Tuesday, August 31

Shocked by poverty of Dayak in Sarawak when there is so much wealth


Although I have in my travels seen abject poverty in such diverse places asAddis Ababa, Dhaka, Dar es Salaam, Kolkata, Mumbai and Manila, I must confess to a feeling of utter revulsion and anger when confronted by stark deprivation in our supposedly well-governed and prosperous Malaysia.

Comparison of poverty between Sarawak and Malaya

The pockets of rural poverty in the Malay heartlands of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu are islands of prosperity compared to the scene that churned my stomach and assailed my sense of guilt and outrage when I first ventured into the Iban long houses on the majestic Rejang.

Little personal dignity left

It is not enough that we have robbed them of their ancestral lands and impoverished them in the process, but we also felt constrained to strip them naked of any residual personal dignity that they might still have by introducing policies that have succeeded in reducing them to the fringes of mainstream economic life.

The Dayak are the forgotten people?

The Orang Asli tribes and the Orang Hulu, the Malays from the interior, have a great deal in common with their Dayak friends. For all we care, they are Malaysia’s forgotten people, but not quite. Whenever an election is underway, be it a by-election or a general election, they find themselves the centre of attention, in great demand by the rich and powerful, all claiming to love and care for them.

The Dayak votes were bought by BN

Before the day is out, they are the proud possessors of a handful of crisp 50 ringgit notes. Four or five hundred ringgit is a princely sum to them, a king’s ransom, no less, in exchange for their votes. If some of them have become cunning, manipulative supplicants and sacrificed their values for a fistful of ringgit, remember it is we who have corrupted them.

They almost lost their value system

Years of exposure to extreme poverty and unbridled exploitation have rendered many of these once proud and noble people, nature’s gentlemen, inured and insensitive to their own traditional values and value systems. They are reduced to living from hand to mouth, on handouts, from day to day.

The Dayak trusted their Government too much

What a tragedy to befall a people whose only sin is to trust those sworn to protect their native rights. They are bewildered to find themselves dispossessed, as their land is taken away without as much as “by your leave” for commercial exploitation by the towkay friends of the powerful.

We who are strong need to help the Dayak

Talking to many of them, the Ibans, I mean, I believe the only way we can restore their pride and dignity is by providing opportunities for regular employment. We are dealing with an ancient people with a distinctive culture. Even those among them whose lives have taken on an urban aspect continue to cling strenuously to their traditional practices. We who are strong have a duty to help the weak by not foisting on the Ibans and others our culture of corruption and other despicable practices.

Corruption in Sarawak is higher then that of Indonesia during election

Some years ago, an Indonesian anti-corruption activist friend of mine visited our country during the 11th general elections, as part of a privately funded election observer mission. His group spent a great deal of time in Sarawak and Sabah and told me that he was shocked by the scale of vote buying.

Election corruption is beyond expectation

I was greatly embarrassed by his revelation because at an anti-corruption conference in The Hague at which I was invited to speak and he was a participant some two months earlier, I had said that while vote buying was rampant in party elections, the practice was unknown in general and state elections.

I was unbelievably naïve to believe the Barisan Nasional government propaganda. The scale of vote-buying must have been so massive as to shock my Indonesian anti-corruption fighter, used as he was to living and working in a corruption-infested nation. It is not that easy to shock an Indonesian over a corruption issue. But unlike Malaysia, Indonesia is on the mend as far as fighting corruption is concerned. In Malaysia, on the contrary, it is in indecently robust health.

Poverty is caused by Government corruption

Malaysia is blessed with rich natural resources and poverty as we have seen in Sabah, Sarawak, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu can only be explained in terms of governance grounded on corruption and political excesses. When we look at the personal wealth accumulated by Chief Minister Taib of Sarawak at one extremity and the Ibans at the other, one begins to wonder what the future holds for Malaysia. I am not at all sanguine.

The thieving and plundering by the Government must stop

The thieving and plundering by those in power must stop because, as history tells us, it is only a matter of time before the forbearance of the long suffering poor takes on an ugly aspect, with consequences too dreadful to contemplate. The Government of Malaysia and the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak in particular can alleviate poverty by governing in the sole interest of the people. Najib’s people first is under close public scrutiny.

RM20 million is only a chicken feed

Recently the Government announced RM20 million to carry our perimeter survey of native customary rights land.

Obviously this is grossly inadequate, if we look at the cost to survey 0.8984 hectare of land in Sri Aman by the Land and Survey. It was surveyed in September 2008. A letter from the Land and Survey department dated 25 March 2009 claiming for payment was passed to me. As requested by the sender, I cannot reproduce the letter here. Nevertheless, the following are some of the details:

Name of project – a burial ground
Location - Sri Aman
Acreage – 0.8984 hectare

Cost of survey – RM21, 705.00
Cost of services/allowances – RM1, 500
Cost of preparing ownership – RM6.00

Total costs - RM23, 211.00

So the allocation of RM20 million can only cover 862 hectares of land.

But there are about 1.5 million hectares of NCR land. How much money will be spent? Roughly it will need an allocation of RM338.2 million.

So what is RM20 million? It’s only a chicken feed! - The Broken Shield

Source: www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com

Thursday, August 26

Snowdan behaves like a gangster

KUCHING: Sarawak PKR wanita chief Ibi anak Uding blasted Snowdan Lawan, the State assemblyman for Balai Ringin for behaving like a gangster attempting to sabotage her function at Kampung Ensebang Kuari, Balai Ringin on Sunday morning (22 Aug 2010).

Ibi had earlier applied for a Police permit to organise the function in conjunction with the visit of PKR supreme council member, Zaid Ibrahim to the village.

She had also applied for the use of the village community hall and approval was given by Tuai Rumah (village chief) Saimi Ribol.

But on Saturday, Ibi was told by the longhouse chief that she could not use the hall as it would be used by Snowdan to organize a day concert with two Iban popular singers.

Ibi moved the function to an adjacent house. She had to borrow some 200 chairs from various people at the longhouse.

When Zaid was about to deliver a speech, Snowdan’s Iban singers began to sing. However, they were advised by the Police to hold on first.

According to Ibi, Snowdan ordered some 50 village headmen to attend his concert, while some 300 people listened to Zaid’s speech.

“This behaviour is disgusting and the behaviour of a gangster,” alleged Ibi, who is a potential candidate to challenge Snowdan for the coming state election.

“He has failed to help the people of Balai Ringin constituency since he was elected in 2006,” she said.

“In order to attract crowd, he has to resort to use Iban singers to attract them, and he has to bribe them to support him” she said, pointing out that type of support was superficial.

Snowdan was alleged to have paid RM2,000 to the JKKK in order to stop PKR from using the community hall.

“Now the people know who Snowdan really is,” Ibi added.

Ibi thanked the Police for maintaining peace and order.

Meanwhile, Zaid talked on how the State BN government had mistreated the people of Balai Ringin – took away their native customary rights land for the planting of oil palm and for the rearing of pigs on a wide scale.

Zaid was referring to the pig farm which had consumed some RM400 million to build it, while the people’s welfare were neglected; they did not have electricity, clean water supply and proper roads.

He also referred to some 741, 000 hectares of NCR land in the Balai Ringin constituency which had been earmarked for oil palm plantation for Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s crony companies.

At Ubah, Pantu, which is part of Snowdan’s constituency, the people’s NCR land had taken away and planted with oil palm without their consent.

The land owners are now suing the company, the Land and survey Department and the state government.

Zaid called on the people to help vote out the Taib government in the coming election if they wanted their NCR land back.

Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan who was present said that he almost went to the wrong place as he had been told the gathering was at the hall. But the hall had been hijacked by Snowdan.

“Now the BN is ‘takut’ (intimidated) by the PKR presence and has resorted to all the dirty tricks to stop the party from meeting the people and from telling the truth,” he said.

More visits will be organised in the future not only in Balai Ringing, but also other constituencies.

Monday, August 23

"Aram Berubah" (Let’s change)

By Joseph Tawie
23 August 2010

KUCHING: Zaid Ibrahim, Parti Keadilan supreme council member, last night launched Sarawak’s election battle cry ‘Aram Berubah’ with scathing attack on Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who he described as a “white elephant” monster.

Zaid’s call for “Aram Berubah” (Iban words for Let’s change) was received with big applause from the more than 300 diners at a PKR function organised by the Lubok Antu Division.

“Changing Taib with another of the Barisan Nasional is not good enough. It is no different. We must change Taib and his government and replace with Pakatan Rakyat chief minister and government.” he said.

“This is our mission for the coming election, and the people must understand this,” he said, pointing out that Sarawakians must come forward in order to create a new political culture.

Zaid also stressed that the Pakatan Rakyat must be well prepared to face this monster, the “white elephant” which is very powerful and very rich.

“He is being supported by the government machinery including the Police and the election commission.

“So it is important that we have proper planning and logistical support to fight him and his government and be ready for BN’s cheating and money”
he added.

State chairman of PKR, Baru Bian, who spoke at the function, called on fellow members to be ‘agents of change’.

“We cannot expect other people to change; it must begin with ourselves and for me, I am the agent of change,” he stressed.

“We do not have radio and television Malaysia (RTM) such as TV1, TV2 and TV3 or any other channel to pass our message for change to the people.

“But let us be the agents of change ourselves by visiting all the longhouses and villages and tell them about Pakatan Rakyat and its mission,”
he said.

“Tell them that with their support this is the best time to change Taib’s government,” he added.

Another PKR leader, Vice president Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, who also spoke at the function, said the State Barisan has started to feel the heat of their ‘ceramah’.

“They are in a state of confusion and feel threatened,” he said when he related at an incident at a function at Kampung Ensebang Kuari, Balai Ringin early in the day.

While the function was organised for the visit of Zaid Ibrahim, the BN organised a next door concert in a deliberate attempt to sabotage the PKR function.

“They are frightened of us so much so they want to sabotage our function,” said Kitingan, pointing out that despite the attempted sabotage, the function went on smoothly. It was attended by about 300 people.

Kitingan believed that with the support of the people, the rural areas which the BN claimed as their ‘fixed deposit’ are slowly slipping from their grips.

“It will be a loose deposit and what remains later on will only be the receipt,” he said to the laughter of the audience.

Source: www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com

Friday, August 20

Iban leaders criticised

KUCHING: An Iban businessman Joseph Allen has criticised some Iban ministers and elected representatives for not fighting for the interests of the Iban community in terms of quotas in business, economic cake, scholarships, places in universities, recruitment into the civil service, holding higher posts in the civil service or appointments to government-linked companies.

“They should be courageous enough in fighting for the interests of their own community.

“They should emulate and support Minister of Primary Commodities and Industries Bernard Dompok, who is also president of United Pasok Momogun Organisation in fighting for the interests of the Kadazan-Dusun community,”
he said.

Allen, a former supreme council member of Parti Rakyat Sarawak, was asked to comment on Dompok’s statement.

Dompok had said that Bumiputras from Sabah and Sarawak should be accorded equal opportunities as their counterparts in the peninsula in all aspects, citing federal service as example where all the top posts are denominated by Bumiputras from the peninsula.

The minister believed that it was every citizen’s right to raise matters that need the attention of the country’s leaders and they should not be regarded as going against the government.

“Dompok is the type of leaders we need for the Iban community,” Allen stressed.

Expressing support for Dompok’s call for a review of economic quota, he said: “The quota of 30% should apply to both the non-Muslim Bumiputra (Dayak) community and the Muslim community, while the non-Bumiputra should be 40%.

“Currently, Dayaks are lumped together with the Malays to form the Bumiputra group which is allocated 30% of the economic cake. Under this category, the Dayaks do not get anything. They are only needed to strengthen the number only,”
he said.

Allen said that when Malaysia was formed, Temenggong Jugah signed the Malaysian Agreement on behalf of the Dayaks, while Donald Stephens signed on behalf of the Kadazan-Dusuns, because they believed that their generations to come would benefit and enjoy the wealth of the nation.

And if they refused to sign, there would be no Malaysia today, he added.

A former Police officer, Allen said that the Dayaks had contributed a great deal to the security, peace and order of the country during the height of communist insurgency in Sarawak.

“Now the Dayaks are forgotten, sidelined in business opportunities and have not been given a fair share of the country’s wealth.

“We have compromised and tolerated the policy, the injustice and inequality meted against us,”
he said, pointed out that even their rights already in their possessions such as native customary lands are being taken away from the community.

Allen called on Iban leaders like Douglas Uggah, Federal Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and state ministers Alfred Jabu, James Masing and William Mawan to support Dumpok’s call for a review of the economic quota.

“If you don’t say anything, don’t blame the government but blame our leaders,” he said.- The Broken Shield

Wednesday, August 18

Former Assistant Minister suing company linked to Taib

KUCHING: A former assistant minister of agriculture and community development, Ramsay Jitam, has filed a writ of summons against Khidmat Mantap Sdn Bhd, a whole-owned company by Naim Cendera Holdings over a piece of land measuring 12.141 ha which he claimed to be his native customary rights land.

The land which he and his brother Harold Jitam inherited from his ancestors is part of lot 533 block 14 Muara Tuang land district, Kuching.

The writ of summons which was filed early this month also named the superintendent of Lands and Surveys, Kota Samarahan and the State government as second and third defendants respectively.

A former deputy commissioner of Police, Jitam, who retired in 1983, joined the Sarawak United People’s Party. He was elected as the state assemblyman for Lundu from 1983 until 2006 and held the post of assistant minister of agriculture and community development.

Meanwhile, Naim Holdings, a company owned by relatives of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, confirmed its subsidiary has received the writ of summon.

Naim is seeking advice from its solicitors and has instructed them to take all the necessary steps to vigorously defend KMSB’s interest and position.

“We do not foresee any material, financial or operational impact on the group as a result of the receipt of the summons as KMSB is in possession of valid document of title.

“We have in our possession a valid document of title issued by the Land and Survey department, pursuant to the provisions of the Sarawak Land code,”
Naim in a statement received by FMT.

“KMBS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Naim Holdings, is not a major company pursuant to para 1.01 of the listing requirements.

“Total cost of investment in KMBS is RM2.00,”
it said, pointing out that it would not incur any losses arising from the summons.

The date of hearing is yet to be fixed by the court.

Saturday, August 14

Bumiputras struggle for equal rights

Minister of Primary Commodities and Industries Bernard Dompok was quoted by The Borneo Post dated 14 August, as saying that Bumiputras from Sarawak and Sabah should be accorded equal opportunities as their counterparts in the peninsula in all aspects.

Under the Federal Constitution, Bumiputras from Sarawak and Sabah were accorded equal status as their counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia.

“Under the technical committee for Bumiputras in Sarawak and Sabah, of which I am the chairman, we aim to achieve equality for all Bumiputras regardless of their region.

“The committee would meet from time to time to discuss pertinent issues which the members would bring up to the cabinet,”
he said.

The members comprise three federal ministers from Sabah and one from Sarawak, and they are Minister for Rural Development Shafie Apdal, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Maximus Ongkili and Foreign Minister Anifah Aman (all from Sabah) and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Douglas Uggah (Sarawak).

Dompok who is president of United Pasok Momogun Kadazan-Dusun Organisation (UPKO) said one of the long outstanding issues that had been resolved was the native customary rights (NCR) land in Sarawak.

“Now the Sarawak government will implement the perimeter survey of the NCR land with funding from the federal government.

“The other issue we continue to pursue is the fact that almost all top posts in the federal civil service are dominated by Bumiputras from the peninsula.

“There should be fairness in appointments at all levels,” he said, pointing out that there are also other pertinent issues that they have to address even though such issues may be deemed to be sensitive, lest the opposition capitalize on them. - The Broken Shield

Source: www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com

Thursday, August 12

BN’s uphill task to recapture Ngemah

(The story has appeared in The Free Malaysia Today and has been updated for the readers of the Broken Shield).

KUCHING: For the coming State election, the state seat of Ngemah in Kanowit is likely to see a three-cornered fight – a Barisan candidate against Pakatan Rakyat and Parti Cinta Malaysia.

The seat, now held by PCM’s Gabriel Adit, appears to be a “grey” area to the Barisan Nasional especially to Parti Rakyat Sarawak which has been given the task to retake it from the Opposition.

This is because of the “new problem” that has surfaced in recent months – the infighting among the PRS Ngemah Division between the supporters of two of division’s strongmen – Peter Telajan, the former chairman and the newly elected chairman Alexander Vincent.

The dispute arose when the list of 2000 card members recorded in the division were not allowed to attend the division election in February this year after Alexander Vincent and his supporters objected to their inclusion, the reason being they were recruited during the time when Sng Chee Hua was the party’s deputy president.

It is said that Vincent wanted the list in the headquarters to be used, which has about 900 members. The headquarters list was approved.

Despite his objection, nothing much Telajan could do.

On the day of the election, some 400 members attended the branch meeting. Telajan alleged that Vincent brought certain people who were not members to attend the meeting and this resulted in his defeat.

Further more, Telajan was also unhappy with the way the election was conducted; it had earlier agreed that a secret ballot was to be used in the election; but when election was held, the presiding officer Wilson Nyabong called for a body count.

Telajan has lodged a Police report and has threatened to lodge a complaint with the Registrar of Societies.

As a result of this disagreement, the division was not allowed to send delegates to the party’s triennial delegates’ conference in Bintulu on 15 May and has been without chairman for the past six months.

The dispute may not affect the legality of the division election, even if it does, it can only affect the division itself; but it can certainly create more enemies for Vincent which he cannot afford when facing the coming state election.

However, last Saturday, PRS president James Masing told the Press that the problem has been now resolved and that Vincent “is the legitimate” chief of the Ngemah division.

For Vincent, his confirmation means that he can go around with the full authority of the party behind him as he is tipped to be the next candidate for the constituency.

But whoever Masing is going to nominate be he Alexander or somebody else, it is not going to be a plain sailing for the BN candidate in the coming election.

And don’t forget there are SPDP members who are still harbouring grudges against Masing and PRS and are likely to vote against PRS-nominated candidate as they did in the previous election.

It makes the task for the BN-PRS to win back the seat much harder as BN’s headache is further compounded by the uncomfortable relationship between Masing and SPDP president William Mawan over the issue of “SPDP 5”.

The “SPDP 5” which walked out from a SPDP supreme council meeting early this year due to differences with Mawan wanted to seek refuge in PRS. Masing’s meeting with them and his readiness to accept them has angered Mawan and other SPDP leaders.

The five are Assistant minister of Environment and state assemblyman for Tasik Peter Nansian, Assistant minister of water supply and state assemblyman for Marudi Sylvester Enteri, state assemblywoman for Bekenu, Rosey Yunus, state assemblyman for Batu Danau Paulus Gumbang and MP for Mas Gading Tiki Lafe.

In the last election, the BN lost the seat to Adit who stood as an independent candidate, due to the internal bickering between PRS and SPDP. Both parties put a claim to the seat.

PRS which was registered after the demise of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak in 2004 thought that it had the right to claim the seat as it considered itself to be the off-shoot of PBDS. The seat had always belonged to PBDS. Adit was the last PBDS’ flag bearer in the constituency.

Adit instead of joining PRS chose to join SPDP after PBDS was deregistered. In accepting Adit to his party Mawan was hoping that Adit would be able to bring the seat to SPDP. But Mawan was wrong.

Bitter exchanges of words were made over the issue. The claim for the seat was only settled in the 11th hour of nomination; it was given to PRS and this caused a lot of unhappiness among the SPDP leaders and members especially in Ngemah.

Adit was then forced to contest as an independent candidate, and with the support of SPDP members he defeated the BN-PRS candidate, Alexander Vincent.

“In the coming election PRS is determined to win back the seat, and it will not tolerate BN members especially some SPDP members, who oppose our candidate,” said a PRS leader.

“If their activities are prejudicial to PRS, it is likely PRS will retaliate and strike at nearby SPDP constituencies like Meluan, and Pakan where SPDP president is likely to defend his seat,” said the leader who refused to be identified.

And the likelihood of “BN fighting BN” scenario appears to be unavoidable in some of these PRS and SPDP constituencies. For Ngemah seat, PRS is likely to face Adit now PCM chairman and a candidate of the Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak comprising DAP, PKR, SNAP and PAS.

“Given all these problems, it is going to be an uphill task for BN and PRS to recapture Ngemah seat,” admitted the PRS leader.

Saturday, August 7

Malaysia at the crossroads

There is so much talk of an early election. About 7 million young voters will be eligible to vote come the 13GE.
We all know that once in a few years we are given the opportunity to vote. Why vote? It has no effect on the outcome.

One vote alone may not count but many votes together become a voice to be reckoned with. Let your voice be heard.

This election, more so than others is a vital election because we are at a cross roads. If we get it right we will prosper; if we get it wrong, we will suffer as we have seen in our neighboring countries.
To help you decide please ponder these issues:

Do you think that you have been treated fairly and equally as provided under the Federal Constitution?

Do you think our politicians in power are corrupt?

Do you think our civil service is corrupt?

Do you think the civil servants are incompetent?

Do you think the people in power sets themselves above the law and rule by law instead of rule of law?

Do you think our leadership has lost its way?

Do you think we are getting more & more divided by race, sectarian interests & religion?

Do you think we have a questionable justice system?

Do you think that they are wasting our wealth?

Do you think our children will suffer more?

Do you want to see a momentous change for you and the rest of the citizens?

If you say yes to 3 or more of these issues, don't you think we need change? YOU CAN MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN!!! Change we can and we must.
Just send this to 10 other relatives or friends and ask them to do the same to 10 of their friends and so on.

By so doing we are enlisting the power of multilevel marketing. Yes the math works and it is awesome.

By the 7th level this message would reach 1,000,000 people. Yes we can make our vote count! Better believe it!! We owe it to ourselves and to our children and to their children.

Internet is a wonderful instrument to bring change and fight authoritarianism peacefully and we must use it for the good of all.

Yes we can bring change, and we must do it as we owe that to our children and grandchildren.

Albert Einstein's statement "The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" is very true and we must not let the evil people rule the country.
The biggest traitors to the nation are those who keep sitting on the fence but grab all the benefits of the efforts of others.
Let us show that 'Malaysia Boleh' applies not only to bad things but good as well. It is in our hands to make it happen for ours and our children's future.

May the force of wisdom be with you.

Thank you

Thursday, August 5

Another victory for Nor Anak Nyawai

(The story was first published by Free Malaysia Today and is reproduced here for the readers of The Broken Shield).

KUCHING: Native customary land owners Nor anak Nyawai and three others yesterday (4 August) won another round of victory against Tatau Land Sdn Bhd, Superintendent of Lands and Surveys, Bintulu and the State government of Sarawak, when the Kuching High Court allowed their application for an injunction until the disposal of the case.

The disputed land is described at Lots 15 and 16, Block 3 Sangan District respectively in Tatau, Bintulu.

The plaintiffs represented Baru Bian of M/S Baru Bian & Advocates are asking for various declaratory reliefs including a declaration that the issuance of provisional leases is null and void.

Additionally, they are also seeking a prohibitory injunction restraining the first defendant, Tatau Land Sdn Bhd, its servants and agents from entering, clearing and occupying the land over which they (the plaintiffs) claim native customary rights.

The instant application is the plaintiffs’ application for an interlocutory order in relation to the prohibitory injunction which is one of the reliefs the plaintiffs are asking for in the action.

In their affidavit to support their application, the plaintiffs asserted that their ancestors and through to them, have for many generations past until now continued to occupy, cultivate and use the land they are claiming to be entitled to under native laws and custom.

They said that they were neither aware of nor consented to the issuance of the provisional leases to the first defendant, Tatau Land Sdn Bhd which constituted the extinguishment or termination of their native customary rights over land covered under the provisional leases.

Towards the end of November 2010, the servants of the first defendant and the second defendant, the superintendent of lands and surveys, demolished 25 houses within Lot 16 and unless restrained 30 more houses belonging to the plaintiffs would also be demolished and at the same time the physical evidence constituting proof of the plaintiffs’ claim to native customary rights at the trial of the action would be destroyed.

The first defendant resisted the application for interlocutory injunction. The first defendant by an affidavit filed on its behalf admitted to being the registered proprietor of the 650 hectares of land under Lot 16 which was alienated on 23 December 2002 and to be developed into a new township called Samarakan.

The first defendant had though its director, one Ghazali bin Ismail had ascertained from the second defendant that Lot 16 was devoid of any native claims. It was asserted on behalf of the first defendant that a previous action commenced by the plaintiffs in 1999 and finally determined, Lot 16 fell outside the area which had been adjudicated to be land under native customary rights to which the plaintiffs were entitled to.

On 18 December 2008, the first defendant successfully obtained an order of possession granted by the High Court at Bintulu against persons in occupation of Lot 16 and it was conceded by the first defendant that only the fourth plaintiff was a party to those proceedings.

There was no application for stay of the order for possession. The plaintiffs were granted an ex-parte order which prevented the first defendant from proceeding to develop the township and thereby sustained substantial losses caused by the delay to the project, hence the inter-partes hearing of the plaintiffs’ application for interlocutory injunction.

In his ruling, Justice Linton Albert said that he did not think that the decision in the suit commenced by the plaintiffs in 1999 on the extent of their native customary rights over land is of any consequence because the case was in relation to land alienated to Borneo Pulp Plantation Sdn Bhd, the defendant in that case in respect of which the first defendant was not a party.

“It stands to reason, therefore, that the decision in the 1999 case did not exhaustively limit the plaintiffs’ entitlement to and order under native customary rights and preclude the plaintiffs from pursuing what they perceive to be their rightful claim to native customary rights outside the area determined in the 1999 suit which allegedly includes the area alienated under Lot 16.

“Clearly, it did not matter that Lot 16 was outside the confines of the area determined in the 1999 suit.

“Likewise, the fact that the High Court in Bintulu had ruled in favour of the first defendant by granting it an order of possession did not ipso facto extinguish the plaintiffs’ claim because not only were the plaintiffs except the fourth plaintiff, not parties to the proceedings where the first defendant obtained the order of possession, there were also difficult questions concerning complex legal issues involving res judicata and these are matters which could only be effectively determined at the trial,” he said.

Justice Linton allowed the application and costs to be in the cause.

Leonard Shim of Reddi & Co. Advocates, Kuching represented Tatau Land Sdn Bhd, while the superintendent of lands and surveys, Bintulu and the State Government of Sarawak were represented by Joseph Chioh of the State Attorney-General’s Chambers, Kuching.

Monday, August 2

All 18 agro stations to be revived

According to The Borneo Post today (1 August), all the agricultural stations throughout the state, which have been closed for some time, will be revived next year, deputy chief minister Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang announced yesterday in Betong.

This includes the stations in Tarat, Serian and Layar, Sibiew (Bintulu) and Punang (Lawas).

Staff from the agricultural department would be deployed to all the stations.

“Reviving the agriculture stations is meant to complement the government’s effort to help the rural populace. There is a need to revive them to develop the agriculture sector,” he said.

Besides reviving the 18 stations, the government had decided to build another three such stations, said Jabu, who is also the minister of modernisation of agriculture.

He did not give reasons why the agricultural stations were closed.

These stations became the training ground for our rural people to be “efficient” farmers in terms of rearing chickens, ducks, goats, cows and fish and of planting padi, pepper, cocoa, fruit trees and vegetables, and of teaching the women folk home economics – to look after their families, sewing, cake-making, handicraft, and so on and so on.

Under this agriculture home extension programme, home demonstrators from the agriculture department visited the rural villages and longhouses weekly or monthly to ensure that their programmes went on smoothly. Agriculture officers were also sent to ensure that the pepper vines, cocoa, rubber trees, fruit trees and their chickens and herds were always healthy.

Suddenly all these stopped. Why? And the man who stopped all these was Adenan Satem, who then became agriculture minister. He took over from Daniel Tajem after the Ming Court affair in March 1987.

All the staff members from these stations were pulled back to agricultural offices. The home demonstrators were absorbed into normal staff. We did not know the reasons why all the stations were stopped. However, we can only guess.

Under this home extension programme, the rural people were rather comfortable and healthy in their live style, earning regular incomes weekly. If that was the trend, then they could not succumb easily to the bribery temptation of the Barisan Nasional during election times. Bribe them they would reject the offer.

But now poverty has set in, and Dayaks particularly the Ibans have suddenly become the poorest in the country. Bribe them with RM10, they will gladly take it and vote for the Barisan Nasional candidates.

We should not only welcome the move to revive the 18 stations, but also urge Jabu to re-introduce the home economics and bring back home demonstrators.

At least this will give our Dayak girls the opportunity to work in the agriculture sector and to minimize it (Agriculture Department) being controlled by one race as of now as well as to practise 1Malaysia concept in the department.- The Broken Shield.

Source: www.thebrokenshield.blogspot.com