SIBU: “Kamek sik mau jadi pengemis di rumah kamek empum!”
This was declared by Chairman of Pulau Bruit Oil Palm Scheme committee Ja’faar Kara when refuting claims by Superintendent of Land and Survey (Mukah) Unus Tambi that the residents of the coastal village in the Semop constituency had accepted the alienation of a 5000-hectare plot of land on the island to a Sibu based company Poh Zhen Sdn Bhd recently.
Since the claim by Unus that the issue had been settled, Ja’faar and his committee had been ostracised by their fellow villagers with many suspecting they had been bribed into giving up the fight for the land which the village committee had applied for in 2002.
A source from Pulau Bruit claimed that the Kampung Penipah folks are now awoken by the fight of Haji Ja’faar Kara and his committee to get the land back from Poh Zhen Sdn Bhd because part of the plot of land given to the company had been their temuda at the back of their village.
The Semop state assemblyman Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar had gone to the ground to intimidate the villagers into stopping their fight for the land by accusing them of being ungrateful to the government.
He used to talk them down with his fiery speeches but now they laugh at his oratory antics.
At the moment Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar is the most hated man in the area with many villagers swearing they would never vote for him in the next election although they all support the BN.
“Sapa sapa jak lawan Asfia kamek akan sokong walaupun nya orang Cina dari DAP,” one villager declared.
His arrogant attitude had long made the villagers detest him and the way he handles the land dispute is the final nail on the coffin of his political future in the Semop constituency.
In a press statement released on July 2 Unus had confirmed that the Provisional Lease on Lot 91, Block 6 Bruit Land District had been issued to Poh Zhen Sdn Bhd on May 19 2004 and claimed that village committee only applied for the land in 2008.
Haji Ja’faar Kara insisted that the villagers applied for the land in 2002 although the Land and Survey Department claimed not to have any record of that application.
What the villagers in Bruit want to know is why and how the land was transferred to Poh Zhen Sdn Bhd a 100 percent Chinese company while the application of the villagers, who are Bumiputera, were ignored?
On claims YB Datuk Norah Tun Rahman that the villagers would not be able to manage the oil palm plantation as they even ‘ sik pandey nanam sayor di balakang rumah pun’, it was merely an excuse to sell off the land to some rich towkays so that certain people can get hefty commissions.
The villagers are very angry that their own political representatives who are denying them a chance to live a better life by developing the land in their own backyard into oil palm estate.
Instead these political representatives demand them to pick up the crumbs from the table of some rich Chinese towkay in Sibu by working for them in their estate.
Haji Ja’faar Kara echoed their feelings when he said : “Kamek sik mau jadi pengemis di rumah kamek empum!.”
The question they are asking is loud and clear : ‘ How did Poh Zhen Sdn Bhd manage to get that piece of land behind their own backyard; and why their earlier application were denied.”
The BN better have the right answers to these questions or else the voters, not only in the Semop constituency, but also other constituencies in the area will rise up against them in the next election.