I am writing this post based on my own experience in dealing with NCR land issues. More than a decade ago, a timber company encroached into our land with a clear purpose of extracting timber from our pulau (land reserved). My kampong folks were quick to detect their encroachment and immediately confront the timber workers.
A few of my kampong folks were jailed for stoping this workers. We were advised to get a court injunction to stop the extraction of timber immediately. So, our tuai rumah and his JKKK members went to Kuching to look for a legal firm who could assist them.
Most of the legal firm, especially those that are in the panel list for government matters, financial institution, and anything that connects them to the government and local authorities, decline to take up our case. Hence, we are only left with legal firms that are owned by the members of the opposition.
What choice do we have? The only choice is to engage this legal firm because we need to get a court injunction fast. Later, we finally get a court injunction to stop the extraction of timber from our land.
Further to that, we seek to claim the land (the NCR land) as ours. To do that, we paid a private surveyor to conduct a survey on our land and to draw a GPS-recorded land boundary with all our neighbouring longhouses.
During one of the court session, the court has ordered the Land and Survey Dept to go to our land and verify our claim. The dept have to do that within 30 days. Until today, after more than a decade, the Land & Survey department never execute the court order!
We have no intention to go against the government. All we want is to tell them that the land is ours. The burial ground is there. The tusut is there. Any elders from that area knows that the land is ours right from our ancestors who have migrated from the Kapuas Basin.
How to prove this to the government? Even the Land & Survey did not go to the said land to check our claim. Our ADUN, our MP knows about the case. But too bad, there are not helping us at all. Aren’t they supposed to assist the government to clarify the matter.
When we engaged a legal firm owned by member of the opposition, the government said we are taken in by them. And, we are looked upon as supporting the opposition. Do we have a choice? Tell us any other legal firm that are interested to take up NCR issues without jeopardising their legal business. If there is, I am sure all other Dayaks who have similar case will have more options to choose from.
To a layman like me, we look at the government as intentionally delaying the case (probably hoping all the elders dies earlier).
- We have never been consulted or visited when the government issue timber concession over our land.
- We only knows that the government have issued timber license when we see the tractors.
- The Land & Survey never even pay us a visit to check on the genuinity of our claim.
- The ADUN and MP knows but do nothing.
- Only legal firms owned by the opposition are willing to take up our case.
- We are not going against the government. We never did. The Ibans never did. Only the government says so!
Can we chance that by changing the government?
Maybe, and it can take years to implement. It is not easy to reverse contractual matters.
One question from me – is the government really really sincere? With all the backlog, as of now – YOU ARE (THE GOVERNMENT) NOT!
So, if YB Lihan is reading this, please help us since our own ADUN and MP can’t do anything about it.