Friday, March 26

Bawin on special cabinet committee

(This article was first published in the Malaysian Mirror and is reproduced here for the readers of The Broken Shield).

SIBU – Sarawak PKR election director Nicholas Bawin has suggested to the State government to form a special cabinet committee to assist the Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud in dealing with the issuance of provisional leases (PLs) of native customary rights lands to big companies for the planting of oil palm or trees.

“This is importance in order to avoid complications and court cases,” he said, when he addressed community and ex-community leaders at a dinner in Sibu last Sunday.

Bawin, who recently returned from London highlighting the plight of the natives in the British Parliament, was a guest speaker at the function.

“What this special committee should do is to go to the ground and call all NCR land owners to discuss with them the intention of the government to issue PLs to companies to plant oil palm.

“The land owners will be asked to identify their lands and if they agree to a JV with a company then they will sign an agreement. But if they do not agree, then their lands should be left alone.

“In this way we avoid all encumbrances such as the unnecessary court cases brought about by the land owners and the miseries caused to them,”
he said, pointing out that the more than 200 cases pending in the High Court are an example.

He claimed that currently the chief minister as minister of planning and resource management made the decision himself without consulting other ministers, resulting in thousands of NCR lands being taken away by government without the consent of the people.

“What happens now is that once the lease is given to the company, the company would then destroy land owners’ longhouses, farm huts, fruit trees, cash crops and even chase them away.

“This is too much for the land owners to take, and of course they get angry and worst still they are being arrested to defend their own lands,”
Bawin said.

“The chief minister has too much power vested on him and as such it can be abused,” he said and questioned why the chief minister was too generous in granting timber licences and provisional leases to well-to-do people,” he said.

Bawin also called on Dayak leaders and native headmen irrespective of their political affiliations to understand the basis of the people’s rights over land as stated clearly under section 5 of the Land Code.

“Once you understand our rights, then you can help the longhouse people to protect their NCR lands; only then you will understand why the people are angry with the government,” he stressed.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Incidentally GREED is what self-serving leaders do, that's why they are so lenient to issue those "leases" to those "towkeys" who stash their millions in foreign banks and are having PR status overseas.In sarawak, we have a bagful of these GREEDY leaders donning the BN robes.Dirty B..t..ds!