Tuesday, March 21

More communal land titles


Move to safeguard Bumis’ interest and to faciliate land development – director

TAWAU: More communal land titles will be issued to the Bumiputera in the state to safeguard the interest of the community and to facilitate the development of land owned by the natives, the Land and Survey Department said.

Its director, Datuk Osman Jamal, said the second batch in the issuance of the communal land titles, involving an area of 10,000ha and 1,700 people in Tongod, would be carried out next week.

The first batch was carried out in June, involving 680 people in 10 villages.

The time taken to issue such titles were only six months compared to between five and 10 years for the ordinary titles, he told reporters here yesterday.

Osman also said that since April this year the state government had cancelled the Forest Reserve status of some 28,000ha of land which would be issued with titles through the communal grant system.

The areas included the Sook and Mandalom Forest Reserves in Keningau, totalling 24,000ha and involving 7,927 people in 28 villages, he said.

The communal grant system, in which residents were issued with collective land titles instead of individual ones, would ensure villagers would not sell off their land, he said.

The issuance of titles on a large-scale basis would also facilitate the development of such land, including in terms of infrastructure, he added.

“This is the best system for the issuance of land titles in Sabah. This is also the first system in Malaysia and we feel that it augurs well for the move to safeguard the interest of the native people,” he said.

Each year, he said, the department received about 30,000 land applications but was only able to process about 12,000, causing a backlog.

He said that up to December last year, some 285,000 applications were still pending.

“Through the communal title system, we will identify large-scale government land containing villages to be issued with the title,” he said.