Administration with specialisation in Marketing, Education and Human Resource Development.
The experiences I have in finding and producing oil and gas will be useful to help Iraq in need of locating and managing water resource through the use of mapping geologic succession using high-resolution satellite pictures (Evolution of the Baram Delta since the last 5,000 years, Malaysia) and other geological tools and/or techniques. That document is used to manage fresh water resources entrapped in fossilizing peat swamps environments and as Sedimentlogist I can help to model depositional environments, past and present to finding and producing water from reservoirs described within the various palaeo-environments.
It is my love as a social worker to contribute to the need and well being of others including my Iraqi friends.
Dr. John Huong Yiu Tuong