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SIBU, Oct 7: The majority of native landowners in the state have now accepted the government’s programme to do perimeter surveys of their native customary rightS (NCR) land under Section 6 of the State Land Code.
This is despite the relentless accusations, instigations and lies spread to boycott the free service, according to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas last night.
He stated he was very happy with their decision to accept the move which is aimed solely at determining the boundary between state and NCR land.
He said this to about 400 participants at a Land Forum dinner here last night.
The participants comprised all levels of community leaders and senior civil servants from Sibu, Kapit, Sarikei and Mukah Divisions.
“I am very thankful with the landowners over their acceptance as this can help to solve problems later on.
“Out of the estimated 1.5 million hectares of NCR, about 900,000 hectares have undergone the perimeter survey.
“Of these, about 800,000 had been gazetted to date.
“This amply indicates the majority of the owners have accepted Section 6.”
He hoped the community leaders could persuade the owners who have yet to get their land surveyed.
“They have been reluctant to give their permissions because they had been wrongly influenced or instigated.
“There are out there many evil, selfish ‘ghosts’ relentless in their efforts in getting landowners to derail the government’s programmes for the people to suit their agendas.
“They demonise it as an attempt by the GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government to steal or usurp the people’s land,” according to Uggah.
Uggah who is also Second Finance Minister and the Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development called on this group to substantiate their accusations.
“Tell us how many of the about 900,000 hectares surveyed had been taken away. Provide the proof instead of making daily accusations on social media,” Uggah challenged.
He believed that a certain elected representative of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had been telling the people that the state government would not compensate them for their land acquired for new school, hospital and road projects.
“He can be seen speaking on social media over this. Again this is another monstrous lie.
“The government’s principle is, if we acquire your land for development purpose, fair compensation is only mandatory.”
Meanwhile, Uggah said the next move for the government was to go into Section 18 survey to decide the individual land lot for the purpose of giving land titles.
“So my advice to landowners who have rejected the Section 6 survey please accept it.
“Your refusal will mean you will be sadly left out.
“I hope our community leaders will talk to them, explain the government objectives to them.”
State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion who spoke earlier called on the respective Residents, District Officers and others to also explain and communicate with the people the purpose of the amended land bill. — DayakDaily