SLDB’s performance as implementing agency commendable – chairman

KOTA KINABALU:  Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB)  has shown commendable performance in helping to implement some of the State Government’s rural eradication programmes in Sabah.

Its chairman, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Abdul Rahim Ismail, said this was achieved mainly because SLDB officers and staff were working in-line towards achieving the agency’s ‘back-to-basic’ approach.

“However I reminded them to always engage themselves with SLDB’s settlers, participants and beneficiaries in order to fully understand their needs.

“At the same time, we must also make them understand about SLDB’s roles and functions, especially in helping to uplift the living standard of the rural smallholders,” he said at a conference for SLDB senior managers at Karambunai Nexus.

The government-back poverty alleviation schemes implemented by SLDB include the high-impact agriculture-based project such as the Mini Estet Sejahtera (MESEJ) and Communal Land Title.

MESEJ is the brainchild of Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman, aimed at uplifting the living standard of the rural poor in a more sustainable manner. It was also to bridge the economic disparity between the rural and urban areas in Sabah.

Presently, there are two perfoming MESEJ projects at Bunang in Keningau and Sebatik Island, Tawau.

The Communal Land Title (CLT) concept, launched in 2010, is another proactive measure introduced by the State Government to overcome poverty incidents in Sabah.

CLT was also to speed up the land application process especially involving the Native Customary Right (NCR) land application.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has allocated RM88 milion to Sabah via SLDB to carry out an oil palm replanting programme under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

This was announced by the Chief Minister in 2016, where 958 settlers from nine territories in Sandakan and Tawau are now involved in the programme.

Settlers are also given a monthly allowance of RM800 while waiting for harvesting the crop that would lessen their burden.

On February 2014, SLDB was appointed as a network agency under the Federal Rural and Regional Development Ministry.

This would enable the agency to apply for development project application starting 2015 via the Sistem Pemantauan Projek.

The Sabah State cabinet has approved the establishment of SLDB Management Sdn Bhd as a Special Purpose entity to enhance the agency’s roles.

The move was also to empower the agency in carrying out its functions, in line with its commitment to implement development projects and settlements in the state.

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