By Peter Sibon
BAU, Dec 14: GPS chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today admitted that Sarawak rights’ have been eroded over the past 56 years due to the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.
During the BN era, he pointed out that any decision and everything to be implemented must be based on consensus among the 13-member parties.
“That is why in the last 56 years, many our rights have been eroded. And under the late Tok Nan (Pehin Sri Adenan Satem) we in the leadership have decided that the time was right for us to get back our eroded rights.
“And during the 2016 state election, under Team Tok Nan, we put priority in restoring of our rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution which have been eroded, including oil and gas,” he addressed some 4,000-strong crowd at GPS Leaders with People programme in Krokong here today.
The Chief Minister reiterated that after the fall of BN in the last general election, the four component parties from Sarawak decided to leave the national coalition and formed Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
“After the fall of BN, we had a meeting among leaders from PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP. We all agreed that it was better to leave BN and let us rule ourselves in Sarawak. This to ensure that priority is always for Sarawak because only Sarawakians can look after Sarawak,” he said.
He emphasised that Sarawak’s right over immigration, land and resources including oil and gas must be protected and safeguarded.
“That’s is why we have to be very careful when choosing our leaders because we want to continue to emphasis on the rule of law. GPS uphold the rule of law. If that is our right, we will protect our right based on the law. This is our decision,” he stressed.
Abang Johari, who is also Finance Minister, highlighted that Sarawak’s economy is projected to grow at six per cent this year and beyond even in current uncertain economic climate.
“That is why we insisted that Sarawak must be governed by GPS because we are all ‘anak’ Sarawak. And as a leader, I decide based on consensus. That’s how we work,” he added.
On Native Customary Right (NCR) land, he elaborated that the Sarawak government has agreed for Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) and Land and Survey Department to collaborate to survey the Bidayuh NCR land in Bau.
“But I want the community leaders to cooperate and be present during the surveying process to facilitate the works. The faster we can survey the land, the faster we can develop it,” he urged.
He disclosed that under 2020 Sarawak Budget, the state Government has allocated RM40 million for surveying NCR land as the federal government has stopped giving Sarawak allocation for the purpose.
Abang Johari reassured the people that the Sarawak government will never grab the people’s land unless for development but appropriate compensation will be paid.
“Why should we grab people’s land. For what? We (government) have land… but if we need to acquire NCR land, we will pay the compensation,” he said.
At the function, Abang Johari also presented 579 land titles under Section 18 from six villages and another 827 land titles to Sarawak Land Consolidating and Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) participants.
The six villages comprised of Kampung Suba Bau, Kampung Suba Buan, Kampung Suba Bandar, Kampung Tasik Biru, Kampung Skiat lama and Kampung Skiat Baru; while the Salcra participants are from Salcra Bratak Estate, Salcra Jagoi Estate, Stenggang Salcra Estate and Salcra Undan Estate.— DayakDaily