The following are the full texts of the maiden speeches delivered in the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak today by all three Honourable Members from PKR, respectively.
SPEECH BY BA' KELALAN (BARU BIAN)
DATUK SRI SPEAKER
Terima kasih Tuan Speaker kerana memberi peluang untuk saya berdabat memberi sokongan kepada Usul berkenaan dengan Ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak pada 21.6.2011.
May I record my sincere thanks to the voters of N70 Ba' Kelalan for giving the opportunity and privilege to represent them in this august house. I promise to do my best by the grace of God. I will not only speak up for and on behalf of the constituents of Ba'Kelalan but other Sarawakians as well that need their voices heard in this Dewan.
At this juncture allow me to begin my main maiden speech in this august House by recollecting the words of a historic leader of this land; prophetic words spoken in the forerunner of this very House ninety-six years ago. The second Rajah of Sarawak, Charles Brooke, in 1915, delivered his Farewell Address to the members of the Council Negri shortly before he retired.
Rajah Charles Brooke said, and I quote:
"I beg that you will listen to what I have to say, that you will recollect my words, and endeavour to call them to mind when I am no longer with you. I will make known of what is in my mind to my successor, but I can only be responsible during this my lifetime.
I have lived in this country now for sixty years, and for the greater part of that time as Rajah. I know that I feel as you do in every way regarding the present and future for the existence and welfare of the inhabitants. I think after so long a period you will allow me to open my mouth and give my opinion truthfully.
Has it ever occurred to you that after my time out here others may appear with soft and smiling countenances to deprive you of what is solemnly your right, and that is the very land on which you live?
This land is your inheritance (pusaka) on which your flesh and blood (daging darah) exists, the source of your income, the food even of your mouths.
If this is once lost to you, no amount of money could recover it. That is why the cultivation of your own land by yourselves or by those that live in the country is important to you now.
Cultivation by strangers, by those who might carry the value of their products out of the country to enrich their shareholders, such products should be realised by your own industries and for your own benefits.
Unless you follow this advice you will lose your birth right, which will be taken from you by strangers and speculators who will in their turn become masters and owners, whilst you yourselves, you people of the soil, will be thrown aside, and become nothing but coolies and outcasts of the island."
In the light of this prophetic warning of Charles Brooke, the question is, whether the so called developments carried out in our State like logging activities oil palm plantations and dam constructions and the industries within the SCORE area would largely benefit the peoples of Sarawak? Will they lose their birth right and be thrown aside, and become nothing but coolies and outcasts from their own land? The questions must be in the forefront of our mind when dealing with developments.
This is because inevitably developments affect one of the most important assets of any individual, land, especially Native Customary Land. Today we hear that 12 more dams are to be constructed in Sarawak notwithstanding that the Bakun dam alone could sufficiently supply power to the whole State of Sarawak. Therefore many are of the opinion that there is no basis or logic to have 12 more dams to be built throughout Sarawak.
I agree that developments in every sense of the word, must go on in the State, but it must never be at the expense of the poor, needy and weak amongst us. I urge and propose to the Government when such big projects like dams are proposed to be carried out, a proper EIA Reports must be made and the recommendations therein must be complied with and second, people whose lives are affected by such projects must not only be compensated and resettled elsewhere but must be given certain equity shares in the project for the life of the project for the benefit of the generations to come. This is because the generations to come have rights over such area affected as well. After the project is no more viable the land be rehabilitated and reverted back to the people. Batang Ai and Bakun should give us sufficient lessons to ensure that the Government of the day is not accused of bulldozing and disregarding the rights and future of the local populace affected by such projects.
• BUMIPUTERA STATUS
The Natives of Sarawak are not only faced with the dilemma over their rights over their land but even their identities are at times denied. The status of many of our children is now in question. The issue I am referring to now is that of "native status" or "bumiputera status" for the offspring of mixed marriages (natives and non-natives), which is in a vague and ambiguous state in Sarawak.
In West Malaysia, there is an option to register children of mixed marriages as either bumiputera or non-bumiputera. It seems that our brothers and sisters in West Malaysia have it better than us here in East Malaysia. In Sarawak, according to the law, unless both your parents are native, you are not native or bumiputera. Yet it seems that in practice for some people, this is not so. If for administrative purposes children of mixed marriages in Sarawak are considered bumiputera, then it begs the question: why is it that in the Marina Udau's Case, the girl that was initially denied entry tertiary education was not recognised as bumiputera? When children of mixed marriages are not recognised as bumiputera, they are denied the privileges that come with the status. It is not good enough to just have administrative orders or a cabinet decision as in Marina's case to recognise children of mixed marriages as bumiputera and native. It is high time that the State Government clarify this issue once and for all for the benefit of all the off-springs of mixed marriages in Sarawak by amending the definition of "Natives" in the Federal and State Constitution and the Interpretation Ordinance to include any children of a mixed marriage. The practice that I am aware of now in Sarawak is that if the father is a native the children are deemed a native/bumiputra but not vice versa. But there is no law that I know off, that sanctions this practice. We can even take a leaf from Sabah where in such a case an additional Certificate from a Native Community Leader can be obtained in support of such a case.
In a similar vein, I would like to draw the attention of this august house to a peculiar but crucial matter. "Natives" of Sarawak is defined by Art 161A (7) of the Federal Constitution and surprisingly, the Berawans and the Sabans who live in the northern region of Sarawak are not classified in the list. Yet anthropologists and ethnologists will tell you that the Berawans are arguably the first ethnic group to migrate into the northern region of Sarawak many centuries ago. Datuk Sri Speaker I urge the SAG to look into this matter and take immediate steps to amend the State and Federal Constitutions and other relevant laws to include the Berawans and Sabans in the list.
• HEALTH AND PRIORITISING MEDICAL SERVICES
Another issue I now raise is that of prioritising medical services in the State. Indeed it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to build hospitals and provide adequate medical facilities in the State. However, the State Government, I come to understand has a very important role to play in terms of providing the suitable land for the building of such Medical facilities as land is under the purview of the State's Government. It is a public knowledge that Sarawak needs more hospitals and clinics built especially in the semi-rural and rural areas. Our Medical services and facilities are in a very poor and deplorable state yet we make it difficult for the Federal Government to build hospitals. The proposed construction of the new Lawas Hospital for example had been delayed because of issue on availability of land. From the information that I have, this is the case too for the proposed new hospital to be built in Petrajaya. While the State Government and the Federal Government play tug-of-war over land for these hospitals, the ordinary people suffer. Some may even die.
Datuk Sri Speaker, I am informed and glad that the Flying Doctor services has resumed again after a lull due to a tussle in contract issue. This is important in the meantime even how infrequent it may be, to alleviate the medical services in the rural areas. I know coming from the rural environment, you'd be surprised a person can claimed to be healed just having been examined by a doctor with his stethoscope.
• EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES FOR RURAL SCHOOLS
Allow me to raise the issue of our children's education. How much have we done to assist needy rural students who should be given special consideration? Granted, rural students may not be the best or attain top marks, but still they should be given special consideration in light of their poverty and their circumstances. I came from this environment, and when I was given the opportunity to further my studies in Melbourne, Australia, I went on my own in spite of the fact that I was from a poor family. I took a loan. I was not given any scholarship or assistant from the Government. Today many are in my situation that need Government's assistants. I urge the Yayasan Sarawak to consider this issue immediately. Not to only support the top scorer but even the mediocre must be assisted taking into that some of us our late starters in life.
Secondly, I wish to bring the issue that facilities in the rural schools are either in bad shape or totally lacking. Given proper facilities, students from rural schools can perform just as good if not better as students in urban schools. I come to know about this truth from SRK Ba' Kelalan's performance after having been awarded and granted special grants by the Government, school facilities were upgraded resulting in excellent performance topping many urban schools in the Division.
I understand that education comes under the purview of the Federal Government but it is shameful if we such a rich State does not offer to assist to uplift the standard of facilities in the rural schools. I would think that this is the real kind of development we want for our children.
• NATIVE LAND COMMISSION
In view of the many problems raised and faced by many natives in Sarawak over their NCR lands which I do not need to elaborate, I propose to the Government to set up a Native Land Commission as in the Philippines, comprised of credible people from the public and private sector to ensure independence and neutrality giving powers to investigate, recognise their rights and issue titles. This will I believe assist the Government and natives in resolving this issue of NCR over lands.
• RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Finally, Datuk Sri, I believe that Sarawak is one of the best States in Malaysia in terms of maintaining racial harmony and upholding religious rights and freedom. We owe it to the wisdom and the understanding of our forefathers and those after them who had been very sensitive and conscious of the fact that Sarawak is a land of many faiths and beliefs and that such right and freedom would be guaranteed when we formed Malaysia. To this day Sarawak retained her status as a secular State. However, the recent development on the banning of the importation of the Alkitab into Sarawak is very disturbing. More alarming is that a sacred book is deemed a material that threatens the security of the Federation under the provisions of the Internal Security Act (ISA). It is a sad incident for religious freedom and for pious believing Sarawakians. It portrays a Government which is intolerant and misguided on religious freedom. I am aware of course that such action was done by a Federal Department or Agency but the State Government must ensure that such action should not be repeated in the future by any agencies or individuals because the State should ensure that none of the terms under the Malaysia Agreement is breached. I applaud the stance taken by some of the BN leaders on this issue.
I conclude Datuk Sri Speaker with a prayer for Sarawak the prayer of one of the prophets of old, called Amos who lived at that time under very challenging political environment, he said, "But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream." Amos 5:24.
I urge all of us irrespective of our political belief and inclination to ensure justice and righteousness roll and flow like the mighty Rejang River from this Dewan to the whole State of Sarawak. Demi Rakyat!
MAY GOD BLESS SARAWAK
SPEECH BY BATU LINTANG (SEE CHEE HOW)
Datuk Sri Speaker,
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this debate on the Motion of appreciation to his Excellency Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di Pertua Negeri's Address on 21st June, 2011 and at the same time to raise some issues in this August House.
I am grateful to the voters of Batu Lintang for electing me to this House. I have given my solemn oath in this legendary Dewan to discharge my duties and serve to the best of my ability, the interests of the state and the country. I am proud of it, to represent the constituents in Batu Lintang who have all registered their faith in our Pakatan Rakyat, as the way forward for this great state and country that we all loved.
Datuk Sri Speaker, it is undoubted that the BN had scored a huge victory at the just concluded Sarawak State Election. To that, I congratulate YAB and his BN teamh.
However, it is also an irrefutable fact that the Oppositions had scored a resounding victory of securing 45% of the popular votes polled. Had the democratic principle of one constituent one vote be followed and practiced, the Opposition should have won 31 seats in this Honourable Dewan.
The 2-coalitions system has now taken shape and Sarawak has certainly progressed in our democratic process.
But, I am not here to advocate different and hostile political support and interests of the BN and Pakatan. In fact, as a new member, I have much and am eager to learn from senior members of this Honourable Dewan, the Honourable members on both side of the political divide.
Indeed, I am guided by the time honoured statement of Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797), the British statesman and philosopher, who said, and I quote:
"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament."
I was henceforth, disappointed and annoyed when my question 3 submitted to this Honourable Dewan, was rejected on the ground that I am unable to substantiate the statement made in my question.
Datuk Sri Speaker, nobody has ever asked me to substantiate whatever statement that I have made in my question No. 3.
In rejecting my question on such a ground, the charge proffered and framed against me was serious, and the sentence was passed without giving me a chance to defend myself. This, should not have happened to any Honourable member of this Dewan.
I am not being personal, contrary to deliberate suspicion and doubt of certain quarters. In fact, I was being told by my sources that Yang Amat Berhormat the honourable member of Balingian was not aware of the matter.
In all sincerity, I am raising the matter as a member of this honourable Dewan, in the interests of the state, to inculcate good governance
Datuk Sri Speaker, any right thinking person would be alarmed, to notice particulars of the timber licenses as follows:-
1. Timber Licence T/8487 issued on 21 March 2011 over the NCR Land at Lemanak Area, Lubok Antu, with a concession area of 3,281 ha;
2. Timber Licence T/8493 issued on 25 March 2011 over the Stateland at Batang Ai / Sg Engkari area within Batang Ai Catchment, with a concession area of 830 ha;
3. Timber Licence T/8492 issued on 25 March 2011 over the catchment area and NCR land measuring 2,250 ha adjoining T/8493;
4. Timber Licence T/3568 issued on 11 April 2011 over the Stateland at Sg Dangap/Sg Bian area in Pakan District, with a concession area of 3,367 ha;
5. Timber Licence T/8497 issued on 14 April 2011 over the Stateland between Sg Tu and Sg Sangang at the west side of Sg Sarawak Kiri, which is the Bengoh water catchment area, with a concession area of 2,612 ha;
Then, we have T/8496, next to the Bengoh timber concession area covered under T/8497, T/3567 in Balai Ringin, T/3561 and T/3566 in Kanowit and T/9181 in Bakong.
It is understood that there are more than these aforesaid timber licenses being issued in between the time when the previous State Assembly was dissolved on 21 March 2011 and polling on 16 April 2011.
Besides the improper timing in the issuance of the timber licences, it is blatant contravention of our laws to issue timber concession licences over water catchment areas and known NCR lands. Credibility, Accountability and Transparency, which are the hallmarks of good governance, as the state governments of Selangor, Penang, Kelantan and Kedah have shown, are what we aspired. And it is based on these sound principles of governance that this Dewan demands answers from the government of the day.
As I have said earlier, it appears so, and I was quite relieved when I researched into the background of the companies and concession holders that I am not looking at one particular person and or his family. I therefore urge that Ahli Yang Amat Berhormat the Chief Minister would look into this matter and enlighten us as to his findings.
Datuk Sri Speaker, I therefore hold firm in my belief that my Question 3 is proper and justified. And I raised the question to uphold the interests of the people of Sarawak, the constitution and the laws of Sarawak and Malaysia, as we have sworn to perform and achieve as honourable members of this Dewan.
Datuk Sri Speaker, when we stand up and speak in this Honourable Dewan, it is my respectful opinion that we should not be deem to be advocating different and hostile political interests of the BN and Pakatan Rakyat.
Indeed, for the general good of all Sarawakians, and Malaysians, we should be able to work together, complement each others, despite our different political affiliations.
In the run-up to the recently concluded state election, the honourable Prime Minister had made election pledges in excess of RM600 million, to voters in various parts of Sarawak. On the other hand, the honourable Deputy Prime Minister announced projects to the tune of RM200 million. And it has just being revealed in the parliament that a total of 62 projects and programmes were promised, with an aggregate worth of RM1.18 billion.
Two months have passed, and 2 months of deafening silence from the country's top 2 leaders as to the realization of the election pledges.
It therefore called upon us, from both sides of the political divide, to work together, to accelerate the delivery of these election pledges, in the interests of all Sarawakians.
Our combine commitments and dedication will certainly make this motherland a great and model democracy.
And there are friends of Sarawak who are eager to and tirelessly contributing towards the democratization and conscientization of our state and all our rakyat.
It therefore calls to questions, the "Not To Land" orders which were slapped on exemplary fellow Malaysians personalities such as former Bar Council President Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, university lecturer Dr Wong Chin Huat, lawyer activist Haris Ibrahim, human rights and social activists Ong Boon Kiong, Steven Ng, Cynthia Gabriel, Jerald Gomez, Colin Nicholas, Dr Kua Kia Soong, and many others including even Member of Parliament Sdr Sivarasa Rasiah.
This certainly reflected badly on the state's governance.
Datuk Sri Speaker, our state's lack of resolve to address the sexual harassment of Penan women and young girls and violation of their rights is another matter subjecting us to unrelenting international criticisms.
Last month, 7 May to be exact, another letter was written by the coalition of Malaysian NGOs, the Penan Support Group together with other women's rights NGOs, addressing to the UN Special Rapportuer on Violence against Women and the UN Special Rapportuer on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples.
The following are factual:-
1. 1995 – First known case of rape of Penan young woman reported to police;
2. The 2009 Federal Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development's Task Force Report confirmed that sexual violence and exploitation of Penan women and young girls in Sarawak occurred;
3. The Ministerial Task Force was set up in response to the public outcry which was resulted after the local and national newspapers reported on the matter;
4. Regional and Malaysian NGO Fact Finding Mission recorded seven new allegations of sexual violence in July 2010;
5. May 2011, a Penan woman reported rape to the police;
Facts about the situation of the Penan:
1. Nothing has changed regarding the situation placing young girls and women in rural areas vulnerable to sexual violence;
2. More reports of rape are surfacing to indicate the utter neglect of the government to protect one of the most marginalized communities in Sarawak;
3. Through the state governments of Selangor and Penang, a car specifically dedicated to transporting school children, one of the identified group of Penan rape survivors, is the only known change dedicated to prevent sexual violence. However, it is a fact that one vehicle is grossly inadequate to cover all needed settlements;
Where Good Governance is needed:
1. Dedicate a special task force to demonstrate the seriousness of the government in protecting vulnerable Sarawakians from hideous crime of rape;
2. Immediate implementation and follow-up with the recommendations set forth by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development's Task Force Report on sexual violence and exploitation of Penan women and young girls in Sarawak;
3. Working with communities and other stakeholders to address the specific issues of rape in rural areas;
4. Legislate to ensure structural changes are in place to protect girls and women from all form of harm; and
5. Courageous and righteous, and expected to lead by rising beyond party politics in defending the rights of all Sarawakians, especially those most marginalized and in the specific rapes, to demonstrate the government's duty-bound to act on solving problems and ultimately to prevent sexual harassment and violation from happening in rural Sarawak.
We want to know, what are the state government's efforts and to what extents have the state ministries and agencies corroborated assisted and working together with the Federal Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to ensure that the recommendations arising from the Federal cabinet's National Task Force Report, released in September 2009 (Laporan Jawatankuasa Bertindak Peringkat Kebangsaan Bagi Menyiasat Dakwaan Penderaan Seksual Terhadap Wanita Kaum Penan Di Sarawak), are implemented.
And specifically, we are hopeful that the honourable minister will enlighten us as to the total federal and state allocation, for 2008 to 2011 respectively, to fund the transportation of Penan students to and from their schools, the names of the Penan settlements and the number of students provided with transportation to such primary and secondary schools, and the number of trips provided each year.
Datuk Sri Speaker, we are not living in a perfect world. However, if all the honourable members of this Dewan put our minds and acts together, if we discard our political differences and hostility, if we look at the collective interests and wellness of the state and the people, we can make Sarawak a better place for us and our future generations to live.
In conclusion, Datuk Sri Speaker, I would like to volunteer and offer the Pakatan Rakyat's policies and programmes which are necessary to bring the country and the state forward. I would therefore recommend the Buku Jingga to all honourable members of this House, Demi Rakyat!
SPEECH BY KRIAN (ALI BIJU)
Datuk Sri Speaker Sir,
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I rise to join my honourable colleagues in this august House to participate in the debate in respect of the Motion to appreciate our TYT's address.
Whilst TYT's speech encompasses numerous issues, touching on the socio-economy of Sarawak, I shall raise some issues pertinent to my constituency N34 Krian in particular and Sarawak in general.
Datuk Sri Speaker, Sarawak's rural population has been in acute poverty since independence. The World Bank confirmed late last year that Sarawak has achieved the dubious distinction of being one of the poorest states in Malaysia. The Director General of the Economic Unit Datuk Dr. Sulaiman Mahbob disclosed that the poorest people in Malaysia are indigenous communities living in Sarawak and Sabah and that a high level of income disparity contributes to a high level of poverty since a smaller share of income is obtained by those at the bottom of the income distribution. According to the IMF and the World Bank, the causes of inequality are (i) improper government policies and (ii) exploitation by government agencies and businesses with power and influence.
Land Development Policies - Plantation
At Krian Ulu, many landowners have participated in SALCRA (Sarawak Land Consolidated and Rehabilitation Authority) schemes to develop their land for the last 15 years with high hopes of getting benefits in terms of dividends. SALCRA has land coverage of 48,721 ha of oil palm estate. Early this year SALCRA, through the Minister of Agriculture, announced the amount of dividends in the sum of RM74, 260,000.00 to be distributed to participants for 2011.
Landowners were very happy and excited to hear this good news since it means on average, each participant could receive about RM1, 500.00 per ha. However, the participants at Krian Ulu received almost nothing. So, I strongly demand that SLACRA, in particular, the Minister in charge, explain to the affected landowners the reasons they got almost nothing. If during this period of high commodity price of palm oil, SALCRA is still not making profit, may I suggest that SALCRA revert and return the cultivated land back to landowners immediately and not wait for the agreed period of 25 years? I believe many of the participants are in better positions to manage their own land profitably. Some SALCRA land areas are not even planted yet with oil palm. I have also received the Statement of Account for the Year Ended Dec. 31, 2009 of SALCRA which states that the net profits for "authority" and "group" are RM12, 775,332 and RM22, 475,081 respectively. So, when the Minister cum Chairman announced dividends of RM74 million, I wonder where the profit has come from. The Minister should furnish us with the Statement of Account Ended Dec. 31, 2010 to explain this disparity.
Another agency that is involved in land development is PELITA which is under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister. PELITA has been cultivating land under "New Concept" in many areas of Sarawak such as Kanowit, Meruan, Dijih and Mukah. PELITA also has about 9,000 ha of provisional lease of NCR land in Kabo-Awik-Budu area. In reference to this type of development and poor testimonials of PELITA, the majority of landowners in my constituency particularly in Kabo-Awik-Budu areas do not want to participate in this so called New Concept JV land development. Any proposed agreement to develop land through this New Concept between PELITA and community leaders like Tuai Rumah, Penghulu or Pemanca is legally null and void because community leaders are in neither legal nor traditional positions to represent anybody with regard to private land ownership. As such, there must be no coercion or intimidation or pressure at all on those who refuse to participate. The names of native landowners who refuse to participate in Kabo-Awik-Budu scheme will be submitted to PELITA soon.
Instead of participating in large scale "New Concept", mono-crop land development, the landowners prefer to develop their own land through agencies of their choice like RISDA, smallholdings under RME-Rubber Mini Estate or Palm Oil Mini Estate concepts. Smaller scale land development is more environmentally friendly since not all areas are cultivated. It is also sustainable in the sense that it guarantees that our future generations will have land to live on.
The IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) Rural Poverty Report 2011 highlights changes in agricultural markets that are providing new opportunities for smallholders to increase productivity. The report emphasizes "there remains an urgent need to invest more and better in agriculture and rural areas" based on a new approach to smallholder agriculture that is both market oriented and sustainable. The report makes it clear that it is time to look at poor smallholders in a completely new way as people whose innovation, dynamism and hard work will bring prosperity to their community. The report also states that low levels of investment in agriculture, weak infrastructure, low production and lack of financial services make it hard for smallholders to participate in the agricultural market. It is to my dismay that the State Government closed an office of the Agricultural Department at Ng Budu.
I also believe that the Farmers Organization is sliding backward and not of any assistance to the farmers anymore.
It is of paramount importance that the authorities concerned should deploy more resources and relieve the situation through technical measures such as:
(a) Introducing the new concept of agro-enterprise,
(b) Promoting agricultural development on mini-estates or smallholdings for crops like rubber and oil palm with infrastructure assistance from the government,
(c) Providing more allocation for agencies such as RISDA and MPOB.
Landowners want to control and manage their own land in their own style. If they cultivate a few hectares of rubber trees or oil palm with proper guidance or assistance from the government, which many of them are capable of, they should be able to get quite a decent income of RM2, 000/month. If they can make RM2, 000/month, a lot of rural people who are working at various parts of Malaysia such as Johor and KL will be willing to go back to their longhouses to cultivate their lands. In this way, we will be able to reverse the rural-urban migration which has created many socio-economic problems in the city and rural community as well. Currently, general labourers in oil palm plantations are paid a daily wage of RM17-RM20, amounting to around RM450/month, which is far below the poverty line RM750/month.
According to Robert Pringle's authoritative book "Rajah and Rebels" written and published in the 1970s, more than 2 million rubber trees were officially planted in Krian area during a brief period of colonial time which covered areas totalling more than 5,000 hectares. Total cultivated areas including unrecorded areas were probably double that figure, being close to 10,000 hectares. A lot of rural communities participated actively and rubber was the major contributor of cash income. Some of them, by their own initiative, even managed to cultivate bigger areas to become mini-estates of sorts and employing many rubber tappers from outside. This was possible due to assistance and advice given to planters by the government of the day. Sadly, more than 2 generations later, the livelihood of these members of the rural community still depends very much on these rubber trees that were planted by our late grandparents. So far, the government has cultivated approximately 3,500 hectares of rubber trees in the last 15 years in the Krian area. Considering the population growth during the last two generations, this quantity is not sufficient. If you visit longhouses in Krian constituency and ask them where their income comes from, do not be surprised if they say 70%-80% of longhouse dwellers depend on rubber from their grandparents' trees to survive.
Provisional Licences for Plantation
The state government has issued provisional leases within Krian constituency which overlaps with NCR land:
(i) Lot 410 Blk 18 Krian Awik LD to Kenyalang Resources Sdn Bhd (now known as THP Saribas Sdn Bhd) in the area of Bajau-Selambong-Sedan-Jenggara
(ii) Lot 3 Blk 16 Krian Awik LD to Kenyalang Resourses Sdn Bhd (now known as THP Saribas Sdn Bhd) in the area of Sg Gruyu
(iii) Lot 155 & 156 Kalaka LD to Kenyalang Resources Sdn Bhd (now known as THP Saribas Sdn Bhd) in the area of Jln Pusa Sessang
(iv) Licence for planted forest to No. LPF/0034 to R.H. Forest Corporation Sdn Bhd.
The companies that have been given PL have encroached illegally into NCR lands of the native communities. This has resulted in disputes over rights to land and resources. Currently, there a a few cases where natives have initiated legal action against PL holders and Land Survey Department.
The government has issued many logging licences within NCR lands in my constituency. This has created a lot of animosity among rural community since most of them disagree with logging activity. Logging has destroyed our Pemakai Menoa and Pulau Galau which provide the natives with valuable construction materials to build longhouses, boats and other wooden amenities vital to our way of living.
It is very unfortunate that the state government has issued timber licences in my constituency without the prior informed consent of the native landowners. Listed are the known timber licences issued by the state government in Krian area without prior consent of native landowners.
(a) T/3436 – issued to Vita Hill Sdn Bhd which overlaps NCR land in the area of Dassey, Budu
(b) T/3463 – issued to Pelita Holding Sdn Bhd which overlaps NCR land in the area of Kabo-Awik
(c) T/8475 – issued to Syarikat Kayu Rimba which overlaps NCR land in the area of Mapar-Babang
(d) T/3431 – issued to Tunggal Enterprise which overlaps NCR land in the area of Mudong
(e) T/3497 – issued to Solid Sunshine which overlaps NCR land in the area of Awik-Seblak.
(f) Timber licence also issued to Sebetan area.
All of these licences were issued without prior consent of native landowners. As such, the State Government must withdraw the licenses.
For example, Rh Gayan of Dassey, Budu, in my constituency has been affected by Vita Hill Sdn Bhd's logging activity. Various complaints had been made to the authorities. However, no action was taken. Left without an avenue for redress, the Rh Gayan community took the matter to High Court and legal process is still ongoing.
The State Government has issued timber Licence No. T/8440 to a RM2 company namely Budimar Sdn Bhd. Its subcontractor is Rimba Jaya Lumber Sdn Bhd at the vicinity of Bukit Pengajar. The company is in the process of constructing a logging road from the Ulu Krian road towards the concession area through lands of the Iban community particularly in the Sg Pilai area. If the company proceeds with this plan, besides doing damage to environment, biodiversity and ecosystem, logging trucks will totally destroy the roads of Ulu Krian and Rimbas roads, which are already in poor condition.
Infrastructure, Amenities and Utilities
Basic requirements such as road, water and electricity are basic human rights. Any government of the day must provide these necessities to all its people regardless of their political affiliations.
Road : The road system in the Krian constituency is in a very bad shape particularly roads to Ulu Krian, Kabo, Budu, Awik, Bajau, Engkudu, Ibus and Babang. Ulu Krian Road and Awik Road were Federal roads constructed more than 30 years ago but their condition is similar to that of logging roads. I urge the government to ensure tar-seal to be implemented immediately as promised by the PM during the last state election.
Electricity : The majority of my constituents do not have electricity. Only recently we noticed that power posts have been erected along roads in Krian, Budu, Kabo, and Awik. I urge the government to speed up the work to get power supply to every longhouse, school and clinic in my constituency.
Water : Clean water is also a major issue in my constituency as many longhouses are still getting drinking water from rivers or unreliable gravity water. The water is not hygienic and contains germs and bacteria that can cause diseases. I urge the government to carry out the construction of a new dam at Kaki Wong to start immediately as promised by the PM during the last state election. On top of that, the current water supply from Lichok Water Treatment Plant is not capable of providing the water needs for all people in Saratok areas. During the dry season Lichok WTP runs out of water. What is the state government doing about this?
In conclusion, Datuk Sri Speaker, I urge this august House to seriously look into the matters I have raised. These issues are not mere political rhetoric. These are bread and butter issues affecting the peoples of Sarawak and it is the ultimate responsibility of this House to take these matters seriously and it is incumbent upon the respective Ministers in charge to act accordingly to alleviate the suffering of the rakyat. Demi Rakyat.
Thank you Datuk Sri Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to air my views.