Saturday, July 4

Cooperative appeals for help as land lost due to ‘fraud’



SANDAKAN: The chairman of Telisai Cooperative (TC) Land Development Society Limited, Ab Rashid Amsani has appealed to the relevant authority to prevent the loss of the cooperative’s 318.8 acres of land due to alleged fraud in 2003.

Rashid said the land in Tungku, Lahad Datu, is currently home to over 2,000 villagers who have developed an oil palm estate as their income source.

If taken away, the villagers will lose their homes and income, he said.

“We are all victims of the situation. TC and the villagers did not know that the land was sold to another party until we received a court order to vacate the land in June last year,” he said.

Rashid said the problem started in 2003 when RM150,000 was wired to TC’s bank account.

He said the cooperative members then found out from the Malaysia Cooperative Commission in Kota Kinabalu that the money was wired upon the sale of its land.

He said TC members later learnt that a few irresponsible TC board members had allegedly produced fake documents to sell the land.

“We then took the land grant to the police and hired a lawyer for further action to be taken. In 2015, we won the case and got the land back but we did not know that the first buyer had sold the land to a second buyer for RM6,000 per acre,” he told a press conference arranged by DAP Sabah Chairman Stephen Wong at DAP Sandakan office here, yesterday.

“The second buyer then appealed to the Court of Appeal in August last year, in which we lost the case and lost the land,” he said.

Rashid said he was disappointed with the decision of the court and the case could not be brought to court anymore.

In view of this, he pleaded for the assistance of the authority and government to get back the land.

A peaceful demonstration was held by about 200 villagers near Jalan Kampung Sri Darun in Tungku on Thursday to draw attention to their plight.

Rashid said the press conference was the next step after the protest until the authorities stepped in to help resolve the issue.

“I am a local Bumiputera man who is about to lose my home together with 2,000 other villagers. I hope the authority and government would look into this problem and help us,” Rashid added.

TC was formed in 1965 with 74 members.