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Told the government to respect the customary rights of the natives over their native lands


Media Statement

by Chiew Chin Sing

(Sarawak, Thursday): The Sarawak State Assemblyman for Kidurong Chiew Chin Sing told the government to respect the customary rights of the natives over their native lands.

He said that the natives of Sarawak who had settled on the land in Sarawak in accordance to their time honoured traditions and customary laws should be given due recognition and not be chased out of their lands by the government.


Chiew was referring to the longhouse folks of Rumah Nyawin who had been served the  eviction notice by the Land Survey Department to vacate the land where their longhouse stands within 30 days from last October 4, the date of the letter received by each of them.


There are plenty of land in Sarawak, enough for everybody, whereas some lands are necessary for  plantation companies and other government agencies their should be land for the people also. The temuda is the land for the Iban.


The natives of Sarawak had lived on lands all their lives. It is the land which their find meanings in lives and on which everything depends. They farm on the land and from their temuda land they find their source of livelihood and home. Without the land they have nothing.  


Rumah Nyawin is a 11- door longhouse with a population size of about 120 people. It is situateded at Mile 32, Bintulu-Bakun road, about an hourís drive from the Bintulu town.


The people of the longhouse of  Rumah Nyawin had been staying on the land for more than 20 years and according to the Tuai Rumah the longhouse had been been receiving projects like tar sealing their entrance road, paints, doors, toilets, water tanks, wooden materials and others from the government during elections.


The folks at the longhouse are worried of the eviction notice come due on the 4th of November, 2006.  The longhouse temuda land is the only thing they have. It is their property and their pride. Their families depend on the land and if they were chased out they  would have no place to stay.


Chiew also said that it is not right for the government  to sent in enforcement personnel armed with pistols and M-16 as the long house folks, according to their adat, are very offended by them carrying the guns into their longhouse, walking up and down the ruai.


He therefore ask the government to respect the adat of these natives of Sarawak and allow them to stay and live on the land as had been practiced by their ancestors since time in memorial.


*Chiew Chin Sing, Chairman DAP Bintulu Branch,DAP Sarawak Deputy Chairman and Sarawak State Assemblyman for Kidurong

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