Hornbill Unleashed

February 12, 2011

Taib’s ‘land grab’ infuriates party faithful

Keruah Usit

In an unprecedented show of dissent by members of Abdul Taib Mahmud’s own party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera (PBB), Malay and Bidayuh villagers from Sampadi, Lundu, gathered at the Kuching High Court yesterday to voice their anger.

The villagers were dismayed at the takeover of their smallholder oil palm farms by Polar Horizon, a subsidiary of Titanium Management, a conglomerate owned mostly by Abu Bekir Taib, son of chief minister Taib Mahmud. 

Taib mahmud land grab in Lundu district by Polar Horizon bannerA large crowd of villagers from Lundu cheered when a sub-branch chairman of Taib’s own party spoke out against the provisional licences to 1,500 hectares of land around their villages, awarded by Taib to Polar Horizon, benefitting his own son.

As self-appointed minister of planning and resources, Taib wields power over granting or ‘alienating’ enormous parcels of land for ‘development’.

Earlier this month, the Sampadi villagers were given summary notice to vacate the land within 30 days.

“They never informed us … we were taken by surprise,” said Jamain Mahmud. Jamain, no relation to Taib, is the former ‘ketua kaum’ or village chief, and current PBB sub-branch head, in Kampung Sungai Cina in the Sampadi area.

The communities resisted the eviction notice, and Polar Horizon began legal action against them. When the villagers appeared in court yesterday, they filed a countersuit against Polar Horizon and the state government, claiming the provisional licences had encroached onto their Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.

“We’re only asking for consideration for our land, which has already been settled and planted with oil palm. We’ve already done all this (ourselves). What the government has been calling for, (saying that) NCR land must be developed, we’ve done,” said Jamain.

“But why did we not get (the rights to) the land? People who never opened up the land got the land.”

The villagers’ lawyer, land rights activist See Chee How, condemned the land takeover.

“This is the most blatant and outrageous land grab among all the cases we have handled,” he said.

Jamain, and eight others named in the counterclaim, represent 481 other villagers from Kampung Sampadi, Kampung Sungai Cina, Kampung Setia Jaya and Kampung Kangka, just over an hour’s drive east from Kuching.

Najib’s dilemma

The Sampadi villagers urged the state and federal governments to protect their native rights, enshrined in the constitution and Sarawak’s Land Code. In their defence statement, they argued the land is “fundamental to (our) social, cultural and spiritual survival as native people of Sarawak.”

NONEThe pointed appeal by the grassroots to the federal government highlights Prime Minister Najib Razak’s dilemma, in deciding whether to continue supporting Taib as state BN leader, or to remove him.

International publicity has swirled around Taib’s immense wealth, and allegations of corrupt practices in land acquisition, producing multimillion ringgit windfalls for his children and family.

We hope Pehin Sri (Taib) as Sarawak’s chief minister, will take responsibility for this matter. I am a (PBB) party member from way back, I have worked in my area, but no action has been taken (on our behalf). So there’s been no use in all our previous campaigning for PBB, because we have been sidelined,” Jamain said.

“To put it bluntly … don’t rob us of our rights, our NCR land. This is the land we have survived on from our ancestors’ generation,” he stressed. His words were echoed by cries of “don’t chase us out!” from other villagers.

NONEThe villagers explained to the High Court that Kampung Sampadi had been established by 1902, and that they relied on their land for their livelihood: for fishing, for paddy cultivation, and for planting crops such as durian, rambutan, jackfruit and cassava. Since 2007, they had also begun oil palm cultivation, in collaboration with Rona Hijau, a company based in Sibu.

In court, the villagers presented locality plans and maps produced as a result of surveying work performed by the Land and Survey Department since 1988. Hundreds of parcels of NCR land had been surveyed and identified, they pointed out.

penans meet suhakam 130208 see chee how“It is unknown why titles have yet to be issued to the native landowners,” their lawyer See Chee How told Malaysiakini, with some sarcasm.

Large scale oil palm plantations and timber concessions run by wealthy companies, closely tied to the state’s political elite, have caused the loss of huge tracts of NCR land.

As a result, NCR landowners have filed more than 230 lawsuits against the state government. These lawsuits are a political time bomb for Taib’s party, ticking away in court, and spreading anger among rural communities throughout the state.

In contrast, oil palm small-holdings worked by NCR landowners themselves have lifted some communities out of poverty.

Taib mahmud land grab in Lundu district by Polar Horizon crowd“To the Land and Survey (Department), we say, come down to see us, ‘turun padang’, see for yourselves,” Jamain urged. He explained the villagers had appealed repeatedly to the Land and Survey Department, as well as their elected representatives, to recognise their NCR land. But their pleas and signed petitions had bore no fruit.

When asked whether he still supported Taib’s party, Jamain replied, “I can’t say. As PBB branch head, I have to speak up for the people standing behind me. There’s no use being branch head if I don’t fulfill my mandate, and all our villagers’ rights are gone.”

His words were greeted with applause from the other villagers present.

The  countersuit in PDF  Format


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33 Comments »

  1. I’ve frequented your port prior to. The more I learn, the far more I maintain coming back! ;-P

    Comment by Tomeka — March 7, 2011 @ 11:59 AM | Reply

  2. nada hal lah Taib. Bagi they all RM 200.00 each, tiger+langkau 5 6 crate then bring them to karaoke/dangdut. semua tentu diam

    Comment by bob hass — February 14, 2011 @ 2:46 PM | Reply

  3. Dear fellow citizens of Sarawak and Malaysia,
    Please don’t give your full support to any political parties because they are all the same.It is like giving out love. when u loves someone too much, you will be blinded. So,what we should do is to give them a chance.just ‘a’ chance.One!If the screw up,strip them off from power.If they are serving the Rakyat, help them to succeed for our own good.come on, those politicians are supported by those who have money to splash in order to earn more for themselves. We are the tools for them into power. So, keep in mind and in view, give them the chance,not undivided loyalty.

    Dear Sarawakian, we should bring Taib down. dear PR, don’t mess with us if u’re in power.What it is for us now is what will be forever. Stop sending your ‘bright’ leaders to lead in in this state in any government sector like BN does.come on..don’t play jokes on us.And dear PAS,please keep ur hand off Sarawak.If u do..please elect priest as representative.LOL..anyway, i dont like your ideology..DAP..stop playing racial issues.

    bla bla bla..long story short.I hate political party who talk like shit.

    ah…dear politicians, you are not God.stop play one and start doing social obligation.Not your the sake of your pocket. One more thing, please get bright mind to play the role of leader, not some idiot as your puppets.

    Comment by I'm a proud bidayuh — February 14, 2011 @ 2:08 PM | Reply

    • You are blur blur and should be good to be a bidayuh leader.

      Comment by Ronnie — February 17, 2011 @ 9:09 PM | Reply

  4. hoi orang sarawak …..PADAN MUKA korang…..

    Comment by hahaha — February 14, 2011 @ 1:56 PM | Reply

  5. to those who supported Pbb and taib, YOU DESERVE THIS!

    like org sarawak says “agik rasa kau!”

    you people assume that just because you support taib he will not take your lands, now feel what the other victims felt like!

    Comment by mike — February 14, 2011 @ 9:10 AM | Reply

  6. Who to blame for all these problems of land grab by Taib the taie? All the bumiputras be u Malays/Melanaus, the Dayaks that blindly vote UMNO/BN sanction PBB/SUPP/SPDP/PRS all these yrs. Now u all hv learned the hard way. There’s only n the only way to resolve these problems is to vote out all the BN candidates this coming state election. Give all ur votes to PR candidates from PKR, DAP n PAS. U want to change so u hv to change the BN state government.

    Comment by Buduk — February 13, 2011 @ 9:36 PM | Reply

  7. A Change Is Gonna Come. Dedicated to All Sarawakians.

    Comment by SK Subramaniam — February 13, 2011 @ 7:15 PM | Reply

  8. Every landowner and farmer should display the sign “Di-Sini Tanah Kami” and place a few Pakatan Rakyat flags on their property in the run-up to the state election to remind and deter the thief minister of Sarawak from grabbing more lands.

    Comment by Asri Rahman — February 13, 2011 @ 2:11 PM | Reply

    • Every houseowner and shopowner should do the same too ” Stay away from my property…I support pakatan”

      Comment by Sim Kwong Heng — February 13, 2011 @ 2:16 PM | Reply

  9. TAIB MAHMUD MUST GO ! GO, GO, GO, GO….SARAWAKIANS CAN DO IT AND HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TAIB GO. LET’S US ALL BE INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT OF THE EGYPTIANS TO END 30 YEARS OF TAIB’S DICTATORSHIP!

    Comment by Bartholomew — February 13, 2011 @ 1:18 PM | Reply

  10. Only the brain-dead and brainless Bumiputras will continue to support Parti Bohong Bumiputra ( PBB ). You deserved a paramount thief like your one and only capable Taib the Mahmud who robs and steals from all Sarawakians including BN supporters.

    Time for you to quit your party and support the cause of Pakatan Rakyat. For once feel proud of being a SARAWAKIAN by voting out Taib and his corrupted regime. Not only Taib must be voted out. His entire corrupted regime under UMNO dominated BN must be voted out.

    Vote Pakatan to be proud SARAWAKIANS. The Egyptians now now proud to be Egyptians after bringing the downfall of their corrupted and dictorial President who has been robbing their nation for the past 30 years and Taib has been doing the same here for the past 30 years! Kick hi9m and his corrupted regime out for good.

    Comment by Bakrie — February 13, 2011 @ 12:23 PM | Reply

    • What are left in BN Sarawak comprising of PBB, SUPP, SPDP and PRS are mere zombies who are trying to survive by sucking the blood of the poor,helpless and uneducated.To protect ourselves from these blood thirsty vampires and zombies, Sarawakian must rally behind Pakatan Rakyat to annihilate them. Let their souls rest in peace so they will not haunt us anymore.

      Comment by Irene Kana — February 13, 2011 @ 1:09 PM | Reply

  11. now you are feeling the pain becuase your land is affected?

    what about all those land grans elsewhere? were you supporting this corurpt white hair rajah then?

    go on support this corrupt BN man until all your lands are gone. then only you all want to do an Egypt? Its not the right way.

    come on, instead wake up now. Stand up for whats right and not just your interest. Morality will win the day in the long run.

    Comment by aca — February 13, 2011 @ 12:09 PM | Reply

  12. the lawyers fighting this case should add as one of their defences a BLATANT breach of the RIGHTS of indigenous peoples under the Universal Declaration of Indigenous Peoples by Sarawak Govt and demand international sanctions and inquiry into these abuses!!!!

    Comment by cj — February 13, 2011 @ 8:43 AM | Reply

  13. THE NATIVES ARE REVOLTING!

    WE SHOULD SUPPORT TO PBB MEMBERS AGAINST TAIB!

    C’mon guys give the Lundu PBB members a chance and don’t berate or laugh at these (ex) PBB members.

    They should be congratulated for make a daring break! Congratulations Lundu PBB members for daring to stand up against Taib!

    The poor Lundu folks are just ordinary Sarawakians who are defending their 100 year old land rights like it or not. They are just like all other native people who have become victims of Taib’s acts of greed.

    Judge them by the actions.

    After exhausting all the avenues for solutions, they have actually come out to oppose another Taib land grab.

    This open opposition against Taib has happened only after these PBB members were served with eviction notices! This created a major change of mindset.

    In Sarawak you need to overcome the heavy burden of timidity to protest. For PBB members this burden is doubly heavy. They have to shake off 48 years of being treated as favoured citizens to stand up and say “NO” to Taib!

    Sarawakians are a bit like the Japanese in their social behavior. They are always respectful of authority and not cause ripples. So the norm is do not offend or cause loss of face to your friends or neighbours or even enemies especially if he is the Thief Minister!

    However, we now have (angry) PBB members suing their “benefactor” and even demonstrating outside the court. Taib is now exposed as no benefactor who doesn’t care a damn whether you are PBB, bumiputra or not and least of all natives. Your land is his land (as the song goes)

    Lastly we must act on the rule that we must unite for a common cause against a common enemy!

    All justice minded Kuching people act like the Lundu people – smash you timidity and join the peaceful demonstration at the court. The police did not move in as they were PBB members. All you need to do is stand by them – they are your brothers and sisters. (We have to change our mindset too!) It would look bad if the police harassed anyone suppporting the NCR protestors.

    We should not miss this chance again as we have been doing for so long by not showing open solidarity with the Penans and all other natives.

    Let us stop watching, unite and join in! Let the wave of change begin in Sarawak. The more people do this the more the wave will become a tsunami of change! Show we care.

    The opposition parties should seize the golden opportunity to unite with the Lundu PBB members against Taib. Stop sitting around in the kopi tiam muttering you opposition. Don’t just think “they” will solve it in court, Be political. Take political action! Organise your members to go and join in any court demonstrations with solidarity banners and placards. That’s what you are supposed to be doing.

    United we stand and divided we fall!

    Comment by Orang2bangkit — February 13, 2011 @ 5:45 AM | Reply

    • Sebangan and Sebuyau Iban will lead Sarawakians to protest against Taib Mahmud and demand for all NCR lands and the people’s land (State land) to be returned to the owners and the state and for Taib to step down. Let us all stand up and be counted. We must show our full force against this dictator and mafia.

      Comment by Bidayuh Headmaster — February 13, 2011 @ 12:55 PM | Reply

  14. Well, you guys have been supporting Taib all this while. You can’t say you are not responsible for the shit you guys are in. You reap what you sow. Up till now, Jamain can’t even say he will not support Taib’s party! – I gave up!

    Comment by kllee — February 12, 2011 @ 11:27 PM | Reply

    • This surpasses the oxford dictionary describing what STUPID means! And the saddest part is ….. they are many many more like him.

      Comment by foreigner — February 13, 2011 @ 12:27 AM | Reply

    • just another screen play by PPB people lah… maybe this guy didnt get crunch from PPB that why he’s complaining now! You will see be to shut up later after the guy up there sholve few ringgit down his throat.

      you think these people really want to fight for the right of the people…. fight to get more $$ coming GE ada lah..

      Comment by HH2H — February 13, 2011 @ 4:33 PM | Reply

  15. Descendants of Tub Jugah will revolt and lead the charges in Kapit region. After 47 years and no sealed road linking Kapit to Sibu and BN is still planning to develop Kapit region. How much longer do the rakyat need to wait? I am ashamed of Alexander Linggi, Billy Abit Jol, James Masing and Larry Sng.

    The rakyat of Kapit need change and will support Pakatan this time around. BN deserved to be voted out.

    Comment by Johnny — February 12, 2011 @ 11:05 PM | Reply

    • Descendant of Tun Jugah been F#@# upside down by CM…. if not for the descendant for Jugah Sarawak be prosperous and an independent countyr now!

      Comment by HH2H — February 13, 2011 @ 4:36 PM | Reply

      • yes… LOL Descendant of late Tun Jugah been developed and awarded best WORLD standard of RSPO and planted at their own land.

        vise versa to this men all projects and business were to destroy environment. what had happen to Baan Gong siko? the hilly land cut off by CMS and polluted the sources, all the energy power plant will kill us. next business after his retirement maybe a mask perhaps. or a bunker LOL.

        Comment by patapony — February 14, 2011 @ 1:49 PM | Reply

  16. [...] Follow this link: Taib's 'land grab' infuriates party faithful « Hornbill Unleashed [...]

    Pingback by Taib's 'land grab' infuriates party faithful « Hornbill Unleashed » Legal News Talk — February 12, 2011 @ 9:27 PM | Reply

  17. come on lah Taib…just sell all the malays and melanau NCR lah… you need load of money for your wife and children in future becuase grown up kids wont give her money when you kick the bucket; so before you ‘go’ grab as much as possible!

    Comment by HH2H — February 12, 2011 @ 8:44 PM | Reply

  18. Joke of the day:

    Taib – a new type of glue

    Taib (a noun), a new type of glue produced only in Mukah, Sarawak. Guarantee to stick for 30 years.

    Ben Ali and Mubarak ordered it from SCORE, but due to the poor infrastructure in Sarawak, the glue did not arrive in time in Tunisia and Egypt!

    Comment by Peter — February 12, 2011 @ 8:34 PM | Reply

    • Heard that this glue has foul, fishy and filty smell.

      Comment by Ah Too — February 13, 2011 @ 4:47 PM | Reply

  19. The CM Taib says > I have no brian, no feeling, no heart, all I care is myself and families and monies. The others can live, can walk barefooted and caved themselves

    Comment by orangkampung — February 12, 2011 @ 8:16 PM | Reply

  20. I have only ONE question to these PBB members, “HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE YOUR LAND GRABBED?” What goes around comes around!

    Comment by Malaysian — February 12, 2011 @ 6:48 PM | Reply

  21. Time for us Sarawakians to “walk like the Egyptians”.

    Comment by Adrian Ng — February 12, 2011 @ 3:49 PM | Reply

  22. BN Sarawak are like stray dogs, hunting and scavenging for whatever that they come across. Head of the packs Taib Mahmud, George Chan and Alfred must be put to sleep. The people need PR innoculation against the sickly BN dogs.

    Comment by Ronnie — February 12, 2011 @ 3:11 PM | Reply

  23. The villagers affected by the land grab who are mostly PBB members and supporters must learn their lesson well when supporting a tyrant like the thief minister Taib Mahmud. Do not assume that so long as your lands and life are not affected you should support PBB or BN blindly. As far as Taib is concerned not a single member of the BN coalition in Sarawak is good enough to replace him as CM. Perhaps not a single person in Sarawak is qualified and good enough to replace him. Taib who is a multi billionaire will soon face the wrath of the people like the Egyptian president Mubarak who is deemed to be richer than Bill Gates.

    All BN YBs who have any conscience left in them must give Taib Mahmud, George Chan and Alfred Jabu an ultimatum to step down now. No right thinking Sarawakians will continue to support and vote for UMNO led BN. As long as UMNO is in power at Putrajaya and BN government at state level are able to deliver the parliamentary seats to UMNO ,the BN state leaders will be allowed to plunder and rob the people.

    We must change BN Government and vote for a new government.

    Comment by Irene Kana — February 12, 2011 @ 3:05 PM | Reply

  24. CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST- MELTDOWN FOR POLAR HORIZON LAND CLAIM

    PBB MEMBERS DEMONSTRATE AGAINST TAIB FAMILY COMPANY TAKEOVER OF NCR LAND

    The greed of the Taib family knows no limits. This is revealed by the current court case brought by his son’s company Polar Horizon to legalised its recent attempt to rob its own PBB members from land held by them for at least 100 years.

    It could be said Taib overbearing arrogance has got the better of him and he no longer even care for his supporters. This has directly caused a polarisation of internal politics. Members feelings have heated up enough to cause a meltdown in support for the big time gangster and land robber.

    This is one of the most significant political development to date as the NCR owners protest is a rare show of open dissension against Taib PBB corruption.

    The NCR land owners are from one of the PBB traditional power base in the Lundu area.

    PBB BN members (or they may no longer be members) have had enough of the corruption of Taib’s mob and gone so far as to engage an opposition lawyer to assist them in their court case against another of Taib family company theft of 1,500 hectares of their precious land.

    Sampadi village is almost 100 years old having been set up with government permission in 1902. This is long enough for the people to lay claim to their land.

    This new Taib land grab travesty may see his PBB losing the Lundu electorate and the beginning of a collapse of PBB power base if the discontent is strong enough to spread.

    Comment by Sarawakbaru — February 12, 2011 @ 2:43 PM | Reply


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