Longhouses Demolished to Make Way for the RM16 Billion Pan Borneo Highway Project
Two longhouses demolished to make way for the RM16 billion Pan Borneo Highway project are expected to be rebuilt soon at new locations.
However their chieftains complain that levelling of the new sites is going on too slowly.
Tuai Rumah Kiroh Tegong said his 16-door longhouse at Mile 36 Sibu/Selangau Road was pulled down in November last year and until now the new longhouse site is still not ready.
"The levelling is ongoing. We are occupying the back part of our old longhouse which is yet to be taken down during the demolition exercise.
"So from a comfy home, we now have to endure living in a small temporary structure and it gets cramped sometimes, especially when we hold celebrations at the longhouse, or when there is death among the longhouse residents" he said.
Kiroh said the new longhouse was about six kilometres from the old longhouse sited on his land where he had planted oil palms.
"We have lived at the old longhouse for 23 years.
"I have spoken with a representative from a logging company recently, asking for help in levelling the land but until now nothing is happening at the new site.
"If possible, we want the elected representatives in our area to help with the cost of levelling.
"If they don't have the funds, they can get the contractor involved in the highway project to help us level the site" Kiroh suggested.
Tuai Rumah Rining Balang and his charges are occupying the kitchen area of their 12-door longhouse demolished last July.
He believed the levelling of the new site for a longhouse could be completed in two weeks if done without delay by the contractor assigned.
"We hope the contractor will speed up the levelling to enable us to start building our longhouse after Gawai Dayak next year" he said.
The two longhouse chiefs were met during presentation of Bumiputera communal land gazettes and land compensation cheques by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah at Sibu Civic Centre here on Wednesday.
The longhouses of Rining and Kiroh were among 82 longhouses at Sg Igu, Tamin, Mile 36 Oya Road, Sibu/Bintulu Road, Sekuau and Sg Sebindang â€“ all in Selangau District â€“ to receive land titles for their communal reserve land gazetted under Section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code.
At the function, a total of 105 land owners received compensation totalling RM13.6 million for the acquisition of their lands for construction of SK and SMK Permai, SK Dudong, Ulu Sungai Merah 33/11KV Substation in Sibu, and Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) station in Selangau.
Among those present were Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee, Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira Sambang, State Land and Survey Department (LSD) deputy director (management) Abdullah Julaihi, Sibu Resident Hii Chang Kee and LSD Sibu superintendent Norlina Raee.