Saturday, April 3

Masing new chairman of NCR Land task force

Land Development Minister James Masing (pic above) has taken over the chairmanship of Sarawak Task Force for NCR Land Development from Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang effective today (2 April 2010).

Although Jabu’s supporters said he resigned from the chairmanship, it is understood, however that he has been relieved of the post.

Possible Reasons:
(a) Jabu has been the chairman of the task force since the state government started to have keen interest to venture into oil palm in the 1990s. Under his chairmanship, hundreds of provisional leases have been given to big companies to develop land including native customary rights land without the consent of the land owners. Disputes arise, therefore, between the land owners and the companies. There are now more than 200 cases of land owners suing the government and companies. So far land owners have won more than 20 cases.

(b) For the last two years, the task force seldom met, resulting in about 30 or more applications to plant oil palm have been left unattended. Some who are fed-up of waiting have withdrawn their applications. Masing did complain that the delay in approving the applications have stalled the development of oil palm in the State which has targeted one million hectares by this year.

(c) By right, Masing should be the chairman of the task force by virtue of the fact that he is the Minister for Land Development.

It is the hope of the land owners:
(i) that Masing should have better understanding of the plight and the concerns of the land owners. If the land owners do not want their land to be planted with oil palm, they should be left alone; if they want their land to be under joint venture scheme, then by all means bring them in. In this way, Masing can help minimize disputes between land owners and Pelita and companies.

(ii) that Masing should make sure the companies after receiving their provisional lease (PLs) do not bulldoze their way into people’s farms, destroying all the fruit trees, rubber trees, cash crops and sometimes their longhouses and farm huts.

(iii) that Masing should make sure that in the joint venture scheme, land owners be represented in the board of directors. Currently, the land owners are not represented in the board. LCDA or Pelita suppose to look after the land owners’ interest, but Pelita is like pagar “harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi.”

(iv) that Masing should also encourage NCR land owners to plant oil palm on a smallholding basis on their land very much like Rubber Planting Scheme A in the 1970s. Under this scheme, agricultural implements, fertilizers and subsidies were given to the smallholders. It has been noted that under smallholding the land owners benefit more than those who participated in JV or even under SALCRA. Every morning they earn between RM500 and RM1,500 a day as compared to dividends of RM300, RM500 or RM1000 per year. Very much different in term money earned.

Something for all of us to ponder! – The Broken Shield



Anonymous said...

Jabu have had his time mousing around the Ibans of their NCR land rights which the courts are now trying to show some "justice" over their "nenek moyang's" land rights.
Masing hopefully will not repeat Jabu's incompetency in dealing with the issue.The rakyat and Dayak Ibans are watching you closely Dr.James. For goodness sake, do not fail your brothers and sisters. Do not be cowed into submission by those so called BN "superiors" around you.

Anonymous said...

The development of NCR land with big companies that have taken placed is a succession plan on timber concession practices in Sarawak. Let me explain this. Timber extraction is limited to a few family now. BN has to reward the YBs and NCR land development is way to do it. NCR land development is exclusively handled by the YBs. If you don't believe me, try to apply for it and you get nothing. In the process, the YB,s earn a commission of RM1 million from the companies for 1,000 hectares. So YBs earn big buck by robbing the NCR land owners. Land owners get enough to pay for ikan masin. It's about greed. If the commission of the YBs are shared partially with the land owners, there would be less trouble. The kampong folks are weak and not trouble makers. However, when they are faced with robbers and greedy individual/government, they have to protect themselves. Be fair YBs. We know your trick.

Ikan Masing said...

Put any dayak to look after the NCR and non have the power to ask the land and survey to survey the nCR and give the title to the land owner. He is just a toothless tiger.

Apai Semalau said...

Time to show your true colour Dr Masing. Do walk the talk if you care for your fellow dayaks and their ancestral lands. Henceforth we are going to gauge your every performance. Can we rely on you? Show us a new chapter and above all don't wear the soiled shoes of your predecessor! He had failed us miserably, countless times and had left behind a legacy of betrayal. We trust you can do a better job and the last thing we want is history repeating itself in another form.

Banting said...

Whoever takes over the job will not change the state BN government`s policy over land if it does not benefit the greedy politicians, their families and cronies.

Everywhere in Sarawak, we can see the conflicts between the owners of NCR lands and the plantation companies.

For instances, in Bakong and Pantu, the villagers have been barred from entering and harvesting their oil palm in their own lands when the barricades were put up on the roads by LCDA and the companies.

In Bakong, when the villagers felt that their rights to lawful use of the roads were voluntary obstructed, they had no choice but turned up in full force to dismantle the barricade.

Therefore, will Masing urge the state government to review its land policy as well as initiate amendment to the Land Code?

While Dayaks have been fighting for their customary rights (NCR), do they expect someone who said these words, " Twenty years ago, I was convinced the Dayak must fight for the Dayak. If we don`t do that nobody else will. I was wrong! " is willing to help Dayaks?

Lousy YB said...

I have no faith in him.He is not fit to be our leader.

Anonymous said...

sir, that's a news, however your info on the role of his portfolio or his predecessor's on provisional lease & its issuance is not the truth. No one else except CM or sometimes for smaller ones awg tengah decides. Why? Ask our dayak politicians & ourselves.

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