KUCHING, Nov 2: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) says the recent statement by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas not to take to the streets over native customary rights (NCR) land issues as that would not help to bring about any solution, shows how lightly the government takes the matter.
Party information chief Bobby William pointed out NCR, which includes ‘pemakai menoa’ (territorial domain) and ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest reserves) (PMPG) issues, did not just started this year.
“It is the frustrations with continued disappointments within the Dayak community which has led up to the rally being organised.
“Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas should know very well what had been going on in his own Dayak community — ever since the Dayak are exposed to the technologies of social media, the NCR agenda had always been the main topic amongst all Dayak’s agenda. Why Uggah had to stipulate it as if the matters of NCR and PMPG issues are quite recent when the issues had been prolonged for quite a long period of time already.”
He said finding the solution is taking too long and shows that the Sarawak government only took the issues seriously this year.
He also said the Dayak community had already given a lot of time for the state government to look into this matter but somehow the state government thinks that Dayaks rallying for the issue is rushing them instead.
“Where is the logic of it? When court case after court case, the Dayak community have continuously lost their own land to the Permit Lease companies, which has been going on for countless years. How could our state Deputy Chief Minister make his recent statement giving the impression that Dayak indigenous communities are unreasonable people instead?
“Not even one single Dayak minister has attended any hearing of NCR related court cases at all. If they are really the ‘wakil rakyat’ (people’s representative) as they claim to be, why don’t they start by taking the necessary actions (due) years ago? They should have taken the initiative to attend all the court cases and start doing their research for an amicable solution years ago.
Bobby claimed the Dayak will not stay silent as of now anymore, because the issue is getting out of hand after being prolonged for so many years and he agreed as per the statement made by Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) president Dr Dusit Jaul, that the government should expect more protests, if NCR land issues are not resolved.
Meanwhile, Bobby also drew attention to the long-delayed Sri Aman Hospital project, ‘before it gets worst like the NCR issue’.
He said it was not in the Dayaks’ nature to get emotional, but ‘when push comes to shove, being oppressed tends to provoke our emotion to finally take a stand under one tribe with all of its clan, to continue to voice out our citizens’ rights not only as Sarawakians but also as Malaysians.’
Yesterday, three Dayak-based NGOs released a strongly-worded joint statement highlighting the Dayak community’s increasing frustration over the state government’s seeming apathy towards NCR issues.
SDGA, Dayak National Congress (DNC) and Pemansang Dayak (PD) said they were ‘greatly disappointed’ with recent developments and with Uggah’s statement that street rallies will not resolve NCR issues.
Amongst others, they said the government had created the problem and that development had been abused at the expense of the natives.
The NGOs also said the government must undertake four measures to show its sincerity in solving NCR issues: withdraw all appeals against the decisions of the courts recognising PMPG; stop issuing provisional leases/leases (PLs) and licence to plant forests (LPFs) immediately; review and revoke any PLs and LPFs that fails to comply with their conditions; and establish a mechanism and tribunal to settle all NCR land disputes. — DayakDaily