Hornbill Unleashed

April 30, 2014

Where are our land titles?

Bidayuh-File-Pic-300x225.jpgWinston Way

The Dayak Bidayuh National Association has completed land documentation in more than 50 villages and its now left to Chief Minister Adenan Satem to keep to his word.

Sarawak’s Bidayuh community  want what is rightfully theirs and are no longer willing to listen to their leaders telling them ‘not to go against the government’.

Bidayuh villagers who were promised native customary rights land titles are anxiously waiting for the day when they will receive it.

The wait, according to Mas Gading PKR chairman Boniface Willy Tumek, has been long.

He said the communities in the Serian parliamentary constituency had approached them in 2009 for assistance after failing for years, to a get definite answer from the authorities.

Following requests from the grassroot, the ‘DBNA NCR Land Documentation Initiative’ was launched. DBNA is the acronym for Dayak Bidayuh National Association.

The initiative identified 338 Bidayuh villages under the Serian, Mambong and Mas Gading constituencies.

“It was a community self-help project designed to document all the NCR land of the Bidayuh, in the hope that the state government will reciprocate by issuing individual titles to all plots duly documented by DBNA.

“Some of the consequential benefits envisioned then were better value for the land, better ability of the land owners to participate in commercial agriculture projects, access to subsidies and a drastic reduction of the incidences of land disputes,” said Tumek.

He said  DBNA estimated that the initiative would save the state government 60% on surveying time and 40% of the cost of surveying as the Land and Survey Department will only need to validate the maps produced under the initiative and proceed to issue the titles.

“As this initiative was conceived as a win-win project for the community and for the state government, hopes were high that the state government will respond positively to the initiatives,” Tumek said.

Adenan must keep his word

He said todate DBNA had completed the land documentation in more than 50 villages, and had spent over RM200,000 in the process.

“I have been informed that DBNA has submitted 56 maps of duly documented NCR land to the (Sarawak) Chief Minister’s Office for Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s approval to issue individual titles.

“In the Bau district, all the villages in Singgai (area) have completed theirs and some RM430,000 was spent by the villagers involved,” said Tumek.

The villagers, Tumek noted, were very appreciative of the DBNA efforts to resolve many problems associated with the untitled NCR land, but they feared the state government may not be very accommodating with the issuance of the titles.

“On the behalf of all the affected Bidayuh landowners, I now strongly urge Adenan to honour the promises he made to DBNA and to the Bidayuh community,” Tumek stated.

Adenan, during his tenure as Sarawak’s Special Functions Minister, had said that the state government on its part will “give the fullest co-operation.”

“In fact, I have given instruction to the Land and Survey (Department) to give its full cooperation to DBNA and the kampung people in their effort to have their lands surveyed,” Adenan had reported said.

Tumek also urged assemblymen from all six constituencies within the Parliamentary areas of Serian, Mambong and Mas Gading to join force and make a firm collective representation to Adenan and the state government in relation to the issue.

“The Bidayuh no longer want to hear their leaders telling them ‘we are small cucumbers and they (the government) are durians, (and that) cucumber will get badly hurt if they attempt to go against the durian.

“They want what is rightfully theirs, and they want it now,” he said.

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3 Comments »

  1. There is no more land left anymore any way, isn’t it? Lands in Kayan/Butan, Selampit/Kendaie/Pasir regions have been taken up by plantation companies after they were logged to bare earth. Those lands within the villages’s backyard in Singai,Jagoi and the villages in Lundu District, if surveyed won’t be too much of a trouble on the part of the State Government. But they will have to survey it again and they cannot rely on what DBNA has done. L & S has their own laws to comply with and this is irrespective of what promises or political talk that has been or not been said. While I do not want to be pouring cold water to people’s expectation, still I must say I do not think that that is a priority area for the new Chief Minister. And as seen from his recent statement that there will be amendment to be made to laws on NCR land to enable the same to be bought and sold among natives irrespective where he hails from. This will reverse the decision of the Federal Court in Sidi anak Jinggut case which proscribed sale of NCR land on consideration for value, and that NCR land could only be transferred within family members and within members of same local community. The old position is to safeguard local poor natives from exploitation by rich natives from outside, and from people planting Trojan horses in the midst of the poor people which effectively could deprive or fleece the rural poor natives on their only “asset” the NCR Land. Anyway what use is to have land titles when sale is encouraged by government? I have always thought that government should protect the poor? But this seems to be not quite the case.

    Comment by Anek — May 1, 2014 @ 5:06 PM | Reply

  2. I repeat here what has been said of Adenan – long on preaching, but short on practising.

    Comment by Gary Tay — April 30, 2014 @ 2:38 PM | Reply

  3. MESSAGE TO THE NEW CM OF SARAWAK-GIVE BACK THE LAND WHICH BELONGS TO THE NATIVES & NO MORE LAND GRAB OR EXPLOITATION!!!!

    Comment by Geronimo Miller (@geronimomiller) — April 30, 2014 @ 10:18 AM | Reply


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