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PKR: Plantation company harassing natives

 | August 16, 2012

A Sarawak PKR leader alleges that a plantation company in Bintulu destroyed a road linking three longhouses to their farms and gardens, which is affecting their livelihood.

BINTULU: A Sarawak PKR leader has alleged that a plantation company, in a joint- venture project with the Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA), destroyed a road linking three longhouses to their farms and gardens, thus affecting their livelihood.

In a statement today, Bintulu PKR division chief Paul Raja said the natives’ ordeal started when the plantation company first cut off the road to the farms on Aug 1.

“The road does not belong to the company as the road passes through the natives’ customary rights [NCR] land,” said Raja, adding that it was the only road linking the natives to their farms.

The three longhouses affected by it were the Emperan, Juti and Bana longhouses.

Not wanting a problem, Raja said that the longhouses’ residents repaired the road themselves on the following day.

However, Raja alleged that the company’s workers came again on Aug 5, escorted by police personnel from Miri, to cut off the road again despite protests.

“Four days later, the Emperan longhouse chief, Emperan Ak Gimang, his son Baba AK Emperan and three others were arrested for allegedly stealing oil palm,” said Raja, adding that they were released on bail on the same day.

The lawyer-politician said that in order to destroy the road completely, the plantation company had allegedly excavated the road and turned it into a drain early this week.

“Even the earth from the digging was transported elsewhere,” he claimed.

He urged the government to intervene in the matter as it involved the lives of Sarawak natives.

“It’s also a surprise that the police were providing security to a private entity to oppress the natives in this land dispute,” he added.


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