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Backpackers' lodge ordered to move out
Published on: Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ranau: A backpackers' lodge called 'Jungle Jack', which was confronted by villagers from Bundu Tuhan on Tuesday for occupying native reserve and road reserve illegally for three years, has been ordered to move out within one month.

Land and Survey Department Director Safar Untong said the illegal operator had been served with eviction notice by the Ranau Land Office in August last year but he had failed to comply.

He said they found out that the illegal operator had appealed to the District Officer here.

"Our enforcement team was sent to the site this morning (Wednesday) to carry out enforcement operation against the illegal operator following an incident of confrontation by some Bundu Tuhan villagers to tear down the lodge as reported by Daily Express on Wednesday.

"During the operation, the operator admitted that he did not obtain approval to enter the site to operate the backpackers' lodge and appealed for a time frame of one month to move out.

"Since then, he has started to move out some equipment from the site this morning (Wednesday).

We are ready to give him a grace period of one month to move out all his items at his own costs.

Failure to do so, we will take stern action against him (illegal operator)," said Safar in his statement, Wednesday.

It was learnt that Bundu Tuhan Native Chief Joseph Sangau Sariman, who was at the site during the operation by the Land and Survey Department, also agreed with the one-month grace period to be given to the operator to pack all his equipment and move out.

On Wednesday, the paper reported that the police here stopped some 200 Bundu Tuhan villagers from tearing down the backpackers' lodge which they claimed had been occupying the piece of native land illegally the past three years.

The 200 villagers from across Bundu Tuhan had gathered at the Tenompok junction leading to the area when police stepped in.

JKKK Chairman of Kg Sokid Bundu Tuhan, Dominic Ganie, said the owner of the Jungle Jack cabins was repeatedly told to vacate the area but refused to acknowledge any written orders given to him (lodge owner) and they also found out that the latter has been operating at the site without any licence.

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