KUCHING (May 24): The state government’s new land lease renewal policy will help thousands of landowners sharing agricultural land, said Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen.
Chong credited Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is Second Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development, for promptly addressing the land lease renewal issue in his ministerial winding-up during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.
“This, thus resolves the problems of thousands of landowners who are currently facing problems in renewing their leaseholds,” the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman said in a statement.
According to him, under the previous land policy, many landowners sharing a plot of agricultural land and having several residential houses built thereon could not have the leases of their land titles renewed.
“The reason given by the Land and Survey Department was that a plot of agricultural land can only have one unit of house built thereon. To have more than one house built on a plot of agricultural land constitutes a breach of title condition and thus the land lease could not be renewed,” he claimed.
He explained many landowners are siblings sharing a plot of agricultural land inherited from their fathers or grandparents.
“They live together, each, after marriage and having children of their own, building a small residential house on a portion of the land inherited from their fathers or grandparents. It is thus impossible and impracticable to expect all of them to stay in one house.
“The consequence of non-renewal of their land leases would entail that their land will be reverted to the government without any compensation upon expiry of their land leases,” he said.
Chong said fortunately for the landowners, Awang Tengah had announced that under the new land lease renewal policy, so long as the structures on the land are residential houses, regardless of whether several units of houses are erected on a plot of agricultural land, the land leases would be renewed.
“Undoubtedly, this is music to the ears of the landowners. It just goes to show that with good policy, many of the problems of the people can be resolved easily and speedily.
“On behalf of the landowners, I wish to express my gratitude and thanks to Awang Tengah for promptly and effectively resolving their problem,” he added.