Auctions have been carried out since the country was under the British rule and the laws regarding auctions have generally remained unchanged. It is time we bring the auction laws to the 21st century for the benefit of all parties concerned especially the bidders (buyers).
Currently the auction business is governed by the 86 year old Auction Sales Enactment F.M.S. Cap. 81 (No. 2 of 1929) and the slightly younger National Land Code of 1965.
The 1929 Enactment has 13 sections and is only four pages long covers very briefly issues like – licensing, notice of sale, details of auctioneer to be displayed what auctioneer may buy, details of bidding agent, a separate contract of sale for every lot auctioned, completion of sale, penalties, power to make rules and sales under court order. The renewal of the auctioneer’s license is still RM10 and the fine for breaking the law stands at RM100.
In 2002, the Sarawak Penan Association (SPA) released the Long Sayan Declaration 2002, which was signed by more than 40 Penan community leaders. Among others, the declaration called for the halting of all logging operations on Penan territories, the gazetting of their territories into Communal Forest Reserves and the provision of accessible healthcare, education, quality housing, power and clean water supply as well as agricultural training and support to the community.
However today, more than a decade later – the Penan community of Sarawak by and large are still living without adequate land rights security and in substandard living conditions. Worse, due to the depletion in natural timber resources in Sarawak as a result of three decades of unsustainable logging, timber tree and oil palm plantations are fast taking the place of the declining timber industry. Plantations, which require the total clearing of logged over forests, will certainly bring about more adverse consequences to local communities, although the impacts of logging operations had all the while been severe enough.
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the relevant government agencies to review projects on hill land in Penang, especially in areas that have been earmarked for future development projects.
Commenting on the recent flash floods and mud floods that struck several areas in Paya Terubong, Bayan Baru and Sungai Dua, SAM expressed hope that the respective parties should take heed of what has happened, where it clearly shows that development on hill land have implications for the environment and subsequently wellbeing of the people.
International Day of Struggle against Tree Monocultures
Social organizations from several countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia[i] signed a joint Declaration[ii] on the occasion of September 21, the International Day of Struggle against Tree Monocultures.
“Since 2006, every September 21st we commemorate the International Day of Struggle against Tree Monocultures, as a way of breaking the circle of silence around the violations faced by the communities whose territories are invaded and surrounded by industrial tree plantations - including eucalyptus, pine, acacia, rubber and oil palm. Those large scale monoculture tree plantations require significant use of water, agrotoxins and chemical fertilizers, occupying huge areas where many people lived or depended upon”, states Winfridus Overbeek, coordinator of World Rainforest Movement, one of the signing organizations.
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Perak government to take immediate action to resolve the causes that led to the overflow of the Perak River and flash floods that often hit several villages near the river.
Although the problem is longstanding until now no effective action has been taken to resolve it. Hence the problem has recurred whereby lives of villagers from 10 villages in Kampung Gajah and Bota have been affected. Amongst the affected villages are Kampung Bakong, Kampung Teluk Bakong, Kampung Empai, Kampung Baru, Kampung Pasir Garam, Kampung Pasir Kubu and Kampung Alor Kuat.