Sebangan is located in the State of Sarawak, Malaysia.

Numpang Suntai and 14 others, representing 276 Iban families from the 15 longhouse communities of Kampung Entanggor, Ensika, Lumut, Arus Dayak, Tongkah Dayak, Tongkah Dayak Lubuk Manta, Tongkah Dayak Atas, Tongkah Dayak Rumah Panjai, Lunying, Belimbing Besi, Ketimbong and Bajong Ili, Bajong Ili Atas, Bajong Ili Tengah, Bajong Ili Baruh, all situated at Sebangan, Simunjan, Sarawak, filed their civil suit at the Kuching High Court on November 1st, 2010.

This case was heard at Kuching High Court on August 8th though August 19th 2011. This civil court proceeding is far from over. It is to continue on November 8th through 11th, 2011 and will reconvene again on December 19 through December 23rd, 2011.

Named as defendants in the civil suit are Quality Concrete Sdn Bhd the timber concession holder, Loyal Billion Sdn Bhd the logging contractor, 2 government appointed community leaders Penghulu Merum anak Babu and Ketua Kampung Agu anak Kaleng, together with the Director of Foresty and the Sarawak State Government.

The Sebuyau and Sebangan Ibans still need your moral and financial support to fight against illegal loggers. Your contributions will pay for the legal expenses and the cost of transportation, lodging, and food for Sebangan villagers who will be attending the proceedings in Kuching.

We desperately need your support to save our NCR heritages and our prestine environment from further destruction. If we lost this case, we will lost our land and forest to timber tycoons and oil palm plantation owners. Losing this case is losing our life line, our means of survival. Without our land and forests, we the Dayaks, the natives of Borneo, we have nothing.

In the USA please e-mail for postal address and other information. Or you can use Pay Pal by clicking Donate and you can use any credit cards to donate on-line. Thank you for you donations and support.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More native lands to make way for oil palm

By FMT Staff
PETALING JAYA: With an already declining rainforest, Sarawak now intends to turn another million hectares of jungle into oil palm plantations in the next 10 years.
According to English daily The Star, Sarawak Land Development Minister James Masing said native customary rights (NCR) land belonging to the state's indigenous people would be used to plant more oil palm.
Masing said that the state government was looking into a "more aggressive" conversion of native lands, and that it had request for funds from the federal government for this purpose.
Swiss-based rainforest activist group Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF) was appalled at this decision. "Masing's announcement comes as a shock to human rights and environmental campaigners who are increasingly concerned about the ruthless alienation of native lands," it said.
BMF said that more than 920,000 hectares of land in Sarawak are occupied by oil palm plantations. It added that Masing's plan would add two million more hectares by 2020.
NCR land is a contentious issue in Sarawak, where many indigenous communities have faced down both private companies and the state government for moving into their territory.

Late last October, seven Iban villagers from Sebuyau were accused of allegedly setting fire to a timber campsite. The villagers have argued that the charges were baseless, as some of them were not even in the area when the incident took place.

Prior to the supposed arson, the people of Sebuyau mounted a blockade to prevent timber workers from entering an area which the former claimed was NCR land.

Their attempts to include the state government in defending their land fell on deaf ears. However, when the alleged burning took place, the authorities were noticeably lightning-quick in detaining the accused villagers.   

Note from Christina Suntai:  My brother,  Numpang Suntai is now being summoned to appear at Magistrate Court in Serian on December 15th, 2010.  This is how they treated natives who are trying to hold on to their properties inherited from their forefathers hundreds of years ago before the formation of Malaysia.  Is this fair?  Is this justice? 

BMF said that the state government had failed to enforce its forest legislation policies and accused it of unlawfully handling native rights issues.

The activist group said this had led to the European Union's decision to stop timber trade talks with Malaysia over its Voluntary Partnership Agreement.
BMF also said that the root of all of Sarawak's environmental problems was the rule of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.
In charge of the state since 1981, Taib has recently come under fire over land deals given to his family members, as well as owning a large number of overseas properties.

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