‘State govt will hasten perimeter survey of NCR lands’

Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan

KUCHING: The state government will expedite the perimeter survey on native customary rights (NCR) land, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

He stressed that the first phase of perimeter survey would be on legitimate NCR land via the processes provided for under Section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code while the second phase — on individual lots — would be done under Section 18 of the Sarawak Land Code, all under the New NCR Land Survey Initiative Programme.

At the initial stage of the programme, the state government faced various challenges because people were sceptical or suspicious of the initiative and these (challenges) were compounded by the instigations from the opposition in their plan to derail progress,” he said through a statement delivered by his ministry to several members of the press recently.

“However, with the commitment and sincerity of the state government, thanks to God Almighty, today we have received strong support for the programme. The situation now is very encouraging,” he said.

This is proven when a total of 822,374 hectares was successfully surveyed, said Awang Tengah, who is also Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources and Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development.

Out of that figure, a total of 656,373 hectares had been gazetted, he pointed out. He also said a total of 17,015 individual lots covering 20,169 hectares had been surveyed and 6,652 lots involving 6,898 hectares of land had been issued titles under Section 18 of the Sarawak Land Code.

“The programme is part of the government’s efforts to ensure all legitimate NCR land would be surveyed and issued titles. Therefore, please support the government to resolve this matter for the benefit of interested parties,” he said.

According to the statement, to quicken the second phase of perimeter survey, the state government has decided to empower interested parties on top of setting up a Land Committee whose members are directly involved in the programme.

The Land Committee has been given the power to identify and confirm the boundaries of NCR land claimants. A pilot project was implemented at Kampung Pichin, Serian. Awang Tengah said to ensure this programme is a success, three main factors need to be met — NCR land claimants have to be present during the survey, the NCR land in question is free from multiple claims, and the boundaries have been pegged properly. The state government will also recognise rights of residents of traditional villages.

A total of 35,261 lots had been distributed under resettlement schemes and the state government had decreased the premium for lots under such schemes like Rampangi Resettlement Scheme from RM14,000 per lot to RM5,000 per lot or 25 per cent of the market rate, whichever is lower.

The statement said premium for Town Land and Suburban Land is RM5,000 per lot or 25 per cent of the market rate whichever is lower.

The premium for Country Land is RM2,500 per lot or 25 per cent of market rate, whichever is lower.

Awang Tengah said the issuance of titles by the state is in line with the state government’s intention to improve the economic value of land. The size of land is not the yardstick to measure the socio-economic status of the people but the potential activities on it.

“If the reverse is true then some African nations will be richer than the United Kingdom, just because they (African nations) have large tracts of land.

“Do not let your land be idle but convert it into income-generating opportunities,” he said.

“We must plan ways to develop land in line with the state government’s policy of modernisation of agriculture powered by digital economy,” he said.

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