Monday, February 17, 2014

A hope for policy changes

Updated: Friday February 14, 2014 MYT 4:22:59 PM
KUCHING: Incoming Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has been urged to change the state government’s policy on native customary rights (NCR) land to include pemakai menoa (communal land) and pulau galau (forest reserve).
Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian (pic), who is also a senior NCR lawyer, said he had submitted all the relevant case laws on NCR land from the High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court to Adenan at the last State Legislative Assembly sitting in November.
“We were hoping that he would make an official recognition of pemakai menoa andpulau galau as NCR land during the sitting.
“Unfortunately he announced the official stand of the state government, which only recognises temuda (farmed land).
“With all these court authorities in his hand, we hope Adenan would be brave enough to change the position of the government and recognise pemakai menoaand pulau galau as native customary land,” Baru told reporters at the state PKR headquarters here yesterday.
Baru also hoped that Adenan would be receptive and respond actively to the issues faced by Sarawakians, including lack of infrastructure and utilities in the rural areas.
“Of course we would like to congratulate him on the appointment and wish him well,” he added.
On the by-election for Balingian, which is expected to be called when Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud vacates the seat, Baru said the state Pakatan Rakyat would discuss the matter at a meeting tomorrow.
He said although Balingian was given to PKR at the last state elections in 2011, it did not matter if DAP and PAS showed interest in contesting the seat as all three parties would talk together first to examine the candidates and issues involved in order to present a united front.
“This would be an opportunity for Pakatan to make a united stand, get the best candidate and see the response on the ground.
“I think it will be a barometer for us to see whether people on the ground are happy with Taib stepping down, with Barisan Nasional’s policies or with the successor,” he said.
~ The Star

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