30 years and counting — allottees still waiting for land titles

Yong showing photos of Bintawa Industrial Estate while addressing a press conference.

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by Karen Bong

KUCHING, March 20: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong has urged the Land and Survey Department to expedite the process of approving and issuing individual titles for some 10 land lots in Bintawa Industrial Estate located beside the Bintawa wet market, as the allottees have been waiting for nearly 30 years.

“Currently, the allottees, who relocated to the Bintawa site from Petanak, have built their factories on the land under Temporary Occupation Permit (TOL) issued by Land and Survey (Department) in 1990,” she said in a press conference held at Democratic Action Party (DAP) headquarters here today.

In the early days, she added, these people were cottage industry traders and operators of salted fish businesses which have sustained until today.

“Since 1990 until today, they only hold the TOL despite requests (in 2013) through SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party) but to no avail,” she said.

She revealed that the land had been declared to be a Special Development Area through Gazette Notification on Aug 25, 1994 in accordance with Section 13E (1) of the Land Code.

Considering the plight of these people, Yong urged the Land and Survey Department to expedite their processes and quickly issue individual titles to the affected allottees.

She will also raise this issue with the Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources under Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan at the upcoming State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting.

Photo shows the locality plan of the affected lots in Bintawa Industrial Estate (highlighted in pink).

“They have been operating on the land for the past 30 years. It is unfair to them as without individual titles, they cannot fully utilise and develop their land because if it is under TOL, it is still considered as state land which belongs to the state government,” she elaborated.

“The allottees are not able to charge (sic) their land or seek financing to expand their business,” she said.

Additionally, Yong emphasised that allottees were gravely worried that without land titles, the government could evict them and take back the land which would be allocated for other uses or purposes.

“They don’t want this to happen. They are clouded by uncertainties while occupying the land. They want to have security over their land and their rights over the land protected and recognised under the Sarawak Land Code,” she added.

Yong stressed that it will be unfair to the allottees if the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government just sits on the problem and not deal with it. — DayakDaily