The pained expressions of these poor landowners from Beluru say it all.
The Borneo Post described them as an “elated lot” as they were forced yesterday to parade before the cameras holding up monster cheques promoting ‘dividends’ from their oil palm ‘joint venture’.
In fact their shame and humiliation is plain for all to see.
The only person looking ‘elated’ is the grinning Minister for Land Grabbing, James Masing, who was behind this outdated election stunt.
What era does Masing think he is in that he and his BN colleagues think they can go round electioneering in such a way?
Rounding up communities and forcing them to thank him on a big stage with his picture blown up into a huge banner for dues that are rightfully theirs? This money is not James Masing’s to distribute and no one should be forced to thank him or be photographed in this way, like some sort of beggar receiving charity from BN.
Does James Masing not realise that everyone could see this event for what it is, a deceitful, disgusting and arrogant attempt to make himself look good at the expense of the pride and dignity of ordinary people in Beluru?
If he is in any doubt he should look at the distaste on the faces of his constituents who have been forced to grovel in this humiliating PR performance just so they can gain a pittance that is rightfully theirs.
The money grabbing truth about ‘Joint Ventures’ with BN
James Masing is of course the cheat and money grabber, who has been publicly exposed for taking secret kickbacks for land forcibly taken from his own constituents under just such a ‘Joint Venture’.
We have already exposed how he stood to make RM70 million along with his political partners, Mong Dagong and the Ulu Rajang candidate Wilson Ugat out of a similar scheme in Sri Aman. This too they had promoted as a Joint Venture, but it was really a trick to steal the profits from native lands.
Below is the secret letter sent by Mong Dagong inviting payments in return for NCR land in the ‘Joint Venture’. He makes clear the kickbacks should go to the companies Noble Reserves, Noble Resources or Noble Rewards, which are owned by Masing’s brother, Ugat’s wife and Mong’s wife!
“DEWAN UNDANGAN NEGERI SARAWAK
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
18th June 1997,
Kho Chee Pheng,
Megaruma Sdn Bhd,18, Jalan Kulas,93400, Kuching
Proposed Development of Oil Palm Plantation Area of Approximately 70, 000 Acres, More or Less At Kelingkang Range, (Bukit Begunan) Sri Aman, Sarawak
As an elected representative of the area I hereby authorized Mr Kho Chee Pheng (IC NO. 540905- 13 – 5653), of No.34, Three Hills Park, Lorong 2, Jalan Foochow Road No.1, 93300, Kuching, Sarawak, to propose, organize and invite any potential investor(s) intending to established and to develop on a joint venture basis with the landowners on oil palm plantation at Kelingkang Range, (Bukit Begunan), Sri Aman, SarawaI the Undersigned hereby agree that the investor(s) will have to pay at least RM1000,00 per acre and after deduction of the up front to LCDA the balance will be divided 50% to the undersign and 50% to Kho Chee Pheng
I also agreed that any of the three companies, Noble Reserves Sdn Bhd, Noble Resources Sdn Bhd or Noble Rewards Sdn Bhd to be used for the joint venture with the investor)s). Together herewith I enclosed my personal and curriculum vitae and also three (3) photocopies of our nominees Identity Cards, namely Bawang Ak Dem (IC NO. 660424-13-5886), Leyta Kupa (IC NO. 651120-13-5532) and Henry Yan Masing (IC NO. KP553094) for you to register into any of the three companies
If you need any assistance please do contact me,
Sekian, Terima Kasih,
(YB Mong Ak Dagang)
AHLI DEWAN UNDANGAN NEGERI N.22 BUKIT BEGUNAN
Yet, despite being caught out so publicly for such criminal theft from the people, Masing yesterday had the cheek to
turn up in Beluru and make a huge deal out of so kindly presenting 72 people cheques for a total of RM360,000 as their so-called ‘joint venture dividend’!
Let’s do the maths – 360,000 divided by 72 is just RM5,000 each for the land owners, who were forced by the state to give up their land to the ‘Joint Venture’ scheme.
Compare that miserable RM5,000 ringgit payment to the RM20million each being sought in kickbacks by James Masing, Mong Dagong and Wilson Ugat, who had no rights at all to any of this land in the first place!
As Land Development Minister James Masing has been the driving force behind the so-called Joint Ventures, backing Taib’s plans to take NCR land and force their communities to join the state in developing yet more oil palm plantations in Sarawak.
These forced land grabs have now been found illegal by the courts at the highest level. However, Taib and Masing have chosen to ignore this fact. Instead, they continue to promise that the plantations will make the local people wealthy with frequent dividends.
But everyone in Sarawak now knows that land owners who have lost their farms and jungle areas to these projects have often been left with no payments for years. If payment does arrive it has been in unpredictable and small amounts, usually produced by politicians at election time, just in the way that Masing delivered his cheques to Beluru this week.
As if the money was a gift from BN!
NCR land grabs are “a stale issue” according to Masing!
So, consider the folly of James Masing’s speech as he addressed the unsmiling people of Beluru at this nauseating self-promoting ceremony. The Land Development Minister had the breath taking arrogance to declare that NCR land issues are now a ‘Stale Issue‘ for the natives of Sarawak!
Land rights would not be a big issue or “hot topic” in the election he claimed, because so much land had already been taken by his BN policies. RM5000 ringgit every now and again at election times would be compensation enough for people, he decided and the promise by the opposition parties to return the NCR lands to their rightful communities would not be of interest to voters!
There will be many more attempts by Masing and Taib over coming weeks to make the same argument and to hand out cheques as if they were BN gifts instead of rightful money owed to the people who have lost their lands.
Voters will do well not to be held to ransom in this way by BN’s money grabbers and vote riggers.