By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Nov 19: The state government will ensure that the state’s rights over its land matters will be defended under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this was important so that the state would be able to utilise its own natural resources for development for the benefit of Sarawakians.
“Indeed the state’s strategic asset must be managed holistically for the future generation of Sarawakians.
“That is why I, with the help of my ministers, the State Attorney-General’s Chambers, state government officials and state Land and Survey Department, am meticulously looking into the legal side and ordinance related to land in Sarawak,” he said during the state Land and Survey Department’s 100th Anniversary dinner at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) ballroom here on Sunday.
Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Toh Puan Raghad Kurdi Taib were among those present.
Abang Johari said since the implementation and enforcement of the State Land Code in 1958, it had gone through several amendments in line with the needs of Sarawakians.
This, he added, was needed to ensure that the people’s rights over their land were preserved and at the same time encourage the state’s development agenda to boost its economy.
“As an example, when we amended the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 recently, this was in line with our desire to defend our rights over our own land and its resources.
“This is important because only Sarawakians can defend their own rights and their own land,” Abang Johari emphasised.
On a side note, he commended the state Land and Survey Department for maintaining work-life balance especially among their staff and officers.
This is important to ensure that the staff would be able to carry out their work with a healthy state of mind and stress-free, he added.
“Thankfully our Land and Survey Department personnel are active not just with their jobs but also in semi-formal and social activities.
“This is what I am hoping for in the long run especially among the newer and younger generations of the state Land and Survey Department, because you will be the ones to continue the legacy of excellence,” said Abang Johari. — DayakDaily