Accountability begins in Betong

Saturday 23 April, 2016


On today’s show, the three Tuai Rumah of Betong, along with 200 villagers, have stepped up their campaign to protest against the results of their section 6 survey after they were shocked to find that their land was now redesignated as Native Communal Reserve – effectively state land. Not prepared to just give up and accept, they are hitting back at the man they hold to blame, their former YB of many decades Alfred Jabu, by making a police report against him. No longer a YB, no longer DCM, Jabu is now being referred to in press coverage as the ‘Former Assemblyman for Layar’. He is accused by the community of failing in his duty as their representative by not obtaining proper informed consent for the survey for their 33.7 hectares of land for proposed road construction. Li Midian of Betong tells us that the former assemblyman has two days to respond or else legal action will be taken! How the mighty have fallen. Manggang from Betong takes up the theme and tells us that this area have a history of struggle against BN. He urges the voters to give up their quest for money in return for their votes. Just hold onto your land! Then Ayak Bujang Tuai recaps the whole case in his commentary. Learn from the experience of others!

The community won their case against BLD plantations on Friday thanks to a map given to them by the Brookes and there are celebrations all round. Uba of Rumah Changgai, Niah recalls the years that they have struggled against this KTS-linked company, down to their battles with gangsters along the way. In fact, their YB, Steven Rundi offered them a helping hand. Why is it only now, Uba wonders, when the case is won and the election is looming, that the YB has appeared to lend assistance?

Usan of Sabatu, Niah updates us on the stand off between his community and the Yuwang group. The company have failed to respond and the road is still cut off. The community will start their blockade on Monday when the estate manager returns and the community is at full strength, supported by PEDAS. They have been warned!

Three-cornered fight? If only! As we hear that 20 nomination forms have been issued in Pujut and 15 in Ba’kelalan, we speak to Haji Joffree of PAS in Pujut who actually predicts a four-cornered fight. In his view, people might have taken more than one in case they made a mistake on the application! He runs through the usual list of issues in Pujut – squatters, high cost of living and unemployment among them. Lets hope one out of the twenty has the skill to sort them out!

We come to part 2 of our interview with Dr Yo. She tells us about the impact of poor healthcare in the rural areas where lack of proper sanitation and infrastructure could lead to serious implications on the population there. She calls on the politicians to forefront rural healthcare. This is a basic human right, she says, and those are universal!

Tune in for all this and more, plus our Borneo Bulletin.

Semoa kitai tau bejako!

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