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Ramdi tells Cynthia to attend presentation before bluntly opposing NCA

Ramdi Indang

KOTA KINABALU: Orang asal NGO, Sakag Talantang, is urging the spokesperson of 13 civil society organisations (CSOs) to attend the Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA) presentation before out rightly opposing it.

Its President Ramdi Indang said while spokesperson for the CSO Cynthia Ong’s perspective is valuable, her understanding on the NCA’s objectives should address any reservations that she has.

“Therefore, I respectfully urge Ms Cynthia Ong to attend the NCA presentation before bluntly opposing it,” he said when commenting on Cynthia’s Sunday statement in support of the NCA judicial review.

The Judicial Review was scheduled for deliberation by the Sabah and Sarawak High Court on April 17.

She said the review can provide some of the facts and resolution sought by Sabahans on the contentious NCA.

A Judicial Review enables a court to examine the conduct of an administrative agency and in this case the relevant agencies of Sabah Government to determine whether they have acted within the scope of their lawful powers.

But in that respect, Ramdi said Talantang as an orang asal organisation is open to exploring alternative poverty alleviation strategies for the KDMR community.

“If Ms. Cynthia Ong & Co have proposals demonstrating greater efficacy, Talantang is eager to hear and support them. So, I await Ms Cynthia’s response for a constructive dialogue on this matter.

“I wish to address Ms. Cynthia Ong’s public opposition to the NCA on behalf of Talantang,” he added.

As the President of Talantang, Ramdi said he has participated in several comprehensive presentations on the NCA by local representatives of Hoch Standard Pte Ltd (HS) under Global Nature Capital Sdn Bhd (GNCSB).

He had also arranged for GNCSB’s NC Team to conduct NC briefings to several KDMR indigenous groups in several districts in Sabah namely Tungud in Beluran District, Kota Marudu, Nabawan and few others.

Hence, he said Talantang had officially endorsed the NCA’s full implementation, including jointly signing a letter to the United Nations in support of the NCA.

Ramdi said, the NCA holds significant potentials to uplift indigenous Sabahans from abject poverty, particularly among the Kadazandusun Murut Rungus (KDMR) community.

“Hence, the NCA value propositions deserve serious consideration from all Sabahans,” he said.

A petition for the Judicial Review on the NCA was filed by ex-senator Adrian Lasimbang who are also indigenous rights activist in 2022.

This filing led to the official disclosure of the documentation on the controversial NCA that was signed in October 2021.

This confirmed the accuracy of the leaked details and is in line with the Attorney General Office’s description of the NCA as being “lopsided”.

In July last year, 16 native NGOs and associations including the Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA) signed a joint statement to support the NCA and its implementation.

This was after a briefing was carried out by chairman of the cabinet Steering, Management and Implementation (SMIC) of the NCA committee and the Hoch Standard Pte Ltd team at the Dewan Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan at Hongkod Koisaan Penampang.

The native NGOs said that after listening to the briefing, they have full understanding of the NCA and gave their Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC) and fully supported the NCA.

They urged the State Government to immediately implement the NCA and abide the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (17 SDGs) of the United Nations.

Sabah Foundation has been chosen to be the local partner to implement the Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA).

The appointment was agreed upon by the State Cabinet in 2022 and Sabah Foundation is expected to work closely with Hoch Standard Pte Ltd to implement the NCA.

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