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Smallholders protest against political interference in case
Published on: Thursday, May 28, 2020
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From left: Ettin Shuaib and Andurangan.
Kota Kinabalu: The two plaintiffs who obtained an injunction to prevent the transfer of smallholder lands at Lahad Datu Bagahak land scheme have reiterated their firm objection to attempts of the Sabah Government to withdraw their injunctions.    

Smallholder Andurangan Tubay, 71, and Ettin Ali, 83, both pensioners, had obtained an injunction in October 2018 against Borneo Samudera Sdn Bhd and Bagahak Plantation Sdn Bhd, both of which are owned by the Sabah Government, to stop the signing of a “Global Settlement Agreement which will effectively transfer land at Bagahak to third parties which are private interests.”

A family member of the smallholders, Dato Shuaib Dato Mutalib, said the two plaintiffs were called at short notice to meet with the management of Borneo Samudera at the company office in Kota Kinabalu Wednesday morning.

“The smallholders and their lawyer have made it very clear that the plaintiffs disagree with the attempt by the GLCs (government-linked companies) to set aside the injunction because the injunction is the only legal protection that smallholders can rely on to protect their interest in their land. 

“The land is already fully developed and bearing fruits and income for the smallholders and families, all of whom are natives of Sabah”, said Shuaib in a statement Wednesday.

“We ask that the Sabah Government protect us, the smallholders who are genuine Sabahans. 

“We are scared that a Deputy Chief Minister might be putting political pressure on Borneo Samudera and Bagahak Plantations to sign the Global Settlement Agreement and then transfer our land away,” he said.

Shuaib said there was already a judgement by the Tawau High Court in 2014 that had nullified the illegal sale agreement that was done by a lawyer who is now a senior member of the Sabah Cabinet. 

The Global Settlement Agreement that is now being forced upon Borneo Samudera Sdn Bhd, a 100 per cent owned Sabah Government company, will effectively reinstate that illegal sale agreement, he said.

“At last, the Court of Appeal will get the chance to hear the appeal of that Tawau judgement on June 16, 2020.

“We ask that the Sabah Government, including Cabinet Ministers, let the court process takes it course. Do not put political pressures to stop the court process,” said Shuaib.



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