Monday, February 17

Bidayuh villages urged to carry out own NCR land survey

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KUCHING: The Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) is encouraging villagers to have their native customary rights (NCR) land documented on their own initiative without having to wait for the government.

Stating that identification of NCR land perimeter would end disputes and having it documented would increase land value, DBNA president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik yesterday said that there was no point for villagers to wait for the government if it could be done personally among the community.

After four years since DBNA started the land documentation initiative, Ik Pahon, who is also permanent secretary to the Tourism Ministry, stated that only 40 villages of 338 have had their land surveyed and documented.

“Land documentation has been completed in Singai and most part of Bau. It has been 50 years since Merdeka (Malaysia Independence), why don’t we do this ourselves? Why wait for the government?

“Waiting would take time because the state has many priorities. If we want it, we should do it. The government could save 60 per cent on time and 40 per cent on money if villagers take their own initiative in surveying their own land,” he told the press when met at DBNA headquarters at Jalan Kumpang here yesterday.

Earlier he attended the ‘Curtin Sarawak Malaysia (CSM) University-DBNA roadshow’ that was launched by the association advisor and also Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister, Dato Sri Michael Manyin.

Highlighting that the self-initiative is already a proven success to those who had taken the effort, Ik Pahon encouraged all communities throughout the state to start their survey as well.

“It is not easy to convince the people but DBNA, as a community association, will slowly convince the people to take their own initiative. Once the people do their own survey, the government would only have to go in to endorse the pack and coordinates,” he explained on how this would expedite the issuance of land title.

Ik Pahon also mentioned that only after four years since the initiative villagers have started requesting for the association to provide training on surveying their own plots such the use the global positioning system (GPS).

He said only three persons are needed to complete the task where one operates the GPS device, one set up the positioning pack while one records the logs and coordinates.

Once the reading and coordinates have been recorded, the villagers would be taught how to operate the software to determine their land size.

“Apart from strengthening the education level of the people, DBNA’s other main objective to date is to help out with their native customary rights (NCR) land documentation.

“NCR land has little value but if the land has a title, the value increases.”

Ik Pahon also said that until next year, those who have yet to have their land documented could and should come to DBNA for GPS training. From 2013 onwards, villagers would have to appoint private GPS specialist for the training, which would incur extra cost.