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CM Must Intervene ‘Sukau Tragedy’

DATUK Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, is urging the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, to take an urgent step to intervene into what it calls the ‘Sukau Tragedy’ in which houses are being bulldozed by a company which wants natives to vacate an NCR land. 

In an urgent appeal made here, the UBF Chairman, reported that he had just returned from a visit to the site of Kampung Km. 6, Jalan Sukau, Sandakan where he personally witnessed the debris of two houses which have already been bulldozed by Syarikat Campo Sdn. Bhd. which claims to have receive the title to the land, and considered the people there as intruders although they have been there since 1989. 

“The Tombonuo natives of the village had applied for the land since then but their application was never processed,” he said. 

“But strangely the said company, owned by Dato’ Naser Yeo, Azlan Naser, and Kan Kan Mun, claims to have received the title to the land in 2008. But the record shows that the RSP for the land was issued only last year. Clearly there is a discrepancy somewhere, possibly due to some hanky-panky.” 

He said the village head, Kattif Kussoi, had informed him that the villagers are really distraught by the whole development, and are asking for the authorities to do something. Unfortunately, no party seems to he interested in helping them. 

“Several villagers even reported to me that the local assemblyman was in his car during the operation to bulldoze the houses, and even at one point urging the bulldozer’s driver, ‘Tunggu apa lagi?’ (What else are you wating for?),” he said. “If this is true, it proves that the assemblyman is in cahoots with the company.”

Jeffrey lamented the fact that before issuing the land title to the company, the Land and surveys Department didn’t even bother to inspect the land to see if there were already occupants on it. 

“And it is also unbelievable that the department would have been unaware that there are 29 original applicants to the land,” he added. “As of today 11 applicants have withdrawn their applications, leaving 18 remaining applications.”

He said that if the State Government is truly concerned for the people, the Chief Minister would immediately order a stoppage of the company’s ‘inhuman rampage’ against the poor natives. “This incident is unconscionable,” he said. “And a government who claims to defend the people cannot allow this to happen.”

He propose that the State Government must sit down to form a special task force to look into all cases involving this kind of land grabs that violates the people Native Customary Rights. 

“This kind of cases have been rampant in Sabah , to the point that the Malaysian Human rights Commission (Suhakam) has been involved very deeply in it,” he urged. “But sadly, there seems to have been no solution, and the inhuman act, which seems to suggest we are living in a despotic authoritarian regime, is still happening.”

He said the people are feeling that the government leaders and officials are now so corrupt that they no longer have any feeling for the people, but are working with big companies for their personal interests. 

“They feel that even the laws are no longer able to protect them,” he lamented,” he said. “Why is the government continuing to turn blind eye on these cases when the people are repeatedly being reassured that only the Barisan Nasional can guarantee their wellbeing and future? Can the government really pretend to be deaf while the people continue to be victimized and marginalized at the benefit of big companies from outside Sabah?”

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