Sunday, June 16, 2013

Baru: Responsibility of Government, not Opposition, to develop rural areas

Sunday June 16, 2013

KUCHING: Barisan Nasional elected representatives should not blame the Opposition for the lack of development in rural constituencies, state PKR chairman Baru Bian said.
He said it was the responsibility of the Government, not the Opposition, to bring development.
“The allegation in Ba’Kelalan is that people from outside town went to campaign during elections and now they have left the place, leaving the area undeveloped.
“The MP for Ba’Kelalan is in the Government and Barisan elected representatives are in the Government. If there is any neglect of the area by the Government, they should be blaming their own representatives,” he told a press conference after a state PKR supreme council meeting and post-mortem here yesterday.
Baru, who is also Ba’Kelalan assemblyman, was commenting on a call by Lawas MP Datuk Henry Sum Agong for Barisan to wrest Ba’Kelalan from PKR in the next state election.
The Lawas parliamentary seat comprises Ba’Kelalan and Bukit Sari.
Sum had said that it was important for Barisan to win back Ba’Kelalan or it would remain as a backwater.
“The villagers will continue to suffer as those outsiders who made the loudest noise (during the polls) to get the people to oppose Barisan are now gone and back in the comfort of their towns,” he was reported as saying.
In response, Baru said PKR had a right to campaign and share its policies during elections.
“You cannot blame the Opposition or campaigners for coming as it is our right. Pakatan went on the campaign trail trying to form the next government, but of course we are not the Government.
“Barisan has been the Government for the last 50 years. Any neglect then and in the coming five years should fall squarely on Barisan.
“As the Government of the day, Barisan is now responsible for bringing development rather than blaming everything on the Opposition,” he added.
On another matter, Baru questioned Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing’s claim that pemakai menoa (communal land) andpulau galau (communal forest reserve) only made up 10% of native customary rights (NCR) land in the state.
Masing had said that NCR landowners should get their temuda (farming land) surveyed first in the ongoing perimeter survey rather than fighting for pemakai menoa and pulau galau to be included.
“I don’t think 10% is correct. If you include pemakai menoa and pulau galau, I think the total area of NCR land will double or triple.
“The Government should survey all the temudapemakai menoa andpulau galau in Sarawak to prove him right that it’s only 10%,” Baru said.
In any case, he said the state government still did not agree with the Federal Court’s decision that pemakai menoa and pulau galauconstituted NCR land and only recognised temuda as such.
“The government is even appealing against several High Court decisions recognising pemakai menoa and pulau galau as NCR land, so their position is very clear,” he added.
~ The Star

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