Friday, November 6, 2009
Sarawak Government vs Minority Natives
As reported in The Star, the stand-off between Kenyah minority natives and an oil-palm giant in the Belaga district in central Sarawak is another case of the continued discrimination against Sarawak natives by the Sarawak state government. The Sarawak police continues to show its bias by providing protection for big oil palm companies to rob the natives of their land.
The oil-palm company, a subsidiary of a Miri-based land development consortium, had allegedly bulldozed its way into a plot of land to open up an access road into areas earmarked for an oil-palm plantation.
The natives claimed that the area targeted for clearing was their native customary rights land, inherited from their ancestors.
The company claimed that it has been given the concession right by the State Land and Survey Department to develop the land.
Workers from the company had ploughed their way through a plot of farmland adjacent to the native’s longhouse despite desperate attempts by the villagers to stop them.
The natives have lodged police reports against the workers for trespassing on their farms and uprooting their fruit trees, but they claimed that the police were siding with the company and were helping to provide security escort to its workers.