Mark Bujang Executive Director of Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia or BRIMAS

Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia (BRIMAS) executive director Mark Bujang rapped Dr Rundi today for the latter recent comment that implied landowners in the state were making unsubstantiated claims over temuda in the state as they can’t distinguished it from NCR lands.

This according to Dr Rundi led to several landowners end up using opposition parties, bloggers to substantiate their claim, especially these lands were taken over by government for development – a comment indirectly targeted at Nor Nyawai recent claim over parcel of land in Sekabai areas.

However according to Mark, such comment only showed Dr Rundi shallow understanding of Native Customary Rights concepts, and also Iban common customs and practices in the state from time immemorial.

“It is clear that Dr. Rundi is confused and has yet to have a full understanding of what NCR is and its concepts according to the customs and practices of the Ibans and also according to the law,” Mark said in a press statement released on Friday.

He then added: “NCR is created over land when a native or his/her community clears a forested area for the purpose of occupation, farming, hunting, fishing, searching for forest produce, establishing gravesites, using the area as a right of way or for any other lawful purpose for the community’s livelihood.”

“Native Customary Land is land where NCR has been created over it. It has no document of title and it can be passed down form one generation to the next according to customs of the community. NCR to land can be created by an individual native or communally by a native community.”

“For the Ibans, they closely associate land with their religious beliefs and traditional Iban farming combines both religious and cultural practices,”

Mark said, the Ibans live in their territorial domain also known as pemakai menoa – a buffer zone that offers various resource, including land suitable for farming, water, fishing, hunting, and forest produce.

Groups of families come together to create the longhouse itself, which is a structure large enough to accommodate the families in rooms that are joined together and arranged in a row.

Each pemakai menoa has a boundary or garis menoa with other communities. The longhouse is designed to expand and support new families. Once the longhouse has become to old to be maintained, the community would then look for a new site to build their new longhouse within the borders of their pemakai menoa. The old longhouse or settlement would then be called tembawai.

The pemakai menoa includes temuda (cultivated land), tembawai (previous settlement), pendam (gravesites) and pulau (forest areas). The garis menoa is the defined boundary between one community and the next and normally is determined with reference to mountains, ridges, rivers and other geographical features.

At times, other physical reference is used to define the garis menoa such as the honey tree or bamboo shrubs.

Mark said there are also a few court decisions which stresses the NCR concept according to customs and practices of the natives.

“Dr. Rundi should read the High Court decision of Nor Anak Nyawai and ors v Borneo Pulp Plantation Sdn. Bhd., Federal Court decision of Superintendent of Land and Surveys, Miri Division and Government of Sarawak v Madeli bin Salleh and the recent two High Court decisions of Agi Anak Bungkong and ors v Ladang Sawit Bintulu and ors and Mohd Rambli Kawi v Superintendent of Land and Surveys, Kuching Division.”

“Being the Secretary General of Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) a party claiming to represent and protects bumiputra rights … Dr. Rundi and his party are directly and solely responsible for the said deprivations or loss of the rights of the natives to their lands within the boundary of their longhouses in the Kemena constituency.”