Sudarsono Osman, director of Sarawak’s Land and Survey Department clarified that letters had been sent by the lawyers of Tung Cheong Sawmill Sdn Bhd to eight individuals in Bekenu district warning them not to trespass on the company’s land. He further stated that the letters are not eviction orders by the Land and Survey Department as alleged.
If the affected individuals were warned not to trespass, how are they going to comply if their houses is in the said land (land allegedly belong to the company). Thus, the only way for them to follow the letter's order is to move out from their house. That's eviction !
The issue all started when Miri Land and Survey Department said the affected land are on provisional leases and the kampung folks are no longer the owners. The state government has made previous arrangement to "give away" the land to a private company for development. So what happen to the villagers houses and farm lands ? Taken free by the new company ?
* Illegal Squaters On Their Own Land
* 10,000 villagers to be evicted by Miri Land and Survey Department
From The Star
Land dept says no eviction order issued
By SHARON LING
KUCHING: Sarawak’s Land and Survey Department on Saturday said it had never issued eviction orders to 10,000 people from 13 Kedayan-Malay villages in Bekenu, Miri, as was reported last week.
Its director Sudarsono Osman clarified that letters had been sent by the lawyers of a private company to eight individuals warning them not to trespass on the company’s land.
“The letters are not eviction orders by the Land and Survey Department as alleged,” he said in a statement Saturday.
Sudarsono said the land in question, Lot 3935 Lambir Land District and Lot 4448 Sibuti Land District, was alienated and issued with a provisional lease to a company in February 2001 for the purpose of an oil palm plantation with an area of 1,180ha and 550ha respectively.
“The land is situated at least 2km away from the nearest village and therefore the possibility of any village being located within the provisional lease area is far-fetched.
“Based on records, all land that may be subject to native customary rights (NCR) has been excluded from the provisional lease area,” he said.
He added that in June 2002, a dialogue was held between the Miri Land and Survey Superintendent and several community leaders representing the Kedayan-Malay villagers.
“The outcome of the dialogue then was that the surveyors appointed by the company would be allowed to carry out a perimeter survey and to determine the locations of their NCR and cemetery sites,” he said.
However, a writ of summons was subsequently filed in the Miri High Court in March 2003 over Lot 3935 Lambir Land District which named Tung Cheong Sawmill Sdn Bhd, the Miri Land and Survey Superintendent and the state government as defendants.
“Since the matter has been filed with the court, the department is not able to proceed in dealing with the matter as it would be subjudice,” Sudarsono said, adding that the case was fixed for hearing on Nov 19.
As for Lot 4488 Sibuti Land District, he said Land and Survey officers had carried out two inspections on the land and found no cemetery there.
“However, I have directed my superintendent in Miri to call in the affected people soon to tackle the issues brought up by them,” he added.
Last Saturday the villagers had claimed that they were being evicted from their land to make way for an oil palm plantation and had staged a demonstration to protest the matter.
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