Masing to Baru: I thought you’re a lawyer?

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

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KUCHING, Nov 6: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said in a country governed by the rule of law, documentation such as land titles is crucial.

Land titles prove ownership, and perimeter survey is the prerequisite, emphasized Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, in a statement today.

“I thought being a lawyer by profession, (Works Minister) Baru Bian should know that land titles are important to prove ownership.

“Perimeter survey is a prerequisite to ownership,” said Masing, in response to a statement made by Baru yesterday.

State Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Baru had argued that land issues in the state were under the purview of the state government and that “the issue of surveying NCR land is not as important to the people as the recognition of their native customary rights (NCR) land”.

Baru made this remark to counter criticisms that the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led federal government did not set aside any money in the Federal Budget 2019 for the perimeter survey of NCR land in Sarawak.

Referring to what Baru uttered, Masing opined that, “It is like saying that marriage certificate is not important as long as the people involved are in love. Maybe so, until something goes wrong with the union.” 

Masing believed the fundamental reason for Putrajaya not making any allocation for perimeter survey was because Baru failed to persuade the PH government to allocate the funds.

”Being the so-called champion of NCR land, Baru didn’t work hard enough to persuade the PH govt to allocate federal funding for perimeter survey,” said Masing.

He added that the federal government under former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had allocated funds for the purpose for three consecutive years.

“Najib had allocated RM30 million yearly in the last three years for the survey of NCR land in Sarawak. Therefore, there is a precedence to this allocation. Under the PH govt, this has vanished,” Masing pointed out. — DayakDaily