SIBU: The Founder of the Independent Council of Native (ICON), Bill Jugah, demanded that Rimbunan Hijau (RH) respect the right of the landowners from Sepudun, Selangau who claimed to have not received any form of compensation for their 473 hectares of land.
According to Bill who facilitated a peaceful picket together with 200 native landowners in front of the RH office on Monday (August 1), there has been no paid compensation for the use of their land for commercial oil palm plantation (by RH) since 2002.
“They have through their representatives such as community leaders, written several letters to RH but have not received any feedback,” he said, stressing the company must agree to have a dialogue with them.
Bill said the picket took place as the affected land owners wanted to show their dissatisfaction to RH over the non-payment of the compensation.
“The land was given to RH for the development of the estate through their community leaders and their land was taken in 2002 as they trusted their community leaders.
“They are unable to take the matter to court as they are not able to afford the legal fee. It will be a long process if brought to court,” he said.
Bill also said that the land owners had lodged three police reports – two in Selangau and one in Mukah.
“We will write another letter to RH. If RH still does not respond, we will stage another picket with a police permit,” he said.