The Orang Asal must be proactive in defending their land and preventing it from falling into the hands of illegal immigrants who may have become “citizens” by the backdoor.
PRESS STATEMENT The Momogun National Congress (MNC) is shocked that the Eastern Sabah Security Command (EssCom), the authority responsible for the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (EssZone), was allegedly roped in by the Sandakan Municipal Council (SMC) to act against Orang Asal villagers protesting against illegal immigrants in their village.
EssCom was never intended to be used to crush protesting Native villagers fighting for their land and livelihood. The Sabah Government should stop land grab attempts by immigrants.
The state government has not only not done anything about the villagers protesting for so long against the illegal immigrants in their area, it seems that EssCom has jumped on the SMC bandwagon as well to chase out the Orang Asal from their native reserves.
EssCom should not be involved in protests staged by the Orang Asal defending their land. They should look at their Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Terms of Reference (TOR) again.
We note from media reports that the villagers in Gum Gum, Sandakan, had gone to Court to seek protection against the SMC and foreigners laying claim to their land. The government officials who ignored complaints lodged by the villagers must be investigated. Action should be taken against them if they are guilty of gross negligence.
In fact, they should be sacked. That will also serve as a warning to others who are party to illegalities perpetrated by foreigners.
We urge an urgent investigation into allegations by villagers in Kampung Sinar Baru in Gum Gum, Sandakan, that the village chief there is an immigrant and that he has been in cahoots with the Sandakan District Chief since 2004 to issue lots on native reserves to illegal immigrants.
This is a serious matter that merits an immediate investigation. The investigation should focus on whether those in authority abused their powers to permit the immigrants to take over land already gazetted and reserved for the Orang Asal.
They should be investigated for transferring land from Natives to immigrants. They have no power to do that.
We have called for a MNC Supreme Council meeting on April 30 to discuss the NCR (native customary rights) issue and the plight of the villagers in Kampung Sinar Baru in Gum Gum, Sandakan.
The villagers in Gum Gum are the victims, not the perpetrators of a crime. We will set up a special committee on this and NCR issues.
MNC supports the rights of the Orang Asal to NCR land and would fight alongside them all the way. The Orang Asal must be proactive in defending their land and preventing it from falling into the hands of illegal immigrants who may have become “citizens” by the backdoor.
Momogun National Congress (MNC)