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Suhakam: Land issues reach serious level in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The various land issues facing locals in Sabah have reached a serious level which warranted immediate solution, said Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Commissioner Jannie Lasimbang.

She said, based on Suhakam statistics from 2005 to last year, the state had recorded the highest number of complaints on land issues in the country, at 977 cases, followed by Peninsular Malaysia (654) and Sarawak (251).

"It is a serious issue as it involves all communities in Sabah. The solution is very low and it takes time to resolve.

"For example, last year, out of 92 complaints we received in Sabah, we resolved only two... of course, it needs concerted efforts to solve all the complaints," she said after attending preliminary discussions on the proposed national inquiry over land issues here on Wednesday, Feb 16.

Jannie said, among the main land issues raised by rural villagers to Suhakam were the conflict of interest involving construction of dam, plantations and the plight of displaced local people after being found to have occupied forest reserves for ages.

In this respect, she felt it was time for members of the State Legislative Assembly to debate land issues, particularly complaints received by Suhakam, with a view to finding amicable solutions. — Bernama

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