MIRI: There is no hidden agenda behind the implementation of the new longhouse concept in Sarawak.
Assistant Minister for Land Development Sylvester Entri Muran slammed detractors who made misleading allegations in running down the implementation of the new concept under 10th Malaysian Plan (10MP).
Speaking at the dialogue session at a longhouse Rumah Chabu, Lepong Ajai, in Sungai Liam Bakong near here yesterday, Entri who is also Assistant Minister of Water Supply was dissapointed over accusations of the government trying to grab the people’s land.
“Please don’t be mistaken with the new concept. The government will not seize the people’s land while the land title issued individually can only be transferred within your own community and not outsiders,” he remarked.
Entri said further the government always placed before anything else the people’s various welfare interests and demands before implementing any development policy.
In fact, he pointed out that the development policy was designed after getting collective feedbacks from the people plus ground study and survey from all pespectives.
“This new concept is the brilliant ideal from the Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who wanted the rural longhouse folk to be secured and their rights towards the land are protected and future gurantee for the next generation,” he said.
Touching on the new concept, he assured the longhouse folk that the building structure design will be based on the traditional arts and culture of the Dayak community such as by maintaning the ‘ruai’ (gallery) area which was deemed compulsory in every longhouse design.
Also underlined in the new conceopt were the use of safer building to act as fire break as well as providing comfort to the longhouse occupants.
In addition to that, the government through this concept has enabled every longhouse occupants to have legal ownership of respective door (apartment) through the issuance of land titles individually by Land and Survey (L&S) Department, thus making it the first practice of which the longhouse ownership before was based on communal reserve.
Apart from providing security and insurance coverage, the owner can used the land title to make financial loan such as for children education purpose from bank.
Replying regarding question on when the project could be started, he told surveying works would start immediately after getting green light from the longhouse residents.
While the house size is depending on respective occupants as the L&S officers would only make the survey works based on what had been given earlier by the occupants.
The government, he said, would help in every effort to speed up the implementation of the project.
Later, Entri went on a visit to the next longhouse Rumah Collin at Bukit Peninjau, Bakong for similar dialogue session on the concept.
Also present were Douglas Pungga Lawang a Land Officer cum Registrar of L&S Department of Miri, a community leader for Bakong Penghulu Sedu Gerang and longhouse chiefs Tuai Rumah Chabu and Tuai Rumah Collin.