SELANGAU: Issues relating to Native Customary Rights (NCR) land highlighted by voters here prompted Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state chairman Baru Bian to stand as a candidate in this parliamentary election.
Speaking to reporters after the official announcement of candidacy, Baru said his decision came following requests from members of PKR Selangau sub-branch.
“One of the issues that had been raised in Selangau was over Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.
“I understand the NCR land issue here in Selangau because based on my experience as a lawyer, many NCR land cases actually are from Selangau area, especially in Tamin and Kakus.
“Because of this, I think this (decision to stand in Selangau) comes at a right time because this (NCR) issue should not just be raised in the State Legislative Assembly, but in Parliament as well,” he said, adding that as Ba Kelalan assemblyman, he had raised NCR issues many times in the august House.
Baru is involved in a straight fight with BN’s Rita Sarimah Patrick Insol of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), who is aiming to become the first Dayak woman MP.
Rita expressed her confidence of retaining Selangau seat for BN, held previously for three terms by recently-ousted PRS deputy president Datuk Joseph Entulu.
On the NCR land issue, she said most of the land in Tamin area had been gazetted under Section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code.
“There are disputes in one or two places and I think issues about ‘Pulau Galau’, and ‘Pemakai Menua’ will be discussed in the august House in July.
“I am sure the issue will be resolved soon,” she said.
Rita submitted her nomination papers at 9.05am, proposed by Assistant Minister of Native Laws and Customs Datuk John Sikie Tayai and seconded by Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira.
Baru’s candidacy was proposed by Jimbai Agan and seconded by Simon Joseph.
Returning Officer Enting @ Inting Nyami announced the candidacies at Selangau Multipurpose Hall at 10.40am after no objection was received.