Lack of land titles keeping S’wak landowners poor despite owning large tracts of fertile land — Katibas rep

Lidam speaks to reporters at a press conference following his debate on the Sarawak Governor’s speech at the DUN sitting today (May 17, 2023).

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, May 17: Landowners in Sarawak are still poor despite owning large tracts of fertile land, particularly native customary rights (NCT) land, because some do not have a land title, says Katibas assemblyman Lidam Assan.

Lidam told reporters this at a press conference after his debate on the Sarawak Governor’s speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

“Many (tracts of) land are still traditionally owned by landowners, including myself. And this land do not yet have titles, though some may have them.

“And these landowners, who do not have land titles, practise traditional economy (sic) in rural areas, particularly where the land is located.

“The reason, I believe, is that to-date, much of this land has no commercial value because they lack titles, and as a result, I request that the Land and Survey Department assist us in surveying at least (under) Section 6 (of the Sarawak Land Code) to provide us with some recognition of ownership of our land,” he explained.

Furthermore, he stated that once landowners have land titles and ownership, it will assist them by providing them with access to financial assistance from the government or commercial banks.

Meanwhile, on how native land can be developed to improve the socioeconomic status of native landowners, Lidam said: “We can have larger scale commercial farming instead of traditional backyard farming to unleash the potential that we have on the land itself.

“Then, once we have access to financial assistance, we will be able to access other commercial farming facilities such as IOT, or the Internet of Things, which is exactly what we require from the government.” — DayakDaily