Sunday, October 17

Baru alleges perimeter survey only causes more confusion

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READY FOR ELECTION: State PKR leaders at their Stampin headquarters. Among them are Krian assemblyman Ali Biju (seated second left), See Chee How (seated third left) and Baru (seated fourth left).

KUCHING: Perimeter survey on Native Customary Rights (NCR) land, especially ‘Pemakai Menua’ and ‘Pulau Galau’ only causes more confusion than certainty, alleged state PKR chief Baru Bian.

In replying to a counter statement made by Land and Survey Department (LSD) that rights over land gazetted as communal reserve were administered and regulated by the native system of personal law of the native communities, Baru said it had in fact been misleading as to the main objective of the perimeter survey.

He said Barisan Nasional (BN) government was trying to hoodwink and mislead the indigenous people by saying that the Native Communal Reserves was a confirmation and statutory recognition of native ownership over their NCR land.

He added that the perimeter survey carried out by the government was a relegation and unlawful confine of NCR, benefitting only those prying on NCR land for their own financial gains through the control of state government and state machinery.

In view of this, the Ba Kelalan assemblyman suggested instead of using Section 6(3) of Sarawak Land Code, Section 18 of the said code should be used to give authority and land titles to the rakyat.

“Section 18 has been there since the passing of Sarawak Land Code since 1958. There are two ways of claiming land title. One, the owner themselves apply to LSD asking for the title or, two, the superintendant of LSD recognise it under Section 18 by using Part 5 resettlement exercise gazetted under the land code to issue titles to the landowners.

“And Section 18 proves that the land is in perpetuity and does not require the land owner to pay rent,” he said.

According to him, Section 6 provided in the land code did not state the land should be confined to state or customary land.

Section 6(3) of the Land Code which concerns Native Communal Reserves provides that such land shall continue to be state land and the native community for whose use it was reserved or any member thereof acquiring any rights therein shall hold the same as a licensee from the government.

State PKR vice chairman and Krian assemblyman Ali Biju recently lashed out in a statement that perimeter survey and declaration of native communal reserves would downgrade the NCR status. Ali claimed that once notice was issued under Section 6 of Sarawak Land Code, it would be under the name of the community, not individual landowners and eventually held in trust for the government.