Abang Johari refutes land grab claim, allocates RM40 mln to continue NCR survey

Abang Johari hitting a boundary peg to symbolically launch the NCR land survey in Bario. Among those seen in the photo is Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (right).

MIRI (Aug 26): Dismissing claims that the state government’s native customary rights (NCR) land survey is a veiled attempt at grabbing land, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said today that at least RM40 million will be allocated for the initiative next year.

He said the allocation would be for the perimeter survey of communal reserves under Section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code and for individual lots for the issuance of land titles under Section 18 of the same legislation which carries the force of law for NCR recognition.

“We may allocate more as we now have more money from SST (State Sales Tax) collection from Petronas, “ he said, referring to the national oil corporation’s recent announcement that it would settle the tax owed to the state after withdrawing its legal challenge.

He said the state government had stepped up and allocated RM40 million for the survey initiative when the previous Pakatan Harapan federal government slashed funding which were allocated by the earlier Barisan Nasional government.

Launching the Section 18 NCR land survey for 14 villages in Bario today, Abang Johari said the GPS government was unfazed by criticism against the application of Section 6 for the survey of NCR land, asserting that its record speaks for itself.

Abang Johari pointed out that the government’s detractors practised double standards by spinning unfounded accusations but keeping quiet where credit was due such as the individual lot survey in the Kelabit highlands covering 3,995 hectares.

“There was one person who openly criticised surveys under Section 6 as a government disguise for grabbing land, but turned up to receive perpetuity land title under Section 18 from me personally at one presentation ceremony,” he said.

He gave the analogy of recognition of NCR in gazetted communal land under Section 6 and individual titles issued under Section 18 to a longhouse and their “bileks” or individual units respectively.

Abang Johari also presented 123 appointment letters to community chiefs and leaders in Miri Division at the function today.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/08/26/abang-johari-refutes-land-grab-claim-allocates-rm40-mln-to-continue-ncr-survey/