Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Berawans' Struggle in Mulu Paradise Continues

Maybe we should boycott Royal Mulu Resort. The next time you visit Mulu National Park, please stay at the National Park instead.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
By Willie Kajan

Fighting an increasingly difficult battle, the Berawan struggle on in defense of native customary rights to their ancestral land that has now been alienated for development of the tourism industry. For the past few years, the community leaders have been trying to address the issue with the authority but nothing has come into effect.

In year 1993, the Sarawak Government intensified its publicity campaign against this group of indigenous people. The state ministers and their deputies openly criticized the Berawan as greedy people and refused to meet them. They claimed that the development of the tourism industry in Mulu is for the benefit of the people and the state.

The Chief Minister of Sarawak Abdul Taib Mahmud was quoted by the newspapers as saying that the state government will not hold any meeting with the Berawan. He stated that the Berawan do not have any proof of their Native Customary Right claim to the land in Mulu and the government is not going to entertain these greedy people.

Judging from the official statistics, it could not be disputed that tourism sector has fast becoming a main foreign revenue earner to the country. However, we have doubts with the real gains considering that in this case of the Royal Mulu Resort, the indigenous communities are victimized and exploited.

The Superintendent of Land and Survey approached the landowner Tama Lian Mallang, who has ancestral land rights, in 1975. The Superintendent told him that the government wanted to acquire his land for the building of the Mulu National Park Headquarters. When his land was surveyed, it was 19.9 acres. The Superintendent informed him that the value per acre was RM80.00 and the authority took 3 years to award the compensation to the landowner.
Instead of building the Mulu National Park headquarters, the authority alienated this pieces of land to private company to build the Royal Mulu Resort costing RM60 million in 1991. The Royal Mulu Resort started operating at the beginning of year 1993.

Our investigations further revealed that it is the Chief Minister of Sarawak Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family that will benefit more from this tourist resort project.

This company was given a provisional land lease on May 13th 1993 to an area measuring approximately 243 acres for the proposed second phrase of the Royal Mulu Resort and other property development purposes by the state Land and Survey Department. The name of the company is Borsarmulu Resort Sendirian Berhad (Sdn. Bhd. means Private Limited Company).

1 comment:

Sephyrave said...

Hi I am Raymond Tan. Like you, I am a Malaysian(and an environmentalist) as well.

I have been blogging about the environment for some moments,but my blog is still in the infancy stage. After I came upon your blog I learned a lot on blogging on the environment.The blog entries are insightful and informational. I hope that maybe in the near future I can learn more. Perhaps we can work together in blogging about the environment?

Hope to hear from you soon!