Communal Titles to go from Dec
Published on: Thursday, November 15, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The State Government via the Lands and Surveys Department will cancel Communal Title grants in stages throughout Sabah from next month.Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said the Government has decided to abolish the issuance of communal grants so as to further improve the granting of land ownership to natives in Sabah.

"After implementing the cancellations, those formerly communal grant lands will be measured as lots that will be distributed to the beneficiaries.

"Subsequently, the lots would be issued with Native Title (NT) with conditions to ensure the NT grants cannot be transferred except through next of kin, cannot be sub-divided, cannot be made as collateral or pawned and cannot be subleased.

"In addition, the use of Power of Attorney is also not allowed for the NT lands," he said in his winding speech for the Chief Minister's Department at the State Legislative Assembly, Wednesday.

Shafie was replying to Kundasang Assemblyman Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam, Matunggong Assemblywoman Julita Mojungki, Sook Assemblyman Datuk Ellron Angin and Tandek Assemblywoman Datuk Anita Baranting in their respective debate speeches on the 2019 State Budget.

In terms of land development model, he said the State Government or relevant government agency would help the native land owners to further toil their lands.

For lands that have joint venture development, he said the landowners would be employed as workers in the plantations while enjoying profit sharing.

Shafie also assured the Matunggong Assemblywoman that there will be no wastage of funds on the land measurement cost like in her constituency involving 66 communal grants involving 1,520 lots as the existing data of the land measures either for perimeter or subdivision will be used for the issuance of the individual land titles.

"Communal grants that do not have Joint Venture Agreement with government agencies and private companies would be abolished through the process of subdivide in compliance of Section 77 under Sabah Land Ordinance and measurement would be carried out to issue individual lots to the beneficiaries in stages.

"Meanwhile, those communal grants that have JV Agreement with government agencies would be abolished through subdivide in accordance with Section 77 of the Sabah Land Ordinance and the JV would carry out the measurement for individual lots to each beneficiary.

"Communal grants that have JV Agreement with a private company would be cancelled under Section 112 of the same Land Ordinance and the lands would be measured as individual lots and be given re-ownership to the beneficiaries," he said.

Replying to Kuamut Assemblyman Datuk Masiung Banah who applied for 3,000 people in his constituency to be given land titles in five years' time, Shafie said the government via the Lands and Survey Department would identify the land that has been applied in the constituency and carry out Pantas measurement on those lands.

Those identified lands, he said, are those that would be issued with Native Title involving traditional villages that have been occupied for many generations, lands with communal grants that would be cancelled and be issued with NT individual ownership to the beneficiaries and a 3,000-hectare formerly Sg Mangkawagu Forest Reserve in Kuamut.

Replying to Apas Assemblywman Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan on the policy of Total Protected Area (TPA), Shafie said the State Government will continue the policy for Sabah to have not less than 30 per cent of the State's land acreage by 2025 to ensure the TPA area is sufficient for protection of environment and enhancement of its services.

In fact, he said, this had been outlined as one of the action plans in the Sabah Forest Policy 2018 that was approved by the State Cabinet on Aug. 1, this year.

According to Shafie, the State Government had no plans to establish a new security agency as there is no need to do so because the existing security forces are sufficient to safeguard the security and sovereignty of Sabah.

On the pump boat issue highlighted by Usukan Assemblyman Datuk Japlin Akim, Shafie said the ban is still enforced at the moment and the government will consider to streamline the use of the pump boats for locals only which means that only Malaysians are eligible to register for the use of the pump boats.

Doing so would facilitate the security agencies to monitor and conduct surveillance works on the use of pump boats including to prevent illegal entry of foreigners into Sabah.

On devolution of powers for education in Sabah as raised by Luyang Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe, Shafie said the State Government would make sure a provision under paragraph 17 of IGC to be fully complied by the Federal Government namely the existing system and education administration policy in the State must not be disturbed and maintained under the control of the State government.

Among them, he said are State education director in discharging duties and responsibilities must discuss with the State Government and fulfill any local needs, the director should seek advice from the Education Board and the existing local education committee in the State.

On health matters that are listed under Federal until today in the IGC, Shafie said the State Government will submit a motion to the Federal Government to include such devolution of powers in health aspect to Sabah that will be discussed in a Special Cabinet Committee to be reviewed and implemented under MA63. - Hayati Dzulkifli

Photo Source: Bernama


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