Matek (front row, sixth left) with others show their placards during the gathering held in conjunction with Human Rights Day.
SIBU: Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) has expressed grave concern over the proposal to bring in 12,000 Bangladeshis to work in oil palm plantations in the state.
Sadia mapping officer Matek Geram said they feared that ‘Project IC’ which happened in Sabah might see a replication in Sarawak.
“The Bangladeshi workers would be issued with MyKads to make them Malaysian.
“Our worst fear is the Dayaks will be chased out of their homeland when that happens,” he said when met by reporters after attending a gathering organised by Gerakan Anak Sarawak (Gasak) at Sibu Town Square in conjunction with Human Rights Day.
Matek was the coordinating head of the gathering which was attended by about 70 people including PKR Kanowit secretary Thomas Laja and social activist Dr Johnny Kieh Dullah.
He said similar gatherings were held in Kuching and Miri yesterday.
On another matter, Matek said many oil palm smallholders in rural areas suffered tremendously after Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) imposed new regulations to curb the theft of fresh fruit bunches (FFB).
He said they had problem in selling their harvest to FFB collection centres and mills.
“We hope the government will look into this matter,” he said.
Matek also said Gasak had issued a memorandum signed by its chairman Abun Sui Anyit to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to ask the premier to look into the rights of the natives and people of Sarawak.
“This memorandum is to demonstrate our collective outrage at the dispossession of the affected peoples of Sarawak and indigenous peoples’ customary land and forcible displacement of their communities within Sarawak due to the development of plantations, logging, mining, development of dams and other commercial developments under the auspices of both public and private firms.
“We are calling on you to exert your influence over public sector entities along with Sarawak and foreign companies operating locally to hold them accountable to the provisions of the Federal Constitution with special attention to Articles 5, 8, 9, 13, 153 and 161A which outlines the rights to property, life and equality before the law and the safeguarding of natives’ interests and other peoples in Sarawak,” the memorandum said.