KUCHING: Make a police report.
That is Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu’s advice to those who claim that the state government is “stealing” land from the people.
He said the Land Code had been made an issue by the opposition since 1974 as propaganda to mislead and confuse the people.
“What can they do? If people are still accusing the government of snatching land, let them report to the police,” he added when asked whether the opposition would play up the native customary rights (NCR) land issue.
On Tuesday, the opposition alliance Barisan Bersatu Sarawak (BBS) unveiled a 10-point land policy which included a commitment to completely review the state’s Land Code and remove what it calls “unjust provisions.”
These provisions “are designed to confer arbitrary powers on authorities like the State Planning Unit, which now has the power to take away land from the people and give it to those who are well connected with the government of the day,” it said.
The opposition has also claimed that hundreds of thousands of hectares of NCR land have been alienated under provisional leases issued by the authorities concerned to companies for the development of oil palm plantations.
On another matter, Jabu urged Dayaks in the opposition to mend their political differences and work with Barisan Nasional for the sake of their community.
He said Dayaks had been split since 1982, when a faction broke away from the Sarawak National Party (SNAP) to form the now-defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), which has in turn been replaced by Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), while SNAP, after a leadership struggle, was replaced by the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).
SPDP and PRS are component parties of Barisan while SNAP is now in the opposition.
“From 1982 until now there has been 24 years of political differences (among the Dayaks). They have not been able to sort out their political problems and the followers of these parties are in disarray, not knowing whom to follow,” he said.
He added that if this situation was allowed to continue, the Dayak community would be left behind in development.