Baru: ‘Wrong for Uggah to assume I did not object’

Baru Bian

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KUCHING, Oct 30: Works Minister Baru Bian has denied giving consent or agreed with the Sarawak government’s move in doing perimeter survey on Native Customary Rights (NCR) land under Section 6 of the State Land Code.

Baru, who co-chaired the federal-state governments Action Committee with Sarawak deputy chief minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, said it was wrong for the latter to ‘assume’ that consent was given when he did not voice any objection or disagreement during the “New Initiatives on Survey of NCR Land in Sarawak” meeting on March 18 and June 28 this year.

“Uggah was wrong to conclude that since there were no voice of dissension when the meetings were made. On March 18, I chaired the first Majlis Tindakan Negeri Sarawak (MTNS) meeting, which was held in Kuching. The MTNS was tasked with monitoring all federal government funded projects and initiatives in the state.

“At this first meeting, I raised about the RM40 million grant from federal government for a special programme for Sarawak Bumiputeras for 2019, whereby out of that amount, RM21.5 million was allocated specifically for surveying NCR lands.

“I have made it very clear that the grant reserved specifically for surveying the NCR lands be used to survey NCR lands under Section 18 of Sarawak Land Code, not Section 6,” Baru said in a statement.

He was responding to Uggah, who was reported as saying on Monday (Oct 28) that there was no voice of dissension and the consent was duly recorded in the minutes of the meeting on June 28.

“At the subsequent meeting of the committee on Sept 27, the minute was read out for confirmation. Again, there was no dissenting voice. If the Honourable Works Minister had seen it fit to object, he should have voiced out his disagreement then and not now,” Uggah was quoted as saying.

To this, the state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman reiterated that on the second meeting on June 28, a report presented by director of Lands and Survey on updates to the “New Initiatives on Survey NCR Land in Sarawak” wherein the acreage and number of titles issued under Section 6 and Section 18 were furnished.

After the presentation, Baru said Uggah asked him if he had any comments, which he responded “no comments”, because he has a different view on the matter.

The meeting was not a forum for the issue to be argued and debated, he added.

“I said this out of respect to Uggah, who was there representing the state government, which has a very different view on the definition of NCR land and how it should be surveyed.

“By making a polite response, it was very clear for all present to understand that in no way had I consented to accept that NCR should be surveyed under Section 6 or that I had changed my stance and position on this matter,” Baru said, adding that he was sure all those present had heard what he had said.

He added that Uggah should know the MTNS meeting was not the right forum for policies of either federal or state governments to be made and it was fundamentally formed to supervise and monitor the implementation of all federal government projects and programme for the people of Sarawak. — DayakDaily