KUCHING, August 24: Ba Kelalan Assemblyman Baru Bian insisted that native customary right (NCR) land should be surveyed straightaway under section 18.
“Why waste time and money to survey first under section 6 and then after that under section18? Only an unwise man would, unless there are other motives of which we are unaware. After all, survey under section 6 is not a precondition to a survey to be done under section 18 of the Sarawak Land Code,” said Baru in a statement issued here today.
Baru, who is also Selangau MP was referring to Deputy Chief Datuk Amar Minister Douglas Uggah’s earlier criticism on him today.
“Let me say that I am equally perplexed as to why he should take issue with me and my family on the matter of section 6 and section 18 surveys when this is firstly the policy of the present State Government.
“Secondly, since those lots were issued under section 18, then they are clearly NCR land and it is my right as a native to be issued title under section 18, in perpetuity and free from any fees,” he said.
Baru also defended his stance by saying that he and his family had never requested for the said land to be surveyed.
“We had never requested that our said land should be surveyed under section 6 first. I demand evidence from Douglas Uggah that any of my family members or I had written to the Land and Survey Department to survey our NCR lands first under section 6 and then after that under section 18,” he said.
Baru also asked Uggah whether titles issued pursuant to a survey under section 6 are land titles which can be sold or charged as collateral in a legal transaction, in the same way that section 18 land titles are allowed to be sold or used as collateral.
“I also wish to ask Douglas Uggah this: is it not possible under the Sarawak Land Code that in my case, the survey could have been done under section 18 at the outset without first surveying the land under section 6?
“The DCM should realise that as the titles were issued to me and my family under section 18, the conclusion is that we have proof of NCR claims to the land as required under section 18. This means that the land in question were not state land.
“And it is our right as natives to be issued titles under section 18 and equally the right of other natives whose NCR claims are proven. Upon such proof of NCR claims by any natives, it is incumbent upon the Superintendent of Lands and Survey to issue such titles under section 18.
“Therefore, I am amused as to why Douglas Uggah should take issue with me and my family on these lots as if these were state lands in the first place. Let me repeat, it’s my right as native to be issued these titles under the Sarawak Land Code,” he said.
Baru was responding to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas’ earlier statement today that Baru was one of the landowners at Trusan Land District Lot 347,483,502 and 643 Block, which was gazetted under Section 6 in 2011 and subsequently issued with individuals lots under Section 18.
Meanwhile, Uggah described Baru’s response as meek and reiterated that he was surprised with Baru’s continuous criticism of Section 6.
Under the present Sarawak Land Code, Section 6 is crucial to be gazetted as it will determine the actual NCR land owned by a particular native community before it can be further surveyed and be issued land titles under Section 18 to be given to individualswithin that community.— DayakDaily