The interactive Sarawak Geoportal includes an overview of concessions granted for logging and palm-oil plantations as well as raw data on the rapid deforestation in the state.
Switzerland-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has launched a new interactive internet-based geoportal that would help track use and misuse of any land in Sarawak.
The site has Sarawak’s confidential official maps, detailed information on land use changes and rainforest destruction in Malaysia’s largest state, said BMF director, Lukas Straumann. (more…)
Today is Human Rights Day and it is on this date that in 1950 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming its principles as the “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”.
In the last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland last October on which Malaysia was under review, the Malaysian Government in its opening speech declared its commitment to the protection and promotion of Human Rights in the country. (more…)
PKR Sarawak vice chairman See Chee How yesterday called on the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) to discard the ‘kampung mentality’ if the state wants to pursue its objective of building 12 mega dams.
He said the state must assume a ‘superpower mindset’ by adopting and implementing international standards and principles in the projects undertaken by SEB.
“Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit (of SEB) can only live up to his billing as a top CEO and boast about leading SEB in a dramatic transformation to make Sarawak an energy powerhouse to propel greater investment and employment in the state, if he can convince the state government to do it (adopt and implement international standards and principles), (more…)
The state government’s perimeter survey exercise of native customary rights (NCR) land will only be carried out on temuda (farmed land).
Confirming this, Special Functions Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem told the Assembly that he was aware of complaints by some quarters against this.
“That is true and it is consistent with the decision of the Federal Court that only land which has been cultivated and occupied continuously is NCR land. (more…)
The Star Online
Native customary rights (NCR) land came under scrutiny in the Assembly, with the Government and Opposition at odds over its definition.
Special Functions Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem reiterated the government’s position that NCR land was confined to temuda, or farmed land.
He said the government respected and followed the Federal Court judgement in the case of Bisi Jinggot in July this year, which decided that NCR could be acquired by two modes, namely clearing untitled virgin jungle to create temuda and the other by receiving the temuda as a gift or inheritance.
- Serumbu folks protested against “Serambu” Quarry Sdn Bhd
For the past 16 years, the natives from 17 Bidayuh villages at the foot of Mount Serumbu have been fighting a silent ‘war’ against Serumbu Quarry Sdn Bhd, which has been given a licence to extract stones from the mountain.
They have been writing letters, five all in all, with the latest on Oct 30, 2013 to Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud with copies to their Member of Parliament for Mambong, James Dawos Mamit, and the Bengoh state assemblyperson Dr Jerip Susil (left) and other relevant authorities asking the chief minister for the company’s licence to be revoked.
Sarawak Report has received news of a critical development in the Murum Dam blockade, which has now been maintained for several weeks by Penan tribespeople forced from their homes by rising waters
Around a hundred of the men, women and children have broken away from the original site, where they were being penned in by riot police, and have now moved to a new blockade site down on the main Murum highway. (more…)
Sarawak Report can reveal that four head gangsters, who were caught after the discovery of an enormous illegal arms cache at the disputed logging and plantation concessions at Melikin, were freed by police on instructions from Ministers!
Since their release there has been a further series of vicious attacks on local people, whom the gangsters have been intimidating for many months, on behalf of two companies granted controversial licences on Native Customary Rights lands in the area.
The companies, United Teamtrade Sdn Bhd and Memaju Jaya Sdn Bhd, both have ownership ties to powerful BN political figures in Sarawak. These include Taib’s planning deputy, Awang Tenggah; the state Minister for Entrepreneur Development, Naroden Majais, and the former local YB, Frederick Bayoi. (more…)
- DESTROYED: One of the activists stands on the ruins of the core samples at the soil investigation site at Baram.
Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) confirmed that it will lodge further police reports
against those responsible for destroying core samples from the soil investigation work and threatening of workers conducting site investigation in preliminary feasibility works on the proposed Baram Dam.
SEB Chief of Corporate Services Aisah Eden said: “We have provided the police with a detailed file including video and photographic evidence of the destruction of core samples and other valuable property at Long Kahah (downstream of Long Na’ah). In addition, both Sarawak Energy and our contractors have made detailed statements concerning aggressive threats of physical violence made by specific individuals against our workers.” (more…)
- The jungle within the vicinity of the water catchment area was cleared by illegal logging. The water catchment area is located nearby.
Local residents, plantation workers assaulted by thugs hired by illegal loggers, police report made to no avail
About 800 residents of eight villages around Melikin and Karangan Melikin, located in Balai Ringin, some 100 km from here, are living in fear of constant harassment by thugs who encroached into their water catchment area to log the area illegally. (more…)
ECOLOGICAL IMPACT: See Chee How
A view of the Murum Dam.
The state has been called on to run a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis on the proposal to implement large dam projects.
This is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project to determine if it is a sound investment and to provide a basis for comparing projects.
“It involves comparing the total expected cost of each option against the total expected benefits, to see whether the benefits outweigh the costs, and by how much,” explained Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How in a press statement. (more…)
Long Teran – How can there be settlement without justice?
This past month saw Taib Mahmud’s 50th anniversary of uninterrupted public office. Thirty three of those years have been spent as Chief Minister of the State of Sarawak.
He has chosen this symbolic moment to make variousremarks acknowledging the ‘lack of progress’ achieved by the Dayak people during that time.
Yet, cheekily, he suggests that it is he who can come up with the solutions to the problem, when it is plain to all around that it is he, Abdul Taib Mahmud, who has been the biggest single cause of Dayak woes throughout all those 50 years. (more…)
The Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the ‘tungkus asi’ adat referred to in the July 11 Federal Court ruling has not been practiced for years and has no relevance in modern cash society.
Concerns over the July 11 Federal Court ruling on the sales and purchases of native customary rights (NCR) land has not died down here.
In fact widespread rumblings of fear and discontent among native land owners has compelled the Dayak Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) to urge relevant authorities, community leaders and experts in native customs to address the “far reaching effects and ramifications” of the ruling.
DCCI deputy president Celestine Ujang Jilan said although the Putrajaya Federal Court ruling revolved around the Iban’s ‘Tusun Tunggu’ custom involving NCR land transactions, the chamber was concerned that the ruling will affect other Dayak Communities. (more…)
The Borneo post
State PKR chairman Baru Bian wants the definition of ‘Native Customary Right’ under Section 2 of the Sarawak Land Code to be amended to include ‘pemakai menoa’ (communal land) and ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest reserve).
Baru, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, said the inclusion was necessary as such land had since been affirmed by the court as land created in accordance with the customs of the natives of Sarawak.
“I plan to submit a motion for such amendment at the next sitting of the Dewan Undangan Negeri and I am looking forward to the support of the Dayak YBs from the Barisan Nasional for the motion, consistent with their present calls to amend the Land Code to be in line with the ‘adat’ of the Sarawak natives,” he told a press conference here yesterday. He said it would be a test of sincerity of all the Dayak assemblymen to the call to amend the law, consistent with the customs of the native people. (more…)
Land development practices currently taking place in Sarawak warrants amendment to laws governing native customary rights land, say the Kayan community.
The estimated 15,000-strong Kayan community in Sarawak want laws governing native customary rights (NCR) on land to be amended. The tribe believes that changes to the NCR land laws will help improve the socio-economic status of the community.
Legally, under the NCR land development concept, natives cannot enter into joint venture with persons outside their community. But this has not stopped oil palm companies and unscrupulous parties from exploiting the impoverished tribes. (more…)
The Dayak community, especially the Ibans, is told to welcome a Federal Court decision which recognises the existence of NCR land.
A former president of the Sarawak Council of Native Customary Laws has taken Dayak leaders with ‘hidden agendas’ to task for the furore over a federal court ruling disallowing the transfer by sales and purchase agreements of native customary land.
Sidi Munan said the Dayak community, especially the Ibans, should instead welcome the court decision which recognises the existence of NCR land
“We should be thankful to the Federal Court for finally recognizing our native customary rights over land. (more…)
Samuel Aubrey, reporters@theborneopost
Dayak leaders call for review on native customary rights land code, ordinance to clear confusion over sale and development of the land
Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) yesterday called for a review of all land code, laws or ordinance following a Federal Court’s ruling that native customary rights (NCR) land cannot be transferred by sale and purchase agreements.
Its vice-president Anthony Banyan said Dayak leaders should initiate such a review to address land problems which affect the community.
“The laws related to NCR must be up to date so that Dayaks can catch up with the progress of the country,” he said yesterday. (more…)
Churchill Edward @theborneopost
Federal Court rules that NCR land cannot be sold to anyone outside the community, rights extinguished if original owner abandons the land
The Federal Court here yesterday ruled that native customary rights (NCR) land cannot be transferred by sale and purchase agreements.
When passing the ruling, the Federal Court comprising Chief Justice Tun Ariffin Zakaria, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal Judges Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Surayadi Halim Omar and Tan Sri Hasan Lah unanimously dismissed an appeal by Bisi Jinggot against (more…)
Peter Sibon, reporters@theborneopost
Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing is not aware of any law in the state which forbids Native Customary Rights (NCR) land to be transferred to anyone outside the family or community of the owners.
He said this when asked to comment on the Federal Court’s dismissal of an appeal by Bisi Jinggot against the lower courts’ decisions to refuse him a declaration that he had acquired NCRs over several lots of land totalling 37.24 acres at Sungai Agas in Matang.
“That part of the law I am not aware of,” Masing told the Borneo Post yesterday. However, Masing lauded the decision by the Federal Court saying that natives should instead develop their NCR land themselves and not try to get a fast buck out of it. (more…)
Peter Sibon and James Ling @theborneopost
TO BE GAZETTED: A view of some of the islands in Bakun HEP Dam.
The government will safeguard the rights of the people in Belaga whose Native Customary Rights (NCR) land are affected by the move to gazette 18 islands in Bakun HEP dam.
The assurance came from Belaga assemblyman Liwan Lagang who said his office will welcome those who need assistance.
“If your NCR land is affected by the gazette, please come and see me,” said Liwan who is also Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage.
Message that has finally started to get through – but Ta Ann is still logging in Tasmania
In a surprise development the Taib family company Ta Ann has accepted a multi-million pound settlement from the Australian Government, in order to give up major timber supplies in the state of Tasmania.
The move is a stunning vindication for environmental campaigners in the state, who have suffered vilification and arrests for protesting against the logging in Tasmania’s high conservation value forest areas.
However, it has highlighted serious questions as to why the Sarawak company was ever allowed such permits in the first place and why, despite the payment, Ta Ann is still being allowed to source wood from Tasmania’s threatened forests? (more…)
The Court of Appeal’s decision has far reaching effects on more than 200 NCR land cases which are now pending hearing before the High Court.
The Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold a ruling that the pemakai menoa (territorial domain) is part of the native customary rights (NCR) land, is not only a victory of NCR land owners in Sarawak but it also strengthens the political belief and reputation of the opposition especially PKR.
The court dismissed an appeal by the Sarawak government against the earlier judgment of Justice Yew Jen Kie. (more…)
Video Link “This is my message. We must all change, open our eyes now. Think about it. All of us have suffered. Our land, our world has been taken away, not just in Melikin, but everywhere, in Sibu, Kapit, Sri Aman, Batang Rajang, Baram.
“All of it has been taken by other people. It’s because of this that we, the people, suffer,” said Surik anak Muntai, an elderly defender of native customary rights (NCR) to land in Sarawak.
Surik, 66, had his right forearm and both legs slashed with machetes by four men on March 15, as he waited for his wife and son outside Sekolah Sungai Menyan, Serian, located just over an hour’s drive from Kuching. (more…)
Floating church – one of the buildings that the tragic natives of Bakun have tried to save from their flooded communities..
Sarawak Report has received secret maps revealing that a planned BN announcement of land allocations for the displaced families of Sungai Asap is merely a sham.
The maps show that the 32,000 hectares that BN are proposing to offer in a pre-election gambit to win back votes are in fact gazetted as Pesu-Pelong Protected Forest Area and already belongs to other communities!
The region comprises the established Native Customary Rights Lands of three Kayan communities and also, it is believed, of one Punan community. (more…)
Thus far the Sarawak government has failed to meet promises made to resettle natives in Batang Ai and Bakun, says a local NGO.
Sungai Asap, where 10,000 natives of Belaga were resettled after they succumbed to the promises of the Sarawak administration in regards to the Bakun Dam is almost empty these days.
About 7,000 settlers have left the resettlement scheme in search of a better living elsewhere. (more…)
Openly admitting that Manila has not given up its claim on Sabah, the Aquino administration is merely echoing the demented claims of a loony Sultan.
Six weeks ago, 200 armed Filipino militants invaded Sabah, Malaysia. They demanded the unconditional return of Sabah in the name of the Sultanate of Sulu.
Malaysian authorities took a soft stand to persuade these delusional militants to leave in peace and to avoid any bloodshed. Events turned nasty when two policemen were gunned down in cold blood. The army retaliated swiftly to end the crisis resulting in the deaths of 70 people. No Scud missiles were used. (more…)
Vernon Aji Kedit
It has taken the Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) a week and a half to react to the Global Witness video. SDNU’s Vice President Anthony Banyan, in a statement published in the Borneo Post last February, was quite clear that “SDNU has no political affiliation and this is how it should always remain,” and I applaud him for his neutrality (see ). And today, Banyan has kept his word by coming out strongly against the allegations made in the Global Witness video (see ). (more…)
Don’t you dare call us “Squatters” in our own lands!
The people of Julau who saw themselves victimised on the devastating film expose by Global Witness last week have come out in fury to protest at the secret disposal of their Native Customary Rights lands to Taib’s family members.
PKR front-runner in the area, Andy Wong, made a police report on the 23rd of March, followed by a report to the MACC on the 26th of March.
On the same day Andy and many from the PKR Julau Branch attended a demonstration against the alienation of their land to the greedy daughters of of the former Chief Minister, Rahman Ya’kub, who are cousins of Taib Mahmud. (more…)
Iban native customary rights (NCR) defender Surik anak Muntai, 66, has expressed his anger and concern that the oil palm “company executive” he identified to police as one of his assailants has been freed on police bail, after three days in remand.
Surik, a farmer from Melikin in Serian, suffered horrific injuries on his right forearm and both knees as a result of a ruthless assault by four men on March 15.
Serian police have declared that police are unable to identify any of his assailants. District police chief DSP Mohd Jamali Umi told local daily The Borneo Post on March 21 that the four attackers wore masks and Surik could not identify them. (more…)
PKR wants Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and the related agencies to clarify how Ample Agro received a provisional license for an NCR land in Julau.
If Chief Minister Taib Mahmud had “no intermediary” for the sale of state land and logging licences and wanted “everything got to be done according to government procedure”, then how did his cousins Fatimah and Norlia Abdul Rahman Yakub secure a provisional licence to government land?
“This is the question on everyone’s lips now. How did the two sisters’ company Ample Agro acquire their licence in the first place?” asked Baru Bian, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman and Sarawak PKR chief. (more…)
A sign that spells a million miseries for the native people of Sarawak
Huang Lung Ong is the lawyer who was caught on video representing the Hii family in their attempt to sell the 32,000 hectares of forested land licensed for plantation under their company Billion Venture.
[Click here for the Iban version of the secret filming by NGO Global Witness]
Sarawak Report can now further reveal that this lawyer appeared to be withholding crucial evidence from his prospective buyer. (more…)
See Chee How
Video Link I am appalled by the statement made by the Serian police chief DSP Mohd Jamali Umi to the press, appearing in a local English daily yesterday, when he was asked to comment on the brutal assault of 66-years old Iban farmer Surik Anak Muntai.
The Serian police chief was quoted as saying that as the 4 attackers were wearing masks during the assault, neither the victim nor the witness could identify them. He further stated: “The victim does not know the attackers. He could not identify them …”
These statements are a far cry from the recorded statements and testimonies given to the police by Surik Anak Muntai and his wife Rosni Anak Langap. (more…)
An elderly Iban man fighting for land rights in Melikin, Sarawak, Surik anak Muntai, was viciously attacked on March 15 by four or five men armed with sticks and parang, while he waited outside Sekolah Sungai Menyan, Serian, to pick up his son from school.
Surik, 66, has identified one of the assailants as an administration “executive” of an oil palm plantation company embroiled in a court battle over the Melikin villagers’ native customary rights (NCR) claim to land.
The plantation “executive”, 57, has now been remanded, while the other suspects are being hunted by the police. (more…)
Surik Muntai and 300 other landowners from 17 longhouses from Melikin in Serian district are suing a company linked to two PBB leaders for encroaching into their NCR land.
A director of an oil palm plantation company, linked to two leaders in Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu has been detained for allegedly assaulting a 67-year-old farmer over a native customary rights land issue.
Serian police confirmed that Andrew Wong, a director in United Teamtrade Sdn Bhd was arrested three days ago and is currently in remand. (more…)
The state and federal governments must pay swift attention to NCR land issues and welfare of the Penan community.
More than 2,000 Penans from seven Penan villages in Sungai Patah and three in Long Akah in Baram are facing simultaneous double threats – indiscriminate logging and the proposed construction of the Baram Dam.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) president SM Mohamed Idris said that SAM has been informed by Penan villagers in Sungai Patah, Baram, that loggers have encroached into their native customary rights (NCR) land. (more…)
An native customary rights lawyer in Sarawak has accused the Selangau police and a Sarawak Administrative Officer of abusing their power in remanding two siblings.
Two native customary rights (NCR) land activists, were not only arrested for lodging a report against a company for illegally logging on their NCR land but also denied proper court procedures.
Matek anak Geram, aged 40, and his brother Tambi, 60, who are members of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) were arrested last Sunday, and on Monday they were produced before a Sarawak Administrative Officer (SAO) who sat in as a magistrate. (more…)
The Sarawak government’s joint venture agreements with native customary land rights owners is lopsided and only benefits plantation companies, claims DAP.
Seventy Selakau families in Kampung Kendaie in Lundu, some 150km from here, have claimed that they have been cheated of their lands. The families participated in a joint venture agreement with Rimbunan Hijau oil plantation company and state government agency, Land Custody Development Authority (LCDA).
Revealing this, Sarawak DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen said: “In the course of the joint venture arrangement, the people have suffered triple whammy (exploited three times). (more…)
The construction of the RM40 million road connecting Ba Kelalan to Bario in Sarawak, at the cost of an essential water catchment area has angered local villagers.
KUCHING: Angry villagers in Ba’Kelalan have threatened the Malaysian Royal Army Engineers Regiment with a court injunction if they persist in building the Ba’kelalan-Bario road.
“If need be, we will apply for a court injunction to stop the army contractors from proceeding with the road construction,” said Baru Bian, a lawyer and Ba’Kelalan assemblyman. (more…)
This guidebook is SACCESS’s first attempt to better inform and prepare Native Customary Rights (NCR) landowners in Sarawak who want to use the Malaysian civil courts to seek declaration of their lawful rights over their NCR Lands.
Practical information for communities on resorting to the court process (Civil Litigation) to reclaim Native Customary Rights (NCR) Lands
Baru Bian denounces the government for restricting the definition of native customary rights land.
Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian has denounced the state government for its refusal to recognise “pulau galau” (communal forest) and “pemakai menua” (territorial domain) as native customary rights land (NCR), saying it cheats tens of thousands of landowners of their rights.
“Pulau gawau” translates as “communal forests” and “pemakai menua” as “territorial domains”. (more…)
~ The Borneo Post
Are ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pulau galau’ part of NCR land?
THERE is no clear indication yet whether the ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pulau galau’ are recognised as part of the native customary rights (NCR) land in the parameter survey initiative.
When raising the issue at the assembly sitting yesterday Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian was told by Deputy Chief Minister that the condition in which NCR could be claimed by NCR landowners was clearly contained under the provision of the Land Code. (more…)
Kow Gah Chie
Shouting their slogan “Damn the dams” in five languages and unfurling banners that read “stop Murum dam” and “Stop Baram dam”, the group started the 500 metre march at 10.30am from the Bukit Aman police headquarters.Some 30 indigenous people and members of various NGOs today marched in the rain to Parliament to demand Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak put a stop to plans by the Sarawak government to construct 12 mega dams in the state.
The march, aimed at submitting a memorandum to the prime minister, was organised by two NGOs – Damn the Dams action group and Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (Save Rivers). (more…)
Land belonging mostly to Malays in Gelang Patah was acquired at only 64 sen psf from about 10,000 Malay villagers from 17 kampungs for a RM12b resort city in Johor.
The Land Acquisition Act 1960 was enacted to enable the government to make compulsory acquisition of land from the people for infrastructural and public projects. It was meant for roads, schools, hospitals and public amenities.
Then came Dr Mahathir Mohamad who, in 1991, amended the act to enable state governments to acquire land and then alienate such land to the private sector for property development. (more…)
Kua Kia Soong
The Penans have been blockading against the construction of the 944MW Murum Dam since Sept 26, 2012. More than 1,600 Penans from eight Penan villages (including one Kenyah Badeng longhouse) are affected by the construction of the dam which is now about 70% completed.
Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), contractors and private companies involved in the project have been forced to use ferryboats or tugboats through the Bakun Dam reservoir to transport goods, machines, building materials etc. to the Murum Dam site. (more…)
The international community is closely monitoring developments involving the Murum Dam project and the displaced Penan community.
A local NGO has slammed Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang for lying to Senior Minister-cum-Land Development Minister James Masing on the situation with the Penans who were protesting the Murum Dam construction.
Liwan had apparently told Masing that the protesting Penans have agreed to dismantle the blockades mounted since last month on the access road into the dam’s construction site. (more…)
The Royal Malaysian Police force needs to be educated on human rights and perspective of the people’s struggle, claims Suaram.
Human rights NGO, Suaram, has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ismail Omar to warn his men not to interfere in the Penan tribe’s rights struggle in the Murum dam issue in Sarawak.
“In order to bring the credibility to the force, they should be seen as a neutral party and not to take the side of the oppressor. (more…)