Premier: Over 1.52 mln hectares of NCR land surveyed since 2010, more to come

Abang Johari (front, fourth left) in a group photo with the landowners who have just received their land titles. Also seen are (from second right) Lo and Dr Sim. Yap is standing behind Abang Johari.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Oct 6: The Land and Survey Department has surveyed over 1.52 million hectares (or about 2.6 million acres) of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land throughout Sarawak between 2010 and August this year with more needed to be done.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that NCR land survey efforts will continue in Sarawak.

“A lot of land has also been surveyed prior to this and more needs to be done.

“It is the Sarawak government’s policy to survey NCR land as well as customary land of traditional villages,” he said at the launch of the new Kampung Haji Baki community hall and presentation of land titles to Kampung Semeba and Kampung Tematu residents today.

At the event, Abang Johari handed over a total of 463 land titles under Section 18 of the State Land Code to landowners, comprising 353 landowners from Kampung Semeba and 111 landowners from Kampung Tematu.

As land surveying is laborious work that requires physical manpower, he said the Sarawak government has approved an addition of 400 surveyors for the Land and Survey Department to ensure and expedite surveying work in the State.

“There is a shortage of manpower in the Land and Survey Department but there is a lot of land needing to be surveyed — not only involving NCR land, but also other construction projects like roads, commercial development and so on.

“It means an increase in allocation for the Land and Survey Department for salary and purchase of equipment to carry out the works. This is for the people and GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) will bear the costs,” he added.

Abang Johari also pointed out that under Section 18, landowners are also exempted from paying land premium, while for land surveyed under other sections of the Land Code which are subject to a premium, the cost has also been reduced to RM2,500 per lot.

“Even though the land size may be over 20,000 (hectare), the premium is only RM2,500 while the remaining will be borne by GPS,” he added.

He also advised landowners to safeguard their land as it is an asset that can be passed down for generations.

Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Senator Dato Ahmad Ibrahim, Batu Kitang and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang and Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap were among those present. — DayakDaily