Hornbill Unleashed

February 25, 2011

Did you sign away NCR land, Masing?

Joseph Tawie

A new issue allegedly involving Land Minister James Masing is brewing over the NCR land dispute between natives and BLD Resources.

Land Development Minister James Masing has come under fire for his alleged involvement in converting a native customary rights (NCR) property into state land, which has resulted in a legal dispute between the natives of Rumah Ranggong in Ulu Niah and BLD Resources Sdn Bhd.

BLD Resources is suing the natives from Rumah Ranggong for trespassing on its property. The natives, who are claiming their NCR right on the land, are counter-suing and the case is pending in the Kuching High Court.

Masing, when contacted by FMT, said it was a “serious allegation” against him.

“I can’t recall (signing the deed). I will check with my officers. It is a very serious allegation. I will take to task anybody involved including the media,” he said.

Masing had allegedly signed a deed of rescission on Oct 29, 2008 declaring the NCR land belonging to the residents of Rumah Ranggong, Ulu Niah, as state land.

Masing admitted that the land was declared state land in 2002 but maintained that it was not by him.

“Yes the land was declared state land, but not by me. I don’t have the authority.

“Consequently, as minister in charge-cum-chairman of the Sarawak Land Development Board (SLDB) which was the managing agent then, I rescinded the joint venture (JV) in October 2008 because my authority deals only with NCR land,” he said.

Other signatories to the deed were Chaiti Bolhassan who is the general manager of SLDB, Henry Lau  and Wan Abdillah Hamid, who are both directors of BLD Resources.

It is learnt that because the deed was signed without the knowledge of the landowners to rescind the JV agreement, it had sparked a dispute between the natives and the company.

Where’s the money?

According to Changgai Anak Dali, chairman of the longhouse development and security committee, it was for this reason that he was sued by BLD Resources.

“I was sued by BLD Resofor trespassing in my own land and this triggered our land dispute, and we filed a counter suit which is now undergoing trial at the Kuching High Court.

“Last year, we wrote a letter to BLD Resources to demand our land back and also to settle our long overdue dividends from the project, but we received no response and this is when we decided to erect our blockade in January this year,” said Changgai.

Meanwhile, blogger and activist, John Brian, said Masing must explain the revocation of the status of NCR land in Ulu Niah.

In his posting on the Dayak Baru blog, Brian alleged that the land was bought by the KTS group of companies for RM1 million plus, but the money had never reached the Ulu Niah Ibans.

“Who is keeping the money?” asked Brian.

He also asked Masing why he extinguished the NCR status of the land.

“Is it for personal reason or does Massing, who claims to champion the rights of Dayaks, play traitor to his own community?” he asked.

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5 Comments »

  1. The following is a statement from Niamas Istimewa Sdn Bhd on the meeting between the company, the inhabitants of Rumah Ranggong and Rumah Belilie and other related parties:

    RESIDENT Antonia Kathi Galis today (yesterday) mediated a meeting between Niamas Istimewa Sdn Bhd’s representatives and the inhabitants of Rh. Ranggong and Rh. Belilie regarding the recent dispute in the oil palm estate.

    Changgai anak Dali, on behalf of the inhabitants claimed that as shareholders of the oil palm plantation company, they have not received any dividends for the last 13 years, and therefore decided to take matters into their own hands by unlawfully removing the company’s FFB.

    The meeting took place at the Miri Resident’s office. A few key matters arose during the mediation.

    The inhabitants wanted the Government to reinstate the land back to them as NCR land. The Resident advised the inhabitants that the land status in not up to the company but an issue they have to take up with the Government.

    Then, Changgai claimed they have not received any payment or dividends for the last 13 years, This is incorrect and the Government agency, Sarawak Land Development Board, who are the trustee of the inhabitants, confirmed that they had received RM1,179,840.00 from the Company and had in 2001, paid the inhabitants RM294,960.00 and invested RM884,880.00 into ASSAR on their behalf. In 2009, SLDB paid them RM436,708.20 being dividend from the investment in ASSAR unit trust. SLDB confirmed at the meeting they will provide the inhabitants details of each of their investments. Changgai’s claim is therefore untrue that they have not received any payment.

    As far as the Company is concerned, the inhabitants hold 30 % share in the Company. This Company is waiting for the inhabitants to sign the transfer. As agreed, once they sign the transfer, 2 representatives will sit on the board of the Company to decide on the dividend rate. However, the inhabitants refused to commit that they will stop illegal removal of the Company’s fresh fruits bunches.

    They claimed that the Company has engaged gangsters to intimidate them. The Company rejected the allegation. They pointed out that the police detained 3 security staff of BLD plantation which is 24 km away from Niamas estate and 35 km away from the longhouse. Today (yesterday), the police unconditionally released the 3 BLD personnel without charge.

    It is unfair for the media and politicians to hear only one side of the story before making adverse and ill-informed comments against BLD and Niamas and the Companies reserve their rights to take such action as may be necessary to protect their reputation. The Companies urged the police from Niah and Miri Division to enforce the law and not take sides by wrongfully arresting the Companies’ personnel.

    Comment by Niamas Publications — February 25, 2011 @ 11:15 PM | Reply

  2. James Masing has grown from a green horn to a wise man in politic. I admired him during his early years as people champion and party loyalist. Now you see a changed man after years as people rep. This normal in Malaysian politic where YBs accumulate wealth at every opportunity offered by the big towkeys,dare they go against them.
    Whether the rakyat lives or dies why should they (YBs)care as long as they live in confort and enjoy his ill-gotten wealth.

    It time for the Rayat to fight for their right. Vote for change.

    Comment by J ANTHONY — February 25, 2011 @ 12:25 PM | Reply

  3. 2 X 5 ! Dayak tipu Dayak tipu Melayu tipu Penan tipu Sarawak tipu Dayak. Semua kena tipu Melanau !

    Taib tipu semua !

    Comment by Jim Balak — February 25, 2011 @ 7:46 AM | Reply

  4. When has he championed the rights and welfare of the Dayaks when he always claims to be HERO of the Dayaks. BEst of his great works is to break and sin Dayak based party, weakens the stance of Dayak representation in the government, creat in house quarrel and polish balls of his Big Boss, that is that bunch of stupid and dumb/mute elected representatives of PRS and SPDP are alike, same nature of corrupted minds.

    Dont hope on these guys to come forward to help Dayak community in land dispute and even when their Dayaks are brutally treated and assulted. Do we not wake up from our long nightmare to keep on trusting these our beloved representatives. Prepare to dump and scrap them come this state poll. They are doing NO-FUCKING-GOOD beside bluffing and pushing responsibilities. Their roles in the Dewan are nothing more than cheering “YA, BETUL, YA, SETUJU, YA, MANAH, YA KAMI SUKUNG, YA, PEHIN…”

    Let sink them in Batang Rajang, Batang Lupar, Batang Ai, and all their constituencies

    Comment by Salah Satu — February 25, 2011 @ 7:43 AM | Reply

  5. WHO SHOULD BE SUING WHO FOR TRESPASS?!

    Jemut says: “I can’t recall (signing the deed). I will check with my officers. It is a very serious allegation. I will take to task anybody involved including the media,” he said.

    How could he forget signing such an important document? The Deed clearly shows his and name typed underneath. Did someone forge it? Taib?

    More skulduggery than meets the eye!

    Comment by Anonymous — February 25, 2011 @ 6:36 AM | Reply


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