Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Taib's Land and he has the Power to do what he likes with it

And that Power was given to him by the people of Sarawak as a Trust which he has abused wholesale.


From From Sarawak

Soon, the Ibans will be squatters in their own land...........


P/s Dini bala ketuai kitai enda memunyi? Kada enda udah dibeli magang.........(Where are our Iban leaders? Maybe all of them have been bought over.......)

Sarawak Headhunter's comment: Actually, under the Sarawak Land Code, the majority of Ibans and other natives of Sarawak are not just squatters already on the land on which they and their forefathers have toiled for generations, but trespassers on State land and that is how they are treated by Taib and his towkay cronies, unless they can prove that they had practised their Native Customary Rights ("NCR") over the particular land prior to 1st January 1958 continuously up to the present time.

Even the Kedayans are now being threatened, as have most native communities, including ironically the Melanaus in Taib's own constituency.

The problem is that movements of people take place and the land on which new settlements are established after 1st January 1958 do not qualify under the law as NCR land.

It is obvious that this law dates back to post-Brooke colonial times (even the Brookes were more enlightened than this and had not only allowed but protected the establishment of claims to land through NCR practices).

It should have been up to the independent state government of Sarawak to redress a clear injustice against its own native population by amending the State Land Code after 16th September 1963 to provide for the recognition of NCR claims without any such artificial time limit.

BUT the temptation to line their own pockets and those of their businessmen friends, cronies and families at the expense of an already deprived, downtrodden and oppressed native population without adequate legal protection has proven too lucrative especially for the BN state government under Taib Mahmud to ignore.


Ibans fight for communal forests
Tony Thien Sep 27, 08 1:55pm

The Iban community in Rumah Sengok, about 80km up the Kemena River in Bintulu are fighting a losing battle to protect their communal forests or pulau, considered their most valuable assets, from loggers. And they are not the only ones having to face such a problem - the same loggers are said to be moving to other villages in the upper reaches of the river and likely to encroach into their communal forests too, Jok Jau, Marudi-based co-ordinator of Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) told Malaysiakini today.

“The loggers claim they have a permit to extract the timber and are ignoring the rights of the 26-door Sengok longhouse over their communal forests of about 300 to 400 hectares, taking away valuable timber species from the pulau,” he said. Once they have finished work there, the loggers are expected to move to neighbouring areas to continue with timber harvesting, Jok Jau said, adding that at least 10 other Iban longhouses in the upper reaches of the Kemena River would be affected.

According him, the Ibans are not demanding for money but to preserve their rights which are recognised by law to the communal forests which supply their daily needs. Jok Jau said a government-backed consortium Grand Perfect comprising three large local timber companies are managing and implementing a forest plantation project covering an area of more than 500,000 hectares extending from Bintulu right up to Balingian under a Forest Department licence.

Encroachment started in April.

The licence was originally awarded to a pulp and paper company. The consortium has their contractors to clear the area for the plantation and the process involves the harvesting of timber. Rumah Sengok residents are complaining that these loggers have been encroaching into their pulau which is considered as part of what is known as native customary rights (NCR) land since April this year.

Jok Jau said the affected natives are rather helpless as their pleas have fallen on deaf ears with the loggers insisting that they have been given clearance by the authorities to clear and remove the timber. He alluded to some threats being used against the natives as well. In the first round of tree harvesting from the Rumah Sengok communal forests, an estimated 500 tonnes of timber - hill species such as meranti, kapor and keruing - have been taken out.

The company originally offered to pay the longhouse people RM6 per tonne of timber extracted but headman Sengok ak Sabang and his longhouse residents disagreed “because it is not money they want but the right to keep their communal forests which is important to their livelihood,” said the local SAM leader.

Present timber prices are high with growing overseas demand to increase stockpiles in log importing countries. “I have been to Rumah Sengok and now I hear the logging company is going into other villages and this is most worrying,” Jok Jau said, adding that the state government should look into the rights of the natives over their NCR lands and communal forests.

Source : Malaysiakini


Anonymous said...

This article is highly seditious and slanderous. I hope the police will investigate the owner of the blog according the the laws od the country.

Al Tugauw said...

Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what exactly is highly seditious and slanderous about what I write?