A High Court ruling here has ruled that native customary rights (NCR) land includes pulau galau and pemakai menua,but the state government uses Section 6 of the land code to mislead natives.
KUCHING: Land Development Minister James Masing has been accused of “misleading” native customary rights (NCR) land owners.
Instead of ensuring that the perimeter survey, promised by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, is carried out in all NCR lands including longhouse forest reserve (pulau galau) and territorial domain (pemakai menua), Masing’s saying that the demarcations will be done on farmland (temuda) and old longhouse sites (tembawai).
His call for native landowners to “fight” to survey “what is yours” in reference to the temuda and tembawai land has irked lawyers here.
Masing told landowners here: “Fight for the survey of what is yours (temuda and tembawai) first before thinking of getting pemakai menua and pulau galau, which is made up of 10% of the overall NCR land in Sarawak be surveyed first.
“Why fight for the 10% only to lose 90% in the end?”
Citing a High Court ruling here that recognised NCR land to include pulau galau and pemakai menua, senior NCR lawyer Baru Bian criticised Masing for trying to mislead the NCR landowners.
“Does Masing know that NCR lands include pulau galau and pemakai menua as decided by the High Court?
“We want NCR land including pulau galau and pemakai menua to be perimeter surveyed under Section 18 of the Land Code and not under Section 6.
“Section 18 gives titles and ownership to NCR land. Section 6 does not.
“They (BN leaders) say we are misleading the people. It is BN which is misleading the people by asking them not to bother about pulau galau and pemakai menua which Masing said constitutes about 10% of the NCR land in the state.
“I think Masing is not correct. If you were to include pulau galau and pemakai menua, I believe the total acreage of NCR land in Sarawak could be triple the official statics of the government which says that NCR land as of now is 1.5 million hectares.
“How can he say that the people should not bother about pulau galau and pemakai menua?” he asked.
Oil palm companies waiting
According to a Tuai Rumah (longhouse chief), two things that the NCR land owners fear are that once the perimeter survey is carried out under section 6, their NCR land would be communalized and converted into native communal reserve, otherwise also known as NCR .
If this happens than any time the government wants the land, it would not have to pay compensation on the property as legally the government owns the reserved land.
Secondly, Section 6 will determine only the temuda and tembawai as NCR land.
Outside of it, all lands including pulau galau and pemakai menua are state land, said the Tuai Rumah, who did not want to be named.
He said that several crony oil palm companies are ready to apply for pulau galau and pemakai menua in his area for the planting of oil palm.