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February 9, 2011

Oil palm company fails to get natives evicted through court, status quo of natives maintained


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 8 February 2011

Oil palm company fails to get natives evicted through court, status quo of natives maintained

MIRI – The Miri High Court on 28 January 2011 ruled that the oil palm company, Butrasemari Sdn. Bhd. do not have exclusive rights to the land known as Lot 97 Sawai Land District, located at Suai, Miri Division, therefore they do not have the right to evict the natives even though the company argued that it was issued with a Provisional Lease (PL).

At the same time, the Iban natives of Rumah Pee Millo also cannot claim all the land within the same area as their native customary rights (NCR) land as they had only settled there in the 70s. The status quo of the natives to settle in the said area is still maintained pending the decision from the State Government.

The High Court is in view that the said company cannot claim exclusive rights over Lot 97 Sawai Land District, just by virtue of having a PL because the issuance of the PL is subjected to the requirements in Section 28 of the Sarawak Land Code, whereby a survey has to be completed before the State Government can alienate the said land to the said company.

The High Court is also in view that the natives do not have NCR over the said land as they only moved into the Suai District in the 70s from Sarikei Division. The State Government has until today have yet to decide on their status in occupying the said area, even though they were encouraged to move by the Government at that time.

Tuai Rumah Pee Millo’s grandfather, Penghulu Andok Anak Mut was killed by communist terrorists in 1974 in Sarikei. Because of the communist hostilities going on in the Sarikei area at the time, Pee Millo’s father, Datu Anak Andok made a request to the Government to move to Suai.

On the same year, and with encouragement from the Resident of the Sarikei Division Datu and his followers moved and settled at Sungai Sebalayau, Suai.

In 2005, Butrasemari was issued with a PL for Lot 97 Sawai Land District and the land dispute started.In 2008, the residents of Rumah Pee Millo was ordered by the court to vacate the land as the said company got an interlocutory injunction which not only prohibits but also requires the residents of Rumah Pee Millo to vacate the said land.

This prompted the residents of Rumah Pee Millo to stage a sit in at the Miri Residents Office as they have no other place to go.

After hearing the complaints and concerns of the natives, the Miri Division Resident together with the District Officer and the Officer in-charge of the Police District advised the natives to return to their longhouse and assured them that they still can remain and farm in the said land until a decision can be made by the higher authorities in Kuching regarding their status.

However, until today the residents of Rumah Pee Millo are still waiting for the decision from Kuching and the land dispute between the said company and the natives will continue.

Harrison Ngau Laing, the counsel representing Tuai Rumah Pee Millo and Lim Khim Boon, First and Second Defendant respectively said, “Our State Government has failed in their fiduciary duty to safeguard the interests of its own people.”

According to Harrison, Butrasemari is a subsidiary of Ta Ann, which is one of the top five biggest companies in Sarawak dealing in timber and plantation activities.

Ta Ann’s Executive Chairman is Datuk Abdul Hamed Sepawi, a billionaire who is also a cousin to the Chief Minister and also Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) Treasurer General.

“Why can’t Ta Ann, which has already owns thousand of hectares of land throughout Sarawak spare some land for the poor natives to make a living?”, asked Harrison.

He added further, “The State Government has got their priorities wrong, whereby they are enriching the rich and making the poor even poorer.”

When met outside the court, Pee Millo complaint that the government is not practicing what they are preaching.“Our Prime Minister is always trumpeting the 1Malaysia, Peoples First, Performance Now slogan, but this is not the case for us,” he said.“Our people are not first but placed last in the government’s priorities,” Pee Millo lamented.

Butrasemari as the First Plaintiff is suing Pee Millo and Lim Khim Boon for allegedly trespassing into Lot 97 Sawai Land District.Justice Dato’ Zulkifli bin Bakar delivered the ruling.

Press Release issued by:

Mark Bujang

Executive Director, BRIMAS

 
BORNEO RESOURCES INSTITUTE MALAYSIA
Lot 1046, 2nd Flr. Shang Garden Com. Centre
Jalan Bulan Sabit ,98000 Miri, Sarawak
MALAYSIA
 
Postal Address:
P.O. Box 1065 ,98008 Miri,Sarawak.
Tel: 085 423044
Fax: 085 438580
Email: markbujang@gmail.com 

August 24, 2010

Jungle campaign nightmare for S’wak opposition


Taken from Hornbill Unleashed

NONE

By – AFP

Harrison Ngau’s description of dirty politics in the rainforest state of Sarawak on Borneo island reads like a chapter in a spy novel, complete with subterfuge, threats, and contraband.

The amiable one-time lawmaker says the challenges he had to overcome to score an unlikely election victory will again face Malaysia’s opposition when it contests statewide polls expected within months.

A political earthquake in 2008 national elections, which shook the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition’s half-century grip on power, has rendered timber-rich Sarawak and neighbouring Sabah state extremely strategic.

With Borneo now one of its last bastions of support, the coalition must fend off the resurgent opposition led by Anwar Ibrahim and retain its hold there in the next national elections if it wants to stay in office.

The upcoming Sarawak state polls will be a keenly watched bellwether with far-reaching implications for the multicultural, Muslim-majority nation which Barisan Nasional has ruled since independence in 1957.

bn supreme council mt meeting sapp sabah issue 190608 taib mahmudBut Harrison Ngau is quite sure that going on past performance, the coalition – fronted in Sarawak by ageing chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who has been in power for 29 years – will put up a tough fight.

“It was a nightmare and still remains a nightmare for the opposition to win in Sarawak polls,” said Ngau, who served one term in parliament in the 1990s and is now a leading lawyer campaigning for native land rights.

When he decided to stand for office as an independent, no one gave him a chance of winning as his constituency was so huge, with voters scattered across jungles reachable only by boat, four-wheel-drive vehicles and plane.

“We had to campaign in Bario (highlands district) but we could not get a flight nor send our election pamphlets. The order from BN was: ‘Ngau should not set foot in Bario. His posters should not be seen here’,” he said.

Facing defeat, he came up with the idea of smuggling his election posters by hiding them inside empty biscuit tins, and air freighting them secretly to Bario, where they were quietly intercepted by friends.

NONE“The next morning my posters were hanging in Bario. It shocked my BN rival. To win elections in Sarawak one has to behave like a commando,” said the 49-year-old in his offices in the coastal town of Miri.

Ngau says the state remains in thrall to powerful political masters and tycoons who control the timber and plantations industries that have plundered the state’s natural resources.

The Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance has set its sights on capturing Sarawak, campaigning on land rights for indigenous people, poverty and allegations of rampant political corruption.Read more here

August 12, 2010

Penduduk Dayak Iban Rumah Umpor menyaman Kerajaan dan sebuah syarikat perladangan bagi mendapatkan hak


 

By Borneo Independent News Service

11Ogos 2010

MIRI- Penduduk Dayak Iban dari Rumah Umpor dari Ulu Sungai Niah, Bahagian Miri, Sarawak telah menyaman Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak, Jabatan Tanah dan Survei, Miri serta Syarikat perladangan Medan Mestika Sdn. Bhd. kerana menceroboh masuk ke dalam tanah NCR milik penduduk rumah panjang tanpa sebarang rundingan dan persetujuan.

 Jabatan Tanah dan Survei telah mengeluarkan Provisional Lease (PL) atau Geran Hak Milik Sementara iaitu Lot 85 Sawai Land District kepada syarikat Medan Mestika.

 Rumah Umpor yang diketuai oleh Tuai Rumah (TR) Umpor Anak Lunsa telah membawa kes ini ke Mahkamah Tinggi sejak Februari tahun 2008. Menurut penduduk Rumah Umpor, mereka telah memperolehi hak Adat ke atas Tanah tersebut secara adat Iban (acquired) sejak nenek moyang mereka atau mengikut undang-undang Kanun Tanah Negeri Sarawak dan/atau melalui undang-undang sebelumnya.

 Tanah adat tersebut adalah sebahagian tanah yang telah diberikan oleh kerajaan secara khusus kepada orang Iban Rumah Along yang diketuai oleh TR. Along anak Ranggau sebelum TR. Umpor sekarang.

 Pihak kerajaan melalui Pejabat Daerah Miri telah menerima dan merekodkan sempadan antara Rumah Umpor dengan rumah-rumah panjang yang berjiran di dalam pelan tanah yang dipanggil dalam bahasa Inggeris sebagai “Composite Plan Showing Distribution of Native Farming Land atSuai/Niah/Sibuti”. Tanah milik Rumah Umpor dan beberapa rumah panjang yang berjiran di sini dipanggil Kawasan P. Manggoi, Andom dan Ranggong (P.Manggoi’s Area, Andom’s Area and Ranggong’s Area) yang secara kolektifnya dikenali sebagai kawasan Remang (Remang’s Area) di kawasan tersebut.

 Penduduk Rumah Umpor dan nenek moyang mereka secara berterusan menduduki dan/atau bercucuk tanam di tanah adat tersebut sehingga ke hari ini. Tanah NCR mereka ini tidak pernah dihapus hak baik oleh pihak kerajaan sekarang dan/atau kerajaan terdahulu.

 Pihak kerajaan negeri Sarawak, malah melalu iJabatan Pertanian telah memberi bantuan pertanian kepada penduduk Rumah Umpor untuk membuka dan menanam tanaman di tanah adat tersebut.

 Pihak Kerajaan juga telah melantik Ketua Kaum (Tuai Rumah) bagi Rumah Umpor sehingga ke hari ini dan mengutip yuran taksiran tahunan dari Rumah Umpor.

 Walaupun demikian, PL untuk perladangan sawit masih dikeluarkan oleh Jabatan Tanah dan Survei untuk Syarikat Medan Mestika Sdn. Bhd. pada 12hb Disember, 2000 dan tanpa pengetahuan penduduk Dayak Iban Rumah Umpor.

 Laporan Taksiran Impak Alam Sekitar (EIA) yang dibuat pada tahun 2001 juga telah menerima dan mengakui kewujudan tanah Adat Rumah Umpor yang berada di dalam PL tersebut. Jabatan Tanah dan Survei Miri juga telah menerima kewujudan tanah adat yang dituntut oleh Rumah Umpor.

 Walaupun PL Lot 85 yang sebahagiannya meliputi tanah adat orang Dayak Iban Rumah Umpor, Jabatan Tanah dan Survei, Miri masih secara tidak sah telah mengeluarkan PL untuk syarikat tersebut dan tanpa melalui proses untuk menyukat kewujudan tanah adat di dalam PL tersebut. Pihak Jabatan tanah dan Servei bahkan secara tidak sah masih membenarkan syarikat tersebut memasuki dan mendapat milikan tanah yang meliputi tanah adat penduduk Rumah Umpor.

 Pada masa ini, kes Rumah Umpor sedang dalam perbicaraan penuh dan telah ditunda ke satu tarikh akan datang yang akan ditentukan oleh Mahkamah Tinggi, Miri

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