Agricultural landowners still experiencing difficulties in renewing land leases, claims Sarawak DAP

Chong Chieng Jen

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KUCHING, Aug 23: Many agricultural landowners with more than one house on their land are experiencing difficulties in renewing land leases.

Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen said though Deputy Sarawak Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting in May mentioned that agricultural land with more than one dwelling can get their land lease renewed, nevertheless, many landowners of such land are still facing problem in renewing land leases.

Chong has made an appointment with the Superintendent of the Kuching Land Office today to resolve this problem.

He said the issue of land lease renewal has huge consequences for landowners as upon expiry of a land lease, if the lease term were not renewed by the government, the ownership of the land will revert to the government and the landowner will be left with nothing and no compensation will be paid to the landowner.

“Some landowners inherit their land from their parents or grandparents. Some buy a portion of the land to build their residential house which is their only place for stay. Some buy land as a form of savings against inflation.

“All these will become nought if the lease term is not renewed. Some will lose their inheritance, some lose their only house to stay, some lose their savings for old age.

“Therefore, I see it of utmost importance that there must be security and certainty in land ownership for the people, and thus DAP Sarawak has always championed for automatic renewal of land leases upon expiry,” said Chong who is also Stampin MP and Padungan assemblyman, in a statement today.

He said that till the time when the government adopts and implements automatic renewal of land leases, individual landowners will just have to suffer the inconvenience of applying for renewal and the anxiety of not knowing for certain whether their land leases can be renewed or otherwise; worst still if their application for renewal is rejected. — DayakDaily