KUCHING, Feb 24: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru) president Cobbold John has urged Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan to respect the Sarawak Land Code.
Awang Tengah, who is also Second Minister for Urban Development and Natural Resources had recently assured landowners with gazetted land they need not worry of encroachment of their land as the gazette documents were sufficient proof of ownership.
“Following the gazettement of the land, ownership titles will be issued, but they need to be measured under the Individual Lot Measurement Programme,” said Awang Tengah as quoted by Bernama, adding that he hoped that landowners would give their full cooperation to expedite land surveying work and the issuance of land titles.
Cobbold reminded Awang Tengah of the latter’s own statement, as quoted by the Sarawak Tribune in 2005, “it is clearly stated that unsurveyed land or land without title belongs to the government.
“So this clearly contradicts his recent statement. The Barisan Nasional government is giving a misleading statement — that Section 6 is a prerequisite for the issuance of Section 18. However, Section 6 mentioned land surveyed under this section is state land, land that belongs to the state government,” Cobbold said.
Thus, the government is urged to recognise the rights of the Dayaks to own land under Section 18 of the Sarawak Land Code which gives title in perpetuity and full recognition of ownership over the land.
Cobbold said it has been observed that native customary rights (NCR) land is being surveyed pursuant to Section 6 of the Land Code, thereby, constituting it as Native Communal Reserve land.
He added this would give rise to conflict of ownership between the natives and Provisional Lease (PL) holders following the issuance of PL pursuant to Section 28 to statutory bodies, government-linked companies (GLC) or individuals of interest.
“PL holders shall not be allowed to enter unsurveyed land which is clearly stated under Section 28. No state land shall be alienated under this code unless and until the survey of the land has been completed to the satisfaction of the Land Superintendent; hence, a survey is required before alienation,” he said.
Henceforth, he asserted, “NCR Konsep Baru” is not the effort to recognise land rights and ownership, but a move made by the government to change the status of the idle land for economic purposes.
“The Dayaks are in a dilemma;the politics of development and joint venture partnership between natives and PL holders is the perfect political fragmentation of the Dayaks’ rights.
“From there we can see the divide-and-rule culture at play. What land is given to the Dayaks under Section 6, which is state land, has no or lesser financial value,” he said. — DayakDaily