Govt recognises ‘pemakai menoa’, ‘pulau galau’

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: The state government has recognised ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’ as native customary rights (NCR) land, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

However, there must be a right definition to ensure that it is acceptable to all, he adds.

“(Pehin Sri Tan Sri) Adenan (Satem) and I recognise pemakai menoa and pulau galau but there must be a definition. So we have to find a right definition,” he said when declaring open Sarawak United National Youths Organisation (Saberkas) triennial general assembly at Kuching Hilton yesterday.

“If we want to amend the Land Code, it must be consistent. If our law is wrong, how do (you expect) people to recognise our law? If it’s (the law) not acceptable by all, then this is not a law. We cannot have the law of the jungle.”

Thus, Abang Johari said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is head of the pamakai menoa and pulau galau committee, is currently working together with community leaders on finding the right solution that will be acceptable by all races.

“You have to find a solution which is good for all parties. You must have a definitive definition and  you also look at the will of other people. During Lan Berambeh, I said this is not a simple solution, we recognise. Yes, but we have to find consensus in terms of definition.”

He asked since the Malay community also has NCR, does it mean that they have rights over the coastal areas since the Iban community call them ‘orang laut’.

Considering the sensitivity of this issue, Abang Johari said the state government has to be very careful in handling the matter.

“That is why I feel we must have a consensus and after that, we draft the law so that it will be for long term. If there are still certain groups who still don’t agree and say the law is wrong after we have amended the law, then this problem will still continue.”

Abang Johari said it is easy for certain quarters to put pressure on the government on this issue, but they must understand that the work to find a consensus from all the communities is a challenging task.

On a separate matter, Abang Johari said he had directed Sarawak Energy Bhd to establish a hydrogen unit in view of the potential of hydrogen as a form of renewable energy in the state.

“We have a lot of hydrogen. Our hydrogen is in our dams like Bakun HEP dam, Batang Ai HEP dam and Murum HEP dam. We have a lot of water. Now there is a technology that can separate oxygen and hydrogen through electrolysis.”

During his study tour to Germany two weeks ago, Abang Johari said he learnt about this new technology which enables nine litres of water to be converted into a kilogramme of hydrogen, which can then be produced into 39.4 kilowatt power of energy.

“Our Light Railway Transit in Kuching will be powered using hydrogen because we have a lot of water. If the cost is cheap, our fare will be cheap.”

With this development, Abang Johari foresees that water will be as valuable as oil in 20 years’ time.

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