Our MP cheated us, claim natives


By Luke Rintod, FMT

KOTA BELUD: Natives in Kampung Rampayan Ulu near here, who had placed their trust in a local MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan, recently learnt that he had allegedly ‘sold’ their land to a private company.

The Muslim natives, known as the Iranuns, claimed that Umno parliamentarian Rahman had ‘supported’ a local company’s bid to takeover 1,200 hectares of their native customary rights (NCR) land in the village.

The villagers’ disclosure has shocked many quarters, who until now thought that only the KadazanDusun community’s NCR rights, were being trampled on by companies with powerful links to the state’s powers-that-be.

According to the villagers, Rahman was at the land office when the company’s bid was approved.

“We have a copy of his letter supporting it and we found out that the MP was there when the district’s Land Utilisation Committee (LUC) approved, in August 2010, a plan to give the land to the company, over our NCR claims.

“This case is now on the table of our Chief Minister, as land matters are state jurisdiction.

“We are now waiting for CM’s action to solve this fast,” said Akim Salleh, deputy chairman of a joint villages action committee, Jawatankuasa Bertindak Tanah Warisan Kg Rampayan.

Akim told FMT that the villagers might also write to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak soon because it involved government leaders.

Akim also said that he had received a letter signed by Suhakam secretary Jasmih Selamat on Friday assuring the villagers that the human rights commission would investigate the issue as it concerned their NCR rights and the human rights of natives.

More ‘deals’

Self-employed Akim, 54, said he was saddened by the fact they had trusted Rahman and asked him to be the middleman to solve their problem.

Rahman, Akim said, had agreed to help but never really took steps to seek a solution to it.

“He (Rahman) said one thing in front of us, but did different things behind us…I am sad,” Akim lamented.

According to Akim the company is helmed by two women entrepreneurs from Putatan.