DCM: Street protests will not solve NCR issues

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

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KUCHING, Oct 31: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas gave his assurance that the state government is committed to finding a solution for Pemakai Menua (territorial domain) and Pulau Galau (communal forest reserves) by coming up with definitions that will be accepted by all.

He said the biggest challenge the Pemakai Menua and Pulau Galau (PMPG) Committee encountered was that different groups have different understandings and definitions for the two land types.

“We need to find one definition which everyone agrees upon but that will take time,” he said.

Uggah, who is the chairman of the committee thus told native customary rights (NCR) landowners not to take to the streets as that would not help in bringing about any solution.

“Solutions will only come about through dialogues and discussions. It takes time. We are looking at the issue from various angles. We can’t rush. Rushing would not solve the problem,” Uggah told DayakDaily today.

The Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister hoped the NCR land owners would stay rational, patient and calm while the state government is looking into how best to define PMPG.

He was responding to the recent development where Sarawakian NCR landowners will be staging two peaceful protests.

The first is scheduled for Nov 7 at the Federal Court Building in Putrajaya and the other, on Nov 13, outside the State Legislative Assembly Complex, here while the State Legislative Assembly is in session.

“This is democracy and they are free to express themselves. But at the same time, they must understand that the state government is seriously looking for a solution for the issue.

“For quite a number of times, the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) said publicly that the state government will find a solution and we will,” said Uggah.

Although fully aware of the urgency to come out with a definition for PMPG, Uggah though refused to set a time frame, only promising to find a solution as soon as possible.

“The Chief Minister knows that we need to find a solution for the land issue and has instructed me to do so. We are committed to finding a solution. I have been putting all my effort and energy into it,” he said.

He said so far the PMPG Committee had gone through a number of consultations and received a few recommendations which are now being studied.

“And we welcome any constructive suggestions or input from anyone. We are open to any views and suggestions. Do come to see us and discuss the issue with us,” said Uggah. — DayakDaily