Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Parliament to hear of 'NCR land grab'

Aidila Razak

An alleged land-grab by a company linked to Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud will feature in the debate on the Royal Address, when the new session of Parliament begins on March 7.

NONEContacted yesterday, Batu MP Tian Chua said he will raise the issue and also speak to Pakatan Rakyat parliamentarians from Sarawak to add their views.

“There is a tendency for Sarawak parliamentarians to say that they know Sarawak matters best, so I will discuss with Pakatan MPs from Sarawak about them raising the matter too,” he said.

The land in Mulu, on which native customary rights are exerted, was allegedly grabbed by Borsarmulu Sdn Bhd, which is developing the Royal Mulu Resort.

A report has been lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission alleging abuse of power and conflict of interest by Taib.

“The project will be mentioned specifically, but the issue will be raised alongside indigenous land rights, as this is a major concern in Sarawak,” said Chua.

“Someone may say that land is the concern of the state government, but constitutionally, the federal government has an obligation to protect indigenous rights, according to Article 153 of the federal constitution.”

Article 153 states: 'It shall be the responsibility of the Yang diPertuan Agong to safeguard the special position of the Malays and native of any of the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities.'

'From the interior to KL'

Last Saturday, Chua had met with 30 representatives of indigenous peoples of Sarawak, including those affected by the Royal Mulu Resort project.

baram residents demoThe group, which travelled to Kuala Lumpur last Friday to spread word about their predicament, had held demonstrations and distributed leaflets, mainly against the building of a dam in Baram.

The demonstrations were held in Bukit Bintang and at Pasar Seni in Kuala Lumpur, as well as in Putrajaya. At Pasar Seni, an unidentified man told them to disperse.

“We came from the interiors to Kuala Lumpur to tell people about our issues, so (government leaders) won't be able to say that everything is okay in Sarawak,” said group representative Willie Kajan.

The group consisted of representatives from the Penan, Berawan, Iban, Orang Ulu and Dayak communities, with the oldest representative aged 80.

Taken from Malaysiakini.

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