Posted on June 28, 2011, Tuesday
KUCHING: The Sarawak government still allows harvesting of swiftlet nests in the Niah Caves, through the issuing of licences on a seasonal basis, Sarawak Minister of Planning and Human Resource II Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said today.
He said the activity was monitored under the existing laws and control procedures in line with efforts to conserve the swiftlets in the caves.
“Harvesting is not allowed between April and August every year to enable the birds to breed and until the nestlings are able to fly,” he said in his winding-up speech for the ministry at the Sarawak State Assembly in Petra Jaya, here.
He said the surrounding jungles of the park could sustain the two species of black and white swiftlets found at the Niah National Park in terms of food source.
Touching on the Bakun Resettlement Scheme in Sungei Assap, Awang Tengah said the government had identified 8,160 acres (about 3,300 hectares) as a substitute for the current land unsuitable for farming and as supplementary land to meet the need for agricultural plots.
Replying to a question from Liwan Lagang (BN-Belaga), Awang Tengah said the government did not have plans yet to allocate housing lots to meet the fresh demand in the area for a proposed estate-type of development with the people having equity ownership.
Awang Tengah refuted an allegation by Yap Hoi Liong (DAP-Dudong) that land belonging to the Ibans had its status changed to government land.
On the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land perimeter survey initiative, Awang Tengah said 135 lots covering 254,845 hectares had been approved for the purpose since it was started in September last year.
Perimeter surveys had been conducted for a total of 73 lots of 48,692 hectares at a cost of RM15.71 million, including 7,325 hectares gazetted as bumiputera common reserve under Section 6 of the National Land Code, he added.
He urged his Barisan Nasional colleagues to step up their efforts in creating awareness on the government initiative and encourage NCR land owners to identify their land and apply to the Land and Survey Department for the survey to be done. – Bernama