Sunday, August 14, 2011

Longhouse folk oppose alienation of NCR land

by Conny Banji, Posted on August 11, 2011, Thursday

OUR RIGHTS: Bangit (left), Juing (centre) and Stanley show the locality of the land in Ulu Sungai Duai in Engkalat.
SIBU: Two longhouse chiefs and 113 others are against the application by certain Chinese associations to develop about 80.1 hectares (or 198.52 acres) of land in Ulu Sungai Duai, Engkalat.
Tuai Rumah Bangit Jantan and Tuai Rumah Juing Buntuk claimed the land is Native Customary Rights (NCR) land or ‘indu tanah’.
They got wind that a few local Chinese associations had either applied or were intending to apply to the state government for the said land.
“The land was cleared by our forefathers for cultivation and other agricultural activities,” they told a press conference at Sarawak United People’s Party headquarters in Kampung Dato here yesterday.
They said an application to survey and alienate the land was submitted to the Land and Survey Department (LSD) by the late Tuai Rumah Jantan (Bangit’s father) in 1994 which Bangit claimed was denied.
“In 1996, LSD issued a letter dated April 22 which granted approval for land alienation.
“However, there was no follow-up from our side,” he said.
However, sometime in 1998, he said, LSD issued another letter to inform them that the land could not be granted.
He said following that, they submitted appeal letters to the department for which they did not receive any response until now.
Juing and 41 others also said they would
not allow anybody to lobby to develop another 41.27ha (102 acres) of land at the same area without their consent or approval.
He said they held the rights to the land.
The land, he said, was registered under the late Tuai Rumah Janin and was transferred to the late Tuai Rumah Henry Eroke and now passed down to him.
“The status of the land is communal reserves or ‘pemakai menua’ for the longhouse,” he said.
On the same matter, Tuai Rumah Stanley Geramong and 57 others claimed they held the rights on 89.03ha (220 acres) of land, also at Ulu Sungai Duai in Engkalat.
The land is their communal reserve which was registered under the late Tuai Rumah Muli and transferred to Stanley.
“We would not allow anybody to take our land,” he said.
Meanwhile, it is said the Chinese associations wanted the 198-acre land for burial ground.

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