SERIAN: An adviser to PKR and former deputy chief minister Datuk Daniel Tajem (pic below)warns the Iban community that they will lose their native customary rights lands if they continue to elect the State Barisan Nasional coalition in the coming State election.
“Many Ibans in other parts of Sarawak have already lost their lands and we will continue to loose our land, if the State Barisan continues to govern Sarawak.
“In Balai Ringin we are about to lose our lands, when four companies linked to Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud have been given provisional lease (PL) to plant oil palm in our lands.
“A total of 741,000 hectares of our NCR lands have been earmarked for this purpose,” he said, adding that the land owners had protested, but to no avail.
In fact, he said, he and the land owners have written to UMNO to intervene and stop the State government from taking away people’s lands.
Tajem said: “Lands are our only assets. And if we lose our lands, we will lose everything. We will become landless people. We do not know where to go except to seek refuge and sleep under a bridge.
“Landless People who sleep under a bridge are a common sight in other countries. And this will happen to us, if we do not change the State government,” he said, when he opened the annual general meeting of PKR Sri Aman division on Saturday, 24 April 2010.
“We do not change Taib Mahmud, but what we must change is the state government. So we must be united and work hard to change the government and only then we can prepare a new programme of development,” he stressed.
Tajem went on to say that Pakatan Rakyat must aim to win at least 36 seats out of 71 in order to take over the administration of the state government.
“Even winning the state government alone is still not good enough; the Pakatan Rakyat must also take over and control the federal government, otherwise the federal government will make life unbearable in Pakatan-controlled states.
“Look how the federal government retook the Perak State government after the Pakatan had won it through the electoral process.
“Similarly what happened to Stephen Kalong Ningkan’s state government in late 1966, when he did not agree for expatriate officers in Sarawak to be replaced with Malayan officers?
“When Ningkan refused to resign, the federal government declared a state of emergency in Sarawak. Then the federal government amended the state constitution in order to give authority to the governor to dismiss Ningkan as chief minister,” said Tajem.
“Thus, it is also very important that the federal government be controlled by Pakatan Rakyat,” he added