The alleged eviction of 10,000 Kedayans and Malays from Bekenu area in Miri Division now appears to be a non-issue to begin with.

Naroden center, holding the map of Siru/Sungai Kilong Sematan areas as Land Survey director Datu Sudarsono Osman (left) and Land and Survey Kuching division Abdullah Julaihi look on. (Photo: BP)

If the assistant minister in the Chief Minister Department Naroden Majais’s clarification on the issue yesterday is anything to go by, it would seem that the October eviction issue was instigated by certain quarters.

Naroden reitirated that no eviction order had ever been given to the so-called 10,000 people from the 13 affected villages – Kampung Batu satu, Butir, Kejapil, Selanyau, Keluru Tengah, Keluru Jaya, Opak, Tusan, Uban, Terahad, and Beraya as alleged.

In fact he said, only eight persons were issued eviction notices by lawyers representing the company which had been given provisional lease to carry out oil palm plantation on the two lots in question – Lot 3935 Lambir Land District and Lot 4448 Sibuti Land District.

“The eight are not living on these lots. They are also not locals but they have cultivated the land with oil palm so basically they have encroached on the land.

“These are the people who received the eviction letter from the lawyers of the company and not from the government,” he told press conference when revealing the findings of the field investigation carried out on Oct 14.

Naroden added the said area was alienated and issue with a provisional leas (PL) to Tung Cheong Sawmill Sdn Bhd for oil palm plantation and Land and Survey Department confirmed that he land alienated was state land and not subjected to any native customary rights (NCR).

Naroden who is also Land Development assistan minister, assured that any NCR would have been excluded prior to the land issuance of PL to the company concerned.

*Puvaneswary Devindran (BP) contributed to this report and edited by Bintulu.Org