KUCHING: Sarawak PKR has accused the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) of short changing native participants in its schemes.
Nicholas Bawin, who leads the party’s Lubok Antu division, said that despite Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Numpang’s “big talk” about dividends accruing from the Salcra oil palm estates, the payout to the natives was paltry.
He cited the amount received by families living in Rumah Empirong, the 30-door longhouse he comes from. “This year, each family is getting only RM350.”
Bawin was commenting on a recent statement by Jabu that Salcra’s profits were high because of prudent management. Jabu said the 16,374 landowners participating in Salcra schemes would receive RM100.9 million in dividends this year.
Salcra was established in 1976. It has about 51,000 hectares planted with oil palm. However, Bawin said, it had brought little benefit to native landowners.
“Salcra is supposed to help the poor native landowners, but with the small dividends they receive each year, how can their economic wellbeing be improved?” he said. “Is it worthwhile for the NCR (native customary rights) landowners to participate in Salcra?”
Bawin is a former deputy president of the Council of Dayak Customs and Traditions.
He also complained about the unreliability of water supply to 21 longhouses in the Batang Ai resettlement scheme. These longhouses were transferred from areas now submerged by the Batang Ai dam.
Bawin said there should not be any problem supplying water to these families because the source is the huge Lemanak River. “But what we experience regularly is that there are often interruptions of water supply to our homes.” - Free Malaysia Today
COMMENT: Who is to be blamed for this blunder? Of course Jabu, as he is the man who has personally selected someone as general manager who lacks experience as an oil palm planter. He is only an accountant? Or did he pass it?
Because of his lack of experience Salcra oil palm estates have not progressed. Not even a plant had been planted under its expansion programme in the eighth, ninth and tenth Malaysia Plans. But the GM is very arrogant blaming everybody for his failures. Most of the senior staffs who have been with Salcra for the last 20 to 30 years are really expert on oil palm plantation, but the GM would not listen to them.
Many could not tolerate his arrogance so they either asked for early retirement or asked to be transferred to other departments which need their expertise. Now filling those posts are mostly his relatives or cronies who are given much higher salaries than the senior civil servant in Salcra. The way it looks, Salcra is not making money. But it is projected to pay millions of ringgit of dividends.
Now that Land Development Minister is back to control Salcra, he should do something about it before it is too late.
What do the readers think?