Sunday, April 19

News and Views: Land seminar

A two-day land policy and administration seminar is to be held at Parkcity Everly Hotel in Bintulu starting on 21 April. To be attended by some 400 participants consisting of Barisan Nasional politicians, Senators, civil servants and community leaders, it will aim to clarify common issues, rid suspicion and public confusion.

Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, second planning and resource management minister says it is equally important to enhance the understanding of BN politicians, civil servants and community leaders on land policy and administration.

Suspicion and confusion among the people, especially those in the rural areas, arose when interested parties exploited their lack of understanding and knowledge on land policy and administration. And the situation is made worse when the politicians, community leaders and civil servants fail to explain the policy satisfactorily to the people, Awang says.

He admits that half of the people do not understand some land policies and administration, and this has contributed to suspicion and confusion. Because of this the public are kept in the dark especially when their lack of understanding is exploited by certain quarters.

Six papers will be presented at the seminar: Roles and responsibilities of ministry of planning and resource management: An overview of land administration and policy in Sarawak; The new concept of development on native customary rights (NCR) land: Approaches and strategies; Evolution of land policy: Transforming the landscape of Sarawak; Laws and regulations governing land administration and policy in Sarawak; Native customary rights (NCR): Recognition, status, dealings, extinguishment and compensation; and the forests (planted forests) rules 1997.

It is sad that Awang Tengah does not want Suhakam, Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU), Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) and other non-governmental associations (NGOs) to attend the seminar. If the government is sincere and has nothing to hide, why are these organisations being excluded? After all these are the organisations that always give the government a headache, as they, perhaps, “lack” understanding of the government’s policy and administration on land especially on NCR land.

But on the other hand, why invite community leaders like Tuai Rumahs as many of them barely know how to read and write, let alone understand the complex issues of NCR land administration? What we want is for some of the Dayak lawyers to attend the seminar so that they will be fully knowledgeable on land laws, regulations and policies.

Excluding these people can mean the government has an ulterior motive. We want to know why there is a need to keep on amending the Land Code and each time the amendment has serious legal implications on NCR land owners.

Since 1997, several amendments have been made, and the most damaging one was made in May 2000 with regard to Section 5 of the Land Code. Since this amendment, the NCR land owners have been criminalized for owning and defending their land. Many have been thrown into prison. Some have brought their cases to court. Up to this day, there are nearly 200 cases of land owners suing the government and companies for taking away and encroaching into their NCR land.

We know that this seminar is to tell the seminar participants the government’s side of the story. Perhaps the BN leaders have felt that they could not answer so many questions on NCR land issues during the recently concluded Batang Ai by-election, as they lacked understanding. Or perhaps the BN leaders are preparing for the answers for the coming State election?

Any way I would like to ask the following questions: Are we (including the Dayak politicians in BN, the Dayak civil servants and Dayak lawyers) going to stand idle when our parents’ and grand parents’ NRC land are being taken away and being sold to big companies for oil palm plantations? Are we? Don’t you feel sorry for your parents and grandparents who have been owning and farming the land for generations suddenly find their NCR land are being taken away by companies? – The Broken Shield


Anonymous said...

Another Awang Tanah's scheme to further legally rob Dayaks land.

Apai Semalau said...

Another one of those many crap and bull seminar. Thats what it is. Reason being to legitimise the gouging of NCR lands! If not why are the attendances restricted to some and to the exclusion of many others. Why are NGOs not invited. Smells fishy doesn't it? By the way how do they expect illiterate Tuai Rumahs to understand the 6 mind blogging dry presentations. They however can look forward to the nightly happy hours of ngirup after each sessions. In the end they will leave the seminar equally as confused if not worst!
The minister needs to treat us, dayaks with more respect after all we pay his salary!

Phyrestarter said...

Morning readers,

Looks like Lanun Tanah @ Awang Tengah wants to legalise the State's plan to rob. They have become so blatant that they are now explaining how they will do it in the future. Any why just a 1 sided seminar..afraid you cannot explain certain issues? Come on Lanun...sure u can talk...sure got answer. Look at jabu @ Dumb and masing @ dumber...they always got something to say even though its rubbish and they know it or do they?

anyway...dun really feel like talking today...too much bull-shit in the air...

tsunami said...

the name speaks for itself awang setengah, half past six, I want tanah, I want setengah, yours setengah... the dayaks? we leave to lcda. let chase dayaks away...

Aki Bok Bauh Mamau Speaks said...

Dear JT,

Manah amatnya. Kati ent deka enggau. Nuamn tau email ngagai aku

Sans said...

Interesting article in the nutgraph especially the last paragraph.