By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, March 18: Mulu United Land Action (MULA) members hope that Mulu assemblyman Dato Gerawat Gala will convey their strong objection towards the turning of their land into oil palm plantations and request that their water supply be restored.
MULA spokesperson Willie Kajan expressed relief to note that Gerawat is in support of their cause of protecting their land near Gunung Mulu National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
“We are glad to hear that Dato Gerawat is in support that all (logging and deforestation) works should be halted in the affected areas until this matter is resolved.”
“In his meeting with the oil palm company, we want him to put forward the message that we are totally against the oil palm plantation,” said Willie in a statement today.
He said he also hoped three issues within the affected area may be resolved, namely the water catchment area, the native customary rights (NCR) land status and the encroachment into their Berawan/Tering ancestral burial ground.
“Of course the top priority is to restore the water supply to Long Terawan immediately,” said Willie.
When contacted, he explained that the company’s logging and deforestation activities had altered the landscape of the area, resulting in no water supply to their longhouses.
“For three months already, we don’t have any water supply,” Willie added when contacted.
Willie reiterated that they are not interested in money.
“Money is just short gratification. We want the land returned to us for our future generations,” said Willie.
The Berawans, Terings and Penans of the area affected area have again risen up to protest against the logging or deforestation activities that have been taking place in what they claims is their land near Gunung Mulu National Park.
They had recently stopped two bulldozers from operating and recorded video footage of ongoing logging operations.
After their statement was published, DayakDaily was able to get in touch with Gerawat who said he would meet up with the private company which has been accused of continuing with logging/clearing land activities near Gunung Mulu despite been told to put all activities on hold pending investigation.
He expressed surprise that the oil palm company was continuing with its activities when it has been told not to do so until there is a resolution to the conflict at hand. — DayakDaily