We don’t rob the people of their land — Awang Tengah

Awang Tengah (seated centre) posing with the landowners and guests after the cheque presentation ceremony.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Jan 30: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan today denied allegations that the state government was grabbing the people’s land.

Speaking at a land acquisition-compensation ceremony here today, he explained that all land acquired by the government was for development purposes, and the affected landowners were compensated.

“Land acquisition by the state is not free. We don’t simply take those land for no reason. The landowners will be paid accordingly.

“The acquisition (of the land) is meant to benefit the people via development projects that we are going to implement,” he said.

Awang Tengah, who is also Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources, used the proposed new Miri City Hall building to illustrate his point.

“The new building for Miri City Hall is going to benefit the people here in future with a wide range of facilities and services.”

Thirty landowners were present at Wisma Pelita Tunku to receive their compensation totalling RM31.6 million. The acquired land is for nine development projects, including the Miri City Hall building and for rural water supply in Kuala Sibuti, Bekenu, Sepupok Reservoir, Marudi, and the proposed Miri water supply source development Phase 2.

Land compensation for the Miri City Hall project was RM22.1 million.

On another matter, Awang Tengah told those present that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg aspired to transform the state for the benefit of the people.

“Our CM is committed to bringing Sarawak towards becoming a greater developed state. He has found ways to enhance the state’s revenue for the betterment of the people.

“We (the state) can’t totally depend on the federal government to fund our development projects, unlike during the previous government. A lot of our development projects that have been approved have been scrapped by the current federal government,” he lamented.

As a result, the state government had to implement these projects by itself.

“For clean water supply projects, the state government has allocated RM2.8 billion for the purpose. For electricity projects, the state government has allocated RM2.3 billion for the purpose, especially in the rural areas,” he said.

Awang Tengah stressed that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) understood the aspirations of the people because it is a fully local-based coalition, unlike Pakatan Harapan (PH).

He said even though the local PH leaders are Sarawakians, they are answerable to their political masters in the peninsula.

Also present were Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Marudi assemblyman Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting and Miri Division Land and Survey Department Superintendent Arni Abdul Rahman. — DayakDaily