KUCHING: The lukewarm response to the initiative by Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) to assist in documenting native customary rights (NCR) land has caused delay in the issuance of land titles in certain Bidayuh areas.
Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin, who noted this, thus advised the community to engage the association to accelerate the survey of their NCR land instead of waiting for the Land and Survey Department to do the job which might take a long time.
“Certain villagers whose lands were documented by DBNA have already been issued with land titles so my advice is go through the association if you want your area to be surveyed fast. If you are going to wait for Land and Survey Department to survey your land, I am worried that you will not see your land titles even in the next 100 years,” he said.
He disclosed this in his keynote address at the Bidayuh Council of Elders meeting with community leaders and village headmen at DBNA headquarters here yesterday
“The arrangement to allow DBNA to do the documentation for NCR land in Bidayuh areas had been agreed to in 2007 when the current TYT was still the Chief Minister. Under this arrangement, the association will help to do the documentation before the Land and Survey Department conducts the actual survey. This way the process will be faster but unfortunately some village headmen were still cynical with DBNA,” he stated.
He said DBNA had been recognised by the state government to do land documentation in Bidayuh areas due to manpower constraints.
“Few areas have already been surveyed. Not only the perimeter survey but also individual lots have also been surveyed. Some have obtained their land titles and many more which have been surveyed will be issued soon,” he said.
He disclosed that perimeter survey and issuance of land titles were part of the government’s efforts to help the natives who are rich in land but are of little value because they are untitled.
“Without titles we cannot use our lands as collaterals with the banks when we want to apply for loans as our capitals to do business or for our children to further their studies.
“So based on these factors the government has taken the initiatives to ensure that all NCR land are surveyed and issued with titles,” he said.
The meeting which was jointly chaired by Kuching Division Bidayuh community leader Temenggong Austin Dimin Niyon and his Serian counterpart Temenggong Henry Bujang Sadok was attended by pemanca and ketua kaum from all Bidayuh areas in Kuching and Serian divisions.