Give us back our NCR lands, Sarawak natives tell state

Source: Malay Mail

SCRIPTS chairman Michael Jok (right) and legal adviser Henry Joseph (left) after handing over the Native Customary Rights Land Declaration to the deputy chief minister’s office in Kuching June 22, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

SCRIPTS chairman Michael Jok (right) and legal adviser Henry Joseph (left) after handing over the Native Customary Rights Land Declaration to the deputy chief minister’s office in Kuching June 22, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, June 22 — A group of indigenous Sarawakians today handed their demand to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah’s office, asking the state government to revoke provisional leases (PL) issued to plantation and logging companies involving their native customary rights (NCR) lands.

Sarawak Society for the Protection of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (SCRIPTS) chairman Michael Jok said all of the leases were issued to companies linked to current Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud when he was chief minister for 33 years.

“For example, virtually the whole of Baram interior has been issued with PLs when Taib was the chief minister,” Jok told reporters after handing the Native Customary Rights Land Declaration to Uggah’s office.

“Based on the submissions from 54 communities in Baram interior which we have received thus far, about 2.8 million hectares of their NCR lands have been leased out by the state government to logging and oil palm companies,” Jok said. Read more

Bina sekatan sebagai bantahan masyarakat Orang Asli

Source: BH Online

KOTA BHARU: Masyarakat Orang Asli, hari ini membina sekatan baharu di tiga lokasi kawasan Hutan Simpan Gunung Stong Selatan di Gua Musang sebagai bantahan terhadap aktiviti pembalakan, projek perladangan dan penanaman durian ‘Musang King’ di daerah itu.

Sekatan itu dibina di Cawas, Gua Cha and Pos Gob.

Pengerusi Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan (Jaringan), Mustapa Along, berkata sekatan itu dibuat sebagai bantahan kepada Kerajaan Negeri yang sejak kebelakangan ini banyak mengeluarkan lesen pembalakan, terutama di Cawas.

Read more

No objection from cops over Dayak’s peaceful assembly over NCR land issues

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUCHING, Nov 1 ― The police have no problem with the Dayak community’s peaceful assembly here on November 13 to express frustration over many unresolved issues relating to native customary rights (NCR) land, organisers said today.

Deputy chairman of the organising committee Nicholas Bawin said Kuching district police chief ACP Abang Ahmad Abang Julai conveyed the message in a meeting with them on Monday.

“Therefore, we are happy that the police are giving their cooperation for us to hold the assembly at the Kuching Waterfront,” he told reporters.

Bawin, who is a former deputy president of the Council of Customs and Traditions of the Dayak community, invites all the Dayak landowners to come to the assembly and listen to speeches by community leaders and NCR land lawyers. Read more

Civil society groups to rally for Land Code amendment

Source: The Malaysian Insight

A SLEW of civil society groups will hold a rally in Kuching on November 13 to pressure the Sarawak government to speed up an amendment to the state’s Land Code.

The rally, to coincide with the sitting of the state legislative assembly, follows two major court decisions that had gone against Sarawak’s Dayak landowners’ interests.

One of the rally leaders, Nicholas Mujah, who is secretary of the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia), said the proposed site of the Perhimpunan Aman Solidarity Orang Asal (the indigenous people’s solidarity and peaceful gathering) was the waterfront, on the side of the Sarawak River opposite the state legislative assembly.

Mujah said a memorandum would be submitted to the legislature during the gathering. Read more

In bitter land dispute with state, Suhakam finding offers hope to Tongod settlers

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam officer Heflin DIno (left) speaks to villagers of Kampung Bobotong, Tongod, who are trying to resolve a land dispute or risk losing their land, crops and homes. — Picture courtesy of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Sabah branch, pic drawn from MMO

Suhakam officer Heflin DIno (left) speaks to villagers of Kampung Bobotong, Tongod, who are trying to resolve a land dispute or risk losing their land, crops and homes. — Picture courtesy of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Sabah branch, pic drawn from MMO

KOTA KINABALU, March 24 — A glimmer of hope is in sight for the villagers of Tongod who are on the brink of losing their homes and land deep in the interior of Sabah to the state.

A preliminary report by the Malaysian Commission of Human Rights (Suhakam) found the villagers had filed Land Applications (LA) dating back to 1984, which proved their decades-long occupancy of Tongod, contrary to a recent assertion by the Sabah Forestry Department that non-natives had encroached upon the land in the 1990s for personal gain.

“According to the villagers, as an indigenous people of Tongod, they applied for a Land Application (LA) back in 1984,” said the report.

However, the resolution may not be as clear-cut. The report also noted that Suhakam was informed by the villagers that the Forestry Department does not recognise their LAs. The villagers were also accused of “having a Land Application that is not genuine”.

A standoff is imminent as Sabah Forestry officials have threatened to dismantle the homes of the villagers of Kampung Bobotong within the Sungai Pinangah Forest Reserve. The villagers have refused to budge, claiming they were the first to occupy the land, and have native rights. Read more

Suhakam to conduct field investigation

Source: Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) will conduct a field investigation on the reported demolition of indigenous communities’ houses in Kg Bobotong, Tongod, by the Sabah Forestry Department.

The commission’s investigating officer of the case, Heflin Dino, said the investigation will be conducted based on Act 597 of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999 4(1) that clearly states its duty “to inquire into complaints regarding infringements of human rights referred to in Section 12” of the Act.

Pending the field investigation, Heflin appealed to all parties to remain calm.

“I do hope that the public would not fuel hate sentiments toward parties until we complete the investigation,” he told Daily Express, Monday.

More than 200 villagers of the village in Mukim Entilibon claimed to be living in fear after 16 out of 60 houses were demolished by the department on March 16.

They claimed to have been living in the village for 38 years. Read more

Activists: US report on Orang Asli land rights too shallow

Source: FMT News

Siti Kasim says Washington’s annual human rights report is an outdated view of Orang Asli land rights issue, adding that the report bases its argument on a simplistic interpretation of the statute law. Pic from FMT News.

Siti Kasim says Washington’s annual human rights report is an outdated view of Orang Asli land rights issue, adding that the report bases its argument on a simplistic interpretation of the statute law. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Washington’s annual human rights report does not adequately address issues surrounding Orang Asli rights in the country, several Orang Asli activists have said.

Activist-cum-lawyer Siti Kasim pointed out that the US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016 was too shallow as it merely interpreted the Orang Asli land rights issue in a “simplistic manner”.

“It’s partially correct if one were to solely focus on written law. But it’s an outdated view on Orang Asli land rights, based on a simplistic interpretation of the statute law,” she told FMT when contacted. Read more

High Court orders federal and state government to compensate orang asli villagers

Source: The Star

JOHOR BARU: The High Court here has ruled that the Federal and Johor governments have failed to protect the land ownership rights of the orang asli in two villages.

High Court judge Justice Teo Say Eng ordered both governments to compensate villagers of Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Temon and Kampung Orang Asli Bakar Batu Perling for releasing portions of the 137.5ha-orang asli land to developers and individual buyers.

Under the order, both governments have to pay the villagers according to the market value of the land. Read more

Malaysia: NGOs write to Princess Anne, claim Sarawak power firm withheld Murum Dam facts

Source: Asian Correspondent

The Murum Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) is located in the Belaga District, Kapit Division.. The plant provides up to 944MW electricty for Sarawak, and additional power for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) - Pic from Asian Correspondent

The Murum Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) is located in the Belaga District, Kapit Division.. The plant provides up to 944MW electricty for Sarawak, and additional power for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) – Pic from Asian Correspondent

CIVIL society groups fighting for the rights of the indigenous people of Sarawak, East Malaysia, have reached out to Britain’s Princess Anne, urging the royal to use her influence to help those displaced by the construction of the controversial Murum Dam.

The NGOs, led by local grassroots network SAVE Rivers, penned a letter this week to the princess alleging that Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), Sarawak’s power supplier, had glossed over the situation at resettlement sites there when she visited their headquarters in October last year.

They claimed that although three years have passed since local communities were evicted from their homes to make way for the construction of the dam, the government has yet to deliver the compensation package for their resettlement. Vigilant protests and diplomatic pressures have done little to solve the problem and as a result, hope is running thin for those displaced. Read more

PAS leaders only good for felling trees, says Perkasa

Source: FMT News

Ibrahim Ali - Pic from FMT News

Ibrahim Ali – Pic from FMT News

By Aedi Asri

KUALA LUMPUR: Though Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali is supportive of PAS’ efforts to empower the shariah courts, he is critical of the way the PAS-led Kelantan government has handled the issue of logging in Gua Musang.

“Good that PAS has Islam in its name but it has stupid leaders who only know how to chop down trees.

“I’m not pointing at any PAS leader in particular, but I’m disappointed,” he said in a press conference at the Perkasa headquarters here yesterday.

Ibrahim was referring to the Kelantan government’s logging activities in Gua Musang which had led to a standoff with the Orang Asli, who claimed their way of life and their livelihoods were increasingly threatened by deforestation.

Since September last year, the Orang Asli have built illegal barricades around the Balah permanent forest reserve to prevent transportation of timber. Read more