Dayak NGO wants state government find comprehensive solutions over NCR disputes

Coalition spokesperson Dr Dusit Jaul (left) with Dayak National Congress deputy president Richard Lias at the press conference. -

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KUCHING: A coalition of nine Dayak based NGO wants the state government to find a comprehensive solutions to Native Customary Rights land disputes to calm the restless situation.

The coalition spokesperson Dr Dusit Jaul said the promise made by the government to amend the land code has not been able to calm down the native landowners over their lands encroached by the government, plantation and logging companies.

“The first step that the government must take to calm down the situation is to issue directive to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to put on hold all NCR land cases pending before the court until amendments to Sarawak Land Code are made into law before the end of this year,” he told reporters.

Dusit said the native communities whose cases are pending before the courts are still fighting their cases to defend their rights and that there is fear among the natives that the government doesn’t seem to take them seriously.

“Now with the latest court ruling on the late Bill Kayong’s case, there is no reaction at all from the state government.

“With the acquittal of the alleged mastermind of the murder, the native communities are now much more angry and restless. It paints a picture that the native landowners can’t even get justice in the court.

“The government must not fear in recognising our Pemakai Menoa. We are not against any development.

“What we want is that any development affecting our lands must be in compliance with the standard set up under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (or UNDRIP),” Dusit, who is also the Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association president, said.

He reminded the authorities, especially the government, to fully recognise pemakai menua and pulau galau.

“The failure to do so will end up creating more problems, instead of finding solutions,” he said.

At the press conference, Sarawak Dayak Iban Assocation (SADIA) was represented by its president Sidi Munan, Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SGDA) by Dusit, Dayak National Congress(DNC) by deputy president Richard Lias Pesatuan Dayak Sarawak (PEDAS) by Victor Ason, Gempuru Besai Kristian Jako Iban Malaysia (GBKJIM) by Patrick Sibat Sujang, Dayak Rights Action Force (DRAF) by Anthony Ijau, Serian Iban Remun Association (SIRA) by Bunsin Kalun, Dayak Think-Tank Group led by Lina Kunjak while Sarawak Society for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (SCRIPS) did not send its representative. –