Villagers fume over alleged 'surrender' of NCR land

Some 10,000 villagers from 12 villages in the Singai area in Bau have expressed their anger against their elected representative, Tasik Biru state assemblyperson Peter Nansian, who allegedly “surrendered” 70 percent of their 12,000-acre native customary rights (NCR) land to the state government.

According to Dominic Daon, a resident of one of the villages, he heard Nansian telling villagers that he had agreed to the government carrying out a perimeter survey by the Land and Survey Department.

Nansian (left) is Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) deputy president and assistant minister for community services and industrial development.

"Now the people are angry with him after knowing that 70 percent (or 8,400 acres) of the land will be reverted to the state government as state land," said Daon at a press conference at the Kuching DAP headquarters this morning.

"What is left, is 3,600 acres to be shared by 10,000 people."

The villagers had farmed, cultivated and planted their NCR land with fruit trees since living in the area, Daon added.

He further said that the villagers had formed the Singai land committee in 2009 - with its purpose to protect the Singai customary rights land.

The committee is against the proposed Singai perimeter survey undertaken by the Land and Survey Department - covering areas along the slope of Matang range right to Kampung Apar, Singai.

The land was gazetted under the Gazetted Notification 664 on March 3, 1977, but due to the villagers’ strong opposition and the Singai land committee in 2009, the gazette notification was revoked in 2010.

'Rightful claimants'

"Thus upon revocation, it has been recognised that the residents of the 12 villagers are the rightful claimants of the NCR land.

"But now, the land is undergoing another perimeter survey and with this survey, about 30 percent of the 12,000 acres belong to the Singai community, while 70 percent (or 8,400 acres) of the land will be reverted to the state government," Daon pointed out.

He said that the villagers have totally rejected the proposed perimeter survey, as it meant to take away their NCR land.

"We only allow the perimeter survey to be carried out (if it) includes the whole 12,000 acres as Singai NCR land," Daon added, urging the government to conduct a proper perimeter survey over the whole area - as previously held in the Gazette Notification 664 and thereafter documents of title - issued to the Singai community.

He held Nansian wholly responsible for the villagers' dilemma, as the latter had allegedly agreed with the perimeter survey conducted by the government.

Meanwhile, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen (right) - who was present at the press conference - said that the DAP Mas Gading division would carry out a signature campaign against the conduct of the perimeter survey by the Land and Survey Department.

Daon and Mordi Bimol of the DAP Mas Gading service centre had been appointed to carry out the signature campaign, he added.

Chong - who is the Bandar Kuching MP and state assemblyperson for Kota Sentosa - described the government's action as an “abuse of power”.

"You can say it is a daylight robbery," he noted.

What worried Chong was once the area had been declared state land, crony companies would then apply for the land.

"This is the standard practice of the state BN government," he said.
on MalaysiaKini(31/1/2015)