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Wind of Change

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tingkayu, Kunak Land Grab

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernand Dompok has instructed the Public Complaints Bureau to conduct an immediate probe on allegations of power abuse by senior police officers in a land-grab issue at Kampung Tingkayu in Kunak, Sabah.

Dompok said the affected smallholder who had worked on the land for the past 23 years met him in Parliament on Tuesday and briefed him on the issue.

"This is a very serious matter as it involves senior police officers. I've instructed the bureau's director-general Dr Chua Hong Teck to look into the complaint. We guarantee a fair probe. The bureau will treat the complainant fairly as promised in the bureau's clients' charter," he said today.

Dompok said the bureau would convene a special meeting this week to discuss the matter.

"If it is proven that the said police officers misused their power, stern action would be taken against them, as nobody is above the law. The bureau will be cooperating with other relevant agencies once the investigation started and all should give their fullest cooperation," he said, adding that "we don't want to see public trust towards the authorities fade."

In April, Bernama reported that a top-ranking senior law enforcement officer, who is a "datuk", and police officers in Kunak are being investigated by the Sabah Anti-Corruption Agency for allegedly offering "protection services" to a real estate company which allegedly seized 787 hectares (about 4,000 acres) of oil palm land belonging to smallholders.

In exchange for their "services", the company, which is also involved in money lending, had reportedly given the officers kickbacks and other benefits, including its company shares.

Bernama also reported that the company concerned had employed more than 100 illegal immigrants who doubled as thugs to seize the land worth about RM40 million and more then 40 police reports were lodged between January and March this year at the Kunak police station, but there had been no follow-up action.

It is learnt that the state government would also be briefed on the issue as the smallholders have alleged that a few officers of the land and survey department might be involved in the scandal.

Meanwhile, one smallholder who wished to be known as Anthony, 50, said that an official complaint letter was handed to the Home Ministry on Thursday.

"In the letter we have asked the minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to take appropriate action against the police officers who failed to discharge their duty and abused their power.

"We have all the evidence to prove that the complaints made were true and we hope our nightmare will end soon," he added. — Bernama

Source Malaysian Insider

That June 2008

Back to the future

Two hacked to death

Published on: Saturday, February 14, 2009 Email to a friend Printer Friendly

Kunak: Two smallholders who went to harvest oil palm in their plantation in Kampung Tingkayu, Kunak, Sabah, were hacked to death by a group of illegal immigrants on Thursday.

It is believed that at least five other smallholders were seriously injured in the incident that happened at about 2pm.

The bodies of the two dead men were found by police at about 1pm, Friday, in a shocking state with some body parts detached.

Kunak police district acting chief, ASP Tan Hiap Wah, when contacted, confirmed the incident but declined to elaborate.

Bernama understands that the two victims were attacked and their bodies hidden under a heap of dried palm fronds. Their bodies were sent to the Kunak Hospital for post-mortem and no arrests have been made.

Last year in April, Bernama had reported that the Sabah Anti-Corruption Agency had investigated a high ranking enforcement officer said to be a "Datuk" and several police personnel in Kunak for allegedly offering their "protection services" to a realty company that allegedly grabbed 787ha of oil palm plantation belonging to local smallholders of Kampung Tingkayu.

The company was also reported to have used the services of more than 100 thugs comprising illegal immigrants to grab the land valued at about RM40 million. - Bernama

A repro from Daily Express

The Koperasi response

A repro from Daily Express

Co-op regrets incident, denies link

Published on: Monday, February 16, 2009

Kunak: The Tingkayu Cooperative Land Development Society Limited (TCLDSL) hoped police would investigate the actual identities of the persons who were hacked to death on the property of the cooperative.

Cooperative chairperson Hajjah Alina Usman said the investigation should be carried out without fear or favour as TCLDSL had never employed anyone, let alone illegals, to look after or enter its property.

Alina also wants the police to investigate into the group of people claiming to be smallholders "having the right" to harvest the oil palm fruits in the area.
She was commenting on the incident in which two smallholders were hacked to death purportedly by a group of illegals, while going into Kampung Tingkayu here, to harvest oil palm fruits "in their plantations".

She regretted that the incident happened on cooperative land and that the cooperative's name was dragged into the fray. Alina said it was puzzling how a man claiming to be a lawyer had attempted to enter into the cooperative land, considering that the so-called smallholders were "in fact trespassers".

She pointed out that High Court Judge Datuk Clement Skinner in his ruling on March 18, last year, had declared that the "smallholders" claiming to have the right to enter the cooperative land were, in fact, trespassers.

"Maybe the lawyer is trying to enforce the injunction granted earlier by the same court, on Feb 1, last year, allowing them to enter the cooperative land to harvest the oil palm fruits, when in fact the March 18 ruling declared them as trespassers", Alina said.

She urged Bernama to check their facts making such reports that could tarnish the name and image of the cooperative

A repro from Daily Exprsee

But the question those who were kill are Trespasser, which law allow for the hacking to pieces tresspassers and who were the murderers?

The Police response

Police have arrested six people and identified 16 more suspects in connection with the attack on a group of smallholders that led to one man being hacked to death in Tingkayu, Kunak, last week.

Sabah Commissioner of Police, Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim, said only one smallholder, identified as 46-year-old Seipon Kayabo, was killed in the incident while two others were seriously injured, one slashed in the forehead and the other shot in the thigh.

The five locals and an Indonesian passport holder were arrested within 72 hours after the incident took place on Thursday, he said. Police believe the remaining suspects were locals.

One of the detainees, aged 41, is believed to be the main suspect. "We have identified all the suspects and will be making arrests soon," he said after witnessing ACP Abd Radzak Abd Ghani taking over as the Sabah Police Logistics chief from DSP Sulaiman Abd Rahman at the Sabah police contingent headquarters in Kepayan, Monday.

He said the smallholders were attacked with machetes (parangs), chainsaws and homemade firearms, adding police have yet to recover the weapons, believed hidden, following the attack.

Noor Rashid pointed out the clash took place after about 40 smallholders insisted on entering the Tingkayu oil palm plantation land and subsequently angered the 20 plantation workers

A repro from Daily Express

CP dares Ansari to sue
Published on: Friday, February 20, 2009

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Commissioner of Police Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim Thursday challenged lawyer Ansari Abdullah to sue him over the Tingkayu incident last week in which a local was slashed to death by a mob.
"Sue me É(so) I can appear in court and talk É I have all the records," he said, in response to remarks by Ansari, who is representing family members of deceased Seipun Kayabo.

Ansari had said he was instructed by Seipun's family members to take legal action against all involved, including police, for the murder.

Noor Rashid also threw the book at Ansari for accusing the police of allegedly failing in their duties over the incident and denied that police were picking sides in the oil palm land dispute. He stressed that police had always remained neutral and that the decision not to serve the court injunction granted to the smallholders was justified, as they (police) were not ordered to do so by any judicial body.

"We did not enforce the injunction because it was not attached to us.

Secondly, there are other people who are entrusted to serve the injunction in the case of a civil dispute. I cannot say 'hey, open your land for this people!' É who am I? Only the proper authority can do that and not the police.

"This (serving court related orders) is a very simple task É why do we want to reject this duty? If the court directs us (to serve it), in one minute I can get my officer to go.

"But when we take sides in civil disputes, we are seen to be siding another party, which we try to avoid. We must be seen to be fair because our objective is to uphold justice to everybody irrelevant of their status in society," Noor Rashid pointed out.

Ansari had earlier said that police's contention of not wanting to get involved in the matter was equal to the police not doing their job.

In a media conference at the Kepayan police headquarters here, Thursday, Noor Rashid said the incident could have been avoided if all sides in the dispute had not jumped the gun and chose to observe the court's decision.

"If you follow the rule of law, all these wouldn't have happened É in any case the rule of law must prevail.

"(For instance) if an injunction is served and violated, it can be reported back to the court for contempt and let the court decide. The police is not an arbitrary body É we are law enforcers.

"The due process as stated in the law must prevail (and) acknowledged by both parties." However, Noor Rashid pointed out that even though police had not picked sides, they showed their presence in the estate in order to maintain peace and security.

"I regret that the incident happened É we have spent thousands of hours to instill and maintain peace and security in the area. It is very sad that people got injured and killed."

On a claim that police failed to respond despite being contacted three hours prior to the incident by a lawyer representing the smallholders, he said the officer concerned was at a meeting.

"My officer was in the meeting and his phone was on silent mode. He did not realise the phone calls and did not recognise the numbers ... then he received a SMS saying the group of smallholders was going in and immediately deployed his men to Tingkayu. Unfortunately, it already happened when they arrived," Noor Rashid said.

"Whatever men we have we deploy to the ground for the purpose of maintaining the law, crime prevention and they are scattered around," he said, adding police would swing into action if they have information on groups of people going to commit a crime, citing a case in Lantangan, Kinabatangan.

"We received information that a group was assembling and armed, ready to take over a piece of land from somebody else.

"Our role is not to prevent them from taking the land but to be there to maintain peace and security. We managed to disperse the group and in fact, created a buffer zone for them."

A repro from Daily Express

The Police reason for not being able to stop the hacking of the 2 men......I wonder this case has been going on for so long, and police do not know? Question - How many more killing is needed before the police act.

To me a layperson, the employer is also an acomoplice to the employee who commits any crime in the name of the employer.

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