NCR land encroachment: 60 frustrated Ulu Kelawit villagers in town to lodge police reports

By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, Nov 12: Some 60 villagers from Ulu Kelawit in Tatau braved the afternoon rain to come to the Kuching District Police Headquarters to lodge police reports against a quarry mining company.

They alleged that the company had encroached onto their native customary rights (NCR) land and they had lodged several police reports in Tatau and Mukah, but to no avail.

The most recent police reports lodged were in Sibu late last month, but no actions were taken.

Because of that, native land rights activist Nicholas Mujah Ason, acting as their spokesman, said they decided to come to Kuching with the hope that the relevant authorities would take notice and investigate the matter.

Mujah (front, wearing white shirt) showing the writ issued by the quarry company to the villagers.

“This community from Ulu Kelawit in Tatau are coming here to lodge police reports because they are defending their NCR land that has been encroached by a quarry mining company.

“When they were defending their land last month, setting up blockades to prevent the company from entering, 12 of them were detained by Mukah police. So they are lodging police reports here because they were wrongfully detained.

“They have been making police reports in Tatau but no actions were taken. It was also the same in Mukah. Recently, at the end of Oct in Sibu police station, also no further action taken,” said Mujah.

Mujah speaking to reporters at the Kuching District Police Headquarters after helping the villagers to lodge police reports.

He claimed that another reason why they wanted to lodge the police report was for their safety. Since that incident where 12 of them were arrested, a stranger was spotted stalking them everywhere they go, from Sibu to Kuching.

Mujah also revealed that the villagers were also issued a writ by the quarry company.

“So, they have appointed a lawyer to defend them in court,” he said. — DayakDaily