Bidayuh villages urged to settle boundary issues first to speed up perimeter surveys

Datuk Henry Harry Jinep

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Nov 16: Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep calls on all Bidayuh villages to settle boundary issues with their neighbours first to expedite the perimeter survey process and facilitate the issuance of individual land titles.

He said such an initiative has resulted in Bidayuh villagers being granted more than 1,200 individual land titles so far.

“There is an initiative within the (Bidayuh) community. Some of us are actually identifying our land boundary with our neighbours’. At the same time, we are identifying how big our land is.

“And by solving (any) boundary land dispute, when the Land and Survey Department comes in, it will expedite the whole (perimeter survey) process. Solving this problem will expedite the land and survey work,” Henry told Dayakdaily when met at Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Convention at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.

He said that is how the Bidayuh community has been tackling native customary rights (NCR) land issues. Other communities may follow the Bidayuh initiative as it has been proven to be effective to first have land surveyed under Section 6, to be followed by a survey under Section 18.

“They (the Land and Survey Department) has been progressively issuing out titles (following the Bidayuh initiative). The first one in Singai, there were 600 plus (villagers given individual titles). In Pichin that day, there were already 300 plus and more than 300 in another two Bidayuh villages.”

He added another 600 landowners will soon receive their individual land titles in Krokong, Bau while in Singai again next year, another 700 landowners will receive their land deeds.

“We have 144 villages out of 384 villages which are being surveyed through what we call the community-based initiative. So now the Land and Survey Department is carrying on with the perimeter survey under Land Code Section 18.”

He said the initial survey by the local Bidayuh community has made it easier for the department to carry out the perimeter survey.

“They (Land and Survey Department officers) just have to confirm the pegs that have already been planted by the neighbouring landowners. What is important (at this stage) is the boundary between villages.”

He said later on, Global Positioning System (GPS) may be used to check the boundaries and there might be some margin of error, but the initial boundary will not be too far different.

He thus called on all Bidayuh villages to take up the initiative as many villages have already aggressively done so.

On the cost for the initiative, Henry said the Bidayuh villagers paid for the cost which is minimal and affordable.

“It has never been a big issue to the community so far as spending a little for an important cause,” said Henry. — DayakDaily