Wednesday, February 4

Form Native Land Commission, symposium suggests

The Dayak symposium held in Sibu over the weekend (31 Jan 2009) has suggested the set-up of a Native Land Commission for the purpose of investigating all complaints, any abuse and malpractices by the government under the Barisan Nasional and its partners in issuing land titles, provisional leases, timber licence, licence to plant forests involving or affecting Native Customary Rights (NCR) lands whether communal or otherwise.

Upon establishment of proof of complaint, the Commission shall be duly empowered to excise out the Native Customary Rights land out and to issue either a perimeter title or individual as the case may be.

All lands acquired by the State government for dam purposes but are not used or affected or inundated shall be returned to the land owners for their own purposes and they are free to occupy it as they may wish, the symposium agreed.

The suggestion was made based on a paper presented by a lawyer at the symposium where some 200 Dayak professionals, intellectuals, community leaders, leaders of non-government organisations and politicians were present.

The one-day symposium, which was aimed at triggering and provoking thoughts among the Dayak community was to find remedies to solve the NCR land problems. Some of these issues which are to be compiled will be used as campaign materials for the next State election.

On the untitled NCR lands, the symposium was told that previously titles to native lands were issued pursuant to a settlement exercise which was normally carried out when an area was declared as Native Area Land. Titles to native lands were issued within this area under Section 18 of the Land Code.

The paper said: “However, the present government policy that there shall NO more settlement exercise because that would mean there will be no land remaining for oil palm and tree planting schemes. So the government has stopped issuing out land titles to native lands.

“As the majority of native lands are untitled, the native lands have no market value and significance; they can not be valued for any form of investments and cannot be used in any commercial dealings.

“Not only the natives are deprived of opportunities to develop their lands through joint-ventures or partnerships, they are also unable to fully develop their lands themselves. This is because without any land titles and in the absence of the much needed capital, they are unable to raise the needed funds to develop their lands. This is seen as a hindrance to the native lands to be developed.

“One main reason used by political leaders for not issuing land titles to Dayaks is the risk of the Dayaks selling away their land to non-Dayaks and therefore losing out their lands. But this is mere front to the sinister motive of keeping the Dayaks poor. It does not matter whether they sell their lands, as who does not sell their lands for economic reasons? Everyone does.

“Nevertheless the owner will still benefit because the income derived from the sale of the land will go to improve his well-being. He may need to sell some of his lands to raise capital to start business. This is normal economic practice.”

The paper alleged that the main reason for not issuing land titles to native lands was to ‘keep the natives within the poverty cycle’ so that they remained dependent on the government handouts and therefore loyal voters for the ruling party.

“The hidden fear of the ruling party if Dayak voters break out of the poverty cycle is that they no longer depend on the ruling party and therefore under no obligation to vote for them come election times.

“This is a major grievance of the Dayak community. The other communities will always get their titles due to them. But when it comes to Dayak lands, all sorts of excuses are being used to avoid giving him titles to his native lands,”
the paper stressed.
– The Broken Shield.



Anonymous said...

Sokong 100%! I hope that the Commission is answerable ONLY TO the Dayaks and not to the King of Malaysia or kings of Sarawak.

That particular Dayak is a fool if s/he is willing to sell her/his titled native land. Time has changed; land is a scarce commodity. So, I don’t think the NEW AGE Dayaks are willing to trade their lands for just few thousand Ringgits – unless it is made under “duress”!

Yes, please do so! Make the symposium paper available ONLINE as soon as possible.

Remember, with time, we'll be there. Let's all move forward - ahead of schedule...

God bless the Dayaks!

Anonymous said...

This is a good suggestions, for so long for the past 45 years, Why only NOW realise the importance of NATIVE LAND COMMISSION ASSOCIATION/BODY?? Why only NOW we could see its vital establishment and implementation?If we could do it even before 1970'S before.The problems of NCR Land would NOT so much cropped up as to nowadays.This issue cropped up and grown rapidly was partly because of some of Dayaks Leaders before and after 1980's have overlooked this issue because of very busy fighting each other for political survival. Political survival means wealth survival and accummulation for oneself and their family members...ignoring the vast interests and flights of the Dayaks at large.Bak kata pepatah: baka tekura pantop ba bandir...baru sedar lalu tengadah....tang bangsa bukai udah maioh maju jauh ninggal ka bangsa Iban (Dayaks) di Sarawak.

Hope but not the least, wishing this suggestion will become a reality in very near future...

NEIL said...

Let get priorities right.Now we must urgently concentrate on ways to bring down this gov't first.Only if this gov't is disabled,then other problems will be solve.If this gov't is prolonged,then you all dayaks won't see light of the day.Nothing,I say again,Nothing will change for the better.They are the root cause of all evils.We must be determine to uproot this poisonous tree and not trimming or cutting its branches.

Anonymous said...

Great idea. Big question: How to get it done, when to get it done, who to spearhead and get it done? It is time to act and not advocate only.
The bullies BN, Taib, Jabu will close their door shut.

Anonymous said...

Learn from the Perakians.

No longer fearful of backlash from the corrupt BN, they voted PR. Their rewards:- freehold land for new villages and kampung tersusun and also land at longer lease for farming.
If not for the 3 frogs, Perakians would have enjoy the benefit. Now it is reverted to BN, the same strategy to keep the landless poor is revived as Najib has made it clear he is not agreeable to issuance of freehold land to new villages and kampung tersusun.
My message:- take the bulls by the horn coz if PR gets into power, the people and not the cronies will benefit.

Unknown said...

First, we need NCR bank. Second, NCR land title. Third, we need this NCR bank to assist Ncr land owners to develop their land with close cooperation with agricultre and economic diversities departments. Otherwise, we will be very POOR in our state. The poorest, again!