Hornbill Unleashed

August 3, 2018

Pan Borneo Highway project’s mechanism, direction to be finalised by September

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

The mechanism and direction of the Pan Borneo Highway mega project in Sabah and Sarawak is expected to be finalised and a decision made at the latest by early September, said Works Minister Baru Bian.

He said his ministry would appoint an independent consultant engineer to review the implementation of the project involving the work packages carried out by the project contractor based on best engineering practices.

“On July 24, the ministry was directed by the Finance Ministry to review and reassess the cost and scope of the Sabah and Sarawak Pan Borneo highway project.

The ministry has submitted a proposal to appoint an independent consultant to conduct the assessment,” he told the Dewan Rakyat sitting yesterday. (more…)

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August 2, 2018

Negative comments on oil royalty issue normal, says See

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Vice chairman of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak, See Chee How, says the criticisms and negative comments of politicians from the opposite camp pertaining to the oil royalty issue are normal and Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders must learn to take them in their stride.

In acknowledging that there are a lot of misunderstandings to the issue, See said what matters is what PH can deliver to fulfill the hope of all Sarawakians for the betterment of Sarawak.

“For the first time in 43 years, since 1976, the Pakatan Harapan federal government is taking steps to deliver more than five per cent oil royalty to Sarawak, for the exploitation and development of our oil and gas resources within Sarawak’s territory,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

In stressing that PH has not renegaded on its electoral pledge ‘to increase petroleum royalty to Sarawak and Sabah to 20 per cent or equivalent’, See said PH has now taken the first step to deliver the promise and he is really happy for that. (more…)

Vernon served with Letter of Demand for allegedly defaming Uggah

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

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak information chief Vernon Kedit said he was served with a Letter of Demand by a law firm acting on behalf of Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Vernon, who issued a statement in his personal capacity, said the letter demanded him to retract an allegedly libellous statement he had made and write a written apology to be published in newspapers in Sarawak and promise not to make such statements against Uggah in future.

The letter also demanded Vernon to pay all legal costs incurred by Uggah and pay Uggah a sum not less than RM1 million in damages as compensation for allegedly defaming him (Uggah) in a WhatsApp group chat.

“The deadline to meet the demands expires today at 5pm. I have no intention whatsoever to meet the deadline as truth is on my side. I fight for and defend the rights of all Sarawakians but now I am victimised for doing so. Lawyer’s letters do not intimidate me nor cow me into submission. Conversely, they provoke me to fight on,” he told a press conference here today. (more…)

Follow all rules in delivery of houses, developers urged

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

Housing developers and relevant authorities in Sarawak should be strict with the provision and rules in the delivery of houses to purchasers.

In making the call, Local Government and Housing Minister’s special officer Voon Shiak Ni said this is because safety of house owners is of the core concern of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

“Our office has been approached by house purchasers that the houses in which they live in do not have Occupation Permit (OP). There are also cases where purchasers were asked to take keys to their new house when OP was yet to be issued,” Voon, who is also PKR Women national vice president, said in a press conference yesterday.

Voon said she viewed this issue as of pertinent importance as it is about the safety of house occupants. (more…)

PH will deliver, fulfil its electoral promises – See

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

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak vice chairman See Chee How said the criticisms and negative comments of politicians from the opposite camps pertaining to the oil royalty issue are normal and Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders must learn to take them in their stride.

In acknowledging that there are a lot of misunderstandings on the issue, See said what matters is what PH can deliver to fulfil the hope of all Sarawakians for the betterment of Sarawak.

“For the first time in 43 years, since 1976, the Pakatan Harapan federal government is taking steps to deliver more than five per cent oil royalty to Sarawak, for the exploitation and development of our oil and gas resources within Sarawak’s territory,” he said in a press conference here today.

In stressing that PH has not renegaded its electoral pledge “to increase petroleum royalty to Sarawak and Sabah to 20 per cent or equivalent”, See said PH has now taken the first steps to deliver the promise and he is really happy for that. (more…)

July 31, 2018

SIB Church appeal on discovery of documents rescheduled to Nov 7

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

TSIB Church is seeking a declaration that they have a constitutional right to use the word Allah in their Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia-translated Christian bibles and in all their religious publications and materials. — Picture by Choo Choy Mayhe Court of Appeal has fixed November 7 for hearing of the appeal by Sidang Borneo (SIB) Church on discovery of documents pertaining to the Cabinet’s decision in 1986 which prohibited the use of the word “Allah” in non-Muslim publications.

Lawyer Tan Hooi Ping appearing for the church and its president Datuk Jerry WA Dusing @ Jerry W. Patel said the court also set Oct 22 for case management for parties to inform the court on any possible settlement of the case.

The appeal was initially scheduled for hearing today but switched to a case management before deputy registrar Aina Azahra Arifin.

Tan said that she informed the court that parties in the appeal were engaging in an on-going discussion for a possible settlement of the matter. (more…)

‘5-plus-20’ formula for Sarawak

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government has altered its promise of 20 per cent oil and gas royalty to Sarawak, after the Sarawak government chose not to accept the condition set in their ‘New Deal Agreement’ prior to the 14th general election.

PH Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, who announced this to reporters outside Parliament in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, said while the oil and gas royalty will be retained at five per cent, the state will receive an additional 20 per cent in oil profits.

According to him, the promises of 20 per cent of oil and gas royalty to Sarawak and 50 per cent of tax revenue collected in Sarawak to be returned to the state come with an underlying condition, in that the Sarawak government must use the funds on education and healthcare development.

During the press conference, Chong distributed a statement jointly signed by him and PKR Sarawak chief Baru Bian, who is also Works Minister. (more…)

July 30, 2018

No more over-priced govt projects and procurements, says Baru Bian

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Works Minister Baru Bian said he would ensure that future government projects and procurements are closely supervised to stop the past practice of over-priced tenders and contracts.

“Personally I would advocate for open tenders extensively because they are competitive and very fair commercially,” he told Bernama in an interview.

He said for this to happen, the Works Ministry would work closely with other ministries and agencies in ensuring that due processes and procedures were carried out throughout the procurement and technical assessments.

Baru said there was some truth in public perception that previously, the Works Ministry despite having experts like engineers and quantity surveyors were not fully involved in the process of determining the price of mega projects thus leading to inflated costs of such projects. (more…)

‘New deal, but terms and conditions apply’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) will announce the proposed ‘New Deal Agreement’ today, which will then be brought to the special cabinet committee to safeguard Sarawak’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

According to PH Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, it is important that Sarawak’s rights under MA63 be protected and that is why the ‘New Deal Agreement’ has been created.

He said all Sarawak PH MPs would be present, including Selangau MP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak chairman Baru Bian, during the announcement – set to be made on the sidelines of the Parliament sitting today.

“We want a fair and equitable sharing of oil wealth by the state and the special cabinet committee will look into that matter. The committee will also be formed in due course,” he told reporters the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak headquarters here yesterday. (more…)

‘Recognise UEC as pledged in manifesto’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government should quickly recognise Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) as pledged in its election manifesto.

Kuching Hockien Association (KHA) president Dato Richard Wee, who gave this reminder yesterday, said the new government would need to give a convincing reason if the policy cannot be implemented sooner.

“Not only should the PH government convince us why they cannot implement it now, they have to give us a timeframe as to how soon they can do it,” he said at the KHA student excellence awards ceremony here.

Wee, also president of Federation of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions Chinese Associations, said people were confused by the recent contradictory comments of Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik. (more…)

July 27, 2018

Child marriages: No excuses! No more! No way!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

In December 2010, a report about a mass wedding in the Federal Territory mosque caught my eye. A 14-year-old teenager, Siti Maryam Mahmod, married 23-year-old teacher, Abdul Manan Othman, allegedly a friend of her family. There were 250 couples at the event.

The erstwhile Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Jamil Khir Baharom, was the event’s guest-of-honour. He was reported to have said the marriage was legal as it had the Syariah Court’s consent.

If he had any sense of responsibility and if he was a father, he would have questioned it and put a stop to it.

That 2010 story of Malaysia’s child marriage created headlines around the world and many wondered about our claim of an advanced and modern nation. We have ‘first-world’ pretensions but ‘dark-ages’ inspired aspirations. (more…)

July 25, 2018

PKR taking issues faced by firemen seriously — See

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:43 AM

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak is taking issues faced by firefighters seriously and pledged to pursue them accordingly.

PKR Sarawak vice-chairman See Chee How said among other things, the issues are about the welfare and wellbeing of firefighters, as well as the assets and resources required by the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) to serve the community better.

“We are here to understand the issues and challenges faced by firefighters and Bomba Petra Jaya station so that we can bring their concerns to the federal Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

“No doubt Bomba Petra Jaya has done a great job. The station covers a huge area including the Santubong peninsula, Matang to Rambongan, and beyond. (more…)

July 23, 2018

Oil royalty: Wan Azizah dismisses claims of U-turn

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

The Pakatan Harapan government is committed to fulfil the promises made in its election manifesto, including on the distribution of oil revenue for Sabah, said Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She said the government was in the midst of establishing a mechanism on the matter.

Asked on whether PH had made a U-turn in connection with the oil royalty promise, she said: “No, no… I have to refer back to the PM (Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad) because it is in our manifesto.

“But we have to think of the coffers of the country and then see how we can fulfil it properly and not make empty promises. (more…)

Mahathir got it all wrong on 20% royalty, says Sarawak minister

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

A Sarawak politician is unimpressed by the recent announcement made by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad that Sabah and Sarawak will definitely be given a 20% oil royalty but the calculation will be based on profits instead of gross sales.

Speaking to FMT, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Karim Abdul Rahman Hamzah said Mahathir had got it all wrong and his announcement of 20% royalties from profit will not go down well with the people in both the Bornean states.

“Royalty is a payment made to a legal owner of properties while profit is a financial benefit realised when revenue from a business activity exceeds the expenses, production cost and tax.

“In this case, Dr Mahathir is only trying to please oil-producing states by usage of the word ‘royalty’ and further saying that the royalty is increased to 20% of profit,” he said. (more…)

July 22, 2018

See: Vital to have mechanism meant to unite Sarawakians

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How has reiterated his call for the initiation of a mechanism to engage all Sarawakians to raise, deliberate and offer opinions and solutions to all matters and issues that are affecting them and the country as a whole.

The Parti Keadilan Sarawak (PKR) Sarawak vice-chairman believes that to celebrate Sarawak Day more meaningfully, all Sarawakians should take pride in their identity as ‘Sarawakians’; that they as ‘Anak Sarawak’ (Children of Sarawak) of diverse ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender and civil political interests would come together to address common issues and concerns in Sarawak for the betterment of all.

“As we officially celebrate July 22 for the third year, since this day was proclaimed ‘Sarawak Independence Day’ and declared a public holiday for the first time in 2016, we have grand ceremonies and memorable events organised to observe and rejoice the day.

“What’s lacking is the effective mechanism and process to bridge and unite all Sarawakians of diverse backgrounds and divides, and an engagement that will facilitate all Sarawakians to express themselves and to address our common issues and concerns in Sarawak,” he said in his Sarawak Day 2018 message. (more…)

This year’s Sarawak Day a significant one – Baru

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

This year not only marks the third year that July 22 is celebrated officially as Sarawak Day, but on the 55th anniversary of its independence — or self-government as some would term it —it is also appropriate forSarawakiansto celebrate the occasion in the context of the new government and the new political landscape in Malaysia.

Works Minister Baru Bian, who said this in his Sarawak Day 2018 message, also regarded the short period of self-governance in 1963 as one meant to lead to an era of growth and development in partnership with Malaya, Sabah and Singapore in a new Federation called Malaysia.

“Our forefathers joined in the formation of Malaysia with high hopes of advancement and catching up with Malaya, but we have been disappointed in our expectations.

“Instead of catching up with Malaya, Sarawak has remained far behind in development,” he remarked.

Baru, who is Selangau MP and Ba Kelalan assemblyman, said in his Sarawak Day speech in Long Luping last year, he recalledhow the late Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem voiced his frustration about Sarawak being left behind in development by stating bluntly: ‘If we are left behind by 10 to 20 years, I can still understand; but if we are behind by half a century, I can’t tolerate it anymore’. (more…)

July 18, 2018

Petronas asked to consider withdrawing suit on exclusive ownership of O&G in S’wak

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

Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh was philosophical when asking Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) to consider withdrawing their suit on exclusive ownership of oil and gas (O&G) in Sarawak.

According to Wong, asking the Court to interpret the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA74) without first recognising the supremacy of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) is like looking at a leaf on a tree without recognising that, without the root, there would be no tree and no leaf.

“The leaf (like the PDA) is insignificant. The root gives life to the tree just like the Malaysia Agreement gave life to Malaysia,” he said when delivering his ministerial winding up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.

Petronas had filed an application for leave to commence proceedings under Article 4 (4) of the Federal Constitution, seeking a declaration that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) applied with regard to the regulatory control of upstream activities in Sarawak. (more…)

Manyin: Uninterrupted supply of diesel to schools for 10 months

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Image result for Dato Sri Michael ManyinThe Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research says schools that are depending on diesel-powered generators for electricity supply will not face any interruption of diesel supply, at least for the next 10 months.

Its minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin said that almost all the schools had been supplied with diesel as of yesterday, and that no school would be in the dark at least for the next 10 months.

“The Sarawak Education Department has just received a directive from the Education Ministry and Ministry of Finance (MoF) on June 20, authorising the direct purchase of diesel of up to RM20,000 per month with a ceiling of RM200,000 for 10 months for each school.

“The district education offices have been empowered to appoint suppliers – one supplier for one school, with priority given to a local company. The supplier must be registered with MoF,” he told a press conference after delivering his winding-up speech yesterday. (more…)

Manyin: Education ecosystem in rural schools still far behind

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Education ecosystem, especially in rural areas, is still far behind in Sarawak due to lack of serious commitment from the federal government but all issues facing rural schools must be solved simultaneously and hollistically because every component is important to provide a decent learning and teaching environment for the children’s development.

Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin said in this modern era, Sarawak still has many schools that do not have basic amenities such as electricity and treated water supplies as well as road accessibility, let alone Internet connectivity.

“This is our main challenge for the next five years. Hopefully, we can overcome them. We cannot wait too long,” he told a press conference after delivering his winding-up speech yesterday.

Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee and the ministry’s permanent secretary Datu Sudarsono Osman were also present. (more…)

July 14, 2018

Let’s work together to accelerate Harapan Sarawak, urges See

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Image result for see chee howSarawakians must work together to accelerate the reformation process and hasten the pace of devolution of powers from the federal government to the state.

See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) said despite the two political regimes or governments, Sarawak have one common hope, the Harapan Sarawak, that is the restoration of Sarawak’s rights in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution.

“Despite the two political regimes or governments, we are all Sarawakians. Let us set aside our differences in party politics and work together towards the common Harapan Sarawak.

“All of us have to work doubly hard and our state institutions are not only efficient, but are credible, accountable and transparent to uphold the values and ideals of integrity that we have pledged. (more…)

Asfia unfit to hold DUN Speaker’s post, says Chong

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen has called for the resignation of Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, stating that the latter is not fit to hold such a position in the august House.

This statement followed the dismissal of the appeals by the DUN Speaker and International Trade and E-Commerce Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh against the High Court’s ruling to reinstate Dr Ting Tiong Choon as Pujut assemblyman.

“Given the way that the DUN Speaker (Asfia) has acted, he ought to resign. The High Court and Court of Appeal have ruled that he misled the House by his own interpretation of the law (in disqualifying Dr Ting as assemblyman).

“I thought that an Assembly Speaker should act impartially, reasonably and sensibly,” Chong told reporters here yesterday. (more…)

July 13, 2018

2 changes in passed Land Code Bill

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

The State Legislative Assembly yesterday passed the Sarawak Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 with two changes that will see the domain limit increased to 1,000 hectares and the title granted in perpetuity, free of premium, rent or other charges.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, when reading the Bill for the third time, revealed that 35 members of the august house debated and 22 of them expressed concern over the 500-hectares limit.

“Twenty two honourable members have expressed their concern that the limit of 500 hectares a native community may claim as native territorial domain under Section 6A may not be fair and just as some communities’ requirement and needs may exceed this threshold. They have proposed that the limit be increased to 1,000 hectares,” Uggah explained.

Uggah also said the assemblymen for Layar, Meluan, Ngemah, Piasau and Bukit Semuja had also proposed that the issuance of the native communal title be granted not just in perpetuity but free of premium, rent and other charges. (more…)

July 12, 2018

Land title granted under existing sec 18 of Land Code more superior – See

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:04 AM

Image result for See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang).The land title which is granted under the existing section 18 of the Land Code is more superior than the land title issued under the proposed section 6A in the Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 due to various restrictions, said See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang).

See, who debated on the bill at the State Legislative Assembly today, said under the proposed Section 6A of the Bill, the native community cannot claim “pemakai menoa” and “pulau galau” or such other similar native customary or ancestral territorial domains, including “tempat cari makan” for the native Malay communities that they are given full recognition and force of law.

“Maybe the Deputy Chief Minister (Uggah) was not properly and fully briefed on the implications of Section 6A, with regards the native territorial domain,” he added.

He also said that under Section 18 of the State Land Code with its short title ‘Grant to natives’ – it is stipulated in sub-section 1 that: “where the Director, subject to any direction from the Minister, is satisfied that a native has occupied and used any area of unalienated State land in accordance with rights acquired by customary tenure amounting to ownership of the land for residential or agricultural purposes, he may, subject to section 18A, issue to the native a grant in perpetuity of that area of land free of premium rent and other charges.” (more…)

Land Code Amendment Bill 2018 creating more problems — Ali

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:04 AM

Image result for ALI Biju (PKR-Krian)ALI Biju (PKR-Krian) yesterday asserted his objection to the Land Code Amendment Bill 2018, claiming the Bill is creating more problems instead of providing a solution.

He said the proposed amendments fall short of the expectations of the native communities who have been fighting and waiting for the recognition of their rightful claims on their ancestral lands.

“The minister (Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah) promised to once and for all settle this problem with the introduction of this Bill.

“Instead of solving the problem, this Bill creates more problems,” he said when debating the Bill at the august house yesterday.

Among issues raised by Ali is the ‘usufructuary right’, a legal term used by the court to mean having the right to use something but not having ownership of it. (more…)

Sarawak needs own lab to diagnose epidemic diseases

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

A public health laboratory needs to be set up for Sarawak to diagnose and cope with any form of epidemic disease including rabies.

Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health Dr Annuar Rapaee said currently, all specimens have to be sent to the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) to confirm a disease.

“Even though Unimas (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak) has the capacity, its lab is not recognised to give the confirmation and we are working with the Ministry of Health to recognise a centre which is able to diagnose and confirm diseases like rabies,” he told a press conference at the State Legislative Assembly Complex yesterday.

“As for canines, to confirm rabies, the specimens are sent to (Veterinary Research Institute) Ipoh at present, which requires a longer time. We are setting up a lab now which should be operational in one or two months’ time. Once ready, we will not need to send to Ipoh anymore.” (more…)

Richard Malanjum sworn in as new Chief Justice

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Tan Sri Richard Malanjum receives his letter of appointment as the new Chief Justice from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara July 11, 2018. — Bernama picTan Sri Richard Malanjum was sworn in as the new Chief Justice of Malaysia effective today.

Malanjum, 65, received his letter of appointment from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V in a ceremony at the Bilik Singgahsana Kecil (Small Throne Room), Istana Negara, here tonight.

Also present were Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew View Keong, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa and Federal Court Chief Registrar Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar.

Malanjum, who is former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, replacing Tun Md Raus Sharif who will resign as the Chief Justice, effective July 31.

Born in October 1952 in Tuaran, Sabah, Malanjum had his early education there before completing his secondary education in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. (more…)

GPS backbencher disagrees with PH reps’ suggestions

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

AImage result for Miro Simuh Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) backbencher disagreed with suggestions by Pakatan Harapan (PH) representatives that native customary rights claim cannot be restricted or limited.

Miro Simuh (GPS-Serembu) said such suggestions by Baru Bian (PKR-Ba Kelalan) was not rational.

He said that Baru despite being an audacious quality lawyer on native NCR land issues, the latter had fallen short of a comprehensive and substantive points on his private member’s bills, resulting in its rejection at the august House last year.

“Imagine if all the longhouses or community settlements were to be given ownership/ propriety rights unlimited in size, not only will the areas overlap with other corresponding community areas but the whole length and breath of Sarawak lands will be ‘finished’, given out to at least over 3,000 longhouses of the Ibans and Orang Ulu. The Iban in populated areas like Sibu, Saratok, Sri Aman etc will end up fighting over the overlapping lands,” he said when debating the Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2018 yesterday. (more…)

July 11, 2018

‘Land Code amendment Bill fails to recognise, affirm fundamental characteristic of PMPG concept’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said the the Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 which purportedly seeks to recognise Pemakai Menoa and Pulau Galau (PMPG) concept of acquiring native customary rights (NCR) over land in Sarawak, failed to recognise and affirm fundamental characteristic of the PMPG concept.

Baru explained that the PMPG concept as affirmed by landmark cases from other jurisdiction which held that the aboriginal people’s rights included an interest on the land and not merely an usufructuary rights.

Section 6A (1) of the bill specifically provides for the recognition of “usufructuary rights” only which is defined as “rights or privileges exercised or enjoyed by a native community over a native territorial domain to forage for food including fishing and hunting.”

Baru said another bone of contention is on Section 6A (2) of the bill that provides that the extent of an area allowed to be given to the native community under this concept is limited to 500 hectares only.

“It’s our stand that our NCR land or PMPG concept cannot be restricted or limited to an area defined by the authority. We have won cases where their PMPG extent beyond 10,000 hectares. Limiting the size of PMPG in this manner is unjust, unfair and immorally wrong,” said Baru in a press conference to announce Pakatan Harapan’s stand to reject the bill when members of the August House debate over it starting tomorrow (Wednesday). (more…)

State Legislative Assembly passes Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2018

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

THE State Legislative Assembly (DUN) today passed the Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2018, paving way for the state to strengthen its regulatory control over the exploration and prospecting for petroleum, which by definition includes natural gas.

Some 13 elected representatives from both sides of the political divide took part in the debate of the Bill.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan in his winding up speech before the Bill was passed thanked the honourable members and hoped the consensus would help the state in regulating the oil and gas industry in the state

“With the strengthening of our regulatory framework, the state would be in a far better position to ensure participation by Sarawak in hs oil and gas industry,” Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development told the august House.

He also said the Sarawak government has decided to give a grace period of up to end of next year for the existing industry players to comply and regularise with the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958. (more…)

PH against Land Code (Amend) Bill

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said the Sarawak Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 which purportedly seeks to recognise Pemakai Menua and Pulau Galau (PMPG) concept of acquiring native customary rights (NCR) over land in Sarawak, failed to recognise and affirm fundamental characteristic of the PMPG concept.

Baru explained that the PMPG concept as affirmed by landmark cases from other jurisdictions holds that the aboriginal people’s rights included an interest on the land and not merely an usufructuary right.

Section 6A (1) of the Bill specifically provides for the recognition of ‘usufructuary rights’ only which is defined as ‘rights or privileges exercised or enjoyed by a native community over a native territorial domain to forage for food including fishing and hunting’. (more…)

July 10, 2018

Phase 1 of Pan Borneo Highway project ‘quite on schedule’ – Baru

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

The first phase of the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak is  per cent completed – two per cent ahead of schedule as of yesterday.

Works Minister Baru Bian announced this at a press conference following his inaugural working visit to the Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak office at Wisma Saberkas here yesterday.

According to him, the first phase of the mega project is “quite on schedule” but he cannot predict what is going to happen next.

Baru, who is Selangau MP and Ba Kelalan assemblyman, conceded that a package or two were a little behind time even though the overall first phase was ahead of schedule. (more…)

PMPG: Amendment to see issuance of communal titles?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Related imageThe amendment to the Sarawak Land Code involving native customary rights (NCR) land may see ‘pemakai menoa’ (territorial domain) and ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest reserve) be given force of law with the issuance of ‘native communal title’ with proprietary rights.

A source indicated to The Borneo Post yesterday that the new amendment is believed to not only recognise and give legal effect to the custom of pemakai menoa and pulau galau, but will also be “over and above NCR” and be legally guarded under the Land Code.

According to the source, a clause under the new law is expected to give a definition that provides that a title be issued in accordance with Section 6A over a native territorial domain for a ‘title’ under the Land Code.

“This gives the right under native territorial domain as a proprietary right and not just limited to the usufructuary right – widely practised in Commonwealth countries that include Australia, Canada and New Zealand,” added the source. (more…)

Slow repairs on Sarawak schools due to poor federal attention, says minister

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

Works Minister Baru Bian (seated, left) speaks at a press conference in Kuching July 9, 2018. — Picture by Sulok TawieThe lack of close supervision by the federal Education Ministry could be the reason for the delay in fixing 66 dilapidated schools in the state, Works Minister Baru Bian said today.

He said these schools were entrusted to the ministry’s various agencies, but faced problems in completing the upgrading work on schedule.

“I was told the problems have little to do with the use of Industrialised Building System (IBS), but more do to with lack of supervision by the Education Ministry,” he explained at a press conference after attending a briefing at the state JKR headquarters.

Baru noted that the state Works Department (JKR) has done an excellent job in fixing 49 out of 50 dilapidated schools in the state. (more…)

PH to work closely with Sarawak govt for good of state, nation – Baru

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

Works Minister Baru Bian is looking forward to having a close working relationship with the Sarawak government in bringing development to the state.

He expressed Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) readiness to work together with the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government in striving to achieve a common goal for both the state and nation.

“I think the spirit showed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is very good. As far as development for the people is concerned, we need to put politics aside.

“We must focus on developing the state and the nation for the sake of the ‘rakyat’. That is the most important thing to do,” he told reporters after paying a courtesy call on Abang Johari at his office at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex here yesterday. (more…)

July 9, 2018

Baru Bian pledges open tenders in govt projects

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Baru Bian, the new works minister, has pledged to use open tenders extensively, with transparency, for government projects, especially large-scale ones, to ensure public funds are well spent.

He told senior officers of the Public Works Department that the government spent a huge sum, about RM100 billion a year, on procurements through various projects and contracts.

“With such a large amount, it is crucial to prevent wastage and it is the obligation of the government to always ensure that this money is spent prudently.

“The Pakatan Harapan government will improve the government’s procurement and tendering system to ensure it is more competitive and thereby generate the best value for public funds,” he said at a meeting of about 200 senior PWD officers. (more…)

Intense debate expected in DUN

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

A fiery and active debate can be expected tomorrow (July 10) when the Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 is tabled in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) which sits from July 9-18.

This caution came from Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian, who is PKR Sarawak chairman, who said he was aware of the draft on the amendment, which is not consistent with the court’s decision.

“Definitely the Land Code (Amendment) Bill will be something of interest. I will not tell you (journalists) now but I think the draft is there. I will just mention it here that the draft is not in line and not consistent with the decision of the court as far as ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’ are concerned.

“Because of that, our colleagues will participate in the debate and we will strongly oppose it. I will be stating my reasons and grounds. It (the amendment) is far, far from what we expected,” Baru, who is also Federal Works Minister, told a news conference at a hotel here yesterday. (more…)

Bersatu coming to S’wak on their own will – Baru

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

The news of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) spreading its wings to Sarawak has nothing to do with the competency of state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

PKR Sarawak chairman Baru Bian, who is the newly-minted Works Minister, dismissed talks that the presence of Bersatu in the state is to help Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak win the next state election, expected to be held by 2021.

“I don’t think it is a question whether we are competent or not. Bersatu has declared that they are coming to Sarawak, that is their own prerogative and no one can stop any party establishing in any state in the country.

“We leave that as it is, whether they will be establishing or opening a branch or going all over the state. Time will tell us,” he told a press conference here yesterday. (more…)

Land Code amendment Bill among four bills to be tabled at DUN sitting

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

The Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 is one of four bills that will be tabled at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting which starts tomorrow until July 18.

State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohammad Asfia Awang Nassar said the bill will introduce the concept of native territorial domain and usufructuary rights to cover the ‘pemakai menoa’ (territorial domain) and ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest reserve).

“The Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 will be tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas with the first reading on July 10 followed by the second and third readings on July 11,” he told a press conference after the state pre-council meeting which was chaired by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at PBB headquarters here today.

Apart from the Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018, Asfia disclosed that the three other bills which will be tabled are Supplementary Supply (2017) Bill, 2018, Supplementary Supply (2018) Bill, 2018, and Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2018. (more…)

Baru: Federal JKR can only take over Petra Jaya Hospital project with consent from MoF

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

The critically delayed Petra Jaya Hospital project can be taken over by the federal Public Works Department (JKR) only with the green light from the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

At a press conference here yesterday, Works Minister Baru Bian said the matter had been brought to the attention of MoF for further action.

According to him, MoF is looking into the entire project and the reason for the delay of its implementation for two years.

“MoF is examining the whole thing. If they decide there is a really long delay, that there is a breach of conditions of the contract, then MoF will make a decision to amend and terminate the contract,” he said at the press conference held at a hotel. (more…)

JKR awaiting MoF’s approval to take over Petra Jaya Hospital construction works

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

The severely delayed Petra Jaya Hospital project is now awaiting an approval from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to pave way for federal Public Works Department (JKR) to take over the remaining construction works.

Works Minister Baru Bian said the federal JKR had not take over the project since the MoF is in the midst of examining the entire project.

According to him, if the MoF finds any long delay or a breach of conditions in the awarded contract in the implementation of the mentioned project, it will amend and terminate the contract.

“Then (the project will be) given back to the ministry (of Works). For now, it has been sent back to MoF. It has not been given back to us yet,” he told a press conference held at a hotel here today.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said he had no confidence in the contractor, Zecon Medicare Sdn Bhd, being able to meet the deadline, which is December this year.

The RM495 million project, which commenced in May 2013, was supposed to be completed last November, but was only 35.4 per cent completed up to June this year.

Dr Dzulkefly said his ministry had proposed to terminate the contractor and recommended for federal JKR to take over the responsibility.


Source : The Borneo Post Online by Lim How Pim


 

‘Ministry of Works willing to take over 66 projects to upgrade dilapidated schools’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Ministry of Works is more than ready to take over the 66 projects to upgrade dilapidated schools (DS) in Sarawak using the Industrialised Building System (IBS).

Its newly-minted minister Baru Bian said these 66 DS projects, currently under the Ministry of Education (MoE), were among the 116 DS projects that had been awarded to the state.

As of yesterday, the 50 DS projects that came under the jurisdiction of the Public Works Department (JKR) had registered 66 per cent completion.

“I have not been informed whether we are to take over (the 66 DS projects). We leave it to the ministry (of Education) whether they are willing to give that back to JKR. (more…)

July 3, 2018

Baru Bian creates history

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Newly-minted Works Minister Baru Bian has pledged to give his level best in seeing efficiency, transparency and accountability in all the ministry’s dealings.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak chairman said he is aware of the heavy responsibility that comes with the portfolio. He is delighted that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has put his trust in him to lead the Works Ministry.

“I am honoured to have been appointed as Minister of Works in the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government led by Dr Mahathir. I am conscious of the fact that the responsibility attached to this portfolio is a heavy and onerous one,” he said in a press statement following his ministerial appointment yesterday.

Baru extended his appreciation to Dr Mahathir for the latter’s confidence in him. (more…)

July 2, 2018

See: PH Sarawak won’t secure more seats unless it wins over rural voters

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak was unable to make much of an inroad in rural seats as it failed to swing voters from former Barisan Nasional (BN) – now Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) – component parties in the 14th general election (GE14).

Batu Lintang assemblyman and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak vice-chairman See Chee How said even though the coalition was able to secure a higher number of voters this time around compared to 2013, most of the additional 96,000 voters who chose PH were from urban areas.

He acknowledged that unless there was to be an increase in the number of urban seats, PH might not be able to secure any new seat unless they are able to win the hearts of rural voters in the next Sarawak election.

According to See, Malays in Sarawak look upon Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) similar to how the Malays in the peninsula looked to Umno before GE14. (more…)

GE14 was political earthquake, not a tsunami – Academic

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

Image result for Faisal S HazisWhat happened during the 14th general election (GE14) was a ‘political earthquake’ rather than just a political tsunami, said academician Faisal S Hazis.

The scholar from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said all historical trends could not be applied in the GE14 results and cautioned that Malaysians should be aware of the fact that they cannot equate a change of government with a structural change to the country.

For instance, he said 84 per cent of the seats saw multi-cornered fights which usually benefited the incumbents of the government, although this was not the case in GE14.

He admitted that quite a number of academicians and political observers did not see a change of government coming in the May 9 polls. (more…)

June 27, 2018

Bersatu’s plan to expand to S’wak a message to PBB to align with PH — See

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:04 AM

Image result for see chee howParti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak vice chairman See Chee How wonders whether the intention of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) to spread its wings to Sarawak is political manoeuvring or a sign of change in the political milieu in Sarawak.

He gave this remark when prompted for comments on the recent announcement by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the party was mulling the idea of expanding to the state.

See, who is Batu Lintang assemblyman, described the declaration that Bersatu would not venture into Sabah because Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) which it regarded as an ally of Bersatu and Pakatan Harapan were already there as contradictory to Bersatu’s plan to spread into Sarawak, purportedly on the wishes of some people in the state.

“No Sabahan wishes for Bersatu to spreads its wing to Sabah? Doesn’t Bersatu regard PKR, DAP (Democratic Action Party) and Amanah (Parti Amanah Negara) in Sarawak as their allies?” asked See. (more…)

June 24, 2018

Baru Bian to be full minister?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Image result for barubianRumours are rife that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak chairman Baru Bian could be appointed a federal minister soon.

The Selangau member of parliament and Ba Kelalan assemblyman is tipped to have been earmarked for the position of Works Minister.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has submitted a list of 15 additional cabinet members to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V. Internet news portal Malaysiakini reported a government source as saying the list was submitted on Wednesday. There will reportedly be 28 ministers, with two each from Sabah and Sarawak. On the list as well are the proposed names of deputy ministers and senators who might be appointed.

Although Baru’s name was not disclosed, it is believed he was among those recommended by PKR and included in the list submitted to the Agong. (more…)

PKR trying to get Bill Kayong murder case re-examined

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is trying to get the federal attorney general to re-examine the Bill Kayong murder case.

Bill alias Mohd Hasbie Abdullah, who was former PKR Miri secretary, was shot dead at a Kuala Baram bypass traffic light intersection on June 21, 2016.

“The case is not yet complete because there are still a lot of witnesses yet to be called. Thus, we are fighting hard to reopen the case in Kuala Lumpur,” Miri member of parliament Dr Michael Teo told the media on Friday during a candlelight vigil marking the second anniversary of Bill’s death.

The High Court here has fixed July 3 to hear oral submissions from both the prosecution and defence in the Bill Kayong murder case against first accused Mohamad Fitri Pauzi.

Three others charged with abetting – Lie Chang Loon, Datuk Stephen Lee Chee Kiang, and Chin Wui Ching – were previously released and acquitted of all charges.

Meanwhile, Dr Teo, who is PKR Miri chairman, said the party will also continue Bill’s work on Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.

“We have another three years for the state election. Thus, our mission is to champion the NCR issue because we’ve gotten lots of support from the natives here,” he said.


Source : The Borneo Post Online by Norni Mahadi


PKR lodges report with MACC over Nanga Ngungun/Nanga Jagau Road project

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Kanowit, Sibu and Lanang branches have jointly lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the RM50 million Nanga Ngungun/Nanga Jagau Road project which was announced in 2012 by the Barisan Nasional government.

PKR Kanowit branch chairman Thomas Laja, secretary George Chen and Lanang branch chairman Law Hin Ching were among those lodging the report yesterday.

Later at a press conference, Chen said the earth-breaking ceremony for the proposed 22-km road was carried out thrice – in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

“These were done during election time, but till today not even an inch of the proposed road has been constructed,” he said. (more…)

June 21, 2018

Federal Court to hear Petronas suit for Sarawak’s oil and gas ownership today

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:26 AM

Image result for petronas and sarawakThe Federal Court in Kuala Lumpur will conduct a full hearing on the application for leave to commence proceedings over National Petroleum Corporation’s (Petronas) claim over ownership right to Sarawak’s oil and gas resources today. The hearing was initially scheduled on June 12 but was postponed to today.

The Sarawak government, a defendant will be represented by Sarawak Attorney-General Datuk Talat Mahmood Abdul Rashid, State Legal Counsel Dato Sri JC Fong, Talat’s deputy Saferi Ali and legal officer Mohd Adzrul Azlan.

Fong when contacted yesterday evening, confirmed this. The application for leave to commence proceedings against the Sarawak government is by virtue of Article 128(1) (a) of the Federal Constitution.

All affidavits and submissions for the hearing have been delivered to the Court in readiness for the hearing.

The Sarawak government has said that it will consider all other options to protect and enforce the state’s constitutional rights in this matter. It would not allow Petronas to disrespect and disregard the state’s rights to regulate the upstream activities under Sarawak laws such as the Oil Mining Ordinance and the Land Code.

Petronas would argue that its ownership over Sarawak oil and gas resources all this while is by virtue of the Petroleum Development Act 1974.

Can Najib play the political persecution card?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:23 AM

Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks to Reuters during an interview in Langkawi June 19, 2018. — Reuters picWith the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) noose tightening and Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s insistence that he did no wrong, speculation is that he may attempt to claim political persecution in the matter.

After days of isolation in his Langgak Duta mansion, the former prime minister has re-emerged into the public eye, even hosting a Hari Raya open house in his home town and constituency of Pekan, Pahang.

He also openly and repeatedly called for a political truce between his defeated Barisan Nasional and the victorious Pakatan Harapan (PH), ostensibly in the interest of national harmony, and seemingly playing the role of Opposition leader despite no longer holding any official posts.

Despite the emerging strategy, political observers were unconvinced that claiming political persecution would work as well for Najib as it did for PH de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. (more…)

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