Sarawak’s joint ventures in oil palm plantations tend to end in dissappointment for the natives partners. A joint venture in Kg Dijih, Selangau saw the natives receiving merely Rm70.00 for some villagers since the plantation run by Pelita Holidings started in 1999. Dissatisfied natives started to harvest the oil palm fruits themselves. The company applied for a court injunction to stop that. Agnes Daya defied the order since she did not get what is due to her since the beginning of the project. When police wanted to arrest her at Sibu High Court her 100 Iban neighbours screamed to stop the police.
The struggle caused the court to adjourned a hearing to feb 2012 to determine how the profits from the plantation were to be delivered to the natives. It was a victory to this usually timid natives in Sarawak’s interior! See a video of the screams here.
A report by Radio Free Sarawak, interviewing Ali Basah, the natives lawyer, is here.