Landowners will be consulted prior to land survey, says Uggah

Uggah inserting a sugar cane into a traditional wooden juice extractor as symbolic of launching the AgriCOP.

BETONG, Sept 27: Native Customary Rights (NCR) landowners will be consulted first before Section 6 perimeter survey is done on their land.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, in giving this assurance, emphasised that there must be consensus from landowners so as to allow the state government to go into their lands for survey to be carried out smoothly.

“All must agree to agree. The government will not come in if not invited, and neither will it force its decision on the people,” he said when officiating at the Agriculture Department’s Agriculture Community Outreach Programme (AgriCOP) at Rh Nelson James, Nanga Buai in Layar near here today.

Uggah pointed out that the state government will not want to tie into a situation where people who disagreed will go to the social media to express their dissatisfaction and frustrations.

Uggah (in blue shirt) admiring the old artefacts on display at the longhouse during the AgriCOP event.

“We do not want them to get overly emotional as well. People could always consult their elected representatives if they needed advice on the matter,” he added.

He stressed that Section 6 was a necessary phase before Section 18 in which the individual land titles would be issued.

On AgriCOP, Uggah who is also Minister of Agriculture Modernisation, Native Land and Regional Development, explained that it was to publicise the department’s various agricultural programmes available for the people.

The programme was also intended at educating and updating farmers about modern agriculture developments and options that will help them generate more income.

“Farmers need to diversify their activities. It is unwise to rely on oil palm or pepper or rubber alone as when the price drops, they will be adversely affected,” he said.

Uggah unveiling a plaque to declare open the bridge witnessed by TR Nelson (in black coat), Friday (second right) and Rentap.

On politics, Uggah called on the people to continue supporting the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government and all its candidates.

He also announced a grant of RM200,000 for the purchase of fertigation farming units for the 22-door longhouse besides another RM10,000 grant for its Village Security and Development Committee (JKKK) fund.

Earlier on arrival, Uggah accompanied by Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu, political secretary to the Chief Minister Dr Richard Rapu, Resident Betong Division Friday Belik and the divisional agriculture officer Petrus Kang, declared open a concrete bridge costing about RM400,000.

In his speech, Rentap suggested the formation of a community museum in Betong to house the many traditional cultural items of the local Iban community.

“The women folks have excellent traditional weaving skills from the old days. Those old pieces in their collections can be exhibited in the museum.

“The new generation can appreciate them and for them to be inspired enough to learn to reproduce them to keep the tradition alive,” he said.-DayakDaily