Villagers protest against projects


PROJECTS’ STATUS QUESTIONED: Mansor (front third left) holding the villagers’ protest statement at the PRS headquarters.

KUCHING: A group of villagers from Kampung Tuba and Kampung Pendawan led by five of their community leaders gathered at Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) headquarters at Jalan Pending, here yesterday to voice their protest against logging, oil palm plantation, quarrying and the hydro dam at their area in Sebuyau.

The leaders led by Mansor Gruntang from Kampung Tuba comprised Jantai Gendop, Kaoh Kujau and Karin Senabong who represented village chief Saripah Arit from Kpg Tuba in Sebuyau and Umbang Kiot from Kpg Pendawan.

They questioned the status of the projects, which they claimed were mooted by Koperasi Kpg Tuba Simunjan Berhad, headed by a village chief, working together with several private companies .

Mansor wanted the government to investigate the authenticity of the approvals for the projects and stop any activity being carried out by the companies because the villagers were against the projects as they were never consulted about them.

He added they found out about the projects during a meeting on Nov 20 held at the former building of Simunjan Disttrict Council.

They were shocked when told by Koperasi Kpg Tuba Simunjan Berhad, that the cooperative and the four companies had agreed to carry out logging, planting oil palm, quarry several mountains there and construct a dam at Kpg Tuba in Sebuyau.

“We want the government to investigate these proposals urgently because we are not involved and do not even know the companies,” he said.

Mansor said the villagers had lodged two police reports, the first one at Pantu police station and latest at Simunjan police station on Nov 8 but no action had been taken so far.

They are also questioning why approval was granted to the cooperative to plant oil palm in the area when applications by several villagers to start an oil palm estate had not received any reply.

Mansor pointed out that the logging activity which started more than a month ago encroached into their NCR land and no action had been taken after two police reports were lodged.

On the quarries, Mansor stressed that the villagers were strongly against the works in Bukit Tuba area, Bukit Bedan and Bukit Berabit at Kpg Tuba by Koperasi Kpg Tuba Simunjan Berhad.

“The cooperative may have the licence to quarry, but we do not want the activity be carried out in these areas,” he asserted.