Longhouses claim NCR rights over land alienated to Chinese private schools

MIRI: The Board of Koperasi Kelasa Sdn Bhd which claims to represent 10 Kenyah longhouses said it has applied for the land in Baram alienated to Sarawak United Association of Private Chinese Schools Management Board which it says is the ancestral home of the Kenyah and Penan tribes.

Hoping that their voices would be heard by the state government, its chairman Xervaser Njau Lian said his people had native customary rights (NCR) over the land in Sg. Silat/Sg Palutan/Sg Agan in Silat Land District which goes beyond the Palutan basin and also includes Sg Selio, Sg Weng, Sg Agan, Sg Sengayan, Sg Tuabaau and Sg Data as it also contained the burial grounds of their ancestors.

Sg Palutan got its name from the Kenya tribe, who refer to a medicinal climbing plant that bears sweet reddish coloured fruit resembling pears with its latex used in embroidery as well as for external treatment as Pulatan, he said.

The cooperative which met last Sunday said it was apparent that the Chinese school board was unaware of the actual physical size of the land allocated to it.

The cooperative was responding to a report in The Borneo Post on Feb 24 that the schools management board was mulling to accept the governments offer of the 2,000ha land.

The Chinese schools board vice-chairman Richard Wee said they had a change of mind due to the generosity of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem in giving an annual grant of RM3 million to Chinese private schools.

Adenans predecessor and present Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud announced the alienation of the 2,000ha land to Chinese private schools in Kuching on Dec 17, 2010 when he was chief minister.

Source: http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/03/04/longhouses-claim-ncr-rights-over-land-alienated-to-chinese-private-schools/