KUCHING, June 15 — Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian has snubbed Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s invitation to join Barisan Nasional in the state, saying its failure to resolve local issues made his entry inconceivable.
“One of the issues is the state government’s refusal to accept the courts’ decisions on ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest reserves) and ‘pemakai menua’ (territorial domain) as native customary rights (NCR) land,” Baru told reporters today, when asked for his reaction to the invitation.
He said his motion and a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Sarawak Land Code to include these terms were rejected by the Barisan Nasional at last year’s sitting of the state assembly.
He said throughout his professional struggle as a lawyer and political struggle, the NCR land issue has always been very close to him.
Baru said the present state government’s policy of depriving the people of their customary rights over land by building mega-dams, issuing Provisional Leases to big companies and creating Protected Forests or National Parks covering huge areas of NCR lands in the guise of “public purposes” or perhaps for the protection of the environment, is unacceptable.
At a Lun Bawang harvest festival at Long Tuma in Ba’Kelalan on May 30, Adenan, in extending the invitation, remarked that Baru was with the “wrong crowd” by being in the opposition.
Saying that Baru would be among friends by being in Sarawak BN, Adenan said he would try to get the “prodigal son to come back”.
Baru, who was among the guests at the festival, reacted with a smile at the invitation.