The Ibans caught between tradition and fire safety

Amendment to by-laws on longhouse design considered

The Sarawak government will consider amending the by-laws regarding construction of longhouses.

According to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, the matter should be studied first as it requires the feedback and acceptance from the rural longhouse communities.

He also points out that the amendments are considered to prevent fires, which often strike longhouses, in that the construction of every new longhouse must be in compliance with the set standard.

We see that we may have to amend the existing act and the by- laws under the council, which may be mandatory.  But we cannot force such construction because we do not know if there’s any acceptance by the population, as every longhouse’s construction is a tradition. – CM Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

It is known that Sarawak Building Ordinance (SBO) 1994 serves to regulate the implementation, development and construction of any extension to any building; and they must not be undertaken without the written approval from the local authorities.

Abang Johari said the amendments should also be examined not only by law, but also with reference from the Fire and Rescue Department before the construction of any building.

According to him, Sarawak has a standardized design for the construction of a new longhouse that includes the installation of a fire wall too, but this has not been made mandatory.

It is observed that there are longhouses, including one in Baram, that use the standardised design.

“There are some who follow the design, where they have empty space in the central section before the kitchen area; some do not follow it because it is not mandatory,” he said.

Earlier, Abang Johari declared the closing of the ‘Satok Community Fire Programme 2018’, where he was accompanied by Fire and Rescue Department Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman.

Source: The Borneo Post

The second half of 2018 is ending, the price of oil palm remain low

The question for Teresa Kok now is whether the overwhelming response from Chinese investors to do business in Malaysia that she received during her visit to China shortly after she was made minister – when she met government-linked companies and government agencies – has been translated into actual investments.

She was very confident then, saying palm oil prices will recover significantly in the second half of 2018 because of the response she received. Does it happen?

Source: The Star, 16 Dec 2018

Uggah names Xavier as the federal minister who wanted uniform land code

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said he was referring to Water, Land and Mineral Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar when indicating that a federal minister wanted a uniform land code for the nation instead of three land codes each covering Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

Uggah, who is Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said Xavier made the remark following the Majlis Tanah Negara (National Land Council) meeting in Putrajaya last week, that it was unfair for the country to have three laws governing its land administration.

“Dr Xavier had remarked that it was unfair that the country should be governed by three laws in its land administration.

“He (Xavier) said it had the Kanun Tanah Negara. Then Sabah had its own Land Code. Sarawak too had its own Land Code,” said Uggah who attended the meeting representing the Sarawak government.

Uggah said he immediately interrupted Xavier from speaking and asked him to withdraw his statement.

“By his own very word, it seems Dr Xavier is insinuating that the country should have just one national Land Code covering all. If there is no such intention, why in the first place, did he brought it up in his remark?”

“That was why I immediately interrupted his speech and although it was rather rude of me to do, I had to stand up for Sarawak,” he said.

Uggah issued the statement in response to a PKR social media post challenging him to name the minister concerned to prove that he was not “creating something out of nothing”.

Source: The Borneo Post

Screenshot of The Borneo Post news on 11th December 2018