Sunday, October 28

What’s really left of our forest, Taib?’

Does the Sarawak government even know how much of the state's rainforest is left?

KUCHING: Conflicting statements from Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and his much-speculated successor Awang Tengah Ali Hassan over the size of Sarawak’s remaining rainforest have raised more questions.

According to Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian, last week Taib said that 48% of the land mass in the state was still covered with forest.

The same Taib in a YouTube video posted last year claimed that 70% of Sarawak’s forest was intact, which is equivalent to about 8.68 million hectares (ha). This year the figure is 6 million ha.

“This means that in just over one year, 2.68 million ha of our forest has been destroyed. Is the chief minister intending to continue clearing what is left?

“Will the figure next year be five million ha? What about the disastrous consequences of the deforestation that have been carried out to date?” asked Bian.

Sarawak’s total land mass is about 12.4 million ha.

Taib’s statement also contradicts comments made by Awang Tengah, who is Resource Planning and Environment Second Minister, on the same issue.

Bian said in February this year, Awang Tengah declared proudly at the World Wetlands Day celebrations that the state is more than 80% covered with forest.

He also declared that the state has targeted to turn some one million ha of its natural forest by 2020 into totally protected areas in the form of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

A further six million ha will be left untouched to become permanent forest while another two million ha has been approved for forest rehabilitation programme.

“Now we’re left confused. If the chief minister says that there is only six million ha of forest left and Awang Tengah says one million ha will be turned into totally protected areas and six million ha will be left untouched, then all logging activities should stop immediately to preserve the six million ha that is left.

“But that still leaves us with one million ha short for the totally protected areas.

“Clearly, the authorities do not wish to disclose the statistics to the public, judging from the conflicting figures presented to the public.

“Perhaps they do not know themselves how much of our forests is left. At the same time, they deny the claims of environmentalists that judging from satellite images, Sarawak has lost up to 90% of its primary forest cover.

“The land belongs to the people of Sarawak and the authorities have been entrusted to manage and protect this precious lifeline of the people.

“The least they can do is to disclose the accurate figures to the public instead of giving us such confusing and conflicting figures,” Bian said.

Define ‘forests’

He said the conflicting statements are not helping dispel people’s growing distrust of the BN government.

Already hogging the alternative media headlines and online Radio Free Sarawak broadcasts are widespread allegations of land grabs and self-enriching projects by those in power.

Said Bian: “There are now more questions than answers. What are they to do with the countless number of people displaced and dispossessed by logging and plantation companies which are now fighting for their NCR lands?

“What about the destruction of the habitat of wildlife by these companies and the loss of the sources of food and medicinal plants for the people who live off the land?

“And the pollution and silting of the rivers caused by the logging activities and the resulting loss of fish and aquatic life?”

He also questioned the quality of the remaining forest and urged the government to define the term “forest”.

“Do planted forests and plantations come under the government’s definition of ‘forest’?

“How much of the merchantable timber is left? In many areas, the natives are left with low-grade timber which they cannot use for building their houses or boats.

“The other burning issues for me are how much of the land in Sarawak are plantation land, and protected forests and how much of the protected areas have been excised for plantations by the government,” said Bian, who is also Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.

-  Free Malaysia Today

Monday, October 22

‘Sarawak’s paper millionaires’

The state government claims that they have created 2,000 millionaires through the Native Customary Rights JV concept, but others claim they are only paper millionaires.

KUCHING: The Sarawak government claims that they have created 2,000 millionaires through the new Native Customary Rights concept but detractors say they are “paper millionaires”

Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian says that they are only paper millionaires.

He was refuting claims by assistant minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development) Mohd Naroden Majais’ statement that 2,000 participant in the NCR exercise were now millionaires.

Naroden had said that through the NCR land development and new concept through JV, about 2,000 landowners who have 50 acres and above now are holding assets worth a million ringgit.

“Therefore, we can say that the scheme has created not less than 2,000 rural Bumiputera millionaires,” the assistant minister had said.

Bian who is also the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman said: “His statement is misleading. In terms of acreage you may say they are ‘paper millionaires’.

“The truth is that they are ‘bankrupt millionaires’, because they have not been paid their dues by the investors and government agency’s agent like Pelita or LCDA (Land Custody Development Authority).

“Two cases had been nullified by the court including the brain child NCR land project of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud in Machan, Kanowit.

“After nine years the investors said that there are no profits so there are no dividends, so what millionaires is he is talking about?

Commenting on the same issue, Patrick Sibat Sujang, a former NCR land development committee member of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) accused the assistant minister of misleading the people.

“While on paper, the value of the land could be worth millions of ringgit, but it is useless and meaningless to the landowners as under the JV concept, the landowners had surrendered their land to the JV companies.

“As the landowners have no rights to their land, they are now at the mercy of the investors. They cannot sell their land or get back their land.

“To me the landowners are condemned to poverty for the next 60 years,” said Sujang, pointing out that some landowners received no dividend at all.

“Even if some of them are paid dividends, it is far below the poverty line, and some scheme participants in Lubok Antu received less than RM10 worth of dividend per year,” he said.

“Tell me how the landowners can become millionaires under this concept?

Sujang believed that the only way the landowners can become rich is for the new concept to be replaced by a rental system.

-      - Taken from Free Malaysia Today

Monday, October 15

Stop the race game, warns Nazri

The de facto law minister says that stern action will be taken against any one that fan racial and religious hatred in the country.

TAIPING: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz has given a final warning to all quarters to stop harping on the sensitive issues of race and religion or face legal consequences.

“This is my last warning to all to stop harping on racial and religious issues and I don’t want to repeat this again,” said Nazri.

“As the law minister, I shall ensure that stern action is taken against any quarters that fan racial and religious hatred (among the various races in the country)” he said.

He was speaking at a fund raising dinner organised by the Persatuan Kebajikan See Hai Keng Si  Trong in Simpang here on Saturday night. The event was attended by leaders from Umno, Gerakan and Pakatan Rakyat, which included Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming.

Nazri said that after 55 years of independence, the nation should not be divided along racial or religious lines and the government would not tolerate such hatred to divide the racially united country.

The Umno leader also said that all the races in the country were rightful citizens of Malaysia and there should be no racial discrimination by calling the Chinese and Indians as “pendatang” as they have also contributed greatly to the economic growth of the nation.

He called all quarters to think as one Malaysian race as propagated by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s slogan of 1Malaysia for the nation to progress towards vision 2020.

Nazri also contributed RM100,000 to the Persatuan’s fundraising campaign while other political leaders also chipped in with their contributions.
Nazri, in his speech, paid glowing recognition to the contributions of the Chinese community who had played a major role in contributing to the fast economic development of Malaysia.

He said the two states of Kenya and Uganda in Africa had also attained independences during the same time when Malaysia received her Merdeka but the African states did not progress economically like this nation.

He reasoned that had the Chinese community made their presence felt in the two African states, than these states would have progressed economically well like Malaysia.

-     Source: Free Malaysia Today.

Comment:  He appears to be giving warning after warning. So far no action has been taken against religious fanatics. We are waiting for his action!

Thursday, October 11


From the Blog of Din Merican

READ and DECIDE for our Country’s Future

I received this via e-mail from a Malaysian friend who is residing in the Land of the Free (USofA). He told me that he is sick to his inner core about our politics and feels very frustrated the current administration and its so-called transformation agenda.

“It is not transformation. It is retrogression, back to the Age of Ignorance and Barbarism”, he says. I thought, I should share this with you. I am very sick knowing that law and order has broken down and the Police and other agencies are part of the ruling kleptocracy.– Din Merican

Never in the history of any country has a government been as hypocritical, deceptive, dishonest and destructive as this government in question.

Which country has had only one political party in government for more than half a century?

Which country allows the government to use public funds for political purposes?

Which country uses the Police to beat up peaceful protestors and corner them when they have already dispersed?

Which country has a Prime Minister linked to murder?

Which country has a Prime Minister linked to corruption and his colleagues don’t bother?

Which country uses Islam as a political tool to destroy other Muslims?

Which country practices racial discrimination in its policies like South Africa?

Which country gives money to the rich to buy houses cheaper because of their race?

Which country gives money to ministers so they get very rich while the poor suffer?

Which country punishes honest former top Custom and Police officers who whistleblow?

Which country allows its government to rob the poor and fill the pockets of the rich by unreasonable road tolls?
Which country bails out cronies in business with public money into billions of ringgit?

Which country forces religion down people’s throats while the political leaders live in sin?

Which country has an anti-corruption agency accused of murder?

Which country has a police system that sees so many Indian youths die in police lock-ups?

Which country has former soldiers take part in politics and act like thugs against a clean and honest lady?

Which country has a ‘First Lady’ who spends the people’s money when the country does not even have a president?

Which country builds a costly palace when many people do not have proper housing, water and electricity?

Which country denies the Opposition time to speak freely yet claims to be the world’s best democracy?

Which country allows the Police to beat its journalists doing their jobs without mercy?

Which country forces its young into national youth programmes and see many die in freak accidents?

Which country has its Prime Minister say something and the DPM disagrees. Remember 1Malaysia and “Aku Melayu”.

Which country has a Prime Minister who runs away while important things happen in his country?

Which country allows dirty videos and other slanderous material to be published against others freely?

Which country has conspired against its Opposition leader in a sex scandal that we know is a conspiracy?

Which country has a retired Prime Minister and No 1 Ass-Hole who can’t keep his mouth shut and creates disharmony?

Which country has someone like former Premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad whose word cannot be trusted – who has said he has retired from politics but is still blabbing?

Which country has a Royal Commission  which exposes mismanagement and corruption in the Police force but nothing is done to correct the shortcomings?

Which country has a Royal Commission to expose judge  fixing and yet still no one is charged?

Which country has the NEP but sees many Malays denied of opportunities because they belong to the wrong political party?

Which country sees the non-Malays discriminated against and deprived of the constitutional rights  while the corrupt take the lion’s share of their prosperity?

Which country makes a car and sells it at a higher price in the country but charges less for it in other countries?

Which country sees the people divided into bumiputera and non-bumiputera and practises apartheid policies?

Which country has gone so backward in its political culture and stays in power by bribing others with money?

Which country has a farmers’ cooperative and short changes  its members not giving them their due money?

Which country has seen so many abuses of power and yet  the government can still stay in power because of electoral irregularities?

Which country has punished its honest citizens for calling for democracy and clean and fair elections?

Which country controls all the country’s mainstream media and spreads propaganda?

Which country punishes media producers who merely want to promote a free country, what’s wrong with that?

Which country spends money on 1Malaysia but promotes racial hatred and disharmony?

Which country allows a politician like that white snake in Sarawak to be filthy rich and rob the natives of their lands and trees?

Which country allows a politician to spend public money to promote himself overseas?

Which country has been censured by the BBC for censoring their news we see?

Which country but MALAYSIA!

Many Malaysians and I have had enough. I can go on and on forever but I don’t want the UMNO-Barisan political coalition to govern our country and lead us to extinction while their sons and daughters party and drive around in Lamborghini and Ferrari cars while the majority of us live in poverty.

The Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Mamak Mahathir are masters of hypocrisy and their deeds expose their forked-tongues, because they say one thing and do something else, and they are able to trick the blind and impressionable who they know how to keep in check with money and illiteracy but not with intelligence, whether they are Malays, Indian, Chinese, Sarawakians or Sabahans.

What happened to Anwar Ibrahim, Teoh Beng Hock, Ahmad Sarbani, and Kugan and many innocent Malaysians can happen to anybody when you have morally depraved politicians in power.

Whatever your status in the country, whatever your race, whatever your religion, your enemy is the one who is turning your country into a disaster zone and the sooner you vote those crooks out of power the sooner you can save your nation and get something better.

No one can do worse than what has been done to Malaysia. Only those who are on the BN’s political payroll or get the kickbacks will disagree when there is the mounting evidence of corruption and abuses of power.

The Umno-MCA-MIC and their Sarawak and Sarawak cronies have sold out their people and traded their interests for their own selfish power and positions.

I am not a member of the Opposition, just a citizen sick of the situation and only a fool will want the same government. If I can, I will vote for change of government for the sake of the nation.

 “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” -- Thomas Jefferson

Murum blockade still on

For Immediate Release

MURUM – The Penans in Murum affected by the Murum Hydro-electric Power (HEP) Dam are still blockading the road leading to the construction site of the dam despite newspaper reports saying otherwise.

Raymond Abin, coordinator for Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (SCANE) confirmed today via telephone that the blockade in Murum is still on and the reports in the newspapers saying that the blockade has been lifted is false.

Raymond said, “Liwan Lagang did indeed tried to negotiate with the Penans to dismantle the blockade, however the Penans were not happy with him as he could not assure them in writing that the government would accede to their demands.”

According to Raymond, the Penans however, did agree to Liwan suggestion to not bring their children to the blockade site and with this some of the Penans brought their children back to their villages.

Liwan also invited a few Penans with him to Bintulu and then Kuching to meet and negotiate with government officials there.

]It is here that Liwan told the press that the blockade has been lifted contrary to the report that Raymond gave.

“I met the elders and leaders in Murum yesterday and they are saying that the blockade is still on,” Raymond said.

“They told me that only one headman accompanied the few members of the community to Kuching and that they are not in the position to make any decisions on behalf of the whole community,” added Raymond.

“The Penans are still adamant with their demands to the government,” said Raymond.

Among their demands are 25 hectares of land for each of the 300 families affected by the dam; RM500,000 cash compensation for each family; 30,000 hectares of land to each of the nine villages; education fund for their children; community development fund for their
community; and rights to land which are not flooded (islands created) by the dam.

On Monday, 8 October 2012, it was reported in the Borneo Post that the Penans in Murum have ended their 10 day blockade with the intervention of state assemblyman for Belaga, Liwan Lagang, who is also Sarawak’s Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage.

The Penans are from 8 villages, namely Long Wat, Long Luar, Long Tangau, Long Menapa, Long Singu and Long Malim, which are located upstream, and Long Peran and Long Jaik in the downstream of the dam project site.

The Murum HEP will inundate and require the forced relocation of about 1,500 Penans as well as the 18 Kenyah-Badeng families in Long Umpa village near Long Malim in Danum River, the upper course of Murum River.

SAVE Rivers is again urging the government to listen to the plights of the Penans and is emphasising the need for the government to abide by the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which Malaysia has agreed to adopt at the United Nations.

SAVE Rivers note with great concern that the government has admitted through James Masing, Sarawak’s Minister of Land Development and now Liwan Lagang that there are a lot of weaknesses by the government in dealing with the Penans affected by the Murum HEP project.

SAVE Rivers is shocked to learn about the revelations written in the report from the leaked Murum Resettlement Action Plan for the natives to be displaced by the Murum Dam which can be found in the Sarawak Report website that explains how the impoverish Penans are neglected by the government and that the resettlement site is not suitable for them at all.

This is the very reason why SAVE Rivers is against the planned 11 dams which the state government is planning to build across Sarawak’s interior which will flood thousands of hectares of native customary land and displace thousands of indigenous peoples from their ancestral territories.

SAVE Rivers will continue to update on the situation of the blockade.

End –

For more information you can contact Raymond Abin at +60138449345
Press Statement release by:
Mark Bujang
Secretary, SAVE Rivers

Tuesday, October 2

“STAR: BN Government Planning to Abolish Native Rights?”


The purpose of this Press Conference is to announce STAR Sabah’sstand against the BN State Government’s intention to abolish native rights.  The native customary rights of indigenous people are recognized and are to be protected and have been universally adopted of late by many countries under the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People.

The recent statement by the Lands and Surveys Director that NCR does not exist after the enforcement of the Sabah Land Ordinance, 1930 is not unexpected as the present government has failed to resolve NCR problems in the State.

The Director cannot be blamed for being used as the mouthpiece of the BN government and merely echoed the previous statement of the State Attorney General.

As can be seen from Pitas to Pensiangan and from Sukau and Kalabakan to Sindumin, the State government has caused widespread misery and injustice to the local natives.  It is well documented that many lands have been alienated to companies in the tens of thousands of hectares while land applications of natives of 10 or 15 acres are not processed for many, many years. 

The natives have not only lost their NCR and land rights but also their livelihood to these unscrupulous companies and their inhumane owners.  And in many instances, many of these companies even engaged illegal immigrants and foreign workers to demolish the homes and destroy the crops of these natives and to chase them from their very own land, very often, in full view of and sometimes tacit support of the police and enforcement agencies.

Despite the many warnings and incidents of violence by these foreigners, it is a matter of time before the real bloodshed will happen.  Yet, the State government has done little to assist the poor and suffering natives.

In hindsight, it is not surprising considering that the top 4 officers in land administration, from the chief executive to the forestry, the lands department and the top legal officer in the State are helmed by non-natives.  In a recent posting, the latter 3 were even called the 3 stooges of the power that be.  One wonders what will happen in such a meeting to discuss NCR matters, where is the voice and conscience of the local natives?

To rub salt into the wound, a KDM is only deemed fit to look after animals and wildlife.  And add on the rumours of people of a certain race waiting in the late afternoons to attend to their land applications in the Lands Department.

We leave it to the people to judge on the matter. 
On a more sombre mood, drastic reforms in the land and NCR laws and administration are urgently needed to protect the natives, who were the original settlers since time immemorial and long before Sabah formed MALAYSIA with Malaya in 1963.

The British colonial masters have always respected the native customary rights and their right to life depending on their land for their livelihood.   This legacy can be seen in the administration of land law and the Sabah Land Ordinance (Cap. 68) that was passed in 1930.

The British not only deemed it fit to respect NCR but also made numerous provisions to protect such native rights as can be seen throughout the Land Ordinance.

For instance, in the definition of “State land” in Section 4, it is expressly provided that “State land” excludes lands which “are not and may not hereafter be lawfully occupied by any person…”.    The word “hereafter” clearly refers to after the enforcement of the Land Ordinance.   Clearly excluded from “State land” are lands lawfully occupied after the Land Ordinance.

Only natives with a lawful claim to NCR can lawfully occupy and obtain legitimate ownership of the land.  NCR is clearly defined in Section 15.   Obviously, a non-native cannot claim for NCR no matter how long he or she is in occupation as such occupation is not lawful.

The definition of “State land” clearly contradicts the statement of the Lands and Surveys Director that NCR did not exist after the Land Ordinance in 1930.  The Director is clearly wrong and ill-advised.

If the Director’s statement is correct, there is no necessity for the numerous provisions on native rights, NCR and procedures to protect such rights.   For instance, in Section 13, upon the receipt of any land application, it is the duty of the government to publish a notice calling upon any claimant to NCR in such land and an enquiry is required to establish that no NCR exists on the said land. 

Judging from the numerous overlapping claims of NCR and claims of companies that have been alienated land occupied by natives, it is obvious that the government has failed to comply with Section 13.

The Director is also wrong to state that the natives be made to rely on land applications for their claims to land and that one of the consideration of natives’ land applications is the basis of NCR such as in Section 15.  In Section 14, there is no need for any native to submit a land application as what is required is a claim to NCR which shall be taken down by the headman or the Collector and shall be decided by the Collector.  This is reiterated in Sections 81 and 82.

It is wrong for the Director to impose such onerous procedure and conditions before a native can obtain a native land right.   Judging from the Land Ordinance, it is more of a verification and identification of the NCR rather than a formal land application.   A NCR is a birth right of the natives. 

A land application by any native to any land which is not occupied or claimed by him as NCR is a separate issue as any native like any other non-native or company is entitled to apply for land and be alienated such land.   Such a native is not obliged to prove his NCR rights before his land application to land which is not occupied by him to be approved and alienated.

To overcome the furore of the Director’s statement and to calm the anxieties of the natives,STAR Sabah calls upon the government to respect and restore the rights of natives to NCR and native lands and prioritize land for all Sabahans based on STAR’s policy and vision “NCR FIRST, SABAH LAND FOR SABAHANS FIRST”.

In addition, the government must also carry out administrative reforms in land administration in the State.  

The claims of the natives to NCR must be de-centralized to the Collector of Land Revenue (and by extension to the Assistant Collector of Land Revenue as defined in Section 4 of the Land Ordinance) as provided in Sections 14 and 82.   The government and the Director must obey the Land Ordinance and comply with it fully.

The State government should also establish a LAND AND NCR COMMISSION to safeguard the rights of the natives on NCR and their land rights and to protect the integrity of the current holders of public office.   If not, the government must replace the land and forestry directors with natives until such time meritocracy is fully implemented and any Sabahan is able to hold such positions with any adverse inference.

A SABAH NATIVE LAND FOUNDATION should also be established to safeguard and protect native lands and the rights of the natives to their native lands.

If the government is truly concerned and wished to safeguard the land rights of the natives, the government should declare areas to be designated as “native reserves” under Section 78 of the Land Ordinance.   If the governments in the Peninsular can designate lands to be Malay Reserves, this can be replicated in Sabah to safeguard future generations of natives to native lands.

The integrity and sincerity of the present government including the BN components and their native leaders is highly questionable considering that lands can be set aside for grazing reserves but are not set aside as native reserves.  Section 79 clearly provides for land to be set aside as native reserves for the purpose of providing land for future cultivation by natives.   This provides security for future generations of natives.  By their actions, the government is treating the natives worse than cattle, cows and goats.

The next question that begged to be answered is whether the government is on a “KetuananMelayu” or “Malaya” agenda on behalf of their political masters.

When Sabah’s founding fathers agreed to the merger with Malaya, it was clearly spelt out that the indigenous natives of Sabah and Sarawak would be equal to the Malays in the Peninsular.   This is clearly entrenched in Article 153 of the Federal Constitution and land rights were clearly reserved for state control as seen in the Federal Constitution, the BatuSumpah in Keningau and the separate Land Ordinance in Sabah and Sarawak.
Why is it now that the government is adopting a policy similar to the National Land Code, 1965 in Peninsular where native customary rights are not recognized unlike the Sabah Land Ordinance?   In Peninsular, the poor Orang Asli, the indigenous natives are deprived of their lands and very often the lands grabs are by the Umno/BN politicians and their cronies.

In the present system, the authority and decision of the Director in alienating lands to anyone under Section 9 of the Land Ordinance cannot even be appealed as provided in Section 41.

In Sabah, we must stop the deterioration immediately.  If the government feels that there is any doubt or ambiguity in the Land Ordinance as to the existence of NCR of the natives, steps must be taken immediately to pass the necessary amendments to the Land Ordinance and the Sabah State Constitution to specifically recognize and implement NCR and native rights.  This can be done quite easily as the BN controls 57 of the 60 state seats and for certain the other 3 opposition members are likely to support such an amendment.

If STAR Sabah is part of the government, it will certainly propose such measures to clearly and unequivocally recognize native land rights and NCR and to prioritize Sabah’s lands for Sabahans as spelt out in its Land Reforms Masterplan.

It is wrong for the Government not to give priority to natives and Sabahans in land alienation.  The Director of Land in January 2012 disclosed that out of 2.1 million hectares of land available for alienation, the State had already alienated about 1.9 million hectares of which only 31% was alienated to natives and the other 69% to others.

From the State economical point of view, it does not make sense for lands to be alienated to outsiders who do not invest their profits derived from Sabah’s lands and such profits are then taken to the Peninsular and utilized there to generate further economic growth.

For instance, FELDA was alienated some 306,000 acres of land in Sabah but very little benefit has been given to local Sabahans let alone natives.   The government-linked Sime Darby owns a 54,278 hectares plantation land in Sabah while 2 other public-listed companies from the Peninsular owned 107,000 hectares and 40,359 hectares in Sabah respectively.  These 3 companies owned a total 201,637 hectares excluding Felda’s holding.

The profits per hectare for the plantations declared by the public companies for 2011 were RM11,075 and RM9,783.   Even assuming the lower of the profits declared, a total profits of RM1.972 billion were derived from Sabah for the 201,637 hectares and this did not even include profits from processing activities.

If the 201,637 hectares were to be distributed 5 hectares to each family, a total of 40,000 families will each enjoy a profit of RM49,300 per family each year which excludes labour costs.   Imagine what economic spin-offs and multiplier effects the profits can generate for the Sabah economy, let alone the eradication of poverty.

A SABAH LAND TRIBUNAL should also be established to look into, adjudicate and resolve the numerous land problems and disputes.  The natives should not be made to wait and spend unnecessarily to litigate their claims for NCR in the civil courts where at the appeal stages, the judges from outside Sabah, who are not familiar with native land rights and more familiar with the Peninsular National Land Code, outnumber the local judges.

STAR Sabah proposed that Land Administration in Sabah be reformed and be administered as in the Chart below:-

As for communal titles, the government should not rush and give out communal titles as though it is done for political campaigning in view of the forthcoming general elections. 

They appear nothing more than to appease the anger of the local natives who will vote against the BN government and their leaders who have alienated their NCR lands to outside companieswho in turn have destroyed their crops, plants, homes and evicted them from their own land.

Communal titles should only be given additionally as native reserves where they are occupied.  In the communal titles given, the government has failed to consider the legitimate claims of NCR by the natives some of whom have been there for several generations and pending approval of their NCR claims for years, some even decades.  

With these communal titles are issued, the legitimate claims and NCR ownership of these natives are not only ignored but also extinguished and cancelled.   It is not the right thing to do against the natives and you can expect the government to be punished at the next general elections.

In conclusion, it is clear that the native customary rights and native land rights need to be clearly recognized and protected.  The reference to Section 88 is misconceived as Section 88 merely reinforces the fact that after the coming of the Land Ordinance, the system of registration is to be put in place and it does not extinguish NCR per se but require new title and new dealings to be on the basis of registration for any land except land under NCR without documentary title as at the time of the dealing or registration.

If the intention of the legislators of the Land Ordinance was to extinguish or abolish NCR and native land rights, the wordings of the Land Ordinance would have been very different in form and it would have clearly left out native customary rights totally.

In view of the erroneous and misleading statements of the Director of Lands and Surveys and by the State Attorney General previously, the onus is now on the State government and its local BN components to prove that it is not planning to abolish the native land rights and NCR.

Apparently, from the numerous land alienations to companies overriding the NCR claims of the natives all over the State, it appears to be the policy of the government to abolish the native land rights and NCR and not an erroneous mistake by the Director.

The BN government needs to change the policy which is clearly contrary to the Land Ordinance. 

And if the BN government does not make the necessary reforms and changes in the land policy, then it is only right for Sabahans especially the natives to unite and vote out the Umno/BN government in the coming general elections since the government is unable to implement and protect the land rights of the natives.

Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan
STAR Sabah
02 October 2012