Respect Sarawak Land Code – Cobbold to Awang

KUCHING: The government is urged to recognise the rights of the Dayaks to own land under Section 18 of the Sarawak Land Code which gives title in perpetuity and full recognition over the land.

It has been observed that native customary rights (NCR) over land are being surveyed pursuant to Section 6 of the Land Code, thereby, constituting it as Native Communal Reserve land.

The BN government is thus giving a misleading statement – that Section 6 is a prerequisite for the issuance of Section 18.

However, Section 6 mentioned land surveyed under this section is state land, land that belongs to the state government.

According to Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru) president, Cobbold John, this would give rise to conflict of ownership between the natives and the Provisional Lease (PL) holders following the issuance of PL pursuant to Section 28 to statutory bodies, GLCs, companies or individuals (big towkays).

“PL holders shall not be allowed to enter unsurveyed land which is clearly stated under Section 28. No state land shall be alienated under this code unless and until the survey of the land has been completed to the satisfaction of the Land Superintendent, hence, survey is required before alieanation,” he said.

“Section 6 (Native Communal Reserve) is just a prerequisite of the BN government to issue Pls.

“Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan recent statement is misleading the people, while he was asking the people not to worry about NCR land. Awang who is also Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment, as quoted by the Sarawak Tribune in 2005, on the other hand, clearly stated that unsurveyed land or land without title belonged to the government. This clearly contradicts to his statement recently” Cobbold added.

Henceforth, “NCR Konsep Baru” is not the effort to recognise the land rights ownership, it is the move made by the government to turn the iddle land to economic purposes.

“Dayaks are in a dilemma; politics of development and joint venture partnership between natives and PL holders is a perfect political fragmentation of the Dayaks’ rights. From there we can see the divide-and-rule culture at play.

“What land is given to the Dayaks under Section 6, which is state land, has no or lesser financial value,” he said.

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