The Audacity of it All

A few days ago, twenty-five homes were destroyed by the state Land and Survey Department allegedly without any notice, with the occupants’ belongings still in their homes. This merciless act which occurred in a Sg Sekabai Iban village in Tatau, Bintulu has been strongly condemned by local and foreign native rights NGOs.

By Masterwordsmith

Malaysiakini reported HERE that the operation was undertaken after Tatau Land Sdn Bhd obtained a court order to evict the villagers, who claim native customary rights (NCR) to the land.

Miri-based Sarawak Native Customary Land Rights Network (Tahabas) described the act as ‘barbaric’. Most of the occupants were left without any place to live right now and all their belongings were also intentionally destroyed by the enforcement officers. Click HERE to read more.

Did self-proclaimed Dayak leaders such as Alfred Jabu, James Masing and William Mawan say or do anything to prevent this gross injustice from happening? Not that I am aware of!

What always puzzles the Iban community is that each time the Land and Survey Department evicts them from their ancestral land, the following seems to be the trend:

  1. More than 100 Land and Survey Enforcement officers are usually deployed to the scene.
  2. They are always backed up by a big police contingent.
  3. Their dwellings, houses or long houses are unceremoniously/mercilessly destroyed.
  4. None of the Iban politicians will raise a finger or make a squeak to help or protest.

How unkind and heartless are the authorities!!

How hopeless and insensitive are these Iban politicians because they do nothing when the occasion warrants their loyalty and protection for their kinsmen.

When opposition party leaders try to highlight the issues, the Iban politicians shut them up. But they themselves have NO GUTS, NO GUTS AT ALL TO DEFEND THEIR KINSMEN!!!

The audacity of it all!!!

Sarawak has huge mass of land with just 3 million people yet there are people born in their own ancestral land who are today called “squatters”!!!

Singapore is just 1/20 if not less with almost similar population size. Surely there are no Singaporean born citizens who are called squatters.

Presently, with more and more oil palm planters coming from the towns and outside of Sarawak, more and more Ibans are considered squatters in their own land.

Is this part of Taib’s Politics of Development that he and his supporters shouted about over the last few years?

Whilst Land and Survey Department officers dare to do what they do to the Ibans in rural areas, they have NO GUTS to demolish squatters houses in town areas.

One good example is in Miri. You don’t have to go far out into the suburbs to find squatter houses dotting the river and even on the road side. If one were to take the Pujut/Airport bypass, you cannot miss some 10-15 houses just 3-6 feet away from the roadside!!

Those houses have been there since the road was built and will continue to be there. I bet the Land and Survey Department will not dare to touch them!

There are plenty of other examples of where people blatantly break the same/similar laws that the long houses were accused of breaking but they are treated with more respect.

But the long houses people are not.