Plantation firm claims land in Igan being encroached on


An aerial view of the conservation land.

The map showing the conservation land and Pasin.

KUCHING: An area set aside for conservation purpose by a plantation company that operates on a piece of land near Sungai Matahari Besar in Igan has been encroached on by locals with illegal logging activities and farming.

The company is now seeking the relevant authorities’ intervention to stop the illegal activities committed by locals on the land.

The locals, who were burning the surface of the land and felling timbers on it for the purpose of farming, come from longhouses in the nearby Pasin area.

The (conservation) land is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) to preserve the environment.

To get to the bottom of things, the company staff interviewed several locals at random.

A woman named Bebah from Rumah Imak in Pasin claimed she did not know who had burnt the area, but she herself planted vegetables and banana trees on the land.

To get to the area, the local people would have to use boats to cross the Sungai Matahari Besar, she said, adding it would take her about an hour by boat to reach the area from her longhouse.

Two other locals, only known as Ingu and Rimbum,  however, claimed that the land belonged to many people including a penghulu and longhouse chiefs namely TR Imak and TR Henry from Pasin.

They said it would take them about 10 minutes to get to the land in question. The land, they added, was where they would forage for food and hunt for wild animals.

They would burn the land for planting cash crops like oil palm, pineapples and corn.