Saturday, September 10

Govt trying to hoodwink landowners

KUCHING: A Sarawak PKR leader today accused the BN government of trying to hoodwink and mislead the indigenous communities so as to maintain their electoral support by saying that the declaration of native communal reserves is a confirmation and a statutory recognition of native ownership over their NCR land.

“There is no truth and substance in the statement of the lands and surveys that a declaration of native communal reserves is a confirmation and statutory recognition of native ownership over their NCR land,” said Ali Biju, vice-chairman of Sarawak PKR.

Ali, who is also the state assemblyman for Krian, was commenting on a statement issued by the lands and surveys which dismissed Ali’s earlier claim that the perimeter survey and the declaration of NCR land under section 6 of Sarawak Land Code as native communal reserves will downgrade the NCR land status.

“Contrary to Ali’s claims, rights over the land gazetted as communal reserve land was administered and regulated by the native system of personal law of the native communities concerned,” said the statement.

“This means the acquisition, usage, transfer or transmission of rights and privileges over land, buildings or any structure thereon shall be governed by the customary law of the native communities for whose benefit the communal reserve is declared.

“Lands within a native communal reserve are not held by the natives on trust for the government as alleged by YB Ali Biju.

“The native communities having a native communal reserve have control over their land and will also be able to detect and prevent any unlawful intrusion or encroachment upon their land because the gazette will describe clearly land within the declared native communal reserve and refer to an official plan to define the precise boundaries thereof,” said the statement.

In countering the statement, Ali said: “The BN government is trying to hoodwink and mislead the indigenous communities so as to maintain their electoral support by saying that a declaration and a statutory recognition of native ownership over their NCR land.

“There is no truth and substance in the statement of the lands and surveys,” he said.

Section 6 (3) of the land code which concerns native communal reserves provides that ‘such land (native communal reserves) shall continue to be state land, and the native community for whose use it was reserved or any member thereof acquiring any rights therein shall hold the same as a licensee from the government....’

Ali said: “There is no difference from the presently native in occupation of NCR land without a document of title, that they are ‘deemed to be holding by licence from the government’ according to section 5(1)(i) of Sarawak Land Code.

“The land code is in need of a total revamp, in view of the authoritative judicial interpretation and elucidation of the meanings and scope of NCR, to be of relevance and proper and legal application,” he said.

“The perimeter survey works carried out by the government is a relegation and unlawful confine of the NCR, benefiting only those ‘BNputras’ who are prying on NCR land for their own financial gains, through their control of state government and state machineries,” Ali claimed.

The perimeter survey is a project of Prime Minister Najib Razak to win over the hearts and minds of the native communities.

It was launched just before the state election in April when he announced an allocation of RM20 million to carry out the project.

Another RM60 million was added to the amount during the campaigning period.

There are more than 1.6 million hectares of NCR lands which were hot issues during the state election especially when the Opposition accused the government of taking away the lands and leased them to oil palm conglomerates and timber companies.

Unhappy landowners have sued the government. Currently there are more than 200 cases pending hearing in the High Court.


Apai irau said...

Sorry YB,you are wrong.The Government is not trying to hoodwink landowners.The fact is the Government has hoodwinked and continue to hoodwink the landowners.

Aki Josh said...

The key issue is whether the perimeter survey and declaration of Native Communal Reserve will incorporate the entire pemakai menoa (as claimed under adat) or only land cleared before 1958. If the latter, customary landholders are no better off and will not be protected from attempts to appropriate their land for private plantations. In fact, they will be worse off because the demarcation will make explicit the government's claim to that portion of the pemakai menoa that was not cleared.

fairview said...

The Sarawak government through the good office of YAB Tan Sri Jabu, Tan Sri Masing and Tan Sri Mawan is sincere in trying to help the Dayaks.

The opposition is only good at making noise for political gain.

The Dayaks are well represented in every field. Be it Education, Civil Services, Business opportunities, army and so on and so forth.

If one is to do a simple survey, the dayaks are everywhere spending, Supermarket, pubs, and other trading places.

Whenever there are recreational programmes organised, the dayaks of all ages are everywhere enjoying the programme.

Today you see the dayaks having their own buildings, good dwelling houses and other premises for offices and other beneficial use.

Roads, water and electricity are available in most longhouses. Even the most remote of longhouses shall in the not too distant future enjoy basic amenities as the government is serious in wanting to help the dayaks.

The dayaks are more than fairly accorded the Ministerial, Assistant Ministerial, Political secretaries, Councillorship positions.

The Land development programme has proven to be successful and most Dayaks landowners are very happy with the returns. One can read about the announcement of payout of dividens almost on a monthly basis.

It was a wisdom non-comparable when the able dayaks BN ministers and elected representative took a brave move to amend land laws for the purpose to facilitate easier dealings of NCR lands by the authorities.

So if there is any individuals (dayaks) out there to complain, do not listen to them as the government is sincere with the programme to uplift the living standard of the dayak race.

Thank you.