Tuesday, November 30

THE NEW DEAL: Ibans will become instant millionaires if Pakatan Rakyat takes over Sarawak

Tucked away in the back pages of Saturday's Borneo Post was a small and innocuous looking news-clipping about a Land Commission (see above). It is no surprise that this news report was buried away and did not get the headline news it deserved. In fact, it is a surprise that it was even reported at all!

You see, the heading should have actually read, ‘Ibans will become instant millionaires if Pakatan Rakyat takes over Sarawak.’ But of course the editor of the Borneo Post cannot do that. If he did, he would suffer the same fate the editor of the New Sarawak Tribune suffered a few months ago and end up being reprimanded, suspended and worse still, sacked. In fact, we congratulate the editor of the Borneo Post for having the balls to even publish this news.

The reason we congratulate the Borneo Post for publishing this news is because the setting up of a Land Commission will have far reaching repercussions and consequences for Sarawak and the natives in particular. It will make many, if not all of them, millionaires overnight. Impossible? Not at all. Let's look at what Baru Bian has exactly in mind when he mooted the idea of the setting up of a Land Commission.

According to Bian, the commission will “investigate claims over issuance of land titles and also gazetted areas as the party (PKR) had all along been fighting for recognition of the rights.”

“We are offering in particular the rural folks of Sarawak a solution for their NCR issues. I've said this in the past and I am going to say it again. PKR is reiterating its stance on NCR matters. We are not only looking at natives in rural areas but also at urban Chinese and the Malays in the coastal areas as well.”

What exactly is Bian offering? Baru Bian is offering the setting up of a Land Commission. What is a Land Commission? A Land Commission is a special body set up by the State Government to look into matters and issues concerning land.

Will this body have the authority and power to act independently? Yes. All commissions do. That is why they are called commissions because they have been commissioned and empowered to do something about a problem.

If Bian is elected and Pakatan Rakyat takes over power in Sarawak and replaces the current BN government, we are promised a Land Commission. So how does this Land Commission benefit, in particular, the Dayak natives of Sarawak?

A Land Commission would survey whole areas of native customary lands in Sarawak. This is what PM Najib instructed Taib to do with the recent perimeter survey exercise. However, will the BN government go one step further and issue titles (pala tanah) for these surveyed lands? And who decides the garis menoa or boundaries of these lands? According to Bian, his Land Commission will not only survey the NCL but also have the power to grant titles to the NCL! This means that the pemakai menoa and pulau galau claimed by the Iban will be fully recognised by the Land Commission and titled. Within these boundaries, especially within temuda areas, individual titles will also be granted to individuals, not just communal titles.

If Bian's Land Commission will do this, then this will be the major break-through that will empower the Iban at long last. Ownership of their lands will be recognised and with titles, the Iban can finally go to banks and financial institutions to apply for loans with their land titles as collateral for mortgages. This means Iban will have the same opportunities as other communities to start their own business with seed money from bank loans guaranteed with their land titles. But will this make Ibans instant overnight millionaires? Of course not. Business is always a risk, but the potential to reap huge rewards will be possible.

Once landowners are granted titles, they can sell their lands. This is how the Iban can become rich. By selling their lands. But if they are smart, they will not sell their lands. They will develop their lands. This is how they can become millionaires. They can invite oil-palm plantation giants like Samling and WTK to joint-venture with them on their own terms.

Currently, these oil-palm plantations call the shots and dictate to the Iban how much they get paid for renting their lands from them. That is because the Iban do not have bargaining power. They do not have bargaining power because Taib and Jabu refuse to grant the Iban land titles. So the Iban are no better than slaves on their own lands. Thanks to Taib and Jabu.

However, when Bian's Land Commission is set up, the Iban will have the solution to their land issues. And this is exactly what Taib and Jabu are afraid of. They are afraid that the Iban will finally realise how much economic and political power will lie in their own hands when they have titles to their lands.

Who owns the most tracks of lands in Sarawak? The Iban. Not the State. However, Taib used his Land Code to convert many native lands into State Land. Then he gave these State lands to Samling and WTK to plant oil-palm. So in actual fact the Iban are the largest landowners in Sarawak, not the State. But Taib changed it all. His BN YBs, including the Iban YBs, agreed to vote in the Land Code which stripped the Iban of their rights to their own lands. So now vast tracks of land previously owned by the Iban under the pemakai menoa and pulau galau have become State lands overnight for Taib to give away to his family, friends and cronies.

However, did you know that the High Court, the Appeals Court and the highest court in Malaysia, the Federal Court, disagreed with Taib? Yes, they disagreed with Taib and said that the Iban do indeed own their pemakai menoa and pulau galau. They said that the Land Code in Sarawak is misinterpreted by the Director of Lands & Survey. The landmark case of Nor anak Nyawai, which every lawyer in Malaysia knows, once and for all settled the issue and grants ownership of pemakai menoa and pulau galau to the Iban. Recently, the Hj Ramli Case further extended the same principle to coastal lands owned by Malays. But the State government still refuses to grant titles to these lands despite the court rulings.

Instead, the State government is stubbornly fighting the precedent created in the Nor Nyawai Case. It is fighting so that it can continue to rob the Iban of their lands, which has been recognised by the law since 2007!

So now that we have discovered that the courts and the laws of Malaysia do indeed recognise that the Iban own huge tracks of lands in Sarawak and that the Land Code enacted by Taib's Dewan Undangan Negeri is practically useless and has no legal standing, does this ownership of lands make the Iban instant overnight millionaires? No yet.

What will make Iban instant overnight millionaires is when Samling and WTK and all oil-palm giants surrender the lands leased to them by the State back to the original owners of the lands, with all the palm oil growing on these lands. All these oil palm will then be automatically owned by the Iban, as Samling and WTK would be recognised as trespassers on lands owned by the Iban. In common law, trespassers have no rights over their cultivate crops.

This ownership of hectares of oil palm planted by Samling and WTK and all the other oil-palm giants will revert back to the poor Iban and make them instant millionaires! Instant overnight millionaires by the stroke of a pen! Just like how Taib made himself and his family, friends and cronies instant overnight millionaires.

And who will have the authority to decide this with a stroke of the pen? The Land Commission promised by Baru Bian. Baru Bian's promise of a Land Commission is not just empty talk. He has put his words into action. The Star on Friday January 22, 2010, reported this: Oil palm firm told to return land to Ibans.

If we vote BN out and Pakatan Rakyat in, Baru Bian will have the political power to set up a Land Commission and then the Iban, Orang Ulu, Bidayuh, Malays and even urban Chinese will all become instant millionaires. With the stroke of a pen! It is now up to us to decide if we want to become instant millionaires or not.

You can be as rich as Jabu and Taib. All you have to do is vote Pakatan Rakyat (PKR, DAP, PAS or SNAP) and let Baru Bian set up a Land Commission when Pakatan Rakyat takes over the Sarawak government.

Thursday, November 25

Baru Bian takes Dayak leaders to task

KUCHING: The Dayak leaders in the Barisan Nasional have been taken to task for failing in their duties towards the community that they are supposed to represent, and yet they dare to question the role Dayaks are playing in Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

“PKR is not a racist like Barisan Nasional; it fights for justice of all Malaysians including Dayaks. This is why I am attracted to PKR,” Baru Bian (pic), chairman of Sarawak PKR said in reply to President of Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party, William Mawan Ikom.

Mawan had accused PKR leaders of closing their eyes not only on Sabah and Sarawak, but also on Dayaks.

Mawan said: “Baru, being a Dayak representative, is not being appreciated in the party. Baru always focuses on the struggles of the Dayaks and their rights, especially the NCR land issues.

“This struggle does not speak well of PKR. Now that the Dayak community does not have a representative in PKR, my advice for them is to rely on the ruling BN government,”
Mawan said.

“We don’t want to follow their racist policies,” Bian added, pointing out that the absence of the Dayaks in the top leadership does not mean that the rights of the Dayaks are not protected.

He said: “We have Dayaks as President of SPDP, President of PRS, and the Deputy President of PBB. And what have they done to help the Dayaks?

You can put hundreds of Dayaks as leaders; but if they do not fight for interests of the Dayaks and have never protected their rights. Why should we support them, because they are useless?

“But if you have a non-Dayak leading a party and fights for the rights of the Dayaks, then he should be given all around support,”
he added.

“Ask them why are they not looking after the interests and the rights of the Dayaks? Why are the issues of NCR land faced by the Dayaks are are still not solved?

“Only yesterday (Land Development Minister and PRS President) James Masing suddenly woke up and found out that the common law and the Adat are so important than the Land Code.

“He and other Dayak elected representatives should long time ago know about it, and should have done something about it. We in PKR all this while know about it,” said Bian, who is a prominent NCR land lawyer.

“PKR in Sarawak has been emphasizing on the importance of native customary rights over land in Sarawak. We have been fighting for the recognition of these rights for many years.

“You know that this is an area where I am very passionate about. And I made a statement in my website and now I am issuing a similar statement that we are offering in particular to the rural folk of Sarawak a solution for the NCR land issues.

“I have said it in the past and I am going to say it again, reiterating our stand on the NCR land that we are going to form a land commission which power is not only to investigate claims on NCR land, but also the power to issue titles, gazette the area and of course issue individual titles.

“Now we are not only looking at land owned by the rural natives but we are equally concerned with land issues affecting the Malays and the Chinese,”
he said, pleading on them not to be misled by the Barisan Nasional which has been in power for the last 47 years in Sarawak.

The state BN government has reduced Sarawak into one of the three poorest states in the country, and the people of Sarawak should put a stop to this.

“Let us change the state government, and the time is now,” Bian added, lashing out at Masing who said that PKR had nothing to offer to the people of Sarawak, so they should not take the party seriously.

Explaining why he attracted to PKR, he said that the most important thing in PKR is its platform, the policy and what it is fighting for.

“I am attracted to PKR because it is fighting for the justice of all Malaysians including Dayaks. Dayaks’ interests and rights are protected.

“If that is the case then, we would ask all the Dayaks in Sarawak to come over and support PKR instead of PBB, SPDP and PRS if you want your land to be protected,” he said.- The Broken Shield

Tuesday, November 23

Masing: Common Law takes precedence over Land Code

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak has expressed concern over the ‘quarrels’ between native land owners and the state government over claims of native customary rights land.

“The quarrels between native land owners are not a big problem; it can be settled. What concern us are the quarrels between the native land owners and the state government.

“The quarrels over what constitutes NCR land and what is state land, “
said PRS President James Masing.

Laterally, there are hundreds of claims and counter claims over the status of land between the land owners and the government.

So far more than 200 cases of land disputes are now pending hearing in the court.

Explaining PRS’ position after chairing its supreme council meeting on Saturday (20 Nov), Masing believed that the current exercise by the state government to survey NCR land and State land is a move in the right direction.

“Once we know which one is NCR land and which one is state land, and then the issue of conflict between the NCR land owners and the government will not arise anymore,” said Masing, who is also the Land Development Minister.

“We are concerned, because we are a party that represents the native communities and we want to ensure that the security of their land must be protected,” he said.

Masing said that one of the things they discussed in their meeting was a land report presented by its Land committee which had made a number of recommendations and observance.

“What I found out the most interesting in the report is that the Common Law takes precedence over the Land Code. This Common Law has the support of the Federal Constitution and the International Law.

“Common Law means the acquisition of land by traditional means. At the moment we may have slight problems that the Land Code does engender.

“How best we put them together so that we do not in conflict with the Common Law. And we have to tread on it carefully,”
he said, adding that some of the amendments to the Land Code seemed to be in conflict with the Common Law.

“As a party representing the rural communities, this is our concern. We are not saying that the government is wrong. Let us synchronize the conflict.

“We must look into this seriously,”
he added.

On the proposals recommended by the report, Masing said: “We have a long discussion on this report and how best we can develop NCR land. We have to look at it in terms of the concept and the proposal from the legal point of the land code that governs the NCR land.

“On the concept and the legal aspect, what I found the most interesting is that thereis a lot of inadequacy that the NCRland concept that we have.

“And they did the comparison of the NCR land concept with SALCRA. Even though SALCRA may not give that much as compared with FELCRA or FELDA, yet according to the report more people are agreeable to SALCRA than with the NCR land development that we have.

“As I told you before that my ministry is looking for ways and means as to how best we can improve NCR land development and giving more beneficiaries to the land owners,” he said.

Thursday, November 18

Radio Free Sarawak - http://radiofreesarawak.org/

Radio Free Sarawak is the independent radio station that brings you the news you want to hear, not what others want you to hear. No one controls us, except you, the listeners of Sarawak . So tune in and enjoy the news, interviews, reports and comment that you will never get to hear on any of the other government-controlled radio stations in Sarawak. There will be plenty of our best music too, all presented to you in Iban by Papa Orang Utan, our own man from the jungle of Sarawak!

Please listen in and send us back your comments and views, so we can be in touch with you and bring you the radio programme that you like. If you have an issue, a problem or a story that you would like the rest of Sarawak to hear about, message us on this site or ring us on our Radio Free Sarawak local number [DUE SHORTLY] and leave us details of your story or your comment on our answer bank.

We may play out your comments or we may even ring you back so remember, leave your number if you want!

And for further independent news and reports on Sarawak go to www.sarawakreport.org.

Wednesday, November 17

Left-wing retirees worrisome

By Churchill Edward

The Borneo Post carried a story entitled “Left-wing retirees worrisome” dated 17 November 2010:

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) youth Chief Mong Dagang said that there are government retirees who have turned into political left-wingers.

Mong said he was very sure of this as far as his state constituency of Bukit Begunan was concerned. Speaking over the phone yesterday, he said the retirees could be frustrated lot, thus had become easily influenced by negative elements.

He said he was saddened by this because as retirees they were expected to make positive contributions to their respective communities.

Mong said these left-wingers were not easy to quantify even in his constituency.

“We cannot deny that they are among us, but we do not know how many. As far as my constituency is concerned, I know there are some,” he said.

“They should be helping to improve the quality of life in their respective areas after being civil servants from 20 to 30 years. They should be supporting the government of the day instead of inciting people to go against it,” Mong said.

He said his only advice to them was to remember that as retirees they were supposed to be role models and thus should behave accordingly.

“They must return to the way it should be. Help the community by helping the government put positive input into society. They must not poison the minds of the people,” he said.

On the apparent frustration of the retirees with the government, he said: “Of course no government in the world is perfect. Our government is no exception. It has its shortcomings and there are bound to be miscommunication. But it is not dead.”

Having said that, Mong said most of the retirees were gentlemen and some had gone on to become community leaders and respected people.

Mong said the left-wing politics of some of these retirees was a disappointment to the government.
The Broken Shield: The Reader’s Digest Oxford defines “left-wing” as “the radical or socialist section of a political party.”

In the 1960s, that is, during the height of communist insurgency in the State, many members of Sarawak United People’s Party were labeled as “left-wing elements” and were arrested. Some escaped into the jungle to carry out armed struggle and terrorist activities against the state.

If you are retirees, is it fair to label you as such?The Broken Shield

Sunday, November 14

A letter from an Orang Ulu

By Burak Sem
My Brothers & Sisters,

I am now on my 'time-off', back to my second home, Bintulu with my family for about two months. In fact, I am already recovered from 'jet-lag' two days ago, and nevertheless, not forgetting of the delays in my emails, which have have fallen behind for almost 9 days.

It's great to be home again, with the weather, foods, friends, relatives, culture and driving on the left side of the road. I am planning to go back to my kampung in Telang Usan in couple of days and hope to catch up with the situations and get myself to well prepared for the upcoming state election.

Disgustingly, the Sarawak political system, from other countries has been tagged to be corrupt, hopelessness, vague and primitive since 29 years under the Barisan National government. Political system in this state of Sarawak is obviously unhealthy and people's rights are abused single-handedly by 'one evil man'. Social justice seems to be a far away dream. And the observance of the law seems ruthless.

It is a sad fact that Sarawak, although it has abundance in natural resources, vast area of lands, mighty rivers that could have placed abreast amount the world's richest countries have remained cellar dweller as among the poorest.

The reason is another sad fact, political career in the country is a very lucrative business that engrossed a lot of "greedy-white devils" lead by the “Old-Goat Father Abdul Taib Mahmud” and they spend a fortune, pour and mobilized out his greed just to grab posts, then recover their expenses with gargantuan profits out of Dayak's coffers and money spinning deals once elected. The end result, true welfare of Sarawak and its people for real leaps of progress does not happen, instead, the deplorable wealth these politicians amassed in just a few years becomes a common scenario.

As long as these traditional politicians in Barisan National reigns in power. As long as corruption is permitted by the top leadership and the political dynasty system continue to dominate, this country will continue to be buried under the ground. A country in misery, a country without hope, a country without future.

Hopes only prevail when we all Sarawakian decide and chooses a new and trust worthy leaders who struggle for our causes and who understands where we are at, this country Sarawak will have hope.

In a democratic society like in America and European countries, governance is always at the hands of the people. But, the state Barisan National lead by “Old-Goat Father Abdul Taib Mahmud” do not want us to know this facts about democracy, but continue to manipulate our minds to think, 'without Barisan National' there will be no hope of developments', 'maintaining stability and prosperity in the country', 'opposition cannot bring development to the people',

The Barisan National lead by “Old-Goat Father Abdul Taib Mahmud” and their dirty policy is slowly, but surely changing our cultures towards supporting their greed, regardless of our strong cultural background. They change our land codes in order to support their family members, elites' business empire, they change our traditions, cultures and corrupting our mindsets, to give us no choice but continually supporting them.

So why do Sarawakian keep silent? The simple answer is we have been taught by Barisan National on 'education and fear' and 'education depending their lies'. Our entire system and way of life are based on producing a feudal society, where the “subjects” are ruled by the “overlords.”

The overlords are the politicians in power, start from those small "Mao Ze Tung" in the civil service, the timber tycoons who benefitted from the "award-negotiated timber licenses”, "family members on free-share contracts".

I don't think it is necessary to change the culture of Culture and Tradition of Sarawak, what is necessary is to change the system within (governance) itself. Unless we will not change our attitude, this country will remain to be at the hands of opportunists, politician with self vested interests and robbers. What is happening in Sarawak, in my own view and what is happening in the state is not just a result of corrupt system and of poor managed government.

Therefore, the change must start within us, especially our youth, younger generations. The youth is said to be the catalyst of change. It is said that the youth is the hope of changing and bringing an ideal system. But how exactly can the youth change the present system when he is surrounded by a corrupt system? How can we do it when not all can study and get themselves involved in worthy activities? How can we do his advocacies when his freedoms are suppressed? How can the youth fight the pain of a corrupt system and maintain his idealism for an ideal system?

Choose Trust worthy YB

Soon we will go to the polls and select our new representatives; we must choose our candidates/YB wisely. We urge all eligible voters to consider their choices carefully because this is a crucial election.

The new set of candidates who will be elected into DUN or Parliamentary will be the ones who will guide this state through the major healing on the damages had caused by the incumbent governance.

Thus, voters must carefully assess the competence and track record of those running for the YBs. And not only that, we must assess their characters, honesty and background check as well.

Those who will be placed in positions of power must not only have the skills to govern but also the character, God-fearing, moral fortitude to be responsible and responsive to the needs of the people.

We urge voters to look beyond the candidates, the party's policies, principles and scrutinize the candidates on what they actually have to offer and what the candidate have done in improving the lives of the people.

We are hopeful that we have learned from our mistakes during the last state-election by voting a 'impersonator', 'thief', 'robber' and 'conman' in as our representative in Telang Usan, and will be better prepared this time.

Remember the following Ten (10) Rules, of a Poor and Immoral Candidate (YB):

1. Do not vote for candidate who cheats and taking monies from his people's MRP and use God's name to cover his guilt;

2. Do not vote for candidate who have track-record, swindle the school funds during his days as ruiral SRK teacher, that made the candidate being suspended by the Education Dept for a priod of time before posted at Ubong Emang School in Long Lama;

3. Do not vote for candidate, who hijacked people's 'belian licenses' and re-issue it under the wife's name;

4. Do not vote for candidate who involved in selling of Rumah Orang Ulu Kuching, (together with Abu Bakar @ Tom Belarek), God knows, how the money being divided between them?;

5. Do not vote for candidate who swindled Rm4 million, already allocated for Long San, Long Semiyang and Long Beruang's micro (mini) dams (needless to mention other monies swindled within the last 8 years);

6. Do not vote for candidate who caused disunity among his own people, even at his own long house in Long Bedian, which result they are having 2 Tua Kampung, 3 chapels, etc.;

7. Do not vote for candidate who swindled away part of the money suppose to be for the prices of 'ngajat' competition performed by our poor OU during Baram Regatta. The fist price suppose to be RM3,000 but somebody along the line gave to the 1st winner RM2,000. The same goes to 2nd & 3rd prices, etc. Again, God knows, where are the balance amount of the prices?;

8. Do not vote for candidate who never prepared his speeches and always talk 'rubbish', and also bluntly-challenged the people in Ulu Baram to build mega hotels at Usun Apau, without knowing there are no road excess to the plateau;

9. Do not vote for candidate who encourage 'Baram dam', in order to benefit his own pocket and personal interest, personal investment. That may cause major destruction to the people of the whole of Baram. Including drowning people’s NCR, cultures, traditions (languages/dialects), cemeteries, ecology/environment, etc.; and

10. Do not vote for candidate who is timid, suffering from inferiority-complex and who is also good "ball-polisher", "suka memuji dan memuja" the senior ministers in order to gain personal favor, which results in humiliating and despising the people who are under his constituency.


This is not the time to be blinded by 'the voice of serpent of Eden about 'building Baram dam', before major roads will be build. We should be voting for the "best" candidate in lieu of political dictates. We must choose wisely and ensure that our interests — not the YB self interest. We must be reminded all the times that the incumbents, who are a bunch of conman, career opportunist, business politicians, got us into this total mess.

It is time to break the habit of the party line and open our eyes to what is best for this state. We need a government that wants to listen to the people. This is an election that could determine where our state of Sarawak will go in the near future.

Let's vote to ensure we can maintain our cherished Freedoms, Liberties and Rights. We pray, may GOD pours His Blessing upon us and guide us in the right path and show us His Lights and entrust us with His Wisdom.

The future of Sarawak is in our hand

DO NOT put our future in the hand of corrupt Barisan National YB, the “Old-Goat Father Abdul Taib Mahmud”, not YB Lihan Jok, Alfred Jabu or James Masing, because these names are no worse than "Nyihu-Aso-Menga Sihai" in Kayan, or in Kenyan "Cuk-Asu-Nganan Siyai", with similar meaning in BM "Harapkan-Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi".


This verse is dedicated to the PR candidate of Telang Usan;

Psalms 1: 1; Blessed is the man, who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

This verse is dedicated to the incumbent BN candidate of Telang Usan (YB Lihan Jok);

Psalms 1:4; The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

To: Dennis Ngau, Baram PBB Youth Chief:

I am referring to your upcoming Seminar/Forum/Dialog or whatever your intention with our brothers/Pastors from SIB church in Miri, on November 15, 2010.

This verses is for you to reflect, look at yourself 'inside-out' before you bears false witness and sin against our brothers (SIB Pastors);

Proverb 25:18; "Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow Is a man who bears false witness against his neighbour".

Colosians 3:9-10; "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him".

Leviticus 19:12; "And you shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the LORD".


Burak S. Sem

Monday, November 8

Another blunder by the Forest Department!

The following story confirms another blunder by the Forest Department, which has been ignoring the plight of the natives. It is only interested to make the cronies and families of ministers rich, richer richest, and the people poor, poorer and poorest. It happens in Sebangan and Sebuyau and everywhere. The Batang Rajang logjam is one of the aftermaths of indiscriminate logging.

Read the following story which appeared in The Borneo Post on November 6, 2010:

Revoke two timber licences – Malcolm

MALCOLM Mussem Lamoh (BN-Batang Ai) has appealed to the Forest Department to revoke two timber licences with immediate effect.

He said the licences issued had violated the native customary rights (NCR) over land in his constituency.

“The issuance of two timber licences on NCR land under Peranan Megamas Sdn Bhd and Mastika Jaya Plantation Sdn Bhd has affected SK Nanga Aup and six longhouses namely Danau, Ng. Kumpang, Bukong, Kandis, Kampung Paoh and Kampung Langgir.

“As those longhouses residents have been there for 13 generations, definitely some of their ‘temuda’, ‘pala umai’ and ‘tembawai’ may look like primary forests,”
he said when debating the Supply (2011) yesterday.

Mussem pointed out that not much timber could be extracted from these areas except for isolated ‘pulau galau’ within the licensed areas.

“The revenues that can be collected by the government would not be enough to compensate for the physical damage to their land and crops.

“Moreover, disturbance will be brought about to the river ecosystem and pollution that will seriously affect the gravity-fed water supply for those longhouses,”
he said.

He added that most of the affected land had been earmarked by the landowners for oil palm plantation with Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) and development of rubber estates with the Sarawak Farmers’ Organisation.

He also urged the department to be more prudent in issuing timber licences within NCR land where prior field verifications and consultations with the landowners should be done.

The Forest department must not solely rely on aerial photographs and outdated maps over the intended areas, he said.

“The special conditions attached to these types of licences should be properly explained to the affected communities and rigorously monitored by the relevant authorities to ensure the rights of the landowners would not be violated,” Mussem said.- The Broken Shield.

Sunday, November 7

Dr Jeffrey disagrees with PM take on autonomy for Sabah

November 4, 2010

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) today disagreed with the many contentions of Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak's statement today on autonomy and democratic processes in Sabah.

PKR Vice President, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the Federal Government under Barisan Nasionalto (BN) rule for almost a half-century had not only disrespected Sabah autonomy but had at times trampled on the Malaysia Agreement and the 20 Points which laid the conditions for Sabah to agree form Malaysia in 1963.

"What autonomy? Even Borneonisation of Federal Departments in Sabah has not reached 10 percent until now," he said in a statement here.

Dr Jeffrey, who is also Chairman of Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF), said, the UMNO-led BN rapped Sabah State Constitution when it came to Sabah in 1991 by doing everything to bring down a democratically elected government then.

"UMNO, using a divide-and-rule tactics did everything to change the political equation by changing election boundaries, and then took more than half of the 60 state constituencies to itself, usurping the rights of the state and disenfranchising the genuine locals in the end.

"The Federal Government has not respected Malaysia Agreement and the 20 Points by downgrading Sabah and Sarawak from equal partners to merely one of the 13 states, resulting in a diminished revenue for the state.

"That is why we want a review of the Malaysia Agreement. If they are sincere, the Federal Government should agree to a review,"
he added.

MEANWHILE, deputy chairman of Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMa), Daniel John Jambun, in a separate statement took to task Najib for misleading the world about the autonomy for Sabah being respected and democratic process duly upheld here.

"Kuala Lumpur wants to control everything in Sabah. They even took away our rights to elect and appoint our Chief Minister and also our High Court Judges.

"Capable locals are denied the opportunities to head Federal Departments. Appointment of high ranking officers in the state now only favours the Muslims, resulting in untold discriminations against Christians especially the Kadazandusuns and Chinese,"
he said.

"They did the gerrymandering of Sabah's election boundaries and they issued fake identity cards to Muslim foreigners and they registered them as voters in Sabah.

"All this were done so that the Christian natives would be disenfranchised. The world must be told of this dirty tactics by the Federal leaders. It stinks to heaven, and Najib cannot hide this facts behind his sweet talking to the world about what has been meted to Sabah.

"Is this what Najib means by due democratic process being respected in Sabah? The people of Sabah and the international community do not think so,"
Daniel said in one of his terse statements so far on the issue.

Daniel said Najib's cry that the Federal Government had never sidelined Sabah from development does not hold water as Sabah, though the richest state, is now the second poorest after Kelantan, after near a half-century in Malaysia Federation.


Friday, November 5

Two interesting news items

Two interesting news items appeared in The Borneo Post and in the Star on 4 November (Thursday) which the readers of this blog may want to comment.

(1) Bayoi warns Opposition not to raise land issues

In The Borneo Post, Frederick Bayoi Manggie (BN-Kedup) yesterday issued a stern warning to those still raising land issues to fish for votes and support.

According to him, land was no more an issue and those who persist in raising the issue to incite hatred against the BN government face the risk “of being chases away from the kampongs”.

“I suggest that those who always use land as an issue to stir the people’s mind to hate and reject Barisan Nasional to stop it right away because once you use this issue of this nature, you will be chased away from that kampung,” Bayoi said when debating the 2011 state budget which was tabled by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud on Monday.

He commended the initiative of the federal and state government to survey native customary rights (NCR) land which will start at the end of this year.

“All the owners of native customary land in the state have all these years been waiting and expecting the government to survey their land which is very precious and dear to them,” Bayoi said.

“It is hoped that there will be no or fewer land problems in the rural areas.”

Bayoi also appealed to the government to get rid of red tapes whenever villagers apply for their lands to be surveyed.

“Our people now have high expectation of BN to survey their native customary right land. Please kindly do not fail to meet this high expectation.

“If there are technical problems which may cause delays in surveying their land, please help them to rectify the problems in a very diplomatic manner so that the people will always be happy and have high confidence in our government to them.”

(2) Verify land with dept first

In the Star, Community leaders or “tuai rumah” found certifying transactions for native customary rights (NCR) land without verifying them with the Land and Survey Department will be taken to court.

Planning and Resource Management Assistant Minister Mohd Naroden Majais told the State Assembly yesterday that these community leaders would be charged under Section 210(e) of the Land Code which carries a fine or a jail term.

“The worst scenario is when these “tuai rumah” certify the wrong land which could belong to others, causing disputes and quarrels,” he said during question time.

He said for joint venture projects, landowners and investors should consult the department first to verify the status of a particular parcel of land to avoid running foul of the law.

“Investors would risk losing big,” Naroden warned.

“Furthermore, for any genuine NCR land, the investor must be either a native or have been deemed a native for the purpose of developing the land under the provision of the Land Code. Otherwise the agreement would not be proper".

Naroden said this was why the government encouraged NCR land to be developed under the new development concept in which the Land Custody Development Authority was entrusted as the managing agent. – The Broken Shield

Tuesday, November 2

Baru criticises district officers

PKR Sarawak has criticised certain District Officers who advise native customary rights land owners to withdraw their court cases if they want their land to be surveyed and to be issued titles.

“This sort of advice is misleading and deceiving the people,” said its chairman, Baru Bian to reporters.

“I receive several reports from the NCR land owners regarding certain district officers who advise them to withdraw their court cases against the government if they want their land to be surveyed and to be issued titles.

“I told the land owners not to withdraw their court cases as the district officers are misleading and deceiving them,”
said Bian, who is a prominent NCR land lawyer.

Currently there are more than 200 cases before the High Court of NCR land owners suing the government for allegedly grabbing their land and leasing them to cronies and families of politicians for the planting of oil palm.

Of the number, Bian is representing land owners in more than 170 cases.

“Don’t listen to these district officers or other civil servants; they are playing politics,” he said, pointing out that in the end they may lose all their land.

“Even you may lose your temuda (farm land), pulau galau (communal forests) and pemakai menua (territorial domain). The government’s lawyers have been arguing in court that the government does not recognise all these lands as NCR land.

“For temuda to be considered as NCR land, it must be planted with fruit trees and cash crops as evident of occupation.

“The government even refuses to adhere to the Apex Court decision that defines NCR land means temuda, communal forests and territorial domain,”
he said.

Bian said that the on-going so-called perimeter survey is politically motivated to coincide with the next state election.

“The amount of RM 20 million announced by (Prime Minister) Najib Tun Razak is to pacify the angry land owners. When the election is over, the perimeter survey will also cease,” he said.

And the whole problems will be back to square one.

Bian said that the only way to solve this (land grabbing) problem is to change the state government.

“Pakatan Rakyat has a definite and clear policy on NCR lands and other lands. Should PR form the next state government, the NCR lands that have been grabbed by the government will be returned to their rightful owners,” he said.