Tuesday, December 10

Kampung Tambirat villagers incensed by company trespassing on communal land, lodges report with MACC

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Ahmad (center), Samsudin (left) and Wahab (right) showing documents pertaining to the land dispute as well as a copy of a police report lodged recently outside MACC offices in Kuching.

KUCHING: Villagers from Kampung Tambirat in Asajaya have lodged a report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), claiming that a company has trespassed on their communal land earlier today.

Represented by the Kuching-Samarahan NCR Rights Defender chairman Ahmad Awang Ali, who was accompanied by Samsudin Junit and Wahab Nong, they told reporters that despite the land being caveated since 2010, the company had intruded upon the land.

“The land has been inhabited by Malays for generations, and suddenly this company came in. Previously, we had won four times when the land ownership status was brought to court. The last time we won was in 2010. This 408 acre land was then caveated by the villagers, represented by us, on Nov 10, 2010,” Ahmad said when met by reporters at MACC this morning.

He stated that by law, the company could not enter the land after the caveat but had intruded and bulldozed their crops two weeks ago, claiming they had permission from the Land and Survey Department and the relevant authorities.

As a result of this intrusion and bulldozing, Ahmad said that the villagers had filed about 10 police reports but was puzzled as to why no action had been taken.

“Some of the villagers already made police reports at the Kota Samarahan district police headquarters (IPD) and Asajaya police station, and recently I filed police reports at the Asajaya police station on Monday and Tuesday, but until now there has been no action taken.

“So today, we came to MACC to see if they can investigate this matter or not to find out if there is any corruption going on with this matter, and I’m happy to hear that MACC has said that they will look into this matter,” Ahmad said, adding that he also had been advised by MACC to meet with the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Integrity and Standards Compliance Department.

He also welcomed the company to bring the cases to court, saying that it was the best solution to the land dispute.

“If the case is brought to court, senang cerita (easy to solve). If we win, good. If we lose, we will accept the loss. What I don’t like is the provocation of sending people to threaten and scare us, saying that you are a big company with money and asking us landowners not to fight back.

“This is not the solution. The solution lies in the law. We don’t like provocation — we prefer a discussion where we can reach a win-win outcome,” Ahmad said.

He said that the land had previously been owned by about 20 Chinese ‘orang besar’ (prominent figures) mostly from Sibu who possessed land grants for the land, however the grants had expired.

“Before this, those 20 individuals had the land grants for the land so it was legal but the grants have expired so legally, the Land and Survey Department cannot renew the grants especially since it has been caveated,” Ahmad added.