Wednesday, July 24

Nansian: Bidayuhs can now own mountains

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BAU: The Bidayuh community can now claim rights over mountains they occupied as hideouts from enemies in the old days by gazetting them as communal land.

Recalling that it was very common for Bidayuhs in the old days to live in mountains and high grounds to protect themselves from attacks by pirates and head hunters, Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie said the state government had agreed to let them own the mountains provided they can prove they had occupied them.

“This was mentioned to us during our meeting with the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem) recently which shows that he is a leader who really cares for the people of Sarawak,” he said.

Nansian, who is also Assistant Community Services Minister, said what they needed to do now was to submit their applications through their respective community leaders to the relevant authorities who would verify their claims.

“After the authorities are satisfied with the support documents provided then the area will be gazetted as communal land and later it is up to the community concerned whether they want to split the land into individual lots or not,” he said.

With such recognition by the government, the mountains would be safe from encroachment, he pointed out.

“If let’s say some people want to use the area for whatever purposes then they have to seek permission from the kampung people. Probably they will allow the land to be developed or whatever by having some shares in it. That will be up to them to work out,” he added.

He therefore advised Bidayuh community leaders to start identifying their ancestral lands and submit their applications to the government as soon as possible.

He disclosed this when speaking at the presentation of land titles for the traditional Bidayuh settlement at Kampung Bobak Sajong near here yesterday.

Also present were Kuching Land and Survey superintendent Ramzi Abdillah, Bau district officer Inting Nyami and Kuching Bidayuh community leader Temenggong Austin Dimin Niyon.