Hornbill Unleashed

August 20, 2014

Native oil palm growers hit by MPOB order

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

The directive from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) to mills in the Sarawak not to accept fresh oil palm bunches (FFB) from smallholders, especially those from estates in dispute, will cause thousands of native landowners to suffer heavy financial losses.

“The losses can run into the millions of ringgit that these helpless farmers have invested in their lands,” Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia (Brimas) executive director Mark Bujang said today.

Hundreds of thousands of hectares of oil palm estates are now in dispute between native landowners and joint-venture companies that are taking them over. (more…)

August 16, 2014

Villagers won’t move out from dam area

Bengoh damWinston Way

Bidayuh villagers affected by the Bengoh dam project will not move out from their customary land and will not accept any compensation from the Sarawak government.

Residents of three Bidayuh villages affected by the Bengoh dam project said the government has no right to evict them because it is customary land and belonged to the natives.

The villagers from Kampung Rejoi Nyegol, Kampung Bojong Siting and Kampung Sait-Muk Ayun said the land could not be used for business.

Villagers’ representative Tawet Anak Sanyok said the affected villagers had the right to live on their own customary land. (more…)

June 25, 2014

Villagers win back their native rights land

Dukau Papau

Bidayuh landowners in Kampung Nyegol, Kampung Sting and Kampung Muk Ayun in Upper Bengoh in Padawan, near Kuching, see their legal victory against the Sarawak government over 8,594 hectares of their native customary rights (NCR) land as a special Gawai Dayak (Dayak festival) gift.

The High Court in Kuching ruled for them yesterday when state government legal officers told the court that the state would not proceed with its proposed Bengoh Dam National Park and the proposed Bungo Range National Park Extension 1, covering an area of 5,022 hectares and 3,572 hectares respectively.

“Since they had just celebrated their festival, their  victory is indeed a Gawai Dayak gift to the villagers. (more…)

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. (more…)

April 26, 2014

Sarawak to amend NCR land code

Adenan SatemFMT

The amendment will allow NCR land anywhere in the state to be bought or sold to any native group.

Sarawak government intends to  amend the State land code to allow sale and purchase of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land among the natives regardless of where these lands are located.

Chief Minister Adenan Satem said the Land Code Amendment  Bill will be tabled for approval in the State Assembly sitting in  November this year.

“The amendment to the land code would enable the natives to buy  any NCR land in any place in the state because if we limit the sale and  purchase of NCR land only to members of natives in particular place or longhouse, the value of the land is almost valueless,” the chief  minister told a press conference at his office here today. (more…)

February 2, 2014

Baram dam already dividing ethnic communities

The blockade mounted by villagers protesting against the Baram hydroelectric project last October. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 2, 2014.  DESMOND DAVIDSON

The blockade mounted by villagers protesting against the Baram hydroelectric project last October.

The irony of the anti-dam protest in the Sarawak interior of Baram is that even as the indigenous people chalked up 100 days of their quest to stop the proposed RM4 billion hydroelectric dam, their centuries-old way of life, which they claim to want protect, is already being torn down.

There are signs that the proposed hydroelectric dam, which is still in the feasibility study stage, is slowly tearing up the social fabric of the ethnic communities living in the area of the dam site – even those least affected by the state’s grand project to harness Sungai Baram to power its industrialisation plan. (more…)

January 22, 2014

A special court on native land is needed

Dukau Papau

A special court has to be set up immediately to solve the dilemma Dayak landowners face over the grabbing of their native customary rights (NCR) land by the Sarawak government, Sarawak PKR said today.

NCR land cases have increased alarmingly every year as a result of disputes between native land owners and the state government, PKR Lubok Antu Division chairperson Nicholas Bawin said.

“Up to now, there are more than 400 NCR land cases pending hearing in the High Court and more are coming as the landowners have no way to settle their disputes with the government, other than through the court. (more…)

November 9, 2013

Update public on Surik’s case, See tells police chief

Surik Anak MuntaiThe Borneo Post

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How has called on Serian district police chief DSP Mohd Jamali Umi to enlighten the public on the progress of police investigation into the police report lodged by Rosni Langap on March 15.

Besides that, Mohd Jamali was also asked to update the public on the seizure of a considerable stock of firearm and dangerous weapons at the workers’ quarters of the plantation company in Melikin on Sept 30 and actions taken so far. (more…)

November 8, 2013

Blackout On Murum Arrests!

Blackout On Murum Arrests!

Sarawak Report

We have no pictures of today’s arrest of Penan natives at the Murum Dam blockade, because two boys trying to take photographs were themselves arrested for recording the event.

The youngest, Tingang Lingok, is believed to be around 13 years old.

The two teenagers are now among 8 Penan who have been jailed at the police station in Belaga, some three hours drive away, and are due to appear in court tomorrow.

This is the second time in a week that Sarawak police have arrested and incarcerated young boys caught up in native land rights disputes. (more…)

October 12, 2013

Villagers cry foul over move to gazette land as national park

One of the iconic bamboo bridges leading to the villages in the Bengoh range. It takes up to four hours on foot  and crossing many bamboo bridges to reach Kampung Rejoi, one of the four villages affected by Bengoh dam.Ng Ai Fern

One of the iconic bamboo bridges leading to the villages in the Bengoh range. It takes up to four hours on foot and crossing many bamboo bridges to reach Kampung Rejoi, one of the four villages affected by Bengoh dam.

The letter to the villagers informing them that their lands been gazetted as national park.

Villagers affected by the Bengoh reservoir dam some 40km from here are crying foul over the state government’s decision to gazette their ancestral land, which was located within the dam area, as national park. (more…)

June 23, 2013

Sarawak loses appeal over NCR land decision

Joseph Tawie

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…)

June 15, 2013

Opposition gets flak from Masing over NCR land survey

Churchill Edward, @theborneopost.com

Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing yesterday hit out at the opposition for harping on issues over perimeter survey on native customary rights (NCR) land.

The Baleh assemblyman said the opposition will be bankrupt of ideas if land issue is taken away from their political means to bring down the government of the day.

Masing said the opposition knew very well that land issue is sensitive and by twisting the fact they were hoping to make the people become emotional and irrational.

“They (opposition) just want to look relevant. They can’t allow NCR land issue to die a natural death because they will too die a natural death,” the Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president told The Borneo Post yesterday. (more…)

April 9, 2013

Don’t believe BN promises, natives told

Joseph Tawie

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…)

March 26, 2013

Sarawak NCR defender’s attacker walks free

Keruah Usit

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…)

March 15, 2013

Penans face double threats

Joseph Tawie

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…)

December 8, 2012

Natives threaten army with court injunction

Joseph Tawie

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…)

October 27, 2012

Land Grab, Malaysian-Style

Thomas Fann

Whilst some of the people behind the scenes went on to achieve high office in the land and some made it to the top ten billionaires list, thousands of other nameless Malaysians are without land and opportunities. Land grab is non-discriminatory; Malaysians from all racial, religious and social strata are affected.

This is not a new issue. In fact, it is 21 years old.

It all began when the Barisan Nasional government, with its overwhelming majority in Parliament, passed by 99 to 25 votes the 1991 Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, or Act A804.  The rephrasing of sections of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 basically gave incontestable power to state governments to seize private land for development by private companies and individuals. Lands originally acquired for public purposes were also to be allowed for private development. (more…)

October 19, 2012

‘Penans protesting against dam since 2009′

Joseph Tawie

Senior Minister Awang Tengah Ali Hassan’s claim that NGOs with ‘ulterior motives’ are misleading the Penan community has showed up his ignorance, says SAVE Rivers Network.

SAVE Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) a coalition of a number of non-governmental organisations, has slammed the Second Resource Management and Environment Awang Tengah Ali Hassan who claimed that the Penans in Murum have been led astray by certain quarters with ulterior motives.

“It is utterly false to say that the Penans are being made use of by NGOs,” said Peter Kallang, chairperson of SAVE Rivers, adding that it showed up his ignorance. (more…)

October 4, 2012

Masing’s statement insulting to Penans, say groups

Dukau Papau

Orang Ulu leaders and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are reacting strongly to the statement made by Land Development Minister James Masing alleging that the Penans are ignorant of the benefits of the Murum dam, resulting in them being unhappy.

Masing had said that there was a need for better communication between the implementers of the project and the people at the grassroots.

“I have made a recommendation to the steering committee to include Culture and Heritage Assistant Minister Liwan Lagang to be part of the team which oversees the implementation of the project. (more…)

September 8, 2012

Native revolts: Sarawak Land & Survey Dept blamed

Joseph Tawie

The state Land and Survey Department’s poor enforcement of the conditions listed in the PLs is the main reason why natives are suing the government.

Sarawak Land and Survey Department which issues provisional leases (PLs) over hundreds of thousand of hectares of native customary rights (NCR) land to oil palm companies is being blamed for the troubles and hardship suffered by native landowners.

A former district officer Edward Luak, said the department’s failure in enforcing the terms of PLs has made people angry.

Luak said that when the department issued the PLs there are three conditions attached to it. (more…)

September 7, 2012

Jabu, be warned: ‘We’ll get you’

Joseph Tawie

There is no law against telling the truth and questioning the government’s actions, Sarawak PKR reminds Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu.

When Pakatan Rakyat forms the next government it will investigate all disputed alienation of lands and abuses of power in approving provisional leases over native customary rights (NCR) land to the cronies and family members of Barisan Nasional leaders.

“Definitely, the investigation will also cover provisional leases over NCR land given to [Deputy Chief Minister] Alfred Jabu, his family and cronies,” said Baru Bian, state PKR chief.

Bian did not identify the areas given to Jabu’s family members and his cronies. (more…)

Natives sue oil palm companies

Joseph Tawie

Loyal native landowners in Serian who have been voting in their BN representatives polls after polls are revolting against land grabs.

Two oil palm companies – United Teamtrade Sdn Bhd and Memaju Jaya Sdn Bhd – which are allegedly linked to local Barisan Nasional leaders are being sued by more than 300 villagers from 17 longhouses from Melikin in Serian District for allegedly encroaching into their native customary rights (NCR) land.

The suit was filed today by See Chee How, a lawyer of Messrs Baru Bian and Advocates at the Kuching High Court. (more…)

September 6, 2012

Absence Of Leadership – YB Snowdan Lawan Dared Not Face Melikin Protestors!

Sarawak Report

Windows closed shut, air-con on, Lawan ignores his outraged voters as he speeds off from Serian

With his constituents in revolt over the theft of their lands and destruction of their bridge by loggers, State Assemblyman Snowdan Lawan made an obligatory visit to Balai Ringen yesterday.

But, he then hid in the police station and refused to come out and speak to the protestors outside!

“There were at least 200 people waiting to hear what he had to say about this company United Teamtrade, which has been causing all this trouble” said one onlooker, “but he just kept them waiting in the hot sun outside the police station, while he enjoyed coffee in the air-conditioned room inside”. (more…)

May 11, 2012

Court rulings strengthen native rights on NCR

Joseph Tawie

Recent court rulings favouring natives in NCR land issues should be seen as a warning to potential investors.

The recent court victories of native customary rights (NCR) landowners against oil palm companies should serve as important lessons and precedents to would-be investors.

NCR lawyer See Chee How said oil palm companies can no longer bully landowners simply because the state government refuses to respect the people’s rights. (more…)

March 26, 2012

Villagers shocked at ‘sudden’ loss of NCR rights

Joseph Tawie

Bruno Manser Fund accuses SEB CEO Torstein Dale Sjotveit of ‘deliberately misleading’ the public with regards to the construction of the 12 dams in the state.

The natives of Baram, affected by the construction of the Baram dam, are claiming that they were not aware of the extinguishment of their native customary rights (NCR) over their land.

Accusing the government of surreptitiously implementing its contentious plans to build the dam, they said that they were unaware that the government had begun extinguishing such rights since last June. (more…)

February 11, 2012

What’s govt stand on NCR land?

Joseph Tawie

The Sarawak administration which is projecting itself to be a caring government must first state its stand on the definition of NCR.

The opposition here wants Chief Minister Taib Mahmud to openly declare that the state accepts and recognises the court’s definition of native customary rights (NCR) land.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said that regular coverage in the press of Barisan Nasional politicians rejoicing with landowners at “presentation ceremonies” gave the impression that the state government recognised the “pemakai menua” (communal forests) and “pulau galau” (territorial domain) forests as part and parcel of NCR land as defined by the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court. (more…)

February 1, 2012

Land tribunal ‘judges’ must know ‘native adat’

Joseph Tawie

A prominent Sarawak NCR lawyer believes that a land tribunal would only be effective if it is bestowed with ‘power’.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum’s proposal for the authorities to set up a land tribunal in Sabah to hear native land-related cases must ensure that the body is bestowed with full “powers”, a prominent native customary rights (NCR) lawyer here said.

Baru Bian, who is also state PKR chairman, while lauding Malanjum’s suggestion, said the more important factor in setting up such a tribunal is its composition and authority.

“This is very encouraging news which is line with our earlier proposal. Now the most important thing is the composition and power of the tribunal. (more…)

January 31, 2012

More natives reporting ‘land grabs’

Joseph Tawie

Within the next ’10 years or less’ several thousand natives in Sarawak are likely to end up being landless vagrants if the current government’s policies continue.

Alleged land grabs involving native customary rights (NCR) properties by the Taib Mahmud-led government is reaching such “chronic” proportions that “in 10 years or less” there will be no native-owned areas, claims a prominent Sarawak NCR lawyer.

According to Baru Bian, an increasing number of cases of NCR land grabs are being reported from as far interior as Lawas in the north and Lundu in the south of Sarawak.

“From Lawas to Lundu, the NCR lands have been grabbed by the state Barisan Nasional government. (more…)

January 30, 2012

Fundraisers help villagers install own mini hydro units

Yaltam Phui Yee

Visiting … the housewives pose at a construction site of a wooden home at Kampung Nyukol. Photos courtesy of SB Lim.

A group of concerned individuals are raising RM40,000 to install mini hydroelectric units to power up two new villages deep in the forests of Ulu Bengoh — a 45-minute drive away from Kuching, Sarawak.

The villagers have to move out of their ancestral homes in Kampung Rejoi and Kampung Bujong/Pain to make way for the RM310 million Bengoh Dam project.

Located at higher grounds, Kampung Nyukol and Kampung Sting will be the new homes, respectively, for 27 Bidayuh families of Kampung Rejoi and Kampung Bujong. They turned down the government’s resettlement offer and some filed a lawsuit to claim their native customary rights (NCR) over the land.

The villagers stood their ground despite the expected impoundment this year. Their ancestral graves are still within the area to be filled by water from the dam. (more…)

January 26, 2012

Court victories herald change in Sarawak

Keruah Usit

Sarawak natives have jammed another wrench into the land acquisition machine of plantation companies with close ties to Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Taib is the state minister responsible for land, and is under investigation by several foreign governments, as well as (ostensibly) by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, for alleged graft.

Tua Kampung Nyipa Anak Tingang, representing his longhouse of 30 doors in Sebauh, 25km from Bintulu, has notched up another significant victory against state-sponsored plantation tycoons, in the campaign for native customary rights (NCR) land.

On Jan 20, Nyipa won a court injunction against Pusaka KTS, a forest plantation giant with vast interests in Bintulu, Belaga and Baram. (more…)

November 22, 2011

RM3.47mil insufficient to solve Sarawak poverty

Joseph Tawie

An opposition assemblyman has called on the Sarawak government to allow NCR landowners to register a business.

The estimated RM3.47 million allocated by the Sarawak Barisan Nasional government – under the state’s 2012 budget – to resolve the issue of hardcore rural poverty in the state is simply not enough, said Krian assemblyman Ali Biju.

Describing the majority rural Dayaks as living from ‘hand-to-mouth’, Biju said: “The allocation of RM3,466,717 in the state 2012 budget for rural development is grossly insufficient as the majority of the hardcore from the Iban and Bidayuh communities are still living from hand to mouth.

“Dr Jeniri Amir (a senior lecturer with University Malaysia Sabah) observed that if one pays a visit to any rural Iban longhouse, one can see their sad living conditions of dilapidated walls, roof and flooring. (more…)

November 2, 2011

‘Ask the natives if they want to move’

Joseph Tawie

Why is the Sarawak government forcing Bengoh Dam natives to shift to a resettlement scheme which the Auditor General’s Report 2010 has described as ‘unsuitable’?

The Sarawak government has been urged to immediately carry out a census poll on the 394 families from four villages affected by the construction of the multi-million ringgit Bengoh Dam.

State opposition PKR said a completed census would show how many families and villagers from Kampung Taba Sait, Rejoi, Bojong-Pain and Semban would be willing to shift to the resettlement scheme between Kampung Semadang and Skio.

“This census is necessary because the resettlement scheme risks being an expensive flop as the affected villagers appear not in favour of moving into the resettlement scheme,” said See Chee How, Sarawak PKR vice-chairman. (more…)

September 28, 2011

The Written Judgement of Gayan Tupai Vs Vita Hill S/B

Today, we received the written judgement handed down by the High Court in Sabah andSarawak,

Another clear proof that the land grab by the present State Government of Native Customary Land (NCL) in Sarawakis on the rise.

1.       The Plaintiffs who are all Iban natives of Sarawak, headed by their longhouse Chief or Tuai Rumah Gayan anak Tupai, and 3 others brought a legal action on their own behalf, as well as on behalf of 15 other residents who claimed to be proprietors, occupiers, and claimants of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land situated at their longhouse known as Rumah Gayan, Dassey, Budu, Krian, Saratok, Sarawak, against 3 Defendants a timber licensee Vita Hill Sdn Bhd and the issuing authority, the Director of Forests, Sarawak and the State Government of Sarawak. (more…)

September 24, 2011

What’s Brewing In Snap?

(Bernama) —

What’s brewing in Sarawak’s oldest political party, the Sarawak National Party (SNAP)?

What does the future hold for this party as it prepares for its triennial general assembly scheduled for Sept 24 and 25 in Kuching.

Many political analysts have already written off any future for SNAP in Sarawak’s political landscape as they believe it will never be able to rise again to its former glory.

“The party is basically finished. It’s the end of the road. It has a branding issue with funding as its biggest problem. Previously, it was funded by the top leader who was financially strong. But the current leadership is facing financial constraints,” political analyst James Chin told Bernama. (more…)

September 17, 2011

Tireless torchbearer for Iban rights

Stephanie Sta Maria

In Sarawak where much is taken for granted, Ibi Uding is fighting for her people to one day enjoy clean water, electricity and land ownership.

Ibi anak Uding has taken to wearing white these days. She says it’s the only way to control her fiery temperament which is constantly stoked by the plight of her native Iban community.

To outsiders, Ibi is known as PKR Sarawak’s Wanita chief.

But among her own she is saluted as the Iban torchbearer in her relentless fight for their rights.

And that fight has been a formidable one. (more…)

September 10, 2011

Constitutional question: Judges let down public

federal court dismisses bat bagi over bakun land 080911 baru bian leading prayers

Hafiz Yatim

A law professor said Chief Justice Zaki Azmi and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum, could have abdicated their oath of office by their refusal to interpret the question of law posed to them.

The question posed before the court was “whether section 5(3) and (4) of the Sarawak Land Code relating to the extinguishment of native customary rights are ultra vires Article 5 (Right to life) and Article 13 (right to property) of the Federal Constitution.”

Islamic International University professor Abdul Aziz Bari said by refusing to deal with the constitutionality issue, the Federal court has abdicated its duty.

“Under the Federal Constitution, the Federal Court which is the highest court of the land is essentially the constitutional court of the country; the main tribunal whose major duty is to take care of the constitution,” he said. (more…)

September 9, 2011

Sarawak natives lose landmark NRC land case (Full Judgment of the Federal Court)

The Federal Court has dismissed a crucial appeal by five native customary rights landowner, a decision which will adversely affect more than 100 similar cases.

The three-member panel of judges led by outgoing Chief Justice Zaki Azmi made a unanimous decision to dismiss the case, brought by Bato Bagi and five others.

Bato, along with five others, are suing the state government over the loss of their land due to the Bakun dam project. .

The decision by Chief Justice Zaki Azmi and the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum, both of whom refused to answer the question, was to let other pending cases deal with the issue.

The other Federal Court judge, Justice Md Raus Sharif, answered the question in the negative, and said the seizure was not unconstitutional. (more…)

September 8, 2011

20,000 face ‘dam nation’ in Baram

Keruah Usit 

The beautiful Baram region in northeastern Sarawak is one of the poorest regions in the country.

Now, thanks to the Baram Dam, one of 12 gigantic hydro-electric dams spread across the state, 20,000 inhabitants face the prospect of being resettled, without participating in the decision that will change their life and that of their descendants.

The state and federal governments have approved these 12 dams, ostensibly to produce power to feed potential industries in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy. The cost is estimated at RM36 billion but budget over-runs, such as those that have afflicted the recently commissioned Bakun dam, are a safe bet.

The government has announced that the dams will generate power 600 percent above the state’s current requirements. Critics argue these dams are merely an enormous money-spinning exercise – a dam scam – benefiting well-connected construction companies.  (more…)

September 6, 2011

NCR demarcations: BN Govt cheating natives

Joseph Tawie

A declaration of native communal reserve by the Land and Survey Department is not a ‘confirmation and statutory recognition’ of native ownership over NCR land.

Sarawak PKR leader has accused the Barisan Nasional government of trying to ‘hoodwink and mislead’ the indigenous communities over the declaration of the native communal reserve.

Party vice president Ali Biju said it was wrong to tell the natives that the demarcations of communal reserve land by the Land and Survey Department were a ‘confirmation and statutory recognition’ of native ownership over the NCR land.

He said the government was lying to maintain native’s electoral support of Barisan Nasional. (more…)

Baru Bian: Sarawak govt wrongly advised on NCR

Joseph Tawie

The Sarawak government has refused to abide by court rulings on NCR because it would mean that the ‘entire state would belong to natives’.

Is the Sarawak government being wrongly advised on the issue of native customary rights (NCR) over land?

The opposition here believes that the Attorney-General’s Chambers is not knowledgeable enough about the reach of the NCR issues and is ill-advising the state government.

Said Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian: “The advice given (to the state government) is that NCR land only covers temuda land, and it does not cover pulau galau (communal forest), pemakai menua (territorial domain), pendam (graves) and tembawai (old longhouse sites).

“But we have proved to them that they are wrong.

“The High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court have agreed with our interpretation and have ruled that the NCR land also covers pemakai menua, pulau galau, pendam and so on.” (more…)

August 28, 2011

‘Exclude NCR land from provisional lease’

FMT Staff

Respect the rights of Sarawak’s indigenous communities, says NGO.

Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and company have come under attack for issuing provisional leases (PL) to oil palm companies to continue destroying forests in the Baram region.

Environmental group, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM), wants the state government to rescind the PLs and exclude all native community territories from these plantation licenses.

Said SAM president SM Mohamad Idris: “Taking into consideration all the complaints and hardship suffered by affected communities, as well as their legal rights to their land, we urge the Sarawak government to ensure that all indigenous community village territories are excluded from all plantation licences. (more…)

August 26, 2011

Disaster looming over Bakun

Joseph Tawie

Failure to implement the recommendations of the EIA report on the Bakun Dam will be disastrous, according to an environmentalist.

An impending disaster is looming over Bakun Dam following the state government’s failure to implement the recommendations detailed in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, according to environmentalist Dr Ellie Luhat.

Luhat, who is the chairman of Bakun Community Safety Committee (BCSC), warned that disaster would strike the area in the next three to five years.

“There was a study of the EIA reports where recommendations were made. But somehow when the implementation was done, these recommendations were forgotten. (more…)

August 21, 2011

‘My dead mother returned and thumbprinted document?’


Michael Kaung

Native Abdul Wahab Timbasal’s mother died 12 years ago but ‘returned’ to transfer their native land to someone else.

When the dead in Sabah rise and start affixing their thumbprints on land title deeds it may be time to call in a ‘religious medium’ to get to the truth.

Abdul Wahab Timbasal’s mother died 12 years ago but according to the land office here, she had ‘returned’ and claimed her land title on 15 June 2008, and that too by placing her thumbprint on the grant in front of a lawyer!

The size of the land, his mother ‘returned’ to claim measures 18.10 acres and is located in Ulu Kalumpang and is registered under the Native Title (NT) number 103032408. (more…)

July 21, 2011

Orang Ulu natives may become squatters

Joseph Tawie

Once the Baram dam is constructed, their homes will be submerged, their land taken away from them, and they will be forced to become squatters, says activist Charles Gau.

The homes of the Orang Ulu natives comprising Kayan, Kenyah, Berawan, Kelabit and Penan may one day be submerged under water or their ancestral lands taken away from them.

Community activist Charles Gau warns that if this happens the natives will have to live as squatters in towns like Miri. (more…)

June 8, 2011

Corruption in forestry department ‘deal’?

FMT Staff

Angry villagers lodge report with MACC over license issued to timber company to log in a water catchment area in Sarawak

Natives from six villages on the west of Sungai Sarawak Kiri have lodged a report with the MACC against a timber company on the advice their BN MP James Dawos Mamit.

Representatives from the six villages, in and around Semadang and Skio, want the MACC to investigate the logging company’s timber  license.

This is because they believe the company had encroached into an area believed to be a water catchment site.

Villages Action Committee chairman, Joseph Renggas, said the company was logging timber in a 2,112 hectare forest reserve between Sg Tu and Sg Sanga in Semadang and Skio. (more…)

June 2, 2011

More Trouble Brewing For SUPP


A group of Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) grassroot leaders has given an ultimatum to their president Dr George Chan to convene an emergency Central Committee (CC) meeting within 14 days or face legal action.

The group took the action after the Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on May 27, which was chaired by Dr Chan, had rejected a requisition by 58 CC members to convene an emergency meeting to discuss several important motions.

The ultimatum was contained in a letter dated May 31 and made through their solicitor Wong, Orlando Chua & Kuek Advocates to Dr Chan. (more…)

May 26, 2011

S’wak aims to gazette 1.1 mil hectares as parks


Ang Ngan Toh

Sarawak is targeting to gazette areas of about 1.1 million hectares as national parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries or totally protected areas (TPAs) by the year 2020 in an apparent bid to refute critics that the government is destroying the state’s rainforests.

“We have achieved about 780,000 hectares of gazetted TPAs and more than half of these areas are trans-boundary in nature,” said the Sarawak Forestry Department’s acting deputy director Sapuan Ahmad yesterday at the opening of the ‘Heart of Borneo: Investigators and prosecutors course for wildlife crimes’ in Kuching. (more…)

‘1Sarawak’ natives take on Taib, timber tycoons

Keruah Usit

Seven Kayan and five Penan villagers from Baram are challenging Sarawak’s authorities and timber tycoons in court in defence of their communities’ ancestral land.

Ngau Wan Ngau, Anyi Emang Lawai, Usun Jok Emang, Laeng Ajang, Wan Ngau Wan, Tabong Tiri, Guro Kiling, Sait Kiling, Jau Kiling, Tua Kampung Sakai Ding, Johnny Lalang and Wan Ding filed a lawsuit at the Miri High Court on May 11.

The villagers, aged between 39 and 74, sued the state government and four powerful companies from Miri and Sibu – including industry giants Samling and Shinyang – for invading their land. The natives depend on the forests for their lives and identity. (more…)

May 19, 2011

Cops release Bidayuh villagers suspected of arson

Keruah Usit
Five Bidayuh defenders of Native Customary Rights (NCR) to land were released today after being initially suspected of committing arson at a logging camp in Tebedu, Sarawak.

The camp is owned by Alliance Bahagia, a logging contractor employed by the state-run Sarawak Foundation.

Papai Anak Atin, Barak Anak Kolol and Mani Anak Marin of Kampung Temang Mura, Karia Anak Daruh of Kampung Patah and Peter Anak Laiong of Kampung Mawang were arrested in Tebedu last Friday and taken to Kuching, around 90 minutes’ drive away.  (more…)

May 18, 2011

Court frees six villagers who defended their land

Joseph Tawie

Natives from 10 villagers, who had allegedly torched a logging campsite in Tebedu, are planning to take legal action against a timber company for encroachment on their NCR land.

Six Bidayuh villagers, who allegedly torched seven heavy machinery, four lorries and five logging quarters in Tebedu on May 9, were unconditionally released by the magistrate’s court here today.

The six – Bisa Anak Duda, Papai Anak Atin, Barak Anak Kolol, Mani Anak Marin, Karia Anak Daruh and Peter Anak Laiong – from Kampung Mawang, Tebedu, in Serian district were brought to the court at the end of their four-day remand.

A large crowd of family members and village folk working here turned up to show their support for the suspects. (more…)

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