Friday, January 9, 2009

The Sarawak NCR Foundation

Sarawak Headhunter's friend, (yes, the usually silent man), has suggested that in view of the many problems faced by NCR landowners, a Sarawak NCR (Native Customary Rights) Foundation be formed to safeguard Native interests in so far as NCR and NCR lands are concerned. Such a foundation must be an independent non-government body and be managed professionally without any political interference.

If the Sarawak government acknowledges that there are at least 2 million hectares of NCR lands in existence in the state, if not more, this foundation will manage on behalf of the NCR landowners land worth at least RM2.4 Billion (and more if the real value is taken into consideration) or if by way of joint venture at least RM720 Million (based on 30% share) before development.

Upon development, such land would be worth at least 10 or 20 times more, with the capacity of generating income worth billions, even with low commodity prices (which will not remain low forever).

The benefits for the hundreds of thousands of NCR landowners to whom the foundation as trustee would be accountable would be tremendous.

Sarawak Headhunter's friend has in fact already drawn up the Memorandum and Articles of Association of this foundation as well as the relevant trust deed between the foundation as trustee and the NCR landowners as beneficiaries (in each development area) and is prepared to make these available to anyone who wishes to initiate such a project.

The BN State government under Taib would obviously be most reluctant to deal with such a foundation but if all the Natives unite and insist on it, the State government will eventually have no choice.

The following will form the basis of the foundation:

THE SARAWAK NCR FOUNDATION (SARAWAK NATIVE CUSTOMARY RIGHTS FOUNDATION)

Reasons for Incorporation

1. There is an urgent need for an independent non-government non-profit body to act as trustee to take care of the interests of NCR Landowners who enter into joint ventures with other parties to develop their Native Customary Lands (“NCL”) or who themselves wish to develop the same, in conformity with and complementary to the State government’s efforts to upgrade the living standards of such NCR Landowners.

2. The objects and activities of such a body are as stated below.

3. It is obvious that a Foundation would be the most appropriate incorporated vehicle for such purposes and to ensure that these objects and activities can be successfully carried out.

Objects and Activities

1. To inculcate respect for and to safeguard Native Customary Laws, culture and traditions in respect of NCL while at the same time ensuring that NCR Landowners do not get left behind by progress and development.

2. To ensure preservation of sufficient areas of forest and associated ecosystem to enable the NCR Landowners to live in harmony with their natural environment and continue to practise their customs, culture and traditions and sustain a proper livelihood through hunting, fishing and gathering of forest produce.

3. To work together with NCR Landowners and the State Government to ensure proper survey, demarcation and gazettement of NCL and preferably issuance of permanent communal titles in perpetuity, to prevent encroachment, minimize conflicts and conflicting claims and alleviate community hardships.

4. To work together the State Government to ensure that the NCR Landowners continue to be able to live on the NCL and are not dislocated, removed or resettled indiscriminately, without proper protection or provision for adequate compensation or their future needs.

5. To work together with NCR Landowners to seek suitable technically and financially capable and responsible investors, financiers, developers and joint venture partners, or to enable the NCR Landowners themselves, to develop their NCL both on small or large scale.

6. To act as Trustee for the NCR Landowners in all dealings with investors , financiers and plantation developers.

7. To provide professional administration and management input into such development.

8. To ensure that NCR Landowners obtain a fair value from the development of their NCL to enable them to uplift their living standards for generations to come.

9. To assist the NCR Landowners to invest/reinvest the returns from their land lease prices and dividends from the development of their NCL to prevent dissipation and for their own, their families’ and their communities’ future wellbeing.

10. To set up various Funds such as Housing Fund, Education, Scholarship and Loan Fund, Disaster Relief, Welfare and Medical Fund, to assist NCR Landowners and their families and communities in each development area in need of such assistance.

So, how about it? Can all parties put aside political interest and self-interest to really help the Natives of Sarawak achieve the full potential and benefits of their lands? This will really go a long way towards alleviating poverty in the rural areas and uplift the living and economic standards of the people, give them dignity by letting them stand on their own feet as well as put them in a position of not having to depend on the government all the time.

The burden on the government will thus be lessened and this will also contribute towards the overall development of the State at an accelerated pace.

Sarawakians for Sarawak

6 comments:

Borneo Warrior said...

Where will the so-called NCR Foundation has its power to deal with NCR land? Very good idea but first the foundation has to be legislated i.e like the LCDA, SALCRA (for land dev.)STIDC, HARDWOOD (for toll collectionsin the timber trade).

The proposal is superb,but who are the legislators in Saarawak? They are the 71 ADUNs of ALL PBB! Will ther be political will? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

By the way, I prefer it be called and run as Permodalan NCR BHD.

Al Tugauw said...

The power to deal with NCR land will come from the landowners themselves, who will delegate their rights and powers in trust to the foundation.

This is after all their rights and powers, not those of the legislators who purportedly represent them but instead represent other interests.

The political will must come from the people, the landowners themselves, which will wear down and eventually reverse the political will of the government or lead to its demise, even if there is no political agenda behind the foundation.

It is the NCR landowners' very survival and future at stake here, something the government will ignore at its own peril.

That is the beauty of it. The government will either have to take it positively or be overtaken by it.

The investment and profit-generation part will eventually be big enough and have to be run as a separate entity such as Permodalan NCR Bhd as you propose, but the welfare and other non-profit aspects will still have to come under the foundation, which will have tax-exempt status, thereby maximising the benefits for the landowners and their descendants.

de minimis said...

Al

This proposal makes a lot of sense. I hope that it will gain traction.

The Broken Shield said...

A brilliant idea, it is worth pursuing. The Broken Shield gives every support.

dayakbaru said...

BW - we must be patient. We do not need to put our faith in the current BN State Government. You know - Dayak NCR is their bread and butter.

This NCR Trust Board ( whatever you want to call it) is a must do - when Sarawakian succeeded in chnaging the BN Government.

If the BN government government says that NCR has no value - we will help to correct that perception through NCR Trust Board.

tsunami said...

Right on. Agreed, agreed and agreed. Who will initiate it. Anyone? Not Dayak's Politician goons.