Keep native land status – CM

Posted on : 07 Sep 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Jo concerned over numerous applications to convert native land to mixed zone, fears native losing land

Abang Johari (fifth left) launches the forum. With him from left are Jaul, Talib, Dr Rundi, Jabu, Uggah and Lee.

MIRI: The Bumiputera community in Sarawak has been called on not to convert their titled customary rights land into mixed zone land.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this is important to ensure that Native Customary Rights (NCR) land is protected for future generations.

“Bumiputera given titles for their customary rights land, for example, should uphold such status. Don’t convert them into mixed zone even if there are financial constraints in developing such land.

“Revenue engineering can be done – find solutions without having to change the land status. With new technology and applying the fertigation farming system, landowners, even though having only 10 to 20 acres of land, can reap a reasonable income,” Abang Johari said yesterday when launching the Forum on Land Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2018.

He said numerous applications for mixed zone land status posed a challenge to the government and the landowners themselves.

Abang Johari explained that such a move defeated the purpose of amending the Sarawak Land Code.

He stressed the amendment was a bold move by the Sarawak government to ensure NCR land would always be recognised and protected.

The move was also part of the government’s commitment to continue developing and protecting Sarawak, including its other rights such as oil and gas.

“We will continue and focus on developing Sarawak according to the rule of law and defend Sarawak. Sarawak first and Sarawakian is also first,” he said.

As for funds to build infrastructure such as coastal roads to open up land to boost agriculture and the rural economy, as well as supplying electricity, Johari said Sarawak had been able to raise RM3 billion from the oil and gas sector this year.

He said Sarawak would look for new ways and reinvest in strategic sectors of the economy next year.

On the forum, the Chief Minister said it would enlighten participants on the newly-amended Land Code and help to disseminate information to the people in their respective areas to quash rumours and allegations that the government is abusing Section 6 of the Land Code to rob the people of their land.

In his speech, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said NCR perimeter surveys had reached almost 900,000ha since 2010.

“Thank you Chief Minister for the land reform that gives high confidence to Bumiputera in Sarawak on NCR, not only confidence and ownership, but the force of the law,” he said.

He added that the forum is part of a series, with events to be held soon in Sibu and Kuching.

Among those present were Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister of Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin, State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion, and former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang.

A total of 370 participants comprising senior government officials, community leaders, and members of non-governmental organisations from Bintulu, Miri, and Limbang divisions attended the forum.