Hornbill Unleashed

December 11, 2013

Hundreds protest against Sarawak state gov’t

Dukau Papau

Native landowners from as far as Simunjan, Sebangan, Lundu and Sri Aman displayed a united stand at a rally in Kuching today.

They urged Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to return lands that have been grabbed, to respect the rights of the natives on land and respect the decision of the courts on the definition of native customary rights (NCR) land.

They also want the state government to cease immediately the construction of mega dams as well as to stop exploiting the state’s resources.

These demands were also made in Sibu, Miri and Bintulu during rallies organised in conjunction with Human Rights Day which has been declared by the United Nations to be observed worldwide on December 10 every year.

nicholas bawin pkr candidate for batang ai state seat 270209 05“The show of force from the various communities that took part in the rally in Kuching is a clear message to the chief minister that he must respect the rights of the natives,” said Nicholas Bawin (left), one of the rally leaders at Padang Merdeka.

“Taib must listen to the voice of the people and stop violating their rights, robbing them of their communal forest and exploiting the state’s resources. He must also stop the construction of the dams,” said Bawin.

NONEMeanwhile, in Miri, Mark Bujang, coordinator of Gerakan Rakyat Sarawak (Grass) which organised the rally, said that throughout the years, NCR land has been unjustly grabbed or destroyed for various projects such as logging, oil palm and tree planting estates, mega dam construction, quarrying and construction of large polluting industries like aluminum smelter plants.

“Some of the natives have sought redress through the judicial system and have obtained landmark decisions through the courts.

“The courts have accepted that NCR land is not only restricted to ‘temuda’ (cleared cultivated land), but also extends to ‘pulau galau’ (reserved forest areas) and ‘pemakai menua’ (communal territory) which is consistent with native customs.

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“However, the Sarawak state government continues to reject the courts’ decision by way of appealing to the higher courts.

“The recent statement by Special Functions Minister Adenan Satem (right) in the just-concluded Sarawak state legislative assembly sitting that NCR land is only confined to temuda, shows the state government’s stand on this long standing issue,” he said.

In Sibu, about 400 participants representing various communities including from Sungai Assam, Sungai Igan, Selangau, Balingian, Mukah, Kanowit, Machan, Poi and Ngemah, gathered at the Chuang Corridor of the Sibu Town Square.

These communities have experienced losses or face threats toward their NCR land. A similar gathering was also held in Bintulu.

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2 Comments »

  1. Here is typical example of a keyboard warrior. Comes BRIM everything will be settled.I have been to places before the general election. I was so confident that the wind of change would happen. I was on the high pedestal that this time we will see justice and equality will prevail again in Sarawak. The coffee shops were full of people, the villages halls too. All were cheering to the beginning of a new era. After the election news was announced my hope was devastated by the result. There we are ! Again Sarawak and Sabah people are still crowning them to govern the nation. Issues like NCR land grabs, dam building over ancestral land and hosts of injustice befell on our rural population seemed to be not a critical matter. Cash hand out is the deciding factor. I just hope the shows that are been put up by our brethren in Sibu,Kuching & Miri are for real this times. Happy Human Right Day.

    Comment by piss off guy — December 11, 2013 @ 11:43 AM | Reply

  2. This is only the beginning of more of this kind of rally if satem, taib, Tanah and the rest of them native haters and exploiters continue with their arrogance and insensitivities towards Native grievances. The problem is deeper and greater then they care to recognize and admit. They cannot continue to pretend that all is well and take us natives for granted anymore! Their is no silver linings in the horizon for us natives and until we see a glimmer of that silver lining, the road ahead is perilous for everyone. Taib and his gangs must open their eyes now and step in our native shoes and see things our way!

    We are no push overs anymore!

    Comment by brian — December 11, 2013 @ 9:05 AM | Reply


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