Monday, January 30

More natives reporting ‘land grabs’

(Taken from Free Malaysia Today)
January 30, 2012

Within the next '10 years or less' several thousand natives in Sarawak are likely to end up being landless vagrants if the current government's policies continue.

KUCHING: Alleged land grabs involving native customary rights (NCR) properties by the Taib Mahmud-led government is reaching such “chronic” proportions that “in 10 years or less” there will be no native-owned areas, claims a prominent Sarawak NCR lawyer.

According to Baru Bian, an increasing number of cases of NCR land grabs are being reported from as far interior as Lawas in the north and Lundu in the south of Sarawak.

“From Lawas to Lundu, the NCR lands have been grabbed by the state Barisan Nasional government.

“It is so chronic that in 10 years or even less, the native landowners will have no more land left for them to farm and earn a living. And we are talking about several thousand natives being deprived of their land.

“They will therefore be forced out of their land and moved to cities and towns as their land has been given to oil palm and timber companies under the so-called provisional leases,” said Bian, who is the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.

He said that in the cities and towns, these people will become vagrants living under bridges and becoming illegal squatters. Soon, they will create a new set of social problems.

“Already many have become scavengers and are involved in crimes and drugs. This is our main worry as they pose social problems.

“If the current government’s policy is not changed, and if the people keep on supporting the BN, this is going to be the reality,” he said.

Bian said since the state election in April, more than 50 NCR cases had surfaced and are waiting to be filed in court.

Challenge to debate Taib
Already more than 200 NCR land-grabbing cases are pending hearing in the High Court here.

“The number of new NCR land cases is really shocking.

“More and more natives are coming to see us with their complaints that their land have been taken away from them.

“But the government denies this. It says it never grabbed NCR land.

“And if it continues to say so, then my challenge to Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud for an open debate is still there,” said Bian.

Bian had, in February last year, challenged Taib to debate the opposition’s allegations of land grabs by the government.

Initially, Taib was ready to accept the challenge if Bian could show strong evidence to support his allegation that the government had seized NCR land.

Bian was ready with proof but the debate did not materialise as some leaders of Taib’s Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) said that Bian was not equal to Taib in stature and was not “even” an elected representative.

On April 16 last year, Bian won the Ba’ Kelalan state seat defeating BN-Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) candidate Willie Liau by 473 votes.

With the win, Bian, who is also Sarawak PKR chairman, is in a better position to debate with Taib.

“My challenge for an open debate with the chief minister is still on.

“And I insist we debate with the number one (man), that is, the chief minister himself,” said Bian.


Sri Belalang said...

Both the timber and plantation companies which are given leases by the state government for oil palm plantation and logging concessions had led to series of conflicts between them and the natives who accused the two companies encroached into areas which they claimed as theirs by virtue of native customary rights(NCR).

Is illegal encroached to NCR land not tantamount to "land grab" or "snatching"?

When the landowners filed the cases in court claiming that they have acquired, created and inherited native customary rights over land, was it nonsense or just for fund? No it was not. The landowners knew that the government did not help them to solve the problem involving NCR land; they turned to court to seek justice.

It is possible that the 'disputed' land will be returned to the landowners if Pakatan Rakyat governs the state in future. How? PR will make amendments to the Land Code. So for a start, the Iban/Dayak/Orang Ulu should vote for Pakatan Rakyat during this 13th general election in our effort 'journey to Putra Jaya".

God willing, we are able to do it.

Apai irau said...

We must remember what our 'beloved' Land Ordinance says about untitled land(NCR included).Two main culprit provisions are,firstly,all untitled land are deemed state land and secondly,we can only claim a land as our NCR if such land was cleared on or before 1st January,1958,if i am not wrong.Therefore,not only our NCR are not secured in term of ownership but it is very expensive to prove its NCR status in court and it is time consuming.The government,with its vast resources will ask State AG to fight till the Federal Court,which,with our limited resources in most cases,we will not be able to go that far.Taib is making use of these'culprit'provisions of our Land Ordinance to rob our NCR land.Our DAYAK MINISTERS,ESPECIALLY THE SO-CALLED SENIOR MINISTERS are FULLY AWARE OF THIS FACT BUT THEY TOO ARE ROBBERS LIKE TAIB.THEY WERE THE MAIN ACCOMPLICES TO TAIB'sAGENDA.Pity,most of us do not know what to do when voting during election.

FairviewBetong said...

In all fairness, maybe its worth considering if all dayaks could discuss matters through our established representative in the current (government) system. It has been our culture to bring matters affecting us to the attention of our leaders.

YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Alfred Jabu is all ears i guarantee. He can then bring up the matter with the state leaders for amicable settlement. Afterall, the idea to lease out NCR land are purely for development purposes to uplift the living standard of the rural dayak NCR landowners.

Imagine the thousands of us dayak (people) being gainfully employed by the ladang!!!!! Unless of course we are choosy of jobs.

May i also suggest that YB Baru Bian communicate with YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Jabu as well as YB Tan Sri Masing and YB Tan Sri Mawan to formulate a fair and workable policies to end the unnecessary misunderstading and dispute over NCR Land.

Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

Debating with Taib will be of no avail. Things will not change one bit untuil PBB political gridlock is demolished.

NCR land is 'State Land". This is a colonial heritage, or even carried over from Brooke Regime. Of course it should by now be changed or it can be changed. But by who? Looking at the present BRIM of RM500. 00 has caused almost pandomonium, each one is eager to share the pie, and those that have gotten their shares are praising the government of the day like nobody businesses, and come GE13 these same people who are angry over the NCR problem and land grabbing will be laughing to the polling booth to vote BN who "cares for the people' welfare and interests". This situation will be in forever. In fact will only get worst. Once rural people are without the means to and will lost the spirit of struggle over their own rights, then of course the rural people will become 'stangers' in this country. They will become the street sweepers, drain cleaners, and worst beggers and prostitutes in niteclubs and bars and after they grown too old will be dumped in the street. O yes, this scenario is as real as it will get to ahppen before our very eyes. One YB ADUN Baru Bian with due respect to him will be nothing to Taib and his machines even if the latter accepted to debate the former.

Anonymous said...

To solve this 'land grabs' issue is just by ousting out BN from the government. And I hope and pray the natives, in general, have the first class mentality and integrity not to be hookwinked by BR1M, satu babi satu rumah panjai, atap zinc, or other nano gifts and sell their votes. We already have so many natives goons as our BN leaders; they are arrogant and proud to have all the 1st class handouts but still having that 3rd class mentality and shameful, dishonest, corrupt and no intergrity character. History will remember them and future generations of natives shall curse them when we have no more land and identity to cling on to. GOD bless Baru Bian.