Oil palm plantation along Miri-Bintulu road.

Oil palm plantation along Miri-Bintulu road. Thousands of hectares of native lands have been developed into oil palm plantations with or without their permission over the past few years.

Sarawak deputy chief minister should be credited for mooting the ‘New Concept’ in Native Customary Right (NCR) Lands development and acquisition.

In recent years, this so called ‘new concept’ has been revolving to become a very slick, trickery concept that eventually enable politicians, government officials brokering land deals in disguise of bringing development to the land owners.

The modus operandi is very simple – politicians, government officials persuade, (if that didn’t work threaten NCR land owners) entering into very dubious joint venture.

After the agreement being signed, just when the natives beginning to feel comfortable – they sold the join-venture (lands) to third party for profit.

This is often done without the knowledge and approval of NCR land owners as in this Kim Loong Resources Berhad plans to buy a 60 percent stake in Sarawak’s Tetangga Akrab Pelita (Pantu) to increase its land bank for oil palm plantation.

According to Broken Shield the land owners disagreed with the sale. But that didn’t stop some 2.02 million shares of RM1 each in Tetangga Akrab Pelita from being sought, while the remaining of 40 percent owned by Pelita (10 percent) and the rest by NCR land owners through a joint venture scheme.

Representatives of five longhouses in Ulu Suai, Niah at a press conference in Miri on Monday.

Representatives of five longhouses in Ulu Suai, Niah at a press conference in Miri on Monday.

In another almost related cases – five longhouses in Ulu Suai, Niah questioned government action in giving their provisional lease (PL) lands to a plantation company.

Mr Siew Choon Siak a representative of the five longhouses ie., Rumah Rajang or Kampung Wawasan, Rumah Tapu, Rumah Umpur, Rumah Sabang dan Rumah Atat said they were shocked to find their lands had been leased to a company.