A routine check for illegal logging by a Sarawak NCR landowner landed him in police custody.
SARIKEI: Minggat anak Nyakin, who has a parcel of NCR land at Sungai Rotan and Sungai Penyaru Kuba (Kiba) Sarikei, found out the hard and painful way that standing up for his rights is no easy task and could cost him his life.
Lying in Sarekei Hospital after being viciously attacked while checking on alleged illegal logging activity on his NCR land, Mingat has to now deal with being under police remand for trespassing.
Said Ngumbang Anak Barau of the Tahabas (native landowners Network): “Not only was he (Mingat) badly beaten up, he was also arrested by the police.
“Mingat and his son Juan went to their land to check on illegal logging. When they found out there was still logging going on, they tried to talk to the manager but instead were attacked.”
According to Ngumbang, the incident occurred on Feb 14.
In December 2010, Mingat reported alleged illegal logging over his land to the police, the Land and Survey Department as well as the Public Works Department and called for an investigation.
On the day of the incident, Mingat and Juan had decided to check on the situation. Upon finding continued logging activity, they decided to drop in at the log-pond and tried negotiating for compensation with its manager.
The negotiation went sour and before Minggat and his son could leave the office building, they were attacked viciously at its footsteps.
“Although badly hurt, his son managed to escape in the darkness towards a nearby oil palm plantation, while his father was left in an unconscious state at the footsteps of the log-pond manager’s office.
“Regardless of any wrongdoings or crimes that Minggat or his son may have committed, the source of the problem has yet to be investigated satisfactorily by the authorities.
“Minggat’s family agrees that Minggat should be fairly investigated, and so does the timber company that has been operating for many years on NCR lands allegedly without a relevant or valid licence.
“The alleged illegal logging seems to be proceeding unhindered thus far.
“A police report has been lodged by Minggat’s wife on Feb 16 regarding the attack. The attackers have not been arrested,” he said.
“The name of the timber company which owns the log-pond remains unknown to the rest of us, while there is no telling when investigations will be made on Minggat and his son’s attackers.
“What is certain is that Minggat and Juan will remain hospitalised for a few more days or even weeks.
“Today, their pains are too debilitating for them to even ponder what they will do next.” Ngumbang added.
Taken from Free Malaysia Today