Sunday, April 4, 2010

The NCR Land Issue

The political scenario in Sarawak looks good but is really not so good. Leaders from the BN have failed in many areas to fulfill the peoples' wishes. Sometimes their incompetency is glaring. Their words are often accepted as a norm. It seems no one dares to challenge the BN leaders because for many Sarawakians, their "rice bowl" comes first.

One topic that has always been of concern and has caught attention again when Elections are near is the NCR Land Issue. Such "Native Customary Rights" land in Sarawak may cover vast areas that run into hundreds of acres of virgin jungle fauna. They span throughout the breath of interior Sarawak where the natives comprising the predominantly Ibans, Bidayuhs, Kayans, Kenyahs and other indigenous groups reside.

The NCR land issues are a never ending feud between landowners and wealthy companies who have been given lucrative land leases by the government. How and who got what are never revealed and made transparent to the public, such information will remain somewhat "classified", the eventual real losers are the rakyat, the gainers are some wittingly self serving leaders of the BN government. Many of these companies, purportedly "contractors" have bulldozed everything in their path and their encroaching activities have caused annoyance amongst NCR landowners. Sometimes compensations are meted out and paid without the notice of the authorities but more often than not, landowners are taken for a ride. Many too ended up "swindled". Those who can afford it find their way to the courts and this protest action have increased the number of court cases in the state. NCR land matters pending hearings in the courts are all really uncalled for if the so called "NCR Land Task Force" had made a good job of handling things. But it has failed because of one Iban. For up teem years it was headed by DCM Alfred Jabu whom it was reported, resigned recently to make way for Dr.James Masing who is the land Development Minister. What Masing will do is left to be seen. He's expected to perform and perform ceremoniously well if Najib's KPI is to be of any good. Or will he, like his predecessor be cowed into submission by the works of another man?

The irony of it all is that Land matters are under the care of the Chief Minister of Sarawak and he does what he pleases when he pleases.

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