Sunday, April 20, 2008

Five Ibans arrested over NCR dispute

Source: Malaysiakini
Tony Thien | Apr 19, 08 1:37pm

Five Ibans have been arrested by the Miri police on Thursday for what is believed to be the result of their persistent protest against the activities of an oil palm company working on their native customary rights (NCR) land without their consent.

Those arrested are all longhouse residents of Kampung Wawasan in Miri.

However, police appear to have given a different reason for their arrest, and Miri-based NGO Borneo Resources Institute of Malaysia (Brimas) has also failed to obtain the true account of why the five were arrested.

The five were asked by police to go to the Batu Niah police station two days ago to have their statements recorded. However, on arrival at the station, they were brought to the Miri police station and detained.

Brimas executive director Mark Bujang revealed to Malaysiakini today the identities of the five - they are Edi anak Ingah, Angkinsig anak Chundau, Awa, Awat and the village headman Rajang anak Sengalang.

Residents of Rumah Rajang, Kampung Wawasan filed a court suit at the end of last year against a plantation company Mega Jutamas Sdn Bhd alleging enroachment into their NCR land.

According resident Amy anak Alus, the five were requested by CID officers to go down to the Batu Niah police station to have their statements recorded concerning the arrest of another resident who was arrested earlier for allegedly carrying a home-made pistol without a licence. The man has been remanded in police custody since Monday.

Amy claimed police allegation that the man named Siew owned a homemade pistol was false as she believed that the police were trying "to maliciously persecute Siew and the other because of their action on the ground against Mega Jutamas Sdn Bhd."

Mark said Brimas found out that up to late yesterday afternoon the five detained persons have yet to have their statements recorded and not s single police officer has told them the reason for their arrest and detention.

"Brimas questions the police’s motive of the detention as it lacks transparency and does not follow proper procedures of arresting a person," he added.

Prevented from entering their farms

Residents of Kampung Wawasan have been protesting the encroachment of an oil palm plantation company into their land since last year, which they claimed to have native customary rights over.

Mega Jutamas was issued a Provisional Lease on Lot 95 Sawai Land District by the Land and Survey Department for the purpose of an oil palm plantation covering an area of approximately 2,145 hectares.

The residents are protesting because the plantation company workers came in and destroyed their padi fields and also their smallholders’ oil palm gardens. The residents were also stopped by the company's security guards from entering their own farms.

According to Mark, Brimas has found out that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report done for the company stated in one of its mitigation measures that areas which are not conceded in the plantation for development should be left undisturbed and be clearly defined by proper ground surveys.

However, the company has not complied with the EIA report but proceeded to bulldoze their way through the villagers’ lands.

Last November, headman Rajang was also arrested and detained for 24 hours for allegedly attacking Indonesian workers working for the oil palm company. He denied ever attacking the workers and was later released on police bail pending further police investigations.

Brimas will continue to monitor the situation, Mark said.


D_Dollah said...

This is a blatant disrespect of the present BN state government to the natives of Sarawak as a whole. Especially, the Ibans. The Ibans owned a large portion of NCR land, now seeing it disappear right before their eyes! Unfortunately, the Ibans are equally to be blamed for their ignorant towards their own well-being in Sarawak.

Anonymous said...

I think ur story is heavily biased. Do u know where is this kampong wawasan and how it was started? The whole kampong has only 1 residence who is the 'headman' and 4 prospectives who are yet to move built their houses at the land sold to them by lajang at RM 1,000 per plot.

chapchai said...

I think it is about time all the leaders of the various Dayak political parties get together and resolve this issue of NCR. Show your mettle and prove that you are worthy of being elected by your people. Earn your credibility for once. How can you stand aside whilst the land of your own people is being taken away from them right under their noses? How can you even face your people? Or don't you bother anymore? Have your forgotten how to get there?

Anonymous said...

To me, this is what they called as an "EXECUTIVE POWER" being exercised by our elected candidates on us.This case could bring to the second RH NYAWIN which was demolished by BDA Enforcement Officer few years ago with few Policemen around.DON'T YOU SEE that DAYAK IBAN has totaly lost their dignity.....what should we do now?..seeeee la...for the next 5 yrs...because ignorant was being practised by OUR TOP REPRESENTATIVE upon WHERE HAS YOUR BALLOT GONE(it is coming back to KILL US)