Several supporters of Sarawak PKR in Baram have been “punished” for allegedly voting for the opposition in the general election,  the party claims.

Hudud forum Baru BianState PKR chairperson Baru Bian said their applications for the planting of high-yielding rubber through the Rubber Industry Smallholders' Development Authority (Risda) had been withdrawn.

"We received reports and complaints from several people in Baram that their applications for rubber were withdrawn on the basis that they are supporters of PKR," he said.

"This is contrary to the promise made by Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu, who is also the minister for the modernisation of agriculture.
"He wants to see those in rural areas earning RM2,000 or more in four years' time if they take part now in the planting of this high-yielding rubber.

"We met Jabu during the last sitting of the state legislature and he promised us that he would help the rural people with regard to the eradication of poverty via this scheme," Baru Bian said.

He said Jabu must fulfil his promise to the people that rubber clones would be made available to the rural people in an effort to eradicate poverty.

"This is a very serious matter, and we will not take it lightly," he said.

The PKR leader also expressed concern over the ruling made by Risda that it would only approve applications to plant rubber in NCR land after such land had been verified by the Land and Survey Department.

"We are concerned as the Land and Survey Department is known to have a different definition from the decision of the Federal Court on what constitutes NCR land.

"Such applications are certain to be rejected," Baru Bian said, suggesting  that Risda, if it was serious, should ask the Tuai Rumah (longhouse chiefs) or community leaders to endorse that such land was NCR land and belonged to the applicant.

Baru Bian has also heard complaints from rural people that their applications to plant oil palm had also met with obstacles as the Land and Survey Department did not want them to plant oil palm in NCR land, which it claimed is state land.

~ Malaysiakini