In the latest move to protect their native customary rights (NCR), Penan and Kenyah communities from Long Na’ah and Long Kesseh in Baram have taken the brave decision to sue Taib Mahmud and the State Government over two plots of land that will be affected by the proposed Baram Dam.
Filing the suit on behalf of plaintiffs Anyi Eng, Edward Jok Wan and Engan Engan, for the people of Long Na’ah, and Anyi Ajang, Malang Laeng and Wan Jok, from Long Kesseh, was NCR lawyer Harrison Ngau.
“This is the first case we are filing, but there will be at least two cases. In this case, our ground is that we are challenging the constitutionality of Section 5(3) and 5(4) of the Sarawak Land Code, We are saying that the natives are part and parcel of the ancestral land and their rights over the land cannot be extinguished, and that Section 5(3) and 5(4) violated their right to the land. They will reply on the fact that the land, being their source of life, cannot be taken away or be extinguished by such law. The land within these two plots (Plot A and Plot B) is part of native customary land of the people” Harrison told reporters.
Just last week, it is understood that BN local Assemblyman Denis Ngau urged Sarawak Energy to step back from its aggressive implementation of the Baram dam in the face of protests by indigenous communities in Baram. Protestors are remaining at the Baram blockade however, as many believe the attempt to be merely a tactical retreat by Taib.
Human rights groups and concerned Malaysians will be keeping a close eye on developments as they occur in Baram in the coming days.
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