Villagers in Simunjan allege land grab by a firm, lawmaker

By Nigel Edgar

KUCHING, Dec 7: Forty-five villagers of Kampung Lubok Bunting in Simunjan are alleging a land grab by a company with the assistance of an elected representative.

The villagers, represented by lawyer Dominique Ng, went to the state Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters this morning to lodge a report over the issue. But due to some legal procedures, the report had to be done only on Monday (Dec 10) as certain things needed to be sorted out first.

Ng briefed reporters that in 2001, the villagers were promised a joint venture plantation scheme, where they would get a certain emolument from the joint venture.

Seeing that as an income opportunity, the villagers signed up for it. But now, they believed it is an elaborate scheme to acquire some 1,000 ha of their village extension land.

Ng (front, white shirt) speaking to reporters while Kampung Tanah Adat Lubok Bunting working committee chairman Hapeni Fadil (on Ng’s right) and others look.

Refraining from revealing the names of the company and the lawmaker as an investigation is ongoing, Ng said the villagers smelled something was amiss when the joint venture certificate they received bore a different company’s name than the one they had signed up with.

“The bottom line is that they (villagers) are coming here to lodge a report to MACC to tell how they lost their land. They want MACC to investigate and to get down to the bottom of things because MACC now is under a new government. We hope investigations would be done extensively,” said Ng.

Ng (white shirt, holding a document) representing 45 villagers of Kampung Lubok Bunting to lodge a report to MACC against a company and an elected representative.

He explained that due to the predicament, the land now belonged to a plantation company, and the villagers were not allowed to enter the acquired land, which used to be part of their village.

“They (villagers) cannot even go to their farms and were treated as trespassers in their own village,” he claimed.  — DayakDaily