By Nigel Edgar
MIRI, Sept 6: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg tells native landowners not to be hasty in converting their native land status to mixed zones as this will erode their rights over the land.
He said many native landowners have applied to convert their native land titles to mixed zone in hope of getting some commercial benefits and value from the land and he warned that this would erode their rights over the ownership of the land.
“The moment you change the status (of your native land) to mixed zone then your native rights (over the land) will be diluted, and this has happened.
“Since I became the Chief Minister, I see many files of native land owners applying to convert their land to mixed zone. We have to reject many because this will erode their native rights over the land.
“If you want to have commercial dealings, you don’t need to convert your native land. You can also joint-venture with your non-Bumiputera friends while the land is still under your Bumiputera status.
“But if you convert the status to mixed zone, it would no longer be your asset. The non-Bumiputeras are more than willing to cooperate,” he was speaking during the Land Code Amendment Forum 2019 here this morning.
Abang Johari said the government has been more than willing to give a helping hand to the natives who wanted to jumpstart the effort to work the land but facing financial constraints.
“That (lack of funding) is our (Bumiputera) weakness. We can overcome that weakness and source for fund to develop that land. If not, what’s the point of owning the land? Corporate financing can be done,” he said.
Regardless of the size of the land, Abang Johari urged native landowners to apply technology when farming their land where even a small plot was able to generate a decent amount of income by means of fertigation agricultural technology.
“Our economy is now changing. You don’t need a big plot of land (for agriculture). You can just do fertigation and reap reasonable income from it because of technology,” he said. — DayakDaily