Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How some Bengoh villagers escaped Bato Bagi's judgement in NCR claim

Pastor Simo and his folks resisted the temptation of compensation money -so their chances of reclaiming their NCR is higher post-Bato Bagi judgement!

The Bato Bagi judgement will reverberate in Sarawak's jungles(if there is any left) for years and decades to come. Put briefly the judgement by the departing Chief Justice is to say that anyone who had taken, no matter how small a portion, of the compensation money from the developer/logger etc their NCR land is gone! Many natives might have been duped into taking some money as `sagu hati' ( appeasement) or donations to the village, not knowing that the money amount to agreement to give up their NCR lands-especially when the agreement to that effect had never been given to them. But there are also likely cases where greed may have tempted these cash-strapped folks. In any case there are also folks who resist the cash offer and make their NCR land claim through the court. The folks from Kampong Rejoi is one such group-who had started a court case since 2009 to reclaim their NCR land rather than receiving compensation under dubious and dangerous circumstances from the developer! If they are successful they can stay on the lands they build their new houses on-which are on higher ground to the Bengoh dam!

As to others they had taken the money from the developer in 2008, some are regretting now. Many used the money to buy cars and other consumables items. By now they might have finished the `easy come easy go' money. And their NCR lands is gone! It will be an uphill battle to fight to get their NCR land back in light of the Bato Bagi judgement. A bitter lesson indeed for these folks. Currently the folks from Kampong Sait, Kampong Bojong have also built new houses above the dam water levels-about 20 units each, hoping to re-claim the lands as done by the Rejoi folks. See the film to find out how they fell for the compensation money offer.

Hearing of Bengoh folks on Sept 29th-30th, Kuching

For the Rejoi folks their next court hearing is on Sept 29th -30th, in Kuching's high court. Any supporters are welcome to attend the case together with about 20 Rejoi folks who had booked accommodation in Kuching to attend the hearing.

The making of the film on Bengoh can be considered `lucky' to open our eyes to all these happenings which otherwise we would not know.  

It was an exceptional story of courage to resist the temptation of money that many others may not have the strength to do when the time come!

Booking of tickets to the premiere is here!
So: please come to the premiere on Oct 2nd in Bentley Hall, near the Curve, at Damasara Mutiara, PJ, at 1.30pm. Register your attendance here-attendance is by invitation/registration only.

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