Thursday, November 21

‘Terraced house-style titles fine, but not strata ones’

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KUCHING: Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong is all for the proposed ‘terraced house-style’ in the issuance of land titles to longhouses.He believed that people would object to ‘strata-style’ titles.

Closing the two-day New Longhouse Concept seminar here yesterday, Manyin said: “I am relieved that the terrace house-style title was proposed, instead of the strata title.

“If it were the strata title, it would create a lot of confusion and dissatisfaction among the longhouse folk.  Many would not accept it.”

Manyin said getting the longhouse folk’s acceptance was important because if they were united, it would be easier for the government to channel development programmes to them.

Among those present at the seminar were Assistant Housing and Urban Develop-ment Minister Datuk Wahab Aziz, Assistant Land De-velopment Minister Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, Deputy State Secretary Datu Ghafur Shariff, and Housing and Urban Development Ministry’s permanent secretary Affandi Keli.

Wahab also believed terrace house titles were more viable than strata titles. “Strata title is different. It is for high-rise buildings where each floor is a strata title. A terrace house in the city is not a strata title. It is individual title,” he said when asked to comment on Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas’ statement which was published in The Borneo Post on April 8.

Uggah suggested that land titles for longhouses should follow the mechanism of giving titles to terraced houses in the city. He said the procedures involved in giving titles to terraced houses in the city were simple and did not involve too much hassle.

Meanwhile, Ghafur said that the Housing and Urban Development Ministry would gather all the feedbacks from tuai rumahs and participants at the seminar and then work out a policy which adopts the terrace house-style title to the longhouses.

“As soon as we finish (New Longhouse Concept seminar) in all the three zones – Southern, Central and Northern zones – by end of April, we will bring it up to the cabinet for a decision,” he explained.

When asked whether the tuai rumahs would suffer an ‘erosion of power’ when the policy is implemented, Ghafur opined that it would not be a major issue but nevertheless the matter still need to be deliberated.

“They (tuai rumah) might lose a little bit of control over their people. But for any new things that the government wants to implement, the tuai rumahs should not worry.

“Changes need to be done for the sake of development. Whenever there are changes, there will sure be some scepticism. It is normal.

“That, in fact, is one of the primary reasons for this seminar. It is to get responses and feedbacks from them,” he said.

The second seminar will be held in Miri on April 12 and April 13, and then in Sibu on April 19 and April 20.