KUCHING: Landowners and rural dwellers are assured that their rights to their land are safe.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said that when the state government amended the Sarawak Land Code recently, it gave legal effect to Native Territorial Domain, ensuring that all native lands with usufructuary rights were recognised.
“The efforts to survey Native Customary Rights (NCR) land will be an ongoing effort and the state government will continue to be committed to recognise the people’s right to land,” he said.
He was speaking at the presentation of land titles at Dewan Rekreasi Ranchan, Serian yesterday.
During the ceremony the deputy chief minister presented 24 Bumiputera Communal Reserve Gazette (Agriculture) under Section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code involving 40 villages in Serian and Tebedu.
A total of 202 land titles were also given out under Section 18 of the Sarawak Land Code to 160 NCR landowners in Kampung Petaq, Siburan.
Commenting on the land titles given, Awang Tengah said the land which have been gazetted were exclusive to the Bidayuh and Iban as their NCR land.
“With the ownership document and clear borders, no one can dispute the ownership of the NCR land. I also hope that the recipients will take care of their land and use it optimally to benefit themselves, their families and retain it for the future generation.
“Among the specialties of Section 18 are that the landowners do not need to pay a premium, land tax among other things and the land will be in their possession permanently,” he said.
Awang Tengah thanked the landowners for their cooperation for the duration of the land survey period by the state government.
“I am confident that rational and right-thinking people are smart enough to evaluate it themselves. If our intentions are good, the planning is structured, the outcome will be enough to satisfy everyone,” he said.