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Baru wants Dayak BN reps to back land reforms

 | July 25, 2013

Will vocal Sarawak Barisan Nasional leaders support a motion to amend the state Land Code involving NCR land if proposed by the opposition?

KUCHING: Barisan Nasional’s Dayak assemblymen should set aside politics and put their money where their mouth is if they are genuinely concerned about the rights of NCR (native customary rights) landowners.

Daring these elected representatives to support his proposed motion in the state legislative assembly to amend the Land Code, state PKR leader Baru Bian said: “If they are really concerned, they should support my motion in the state assembly when it sits towards the end of this year.

“I am testing the sincerity of Dayak YBs especially people like (James) Masing, if they dare to support me.”

There are 20 Dayak elected reps from the Barisan Nasional and four from the opposition.

Bian is proposing a motion to amend the Land Code concerning the recognition of ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest) and ‘pemakai menua’ (territorial domain).

“I would strongly suggest that the definition of NCR land under Section 2 of the Sarawak Land Code be amended to include ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pulau galau’ as such land had since been affirmed by the court as land created in accordance with the adat or custom of the natives of Sarawak.

“I am planning to submit a motion on such amendments at the next sitting of the Dewan Undangan Negeri and I look forward to the support of Dayak YBs from the Barisan Nasional for the motion.

“This is consistent with their present calls to amend the land laws,” said Bian.

Over the past weeks Land Development Minister James Masing, the Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) deputy president Celestine Ujang and Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) party information chief Peter Minos have called for the amendments to Dayak adat or customs that hinder the development of NCR land.

Two Dayak non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have also expressed support for amendments to recognise ‘pemakai menua’ and ‘pulau galau’.

‘Don’t politicise issue’

Both the Kuching branch of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) and the Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) have urged Dayak BN assemblymen to support a proposal to amend the laws relating to NCR land “even if tabled by the opposition”.

SADIA’s Kuching branch chairman Anthony Nait said: “As responsible representatives they should support anything that will benefit the people. It does not matter who makes the proposal.”

Meanwhile SDNU which has more than 100,000 members, said a proposal to amend “any laws” relating to NCR would enable the community to catch up with the country’s progress.

Said its vice-president Anthony Banyan: “The proposal should not be politicised by politicians for their own gains.

“Anybody can propose it but it must be put in black and white and display for public viewing with ample time given for the Dayaks to read and study and to make comments.”

SDNU is headed by Social Development Minister William Mawan and his deputy is Alexander Nanta Linggi, deputy minister of regional and rural development.

All their calls followed the recent Federal Court’s decision which prohibited the sale of NCR land to anyone outside the community as well as to non-natives.


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