Sunday, March 18

Land grabs: More natives take law into their hands

KUCHING:    Sarawak DAP today warned that more and more frustrated landowners taking the law into their hands as the state government continued to take advantage of the law to take away native customary rights land from the natives.

“The clear example was an incident in Simunjan on March 13, 2012 when several machineries belonging to Tabong Haji were burnt down allegedly by angry native landowners,” said DAP Secretary Chong Chieng Jen.

“I think the administration of NCR land by the state government is appalling on the way it is dishing out land and giving it to crony companies of state assemblymen resulting in a lot of dissatisfaction and frustration.

“The government is using the law and amending it to its advantage and taking advantage over the native landowners.

“That is why nowadays there are demonstrations against the government in respect of their NCR land,” said Chong, who is the Kota Sentosa and MP for Bandar Kuching.

He said that there are more than 200 NCR land cases in court whereby the landowners are seeking claims on their NCR land, pointing out that going to court is not the way to solve the problem.

“The only way to solve the problem is to change the policy; otherwise we are seeing more and more frustrated landowners taking the law in their own hands.

“The clear example is the Simunjan case where by some machineries of Tabong Haji were burnt a few days ago,” he added, saying that the government was trying to cover up the incident and all the main stream media did not report it.

“I think this is not the way to solve the problems, because at the end of the day more conflicts and more unhappy incidents and even violence will happen. This is something we do not wish to see,” he said.

Chong was commenting on the failure of 65 landowners from Balai Ringin who wished to see the Director of Lands and Surveys at the Land and Survey Headquarters on Friday morning to find out the status their complaints.

Two months ago the same landowners met with the officers of Lands and Surveys regarding their land which they claimed was leased to companies without their knowledge.

“Today the same group came down to find out the status of the investigation when they received no response from the department.

“What happened is that we were stopped by the guards and were not allowed to enter the Land and Survey headquarters even when it was raining heavily.

“We were all drenched outside.  And after waiting for more than three hours, we had no choice but to burst into the building. And only then a legal officer of the department came to see me and a few of the landowners,” said Chong.

He said that the director was not in and advised the landowners to write in making an appointment in one month’s time.

“I told him that one month is too long and the landowners will come back in two weeks’ time. They will campaign near the Land and Survey Headquarters until the director comes to see them,” he said.

During the meeting, Chong urged the officer to ask his department to issue a stop order against the companies from carrying out works in the affected NCR land.

The officer promised to look into it.

In January, some 50 landowners led by Augustine Bagat met with officials of the Lands and Surveys at its headquarters in Kuching urging the department to withdrawal the provisional leases on their land awarded to a number of companies having close links with the state government leaders.

One of the companies is allegedly owned by the former Kedup assemblyman, Frederick Bayoi Manggie.

His company is said to have been awarded 5,500 acres of land, the bulk of it is NCR land.


Apai Semalau said...

We salute Yb.Chong.He cares for all Sarawakians regardless of race. Let justice be done. Sadly "justice" is not in the vocabulary of BN. Neither is "cronyism and corruption".Where are the elected Ybs. of constituents whose NCR are stolen from? All corrupted to the core! They have sold their souls for the love of $$$$$$$.

FairviewBetong said...

I am begining to realise that our dayak (Iban) people are losing their good culture of consultation with our elders.

We must accept that we have our very own hogansiaus in the persons of Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Alfred who is our rightful Deputy Chief Minister. Assisting him are Tan Sri Dr. James Masing and Tan Sri William Mawan and Datuk Michael manyin for the Bidayuh community. Together they are our wisdom-ful hogansiaus.

Maybe the Ibans in Simunjan should have consulted and seek prior advice from our hogansiaus before taking the law into their own hands
and things could have been positively different.

We must realise that our hogansiaus are there to protect us in time of needs. Not the NGOs.

Just a word of concern. Thank you

Iban rumah panjai said...

The landowners took the law into their own hands, because the authorities, the police and their elected representatives ignored their police reports and their grievances.

I substantiate here my proof. On 24th April, 2011 some residents from the 10 villages in Tebedu damaged a wooden bridge in protesting over logging activities in their NCR land. Serian MP, Richard Riot said that Michael Manyin being a state cabinet member was the best position to handle the issue. Why he passed the buck to Manyin? But Manyin was also kept quiet.

Several days later, on May 8th, 2011, seven heavy machinery, four lorries and five logging workers quarters were burnt by the landowners. The villagers said that they had to act as the relevant authorities had failed to stop the logging activities. They had tested out patience and we just could not take it anymore. We have lodged several police reports and complaints to the authorities but the logging activities still continued. We are just fed-up, they said.

In Ulu Sebanggan incident in 2010, the villagers said that they had made several police reports against the contractor for logging activities in their native customary land, but their complaints were ignore by the police and the authorities.

But each time, there was s similar incident, our dayak ministers especially Iban ministers were quiet. Why? So next time, if anyone of them saying that the participating of NCR landowners in joint venture programmes is a tool of eradicating rural poverty, improve rural standards of living and create more job opportunities, do not believe them, because why do our rural youths keep on leaving their villages and longhouses looking for job in West Malaysia and abroad? Secondly, why we can still see the villages protested, demonstrated and burnt the logging camps and their equipment everywhere in Sarawak?

Apai irau said...

Generally,it is wrong to take laws into one's own hand but there is an exception to it-if a person could not get justice,even though he or she has exhausted all the legal means to seek redress,he or she has the right to do thing which is deemed right according to his or her judgment or reasoning.In the case of land grabbing in Sarawak,the natives grievances just fall into deaf ears of all the relevant authorities for years.So what choice do they have to protect their very own rights over their NCR land.Bow to the YB TAUKAYS?No way,they themselves are the robbers or the least,accomplices to the robbers.As much as we do not want any violence occur between the natives and the government or 'their robbers nominees',i personally believe that more and more unmitigated encounters will happen in the future unless the government put a stop to this victimizing land policy.

Anonymous said...

Fairviewbetong, you are like an ostrich with your head buried in the sand. Admittedly, you and your "wisdom-ful hogansiaus" are just a bunch of NCR rapists with self serving interests to cream off the dayaks their most valuable possessions! May our forefathers curse the lot of you till kingdom come for perpetuating such injustice on Sarawakian natives.

Anonymous said...

Datuk Linggi kaya laban lisen kampung.Sapa nanam kayu ba kampung nya,apai ia? Jabu bisi beribu-ribu ekar kebun sawit,sapa empu tanah alai nanam sawit nya,apai ia? Sida Taukay Masing enggau Mong Trading udah bisi di beri taukay Taib lisen kampung enggau tanah beribu ekar kena ngaga kebun sawit,sapa nanam kayu lalu sapa empu tanah NCR nya,enggi apai sida ia? Parai nipu.

FairviewBetong said...

My friend Anonymous.

I do not know your origin but should you come from Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi's area i.e. Betong, what you wrote was totally against the practise norm our us Betongites.

Cursing people for their good intention is not right but as always, YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi shall not feel ticklish at all by your mis-anger.

If you could please address our YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi OUR HONOURABLE HOGANSIAU in your future postings as he deserves such address and nothing less.

You may wish to apoligise to YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi for his top-class, undisputed intergrity, heaven high moral values,total honesty and wisdomful leadership. He never benefits from his position let alone betray his own race.

Please come back to your senses mr. anonymous. Thank you

Bok pisin dunggol manok said...

To Fairview Betong.I couldn,t agree more with you that Jabu is the undisputed HugonSIAL of the Ibans.The most honest among the SIALS-paranoid,moron and cretin-all fine traits of a leader.Yahoooo.hidup hugon SIAL.