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New initiative to revive NCR land

SRI AMAN: The government has implemented two measures under its new initiative to ensure the privileges for owners of the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land apart from developing the land in a more profitable way.

Sri Aman Division Land and Survey Department Superintendent, Majuan Jeraie, told Bernama the new initiative was the outcome of the Sabah-Sarawak Natives Lab discussion held under the Government's Transformation Programme in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu last February and March respectively.

"This new initiative has been submitted to the state and federal governments which agreed to its application and this is a joint-venture between both governments," said Majuan.

He said with the allocation of RM20 million from the federal goernment as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last 22 July in Miri, the new initiative programme that began this year will be continued under the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP).

Majuan said the new initiative is to ensure the ownership of the NCR land apart from bringing economic prosperity to the owners through more systematic development of the land.

Measures

The first measure before the land is handed over to the natives in Sarawak is the measurement of perimeter to segregate the NCR land from that owned by the government.

"The NCR land has several signs that show the land had been cleared by the natives like cultivation of crops, creation of graves and longhouses or traditional villages," he said.

He said the land will then be gazetted as the natives' reserve under Section 6 of the State Land Code to ensure the owners have security over the gazetted land.

Second, the measurement of individual lots where owners of the NCR land need to indicate the boundaries of their respective areas within the gazetted area.

He said this is to allow the Land and Survey Department to conduct a detailed survey before issuing individual ownership deeds under Section 18 of the State Land Code.

He said the new NCR initiative was the outcome of the request and application of NCR land owners based on the feedback from the seminar on land matters held in 2009.

Measured

He said the 27 NCR areas in Sarawak will be measured from this year and this will continue under the 10MP.

"Community members covered by the perimeter measurement will have to arrive at a concensus before the exercise begins and this will be held simultaneously in all divisions in Sarawak".

Since last Feb 11, 29,316,822 hectares of area in Sarawak have been gazetted under Section 6 of the State land Code, involving 2,557 lots.

Sri Aman has the widest area at 11,094.285 hectares (479 lots).

Counsellor Crispin Limin, 70, welcomed the government's move to return the NCR land to the Sarawak natives.

He said the NCR land has long being in existence and utilised by the natives hence they have the right to be given the land.

"I want the land that I have worked on in the past 50 years to be returned with a deed, not for me but for the future generations," he told Bernama.

Tuai Rumah

Tuai Rumah Philip Renggie Ungking, 82, said the NCR land should be returned to the natives as they have been utilising the land for various activities.

"We have planted crops on this land for some time. There are those who plant fruits, paddy and rubber and we have been waiting for the land to be measured and returned outright to us. We are grateful to the government for taking the initiative to return our land," he said.

Tuai Rumah Roy Edward Enttalai, 66, said since 1971, 11.52 hectares of his land in Selindung, Ulu Sri Aman had been gazetted under Section 6 of the State Land Code.

He said the area, which included eight longhouses, had been cleared since 1960 and majority of the residents staying there are rubber and paddy smallholders .

"As the residents' representative, I am happy with the government's move to implement the new NCR land initiative as it will bring much benefits to the people," he said.  — Bernama
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