The tempo against land grabs is increasing: Niah land owners start another blockade against Niamas Istimewa, close on the heel of a previous one within weeks! Actually another blockade elsewhere in Sarawak is also in the work. Watch out!
Ulu Niah natives erected another blockade against plantation company
MIRI – Representatives of an Iban longhouse from Rumah Belilie in Ulu Niah erected a blockade yesterday against an oil palm company Niamas Istimewa Sdn. Bhd.
This is the second blockade erected against the company after the first blockade was erected by the residents of a neighbouring longhouse, Rumah Ranggong last week.
The Ibans erected the blockade because they are protesting that their dividends and bonuses promised to them by the joint venture (JV) scheme or commonly known as ‘Konsep Baru’ are long overdue.
The Ibans are also demanding to see the company’s statement of accounts, as they feel that they have a right to know the financial status of the JV company, since they are also a party to the JV.
Last week, about 200 representatives from Rumah Ranggong started to erect a blockade against the same JV company.
The residents of Rumah Ranggong are also not happy with the JV company as they felt that they have been cheated into participating in the JV scheme.
A spokesperson from Rumah Ranggong, Changgai Anak Dali said that all this while they thought that the Ulu Niah NCR Project which is being implemented by the JV company still exists. He was shocked to received a letter in 2008 that he was being sued by BLD Resources Sdn. Bhd for allegedly trespassing into the latter’s land.
It is only after appearing in court, Changgai and the rest of his longhouse residents came to know that the project was revoke and that the status of the land is now State Land.
The residents of Rumah Ranggong and Rumah Belilie are participants of an NCR joint venture development project called the Ulu Niah NCR Project.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sarawak Land Development Board (SLDB) and Bintulu Lumber Development Sdn. Bhd. (BLD) was signed in September 1999 and subsequently a JV agreement in January 2000. By December 2000 the Deed and Trust Deed was signed by the NCR landowners, surrendering their NCR land to SLDB as their trustee.
In this scheme, the government agency, SLDB has 10% equity, BLD has 60% equiity and the NCR landowners has 30% equity. The name of the JV company is Niamas Istimewa Sdn. Bhd.
In October 2008, a Deed of Recission was signed between SLDB and BLD whereby the JV agreement is rescinded based on the reason that the Land and Survey Department made a mistake in declaring the land as NCR.