Uggah brushes off critics, tells community leaders to spread correct information on amended Land Code

Uggah speaking during the opening of the Land Code Amendment Forum 2019 in Miri this morning.

MIRI, Sept 6: Section 6 Native Territorial Domain (NTD) of the amended Sarawak Land Code is over and above that of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land in which native landowners have right to not only use the land but also own it.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that the amendment to the Land Code has given more ownership rights to native landowners in the state, and those that criticised the move by the state government for the amendment were ignorant lots.

“Not only native landowners have confidence in ownership of their land, but the amendment gave the force of law to the NTD in Sarawak. That means the natives now can not only use but also own the land,” he stressed when addressing the Land Code Amendment Forum 2019 here this morning.

“There are some people who were not happy with the state government’s achievement. They said this NTD will reduce the size of NCR in the state, and I took this matter and allegations against me to court,” he continued.

“Those are ignorant lots, and please community leaders, explain to them, this Section 6 NTD is over and above NCR land,” he urged.

Uggah, who is also Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, revealed that as of yesterday, almost 900,000 hectares of NCR land have been perimeter surveyed under Section 5 of the updated Land Code.

“Other amendments to the Land Code included Section 28, where prior to the amendment, there had been duplications in the issuance of provisional leases,” he said.

He shared that when that happened, a lot of confusion arose, hence the state government also decided that the section were to be amended and was passed in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) on July 12, 2018.

Uggah hoped community leaders and the various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) attending the forum would get more insights on the Land Code amendment, and would spread the benefits to their members back home.

The forum was attended by some 350 participants consisting of community leaders, government servants and officers from various government departments.

The forum is to be held in three zones – Miri, Sibu and Kuching.

Uggah revealed that according to the racial breakdown of participants, 19 were from the Iban community, 92 Orang Ulu, 39 Malay, 20 Kedayan and 3 Miriek – a native tribe of Miri.

Overall, he said 144 participants were from Miri, 89 Bintulu, 94 Limbang and 23 from other divisions.

“We are giving good marks to the community leaders because almost 99 per cent of them are present here. This shows that they are very keen on this issue,” he added.— DayakDaily