State PKR leaders to help Mulu natives in land dispute case, claims Bruno Manser Fund

Mulu natives meeting PKR Sarawak leaders in Kuching. (From left) See, Ukau, Penan headman Panai Irang (Ba Abang), Baru and Berawan leader Willie.

KUCHING, March 17: Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) of Switzerland claimed the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak leadership is supportive of the natives living near the Gunung Mulu Unesco World Heritage Site.

The NGO released a press statement today, pointing out that Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian and vice-president See Chee How met the affected communities here on Saturday.

The Berawans, Terings and Penans informed Baru (who is also Works Minister and Selangau MP), and See (who is also Batu Lintang assemblyman) of their struggles to safeguard their native customary rights (NCR) land, which they claimed is being threatened by an oil palm plantation company.

“Penan headman Ukau Lupung from Bateu Bungan and Berawan leader Willie Kajan from Kampung Melinau informed the PKR leaders on the situation on the ground, where logging is ongoing despite promises by the Sarawak government that logging operations would be stopped until a solution for the conflict is found.

“The Penan communities of the region unanimously reject logging on their land, while the Berawan are split over the issue.

“Both the Penan and Berawan have overlapping claims over the same land that have been sustainably used by the communities for centuries,” said the statement.

The statement further claimed that See, who is also a lawyer, would represent the affected natives in the case.

“Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, who is a lawyer by profession, assured the Penan and Berawan leaders that he would personally represent them to help them secure their Native Customary Rights over the disputed area,” said the statement. — DayakDaily