KUCHING, Sept 3: Sarawak PKR’s top priority following a state election victory would be to restore and protect by way of legislation and amendments the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land of the people of Sarawak.
Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman Larry Sng pointed out that the ruling state government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and its previous Barisan Nasional (BN) alliance had consistently failed to ensure the protection and legal rights of customary land.
“There is more than enough land in Sarawak for every citizen.
“The people’s NCR land was sold or leased at very low prices to commercial logging companies and developers of palm oil estates,” he claimed in a statement today.
Sng thus stressed that a new Keadilan-led state government would enhance the role and functions of Sarawak’s Land and Survey Department to properly conduct perimeter mapping and land survey studies.
“Funds will be provided to carry out a complete study which can accurately identify the NCR land boundaries and expedite the issue of ‘Land Titles/Deeds’.
“The new government will also work closely with local communities and Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak. These surveys will be completed within a five year period,” he pledged.
Sng, who is also Julau MP, stated that a Special Land Tribunal would also be established immediately to arbitrate and resolve disputes over land rights and boundaries of NCR land and settlement of overdue cases.
“Development undertaken in the native domain or territory must be in accordance with sustainable and environmentally friendly models, taking into account socio-cultural factors of surrounding communities, and it must enlist the active participation of Sarawak’s ‘anak jati’, the native people and their unique history with their ‘menoa’ in Sarawak.
“We will review all current concessions, prioritising those where complaints have been lodged,” he said.
Furthermore, Sng added that a sustainable and progressive environment and forestry policy would be implemented with a people-centred reforestation programme to protect the environment and economically empower local communities through international climate change carbon offsetting schemes.
“We will pay communities to reforest their land and protect the environment for generations to come.
“These policies will enable us to restore Sarawak’s wealth to the majority rather than concentrating it in the minority hands of a few elite political families and timber tycoons,” he said.
Sng emphasised that these goals were all clearly achievable as land rights were under the purview of the state government and would not require federal government intervention.
“GPS and its component parties have had 57 years to implement these reforms but their failure to do so amounts to gross neglect of the rights and well being of the people of Sarawak,” he said. — DayakDaily