Malay land rights remain protected

Awang Tengah Ali Hasan

KUCHING: The rights of Malays to their land remain protected similar to other Bumiputera groups, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

“In terms of land ownership, the rights of the Malays on their land will always be recognised and defended similar to how we defend the rights and interests of the families of the other indigenous groups to their native customary land,” he said.

He said the survey and issuance of NCR (Native Customary Rights) land titles has been carried out since the 1960s especially through the settlement operations and traditional village survey programme.

“This effort was continued with the NCR New Initiative Land Survey Programme in 2010 which has been successful and found excellent in terms of its speed and efficiency,” he said during his speech at the ground breaking of the Wisma Melayu project site at Jalan Diplomatik here today.

Awang Tengah said the villages along the Sarawak River known as Kampung Seberang Hilir were once traditional villages that had long existed only through the communal reserve gazette.

“As a result of the survey of residential lots in the traditional village, the ownership of land in these villages is now guaranteed with the issuance of individual land titles under Section 18 of the Sarawak Land Code,” he said.

He said the Sarawak Land Code was amended involving Native Territorial Domain (NTD) allowing NTD areas to be verified and the owners, including the Malays, to be issued communal land titles.

On housing, the deputy chief minister said the state government would continue the village extension programme and resettlement schemes to meet the needs of the growing population.

“Basic infrastructure facilities such as electricity supply and treated water supply are also provided and in some places, several models of affordable housing development have also been implemented.

“The government has also implemented the Village and Urban Renewal Programme as we saw in Darul Hana and in Kemuyang, Sibu which was implemented taking into account the smart city criteria through the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

“Such programmes will continue to be implemented in several other areas in the state of Sarawak,” he said.