Proposed Land Code amendment a letdown, says Baru

Baru (centre) gives a press conference at a local hotel here. He is flanked by state PKR deputy chairman Abdul Jalil Bujang (left) and Puncak Borneo MP William Moggie (right).

KUCHING, July 8: State Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Baru Bian says PKR would strongly object the Sarawak Land Code Amendment Bill 2018, which is scheduled to be tabled in the State Legislative Assembly sitting, which starts tomorrow.

He said the proposed Bill was far below the party’s expectations.

“The draft is not in line and not consistent with the decisions of the court as far as ‘Pemakai Menoa’ (territorial domain) and ‘Pulau Galau’ (communal forest reserves) is concerned.

“Because of that, my colleagues and I will participate in the debate. We will, of course, strongly oppose it. I will be stating my reasons and my ground. It (the Bill) is far from what we have expected,” Baru told a press conference here today.

Due to objections from the grassroots, Baru said he was surprised the Bill would be tabled instead of being dropped.

“I am aware that there are a lot of objections raised by various NGOs and parties. I thought these guys are quite well-versed on the issue.

“They may not be lawyers but I think this issue has been debated for quite some time. The ground has reasons to object to the proposed draft,” said Baru, who is also Works Minister.

The Ba Kelalan assemblyman and Selangau MP cautioned that if the Bill were to be tabled, the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) could expect a fiery and active debate from state PKR assemblymen.