Villagers Residents from 16 villages protest against application
The residents of 16 villages in Bingkor have sternly protested against the application for 2,500 acres of Bingkor Native Reserve and water catchment area by 50 people whom they claim are outsiders. In a decision made by the 16 villages’ action committee at a meeting held at the Bandukan Park in Bingkor on Saturday, they called on the Government to cancel the application immediately. Chairman of the action committee, Robert Tawik, said the villagers had appealed to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman to intervene. “Protesting petition has been prepared by the committee and will be sent to the Chief Minister this week,” he said. According to him, the people from the 16 villages had applied for the land but was rejected by the Government department concerned in Keningau. He said the villagers had planted part of the land with rubber, oil palm and fruit trees. Robert claimed that the applicants had given wrong information to the highest authority in Kuala Lumpur to support their application. “The area applied for was included in the Bingkor Nativ Reserve and water catchment area and according to the customary rights, only the Dusun Gana and Kujau people have the right to apply for the land,” he said. Meanwhile, two village headmen from Bingkor have denied the applicants were from their villages. Kampung Bingkor Baru headman George Richard said the applicants were not from his village and they intentionally used the village name to suppo1t their application. “My villagers have protested against the application from outsiders for the land. We have applied for the land and part of it was developed with rubber and oil palm trees,” he said. Kampung Bandukan Lama headman Aviu Lumau said the applicants also used the village name to get approval for the application from the Government department concerned here. “They are not the residents from this village and we don’t know who are these people,” he said. According to Aviu, the application for the land by the people from Kampung Bandukan Lama, Bunsit and Bingkor Baru was rejected by the department concerned here on the ground that it is not suitable for agriculture and was proposed for water catchment. “But the people from the three villages are confident the land is not included in the water catchment area,” he said.