Sunday, August 28, 2011
Bengoh villagers filed claim of NCR land ownership on dam site!
Back in 2009 the Bengoh villagers from Kampong Rejoi and Kampong Bojong filed a claim for NCR land ownership on the dam site with the help of land rights lawyer See Chee How under Baru Bian's law firm. The case is still pending in court. The court action shows that the natives are not totally helpless if they unite to take action to protect their ancestral lands. The writ of claim by the Bidayuhs is as attached here. This is not the 1st court action by the natives. In the early days of the Bengoh dam construction the natives of Kampong Bengoh had succeeded at one stage to obtain a court injunction against the dam developer from proceeding with their earth work around Kampong Bengoh-but the success was short lived. See the video here and here.
This film on Bengoh is not intended to show the Bengoh villagers as totally helpless citizens left to be manipulated by the politicians. They had taken community action to move to higher ground than the dam as a way to avoid losing their ancestral land. They had also started court action to reclaim their NCR lands. But they might not have taken voter action to choose their preferred representatives at state and parliamentary levels. May be some help from some rights-conscious groups would be needed to fill in this gap.