JULAU: Land Code (Amendment) 2018 was passed by the Sarawak government to address land issues faced by the natives, particularly their rights over ‘pemakai menua and pulau galau’ (PMPG).
Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, said the amendment had given natives perpetuity rights over their PMPG through the reinstatement of Section 5(2)(f) of the land code, which facilitated the recognition of PMPG as Native Territorial Domain (NTD).
“NTD is also claimed by other natives who have different names for it besides Dayaks. Thus, the amended Land Code is meant to address this long standing land issue once and for all,” he said when officiating at a NCR Land and Current Political Scenario dialogue session with grassroots leaders here last Friday.
NTD perimeter does not in any way reduce the size of NCR land as alleged by certain parties. He said the 1,000-ha NTD approved under the amended Land Code was over and above the NCR land.
He added that PMPG or NTD had been coded not only to give it a force of law but also gave the natives freehold or perpetuity right and indefeasible title over it.
Prior to this, NCR land issue had been effectively addressed by the perimeter survey initiated by the former Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government, which allocated RM30 million for the ongoing second phase of the exercise.
However, following the defeat of BN at federal level in the last general election, only RM12 million of the allocated amount had been utilised, while the perimeter survey of NCR land has been put on hold.
However, the Sarawak government has decided to continue with the perimeter survey of NCR land by allocating RM18 million from its own fund to continue the process, he said.
“Through perimeter survey initiative, NCR land has been gazetted as native communal reserve under Section 6 of the Land Code, and thereafter could request to have it split into individual plots to be issued titles under Section 18 of the Land Code.”
He also said that Section 28 of the Land Code had been amended and that no more Provisional Lease (PL) would be issued for NTD.
Earlier, the about 400 longhouse chiefs ( tuai rumah), community leaders, councillors and members of longhouse security and development (JKKK) in Meluan were briefed on the subject by Julau District Officer Khalid Andong.
Penguang advised those seeking clarification on areas they were still doubtful from the district officer or relevant parties representing the government.
He cautioned them not to blindly accept information given by irresponsible parties aimed to instigate them to go against the government.
Penguang, who is also Marudi assemblyman, said misleading information on NTD or PMPG issue had created confusion among the natives resulting in some of them staging protests in various part of Sarawak.
Meluan assemblyman Rolland Duat in his welcoming speech said he had invited Penguang to clarify the PMPG issues as he is a member of a taskforce specially set up the government to address the issues.
With the information shared by Penguang, he hoped the people in Meluan would appreciate the sincerity of the government in addressing native land issues.
Rolland also announced the Sarawak government’s latest approval of RM10 million for the construction of Sungai Meluan Bridge and RM79 million for upgrading of water supply system in the area.
Political secretaries to chief minister Alexander Asing and Petrus Igat, and district police chief DSP Bidol Noyeng were among those present at the function.