SIBU: Native customary rights (NCR) land spanning 12,498 hectares have been identified for an oil palm plantation project that will benefit villagers from 36 longhouses in the Kabah/Nanga Tada area in Kanowit.
Ngemah assemblyman Alexander Vincent said the proposed project was expected to start soon.
It would be a joint venture between Victory Round Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of public-listed Subur Tiasa Bhd, and the Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA).
“All landowners must give their fullest support to ensure the success of this project.
“This is a big project which will generate income for the landowners through commercial development of their land,” he said during a dialogue session with 16 longhouse chiefs from the Nanga Tada Resettlement area on Saturday.
Also present were representatives from Victory Round and LCDA.
Alexander said the project fitted very well with the overall development masterplan for the constituency.
“In the absence of a project of this scale, it will be hard for the people to have a steady income from their land.
“It is also part and parcel of the government’s efforts to eradicate rural poverty.
He cautioned the people about attempts by the opposition and so-called environmentalists to derail the project.
“They will play up a lot of issues. I, on my part, have no personal interest in it.
“I sincerely appeal to all landowners to participate in it for their own benefits and that of their children.
“Those educated and professionals from the longhouses concerned, I hope they will help to persuade their relatives to participate.
“Since they are better informed, they can play their roles well.”
Alexander advised the landowners to clear whatever doubts they might have with
LCDA officials and representatives from Victory Round.
“Give constructive opinions, and do not jeopardise this golden opportunity to improve your socio-economic status.”
Meanwhile, he said more than RM23 million in bonus and dividends had been paid to Kanowit landowners who participated in the state’s first commercial oil palm development project in 2008.
To-date, some 12,600 hectares had been opened up for the development, he added.