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KUCHING, Nov 23: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri James Jemut Masing has rubbished an online article and clarified that there was no clash between PRS and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) over amendments to laws involving native customary rights (NCR) land.
The article, published by a former journalist on his personal Facebook page, claimed that Masing had a heated exchange of views on NCR matters with PBB acting deputy president and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and two other PBB leaders during a Barisan Nasional (BN) meeting before the recently concluded sitting of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).
Uggah is also the chairman of the Pemakai Menoa and Pulau Galau (PMPG) committee tasked with finding a solution for the longstanding NCR land issues.
The writer said Masing wanted PKR Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian’s motion on the amendments of the Land Code in respect of ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’ to be adopted with some amendments as his constituents were involved in an ongoing NCR legal battle to claim back some 7,635.96 ha of land. He further claimed that Masing absented himself when Baru’s motion was rejected during the DUN sitting as he did not want to be seen rejecting the motion.
However, Masing denied the claims by the writer, saying he was absent when Baru tabled his motion that afternoon as he had urgent matters to attend to.
“The article was speculative in nature,” replied Masing, also state Deputy Chief Minister, who is currently not in Malaysia.
In a statement earlier today, Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) also urged both Masing and Uggah to clarify the allegations contained in the online article.
“PBDSB would like an explanation from Masing and Uggah, why both deputy chief ministers have different views on Baru’s motion on NCR. I had read Baru’s motion and it seems very comprehensive to solve NCR issues in Sarawak,” said PBDSB president Cobbold John.
Cobbold also urged Masing to quit BN as PBB had ignored the view of a fellow BN component party. He said PRS, the second largest component party in state BN with 11 state seats and six parliament seats, has no weight in BN and it would only benefit the Dayaks in the state once they leave BN.
As ‘old friends’ who were in PBDS together before joining the opposition, Cobbold urged Masing, who he said used to be vocal in opposing the government’s policies under former chief minister and now Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to follow his principle. — DayakDaily