Landowners unhappy over illegal harvest of fresh fruit bunches

KANOWIT: Landowners participating in Boustead Pelita Kanowit Plantation Sdn Bhd joint venture project are worried that the illegal harvest of fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) in oil palm plantations here is affecting their dividend payment.

Alexander puts on the ‘baju burung’ (traditional Iban attire for men) presented as a memento by Tuai Rumah Daniel (third right) while Barnabas (second right) looks on.

Boustead Pelita Kanowit Plantation Block B area development committee chairman Penghulu Barnabas Angkis Luang said the activity had been rampant in the past two years.

He said a meeting was held with the project developer recently and among the things they discussed was distribution of palm oil dividends.

“The illegal harvest is affecting our dividend payment. We believe the culprits are participants who are not satisfied with the handling of the dividends,” he said during the launch of Sungai Bawan Zone 1 Neighbourhood Watch Committee (KRT) at Rumah Daniel Rangkong in Sungai Bawan here on Saturday.

Ngemah assemblyman Alexander Vincent was guest-of-honour at the function.

According to Barnabas, the culprits were either angry with the small dividend amount or late payment of dividends.

In the joint venture, the developer held 60 per cent equity while landowners 30 per cent and Land Custody and Development Authority 10 per cent.

He pointed out that the culprits were being unfair to other stakeholders in the joint venture.

“We want them to stop the activity for the benefit of all,” he said.

Barnabas revealed that the dividend paid out last year was RM750 per hectare of palm oil cultivated land.

He said the project covering 6,000 ha and involving 1,700 landowners was started in 1999 to improve the economy of the people.