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THE Sekuau Resettlement Scheme Village Development and Security Committee is demanding Felcra Berhad to stop its oil palm plantation operation and pay dividends to scheme participants in seven days starting today.
Committee chairman Henry Kanyan Vincent Rawing said this followed the failure of the federal government-owned company to pay dividends to 404 participants from 24 longhouses in the resettlement scheme.
The resettlement scheme located 74km from Sibu was created under the Rajang Area Security Command on March 26, 1972 to curb communist activities at the time.
Henry claimed that since starting operation about 25 years ago in the area, Felcra had only paid the participants dividends four times.
“Felcra also failed to bring any form of development to Sekuau area and improve the economic standard of residents in Sekuau and did not carry out any corporate social responsibility as promised,” he said in a press conference, which was also attended by the headmen of the longhouses involved.
A report was lodged against the Felcra management at the Stapang police station yesterday by longhouse headman Tuai Rumah Labang Ayom, who represented 25 other colleagues, to enable investigations to be carried out by the police, Rural Development Ministry and Sarawak Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Ministry.
“We do not want to negotiate anymore as many negotiations had been conducted before this and all did not result in any decision. Just last year alone, there were six negotiations,” said Henry.
He alleged that Felcra has been giving excuses for not paying dividends such as it did not make any profit, it is facing debts and the absence of workers to harvest fresh fruits.
He said Felcra also claimed that there is no agreement with the residents involved to pay them dividends.
“This is not our problem. What we know is that we have handed over the land to be developed and if based on the excuse of no agreement between us and Felcra, then Felcra should stop operation immediately,” he said.
Felcra is scheduled to replant oil palm in Sekuau next year in the 900ha tract.
He said from enquiries with the Sarawak Land and Survey Department, it was found the land involved belonged to the people of Sekuau and the department has no record that Felcra had carried out oil palm cultivation there.
Henry, who is also a member of Sibu Rural District Council, said if Felcra did not stop its operation, the participants would stage demonstrations. – Bernama, June 17, 2022.