Delay in issuance of land titles to Bidayuh landowners due to inaccurate readings

Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 12: One of the main reasons behind the delay in the issuance of land titles to the Bidayuh community after their land has been documented by DBNA is inaccuracy with the handheld GPS method the NGO is using.

Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources II Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan in pointing this out today said the documentation made by the Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) using handheld global positioning system (GPS) devices is accurate between 1 to 30 metres.

“This results in the plotted land documentation measurement information on the actual plan needing to be re-adjusted when field measurements are conducted in order to meet the specifications of the first-class survey in line with the international standards that set the accuracy of two (2) centimetres,” Awang Tengah explained in his winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex here today.

Additionally, he also revealed that there were cases where land claimed by residents in certain areas were not included in the documentation which has been submitted.

“This can affect the planning and implementation of field measurements,” he said.

However, he gave assurance that the Sarawak government appreciated DBNA’s efforts to carry out the land documentation in Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions.

“The land documentation carried out by DBNA turned out to be helpful. Some of the areas involved in this land documentation have already been gazetted under Section 6, and some of which have been individually surveyed and issued individual titles under Section 18 of the State Land Code,” he added.

Awang Tengah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister said the Land and Survey Department will continue to collaborate with DBNA and the Land Committee to increase the measurement output in terms of increasing the number of lots as well as the size of the land being surveyed.

“As I mentioned, in addition to carry out perimeter surveys under Section 6 of the State Land Code, the Land and Survey Department will also focus on surveying individual lots for the issuance under Section 18 of the State Land Code.

“In order to ensure the smooth running of this matter, the land owners whose land has been gazetted under Section 6 must formally apply and be prepared to be present during the surveying works to ensure that individual lots are being surveyed accurately,” he said.

Last Thursday, three Bidayuh assemblymen, namely Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Jinep, Miro Simuh (Serembu) and John Ilus (Bukit Semuja), representing eight Bidayuh assemblymen, requested the Land and Survey Department to expedite the surveying of Bidayuh land under Section 18 as initiated by DBNA.

They reiterated that since DBNA has made the initiative to carry out the perimeter survey in most Bidayuh villages, they were now hoping the Land and Survey Department would expedite the issuance of individual titles under Sector 18.

They also claimed that there has not been much progress on the individual surveys after the issuance of Section 6 in Bidayuh areas and that certain quarters are recycling the issue for their own vested interests. — DayakDaily