Uggah counters Dr Xavier’s rebuttal with clarification, question

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

KUCHING, Dec 12: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has denied ever accusing Minister of Water, Land and Mineral Resources Dr Xavier Jayakumar of wanting to strip Sarawak off its land autonomy.

“The Minister of Water, Land and Mineral Resources Dr Xavier Jayakumar should read the whole text of my original statement and not just zoom in on the headline of the statement by a news portal,” he said in a press statement in response to Dr Xavier’s accusations in the papers today.

“If he had done so, he could see that I have never said he wanted to strip off Sarawak’s autonomy on its land matters as reported by the portal,” he added.

Uggah than posed a question to Dr Xavier.

“Did he (Dr Xavier) make the remark that it was unfair for the country to have three Land Codes in its land administration at the recent Majlis Tanah Negara (National Land Council) meeting?

“It was after my protest over his remark that he proposed for all these three documents, namely the Kanun Tanah Negara, the Sabah Land Code and the Sarawak Land Code, to be combined into one document for presentation purposes at seminars and dialogues to avoid confusion,” said Uggah.

On Monday, a national news portal reported Uggah as saying that Dr Xavier had wanted to strip Sarawak’s land autonomy after attending the National Land Council Meeting on Dec 3.

The meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, was attended by Mentri Besars and Chief Ministers and their representatives.

Dr Xavier explained that he had suggested that the National Land Code, the Sabah Land Ordinance and Sarawak Land Code be compiled into a single document to be used for forums or conventions at the international level.

He said this would enable the Malaysian government and his ministry to deliver information on the country in one document, compared to three, which might confuse outsiders.

Dr Xavier added he had also suggested the same to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal when paying a courtesy call on him in September. — DayakDaily