Hornbill Unleashed

October 11, 2017

Villagers in shock upon learning their properties still on mining leases

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Members of some 200 households in Kampung Skiat Lama and Kampung Skiat Baru in Bau District are shocked upon finding out that their houses and farm land are sitting on mining leases.

According to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak vice-chairman Boniface Willy Tumek, around 1,300 villagers are still struggling to come to terms with the fact that they are basically ‘squatters’ on the land, which has been occupied since the early 1900s – one that they have, for all these years, assumed to be theirs.

“They lament how the government, which they have been staunchly supporting for many, many years allow this gross injustice to befall them,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Boniface, who is also PKR Mas Gading branch chairman, said following the inquiries forwarded to the Land and Survey Department by the party on the villagers’ behalf, it is found that the mining leases have indeed been approved for the land upon which these two villages are sited.

Adding on, he said people have been living in Kampung Skiat Lama, a mere 15-minute drive from Bau town, since 1915 – the era of the British colonial government.

Boniface pointed out that both villages are accessible via tar-sealed roads built by the government and there is also electricity supply there.

“There are community halls, of which the construction was funded by the government – there are also churches. All these features and facilities show that the two villages are long-established and thriving settlements – the villagers have no idea that they actually have no claim to the land.”

Boniface also said several lawyers from within the community had stated that mining leases were given only for state land, making this a possible reason why the villagers’ request to have their ‘kampung’ (village) lots surveyed and be issued with titles had been ignored.

“We at PKR Mas Gading are greatly disturbed by this. Moreover, we learn that the land in Taiton and Bidi areas in Bau are also affected by mining leases, causing distress to the folk there.

“In this regard, PKR urges the local member of the State Legislative Assembly to spearhead the process of lifting the mining leases from the ‘kampung’ land and other areas similarly affected.

“There are houses in the villages (Kampung Skiat Lama and Kampung Skiat Baru) with construction cost exceeding RM200,000 each. It’s really disturbing that the relevant authorities have not considered the significant resources that these villagers have invested in the land for their and their children’s future – only to discover that the land is not actually theirs,” he stressed.


Source : The Borneo Post online



1 Comment »

  1. This is the price for supporting a corrupt government … vote for change, come GE 14

    Comment by tigeryka — October 11, 2017 @ 6:01 PM | Reply

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