Tue, 30 May 2023



Remanded 'for lodging report against firm'
Published on: Friday, August 14, 2015
Text Size:

Kota Kinabalu: Three men were remanded by police for five days after a company lodged a police report against them for "obstruction of works" at the Sapulut 4 Communal Grant land in Kg Bigor, Nabawan.Statly Ampihing, Mathius Galus and Asiet Andarum, were objecting to the company's project which they claimed had destroyed their Native Customary Rights (NCR) land, including their rubber trees as well as the village's water source.

The company had been appointed by the government to carry out development on the Sapulut 4 Communal Grant land. Statly and his wife are among the beneficiaries of the communal grant.

"They used heavy machineries on the land. This area is our NCR land and we do not want it destroyed," said Statly after lodging a police report in Karamunsing police station against the company's activity in their village.

Statly said on July 30, one of the company's workers told them that the company had lodged a police report against them, prompting him and Mathius to go to Nabawan police station on Aug 3.

There, they were advised to refer their case to a police officer in Keningau police station.

Later that evening, both men met with the investigating officer who informed them of the company's report and that they would be placed under arrest for 24 hours to assist in the investigation. However, upon negotiation, the officer agreed to allow Statly to surrender on Aug 4.

Accompanied by 12 other villagers, Statly returned to the police station where he, together with Mathius and Asiet, were put in the lockup. "The next day, we were brought before the assistant district officer for remand hearing.

The police officer applied for four days remand and it was approved by the assistant district officer.

"During the four days, we were very cooperative and told the officers in charge about our lives and how dependent we are to our NCR land. Since we were detained on Aug 4 until Aug 10, we were only interviewed for about two hours," he said.

On the last day, Statly said a police officer told them to tell the other villagers not to try and stop the company from doing their works.

"He said if 100 times we protest and try to disrupt the company, 100 times the police will come and get us," he said.

Considering the tone of the police officers, Statly said it sounded like a threat and the police is using scare tactic in order to stop the villagers from defending their land rights.

As a beneficiary to the land, he said he is shocked that he is not allowed to choose what to do with his part of the land.

"My wife and I never signed any joint venture agreement with the company. Many villagers signed the agreement and received RM2,000 payment. But on my part, I want to activate the other option of the communal grant, which is to be able to develop the land on my own.

"The Land and Survey Director Datuk Osman Jamal had assured beneficiaries during the Symposium on Natives Rights in 2013 that we would be given the choice. How is it that I am now accused of intruding my own NCR?

"This goes directly against Osman's statements," he said.

Statly also said that he had previously lodged a report against the company in Nabawan police station but was not told of the progress of the investigation.

He had also met with officers in Nabawan District Office and wrote several letters of complaint to the relevant authorities regarding the matter, to no avail.

"We want to stress that NCR is our source of life and for our future generations. Without our NCR, we will have difficulty to carry on living.

Therefore, we will continue to defend our NCR no matter what the cost, for our lives' sake," he said.



Sabah Top Stories

Follow Us  

Follow us on            

Daily Express TV