A Message From TAHABAS President.

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My fellow Indigenous friends,
WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO OUR FELLOW INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN BELAGA FEW WEEKS AGO.

1. Everyone knows that there was news  that the Land and Survey enforcement personnel and the police (to safeguard public security) are suppose to demolish the houses and farmhuts of the Indigenous Peoples (Kayan Uma Apan, Kejaman Lasah, Kenyah Uma Sambop and others) on the Bakun-Belaga road, between 12-14/10/2009 but however the ‘barbaric act’ didnt materialize because of many interventions by some peoples who are concerned. These IPs are living along the Bakun road which happened to pass through their longhouse territory. They built houses and farm huts on their own NCR land. These IPs have been occupied this place even before Brooke came to Borneo. Without their prior knowledge and free consent their NCR lands had been leased to Shin Yang Sdn Bhd for Oil Palm plantation and Pusaka KTS for so called reforestation. Trust that our Almighty God will intervene in IPs’ struggle.  Though the enforcement didnt turn up they might go again anytime as the place is already blacklisted by the Land & Survey. Dear Indigenous Peoples do not take this news as something happens to somebody else but consider that you as Indigenous Peoples will surely GET IT ONE DAY too on your own land.
2.  When the first NTQ (Notice To Quit) was sent to the Belaga and Tubau Indigenous Peoples in the year 2007, it was clearly made known by the Land & Survey superintendents of Kapit and Bintulu that the people behind the whole thing was PUSAKA KTS (the main shareholder is KTS, headed by Dato Henry Lau). The area that is affected is within the LPF(License for Planted Forest) of PUSAKA KTS. it is called LPF/0013 (covers Belaga & Tubau) which is partly a government project and therefore it seems that KTS is the company could be behind all this thing though they will deny it until ‘hari kiamat datang’. This company is abusing its ‘special position’ as business partner(or main contractor) of the State government to chase the Indigenous Peoples away from their own NCR land and the main stream of development as they are the one who owns this LPF from the state govenrment.
3. The longhouse (Uma Apan) that is affected had brought the matter to the High Court in Bintulu a year ago but somehow the community has lost their appeal IN THE HIGH COURT for the INJUNCTION against the demolition. I think the  intended demolition was the result of the court case. That is not all, it is generally known to many people that KTS is a company that takes thing personally upon itself and it is therefore  revengeful company in that manner. In this case it is therefore not surprising that it takes upon itself this matter because the longhouse is headed by ALI BASAH who is a lawyer and had sued KTS in Bintulu’s high court. This same company has also cheated me nearly RM100,000 a year ago by not paying my contract work for about a year. So those of you who are living within the company license area(be it Tanam kayu, Logging or Oil Palm) better be careful because these “unnecessary & evil  things” could also happen to you one day.
4. My questions are these: a) the Belaga peoples had sacrificed so much for the Nation in the Bakun Hydro but then why the State government is still doing this ‘samseng act’ towards the poor Indigenous Peoples of Belaga? Is this a direct act of the GOVERNMENT or is the state government being forced to act on someone’s complaint or instruction? Worse still it seems that our poor two YBs, Datuk Billy Abit (MP) and Liwan Lagang (ADUN) seem not to know about this ‘barbaric act’ that was going to happen to their own people. So if they didnt respect our two ‘honorable YBs’ then what more to say you and me, who are we in their eyes? b) This is some kind of selective ‘persecution’ because this longhouse has taken legal action against the company (PUSAKA KTS) and the state government. Why dont they demolish all the houses from Bintulu to Bakun Hydro then? c) Belaga people, are you still “honour  and respect” this kind of leadership around you or are you going to teach them a very good lesson this coming election? c) Are the Indigenous Peoples in Belaga and Tubau are being bribed, cheated or badly in need of cash to buy ‘chap Apek’ without even thinking the future of their generations by not safeguarding their rights over the NCR land.
5. I would like to appeal to each and everyone of you to offer your prayers and moral supports to our Indigenous communities who live within the license area of PUSAKA KTS or KTS for that matter, either you in Belaga or Tubau, Niah or Suai, Tatau or Sebauh, Tutoh or Apo. their ‘bad blood’ practice is all the same. The question now is SOMEONE FROM OUTSIDE (not of our race and not of our origin) is trying to take away our NCR land by force either it is illegal or immoral that doesnt matter to them because what they want is to chase the Indigenous peoples away from their own CUSTOMARY LAND by abusing the state BN who is in power now. Those of you in BARAM especially in Sg. Tutoh and Sg. Apo, better be carefull and prepared now because this same company called Pusaka KTS will come and chase you one day. This happens all over Sarawak. Keep your eyes open, your ears to listen, your head to think and your heart to discern what is right, what is proper, whaty is just, what is according to your customs and what is according to the law either locally or internationally especially the UNDRIP (United Nation Declaration on Rights of the Indigenous Peoples). Please read the UNDRIP if you are still new to it and apply it to your own community. Malaysia had signed the Declaration.
6. Look at the pictures when the Long Terawan folks demonstrated infront of PUSAKA KTS personnel during the signing of the agreement few months back. They didnt bother about you at all. They do the same everywhere. Why dont we try to ‘minum kopi free’ at any of the coffeeship in town see what happen.
7. Lastly, I wish to thank you all for your support and prayers in time of suffering and persecution as it is happening now and then among our communities. Kindly pass this news around to all your friends all over the world.

Mr. Michael Mering Jok. TAHABAS President & Spokesperson for

the Malaysian Indigenous Peoples Organisations Coalition:-


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