X Close

Archives

Published: Friday January 22, 2010 MYT 8:08:00 PM
Updated: Friday January 22, 2010 MYT 8:09:14 PM

Longhouse folk up in arms over demolition

stephenthen@thestar.com.my

MIRI: More than 100 longhouse folk armed themselves with parang (machetes) and formed a human shield to stop state Land and Survey Department personnel from demolishing their homes.

The face-off came about after the department maintained that the houses, numbering more than 80 in Sebauh in Bintulu Division, were illegally built on state land while the natives argued that they have Native Customary Rights over the land which belonged to them for centuries

Since Monday, the department has destroyed 25 houses and the rest in Sungai Sekabai in the Sebauh sub-district, 250km from here, are on the verge of being bulldozed.

Rumah Nyawai longhouse chief Tuai Rumah Nor Nyawai led more than 100 angry villagers from his settlement Friday to set up a blockade across a road leading into the farmland.

The villagers armed themselves with parang and set up a temporary station on the roadside to man the blockade.

Sarawak Indigenous Natives Land Rights Association (Tahabas) president Michael Jok made an urgent visit to the site with human rights lawyers.

“I appeal to the state government to intervene and stop the demolition work immediately. The natives are desperate and they have said they will not hesitate to use whatever means to stop any further demolition.

“The natives are angry as they have already filed a court case against the department and a private developer who had earmarked the area for development.

“The department should not be demolishing the homes since the case is pending,” he said.

Sarawak Rural Native Women’s Association president Hellan Empaing also called for an immediate halt to the demolition operations.

The Bintulu Land and Survey Department had issued a statement and said the department had received directives to tear down illegal dwellings in the Sebauh and Tatau sub-districts.

Related stories:
Malaysia gets poor marks for human rights
DPM refutes Human Rights Watch report

advertisement

  1. Upset Perak fans turn rowdy
  2. High time for the leaders to act
  3. Water tunnel to function soon
  4. AirAsia to move to KLIA2 by May 9
  5. BSM moving office from Selangor to Kuala Lumpur, says state 'unconducive' for its work
  6. AirAsia Group says will move into KLIA2 by May 9 (Update)
  7. India's highest court recognises transgenders as 'third gender'
  8. MH370 search: Remark on solving mystery in one second illogical, says Najib
  9. Crane falls off 11-storey building, killing operator
  10. Burst pipe along Jalan Universiti sparks anger

advertisement

advertisement