PBDSB urges state govt to release land ownership statistics

PETRA JAYA, May 22: Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDSB) demands that the state Barisan Nasional (BN) government be more proactive on land issues within the state and called on the latter to release data on land ownership in Sarawak.

“If the state government led by Abang Jo (Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) is serious and sincere in resolving the issue of NCR (native customary rights) land, they have to release the actual statistical data on land status in the state”, said the party’s president Cobbold John, while attending the court hearing over an NCR land case in Kampung Melugu Dau, yesterday afternoon.

According to him, the public is well aware that the majority NCR land in Sarawak is classified as state property and divided into two categories — registered stateland and unregistered stateland. NCR land is recorded as ‘unregistered stateland’.

“This ‘unregistered stateland’ shall caused major issues, when the government approves a P.L. (Provisional Lease) to a particular company or individual under Section 28 of the State Land Code”, explained Cobbold.

He said the Sarawak BN government should release statistical data on land ownership for general knowledge. He also requested that Abang Johari and the state cabinet inform Sarawakians how much land have been gazetted as “registered stateland” and “unregistered stateland”, and also how many approved PLs have been granted, as well as the land which has been granted individual grants under Section 18 and the identities of companies holding the leases.

“In addition, PBDSB also wants to know the ownership status of land that has been surveyed under Section 6,” said Cobbold.

He claimed there were no reasons for BN to not issue such statistics unless there was something to hide and that the state Land and Survey Department should have the updated statistics.

He said the people of Sarawak, especially the Bumiputera such as Dayaks, Melanau and Malays are entitled to know.

Meanwhile, Cobbold called on the Sarawak BN government to reveal the contents of the original documents pertaining to the formation of Malaysia acquired in London as the documents may contain significant information related to NCR land.

“We can see whether there’s any transparency by the Sarawak BN government. Please do not say or come up with an excuse that it falls under the Official Secrets Act (OSA),” said Cobbold.

He added that this is the fourth time that his party has issued a media statement with regards to the matter. However, there is still no response yet from the state government.

“Yes, this is the fourth time, but they (BN Sarawak) are silent. The federal government has changed. What else do they want to hide?” asked Cobbold.

He also said that land ownership issues had became thorns in Sarawakians’ sides, especially the Dayaks who inherited NCR land.

“I think this matter (status of land ownership) should be put on display for the public’s knowledge as we also want to know who are these PL owners as well,” he reiterated. — DayakDaily