KUCHING: State PKR chairman Baru Bian is happy to note that more and more non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals are becoming aware of the Native Customary Rights (NCR) issues and the problems involving ‘Pemakai Menoa’ and ‘Pulau Galau’ which have befallen the native communities of Sarawak resulting from the decisions of the Federal Court in recent cases.
According to the Ba Kelalan assemblyman, the frustration of the people over this issue is understandable because it revolves around something that is so crucial to them and forms an integral part of their lives – that is their land.
“The threat of the loss of their land evokes such a strong sentiment because to the natives, their land is their life,” he said in a press statement yesterday.
Baru pointed out that the proposed public rally on Nov 13 is merely a reflection of the frustration and anger of the native communities that the courts and the government are seemingly trampling over their rights.
“The refusal to recognise Pemakai Menoa and Pulau Galau appears to be a betrayal of the natives by those who do not understand, or choose to ignore, the long-practised and long-recognised customs and traditions of the native communities.”
He said since there is a provision within our law allowing public rallies, this is an issue which warrants the organising of such a rally within the purview of the law.
“We are glad that the police have given their approval for the rally, as it is consistent with the provisions of the law.”
Baru said PKR is supportive of the rally and they commended Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia)’s Nicholas Mujah and former deputy president of Majlis Adat Istiadat Nicholas Bawin for coordinating the rally.
“We are confident that the organisers are highly responsible people and that this rally will be peaceful. Therefore we encourage our members to show their support by attending the rally.
“I understand the rally will be held at two places that are in the vicinity of Old DUN Building/New Courthouse and Kuching Waterfront/Old Courthouse,” he said.