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Allan Siden Gramong

MACHAN assemblyman Allan Siden Gramong told the State Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday that the felling of engkabang and other merchantable timber trees in his constituency has caused uproar among local folk.

He alleged the incident in Ulu Machan was perpetrated by the very people who claimed to be protectors and defenders of native rights land.

“There have been cases of people who claimed to be protectors and defenders of native rights land but were the ones who unscrupulously and illegally encroached into their neighbour’s land by felling engkabang and other merchantable timber

“This dirty trick and incident happened in Ulu Machan and was done by the same body of persons who self-styled themselves as champions of the people,” he told the august House when debating the Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2018.

Siden thus called for the integrity of those who claim to look after native rights lands to be properly scrutinised.

He also described the Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2018 as an “historic landmark” for Sarawak –native land owners in particular – adding that the Bill would somewhat clear any form of ambiguity in native customary land rights.

“It is a well thought out Bill by taking into account the complexity of the issues as well as the sensitivities of every community that make up our plural and multi-racial society,” he said.

He added that the Bill is not about recognising ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’, but one that promotes understanding, unity, harmony and peace in the state.

However, he requested that the limit allowable for each territory domain under the Bill be reviewed to 1,000 hectares instead of 500 hectares.

Meanwhile, Samalaju assemblyman Majang Renggi concurred with Siden on the limit for each territorial domain to be increased, saying that 500 hectares would be insufficient for areas with a large population.

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