Families get land permits

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/4/18/nation/13983416&sec=nation

Tuesday April 18, 2006

Families get land permits

By STEPHEN THEN

MIRI: More than 800 landless families in northern Sarawak have been given the most sought after pre-state election goodies available land occupation permits.

Temporary occupation licences (TOLs) were issued to 816 former squatter families here over the weekend.

State Land and Survey Department officials handed out the permits to them following state approval.

Thousands of people, made up of family members and relatives of the recipients, jammed the Miri Civic Centre in their rush to collect their permits from officers of the department on Saturday.

Sarawak Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Development and Communications Lee Kim Shin said the recipients should be grateful to the Barisan Nasional state government for the generous allocations.

The Barisan Nasional has fulfilled its promise to help the landless by allocating plots for them to build their homes, he said.

The people make full use of the land allotted to build a decent home for themselves.

This is not the first time the Barisan government has helped the landless and the poor. Over the years, we have aided more than 4,000 families.

Each family chosen to receive the TOL will be given 0.1acre of state-owned land in the Tudan Resettlement Scheme located about 25km north of the city.

The TOL allows each family to live on the land, and use it for planting vegetables and other crops.

The authorities will extend public amenities like roads, piped water and electricity to the area in stages.

However, the occupants cannot use the land for commercial businesses or sell it.

The state reserves the right to re-acquire the land if the area is earmarked for major development.

A recipient Apoi Gasing, 68, who hails from Bintangor in central Sarawak, said he had been a squatter near here for more than 15 years.

Finally, after years of waiting, we have succeeded in getting a place to build our home. We are very grateful to the state for its generosity.