The most important asset for the Iban is land. If sarawak Government under the leadership of Tun Rahman Yaakub and Taib Mahmud did not stop surveying the NCR land, the condition of the longhouses will not be like as the are now, without access road, electricity and clean water.
PM Najib during his Working Visit to Sarawak recently, when talking to the Iban in Lubok Antu had promised that the government will not take away their lands, and further added that their NCR land issue which concerned them most will be tackled promptly.He also informed the people of Lubok Antu that from the discussion that he had with Tok Uban, he was convinced that the State's model of NCR lands development would ensure a better future for the Iban. But what PM Najib did not understand or wrongly briefed by Tok Uban about the NCR Gaya Baru which is implemented on the NCR lands are :-
- The JV - 60% Company, 30% land owner and 10% to the state government agency Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) .
- After 60 years leased lapsed it does not guarantee that the land will be returned to NCR land owner.
- Most of the JVs so far (like in Kanowit, Empaling-Ubah-Tekuyung & Isu ) have not bared any fruit of success what to say managed to chang the life of the participants. For example, I am participating in Empaling-Ubah-Tekuyung & Isu JV, and so far I did not see that the JV is making much money to pay our dividents. Same goes to the JV in Kanowit as I may qoute. In 1996, Iban landowners in Sarawak agreed that their land in the Kanowit District be planted with oil palm. A joint venture between Boustead Plantations (60%), the villagers (30%) and the state government agency Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) (10%) was established.Through the agreement, villagers were promised roads that would connect the longhouses in the area, electricity and piped water supply, as well as 60-year land titles for the Native Customary Rights (NCR) landowners. However, it was reported that despite the fruits have been harvested for many years, NCR landowners have been paid no dividends except for an initial meagre advance paid in 1997. None of the other promises has been fulfilled. The natives could no longer bear the abuse and decided to take action to protect their interests. In April a blockade action was staged to stop the company from entering their oil palm plantation. At first it was carried out only by three longhouse communities but later on others followed up to 20 longhouses.
- The Concept is totally different from FELDA that his father, Late Tun Abdul Razak started - especially in term of the owner of the land being developed, and the duration of land leased.
PM Najib must understand that the NCR land for the Iban is like a tanah wakaf to Malay in Peninsular Malaysia. To understand our problem clearly, the federal government should try to develope the tanah wakaf using the Gaya Baru NCR land development concept in Sarawak.Let see how the Malay in Peninsular will responds...
Iban were stupid for throwing their votes to BN knowingly that BN Sarawak has taken and robbed their lands. But the time will come for sure, if not now , in the coming General Election we will follow the footsteps of our forefather, willing to die for our lands...remember that "Land is our Blood and Life".
To PM Najib and BN, you will see for yourself if you DON'T WALK THE TALK!
"Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban"