‘Declaration of lands as communal reserve downgrades NCR land status’


KUCHING: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state vice chairman Ali Biju claims that perimeter survey and declaration that certain lands are communal reserve under Section 6 of Sarawak Land Code will downgrade the status of NCR land.

Ali, who is also Krian assemblyman, said: “The natives of Entebu, Selambung and Bajau Saratok must be enlightened on the practical aspect of Section 6. They must be educated on the real worth of the land as Communal Reserve Land as compared with a titled land under Section 18 of the Land Code.”

He was referring to an article in the Aug 23 edition of Utusan Borneo that said NCR lands at Entebu, Selambung and Bajau Saratok, an area covering 1,024.8 ha, were declared as Communal Reserve Land under Section 6 of the Land Code on April 7 this year.

The Section 6 status was granted to the natives in these areas after perimeter survey was conducted on their lands earlier this year.

“The danger of Section 6 which many native NCR landowners are not aware of is that once notice is issued under Section 6, the title issued is under the name of the community, not individual landowners, and effectively the land is held in trust for the government by the community.

“Once this happens, this gives the government the right to extinguish the rights of the landowners at any time and then pay them peanuts as compensation! This effectively downgrades NCR status,” he claimed.

Saying on the surface, perimeter survey might look like the government’s serious effort in addressing NCR-related problems, Ali asked: “Now, how about the rest of the much bigger NCR lands adjacent to Entebu, Selambung and Bajau Saratok which are outside the Communal Reserve Land that have just undergone perimeter survey?”

“Can the native landowners now feel relieved thinking their NCR lands are outside this perimeter survey? Or are these state lands by virtue of the perimeter surveys, and can Provisional Licences be issued by the government at its whims and fancies?” he asked again.

He asserted that the rural folk of Krian who have legitimate rights over their lands want answers, and it is his duty as their representative to demand the answers from the government.