Thursday, June 23, 2011

DUN (Day Two): Jabu accuses PKR speading lies on NCR land issue

Jabu denies land grab by state govt
Posted on June 23, 2011, Thursday

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu denied that native customary rights (NCR) land was being unlawfully taken by the state BN government and accused PKR of spreading propaganda against the state BN government on this issue.

The Layar assemblyman also took shots at DAP for failing to support NCR joint venture programmes which was introduced in the 1990s as a tool for eradicating rural poverty, improve rural standards of living and create more job opportunities. He alleged the party was being “selfish”, citing an incident in 1996 at the Civic Centre in Kanowit when DAP members marched to show their objection to the programme.

“This is the reason why I dare say in this Dewan that DAP suppresses and oppresses the opportunity of NCR landowners from participating in the Sarawak State BN poverty eradication programme to improve the livelihood and wellbeing of the rakyat,” said Jabu, raising cries of protest from opposition assemblymen.
He said that since the SALCRA Ordinance was established in 1976, the government had always recognised native customary rights and sought NCR landowners’ consent to develop their land through SALCRA to eradicate poverty, improve their standard of living as well as to create job opportunities in the rural areas

Jabu said this during his prepared reply to a question posed by Baru Bian (PKR- Ba’ Kelalan) concerning the total acreage of native land developed by SALCRA, how many titles have been issued to land owners to date and whether a list of the issued titles could be viewed.

Jabu pointed out dividends issued by SALCRA to participating landowners was proof of the government’s success in eradicating poverty in rural areas of Sarawak.

He said that up to December 2010, a total of RM405,694,965 in dividend had been paid out, including RM74,262,125 for 2010.

As of May 31 this year, the total area of native land developed by SALCRA stood at 50,028 hectares and a total of 9,254 land titles have been issued covering four regions, namely Bau/Lundu (1,831 titles), Serian (1,590), Sri Aman (508) and Saratok/Saribas (5,325).

To date, SALCRA has handed over 7,514 titles to landowners, while the remaining 1,740 titles are ready and will soon be handed over to the SALCRA participants.

During his reply, Jabu reiterated several times that the government bore all the fees and did not impose any charges for the issuance of land titles to NCR landowners.

In reply to the first of two supplementary questions from Baru concerning the most recent issuance of land titles , Jabu said that as SALCRA was continually expanding throughout Sarawak, there was no deadline for the issuance of land titles. He reiterated that land titles yet to be given through SALCRA would be handed over soon.

In reply to Baru’s second supplementary question whether SALCRA had issued any land titles in Ba’ Kelalan, Jabu responded that Ba’ Kelalan was not covered by SALCRA yet.

Later during a media conference, Baru expressed disappointment, saying that Deputy Chief Minister had not actually answered his supplementary questions.

Describing the matter as “very crucial”, the state PKR liaison chief said he was interested to find out whether the issuance of land titles through SALCRA has been ongoing until today and when was the last time the titles were given through Salcra.

“I suspect that the issuance of titles must have stopped many years ago and this is very crucial because issuance of land titles is very important for the natives.

“Under the SALCRA ordinance, this is made possible. Therefore the government should continue with this type of development and issue titles.”

The assemblyman also expressed his shock in the Deputy Chief Minister’s reply that no areas in Ba’Kelalan have been developed by SALCRA.

Baru said that he suspected that even in the whole of 5th division, Limbang, Lawas and certain parts of Miri, no development had been done by SALCRA despite being present in these areas for many years.

He pointed out that development should be carried out in the whole state of Sarawak.

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