KUCHING, Jan 31: Ethnic groups other than the Dayak community are urged to also make an effort to define their ancestral communal land, which to the Dayaks, is called “Pemakai Menoa” and Pulau Galau (PMPG).
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing expressed his view that it was up to other racial groups to define their ancestral communal land.
“The conference on PMPG that was held recently in Kuching was the Dayak leaders’ effort to define PMPG, and ours was more inclusive. It included all Bumiputera in Sarawak — the Dayak, Malay and Melanau communities.
“Out of that seminar, the Malays made the effort to define what was their PMPG.
“There is nothing wrong in them making the effort in defining what is their ancestral communal land,” said Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak president.
However, he also pointed out that the state government will make a decision as to whether their claims were legitimate in accordance to their customs.
To him, time is of the essence, and all ethnic Bumiputera groups, especially the Melanau, must speed up in making their claims.
“Whether their definition is in accordance to their customs or ‘adat’, the state government will be the judge.
“It’s now up to the Melanau community and the various Dayak groups to make clear the definition of their PMPG.
“The quicker the various Bumiputera groups do their work, the better and faster it is for this government to decide on this contentious issue,” said Masing.
The Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister was referring to a recent issue which cropped up during the Conference for Community Leaders on PMPG which was held on Jan 25 and 26.
Although PMPG is a Dayak term and the discussions mainly concentrated on the Dayak community and their ancestral communal land, the Malay community however, was also given the opportunity to express their viewpoints and thus, their claims.
Presently, most Bumiputera groups have made their claims except for the Melanau community. — DayakDaily