Resolve problems of Kimanis villagers: KDM Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu: The Kadazan, Dusun and Murut Malaysia (KDM Malaysia) organisation is urging the relevant authorities to resolve the problems faced by villagers in Kg Ulu Sawatan, Kimanis.
Its President, Datuk Peter Anthony, said the organisation is also willing to provide legal assistance so as to enable the villagers whose lands they claimed have been given away to strangers, to pursue the matter if all avenues have been exhausted.
He was responding to a letter from the villagers that sought KDM Malaysia's help to solve their problem.
Nevertheless, he urged the villagers to be patient and to render cooperation to the authorities.
"I was informed that those involved in the predicament have lodged reports with the police (in Papar)," he said.
He also advised the villagers to inform the elected representatives, both Assemblyman and MP in the constituency concerned of their predicament.
Recently, original settlers of Kg Ulu Sawatan voiced their grievances in the media that the lands they have been applying for and toiled on for more than three decades are now owned by strangers.
Others, who have already obtained land titles, claimed that the timber resources in their property continue to be plundered.
To this, Anthony said he and some friends in KDM Malaysia have visited the land concerned and confirmed that there was evidence that timber there have been exploited.
He said there was an agreement between the landowners and the timber company to extract logs from their property.
"But from our observation and inspections, the titled land acreage is smaller than the size of land that has been encroached for timber extraction," he said.
He said timber-felling activity in the area concerned is still continuing.
"The timber extraction activity there should have ceased immediately right after the villagers lodged complaints," he said.
To this, Anthony expressed disappointment with the statement by PBS Pantai Manis Division Chief, Datuk Johnny Mositun, who denied any encroachment in Ulu Sawatan.
He said if the villagers complained, surely there must be problems.
"Maybe he is just too busy with his duty as Deputy State Speaker that he has no time to visit the ground," he said.
On this, he said if the matter were not resolved, it would not be good for the Barisan Nasional (BN), especially when the general election is just round the corner.
To this end, he if the villagers face any problems and require help from KDM Malaysia, they could call KDM's office at 088-719188 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 088-719188 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Youth Intercultural Dialogue "Train the Facilitator" Phase II organised by KDM Malaysia, would be held here on Oct 12-14.
The programme, Anthony said, is a continuation to the programme that was held in the middle of this year in Kundasang.
Among the programme modules, he said, are 1Malaysia leadership, volunteerism and multi management