Manggatal villagers protest over alleged land grab
Published on: Monday, January 21, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Some 60 household heads are crying foul after finding that another group has bulldozed 60 lots covering four acres in Kg Rukutan, Manggatal, which they have first applied for to build their houses.

They described the group as “intruders” who have encroached into their lots without showing any document or approval letter from any authority except claiming that they have received consent from a community leader. 

The group of also 60 household heads, prior to building structures to mark ownership of the lots this month, is also alleged to have demolished, damaged and stolen some structures at the lots set up by the initial 60 applicants.

The group’s actions devastated and angered the first applicants and their families as they have cleared the lots and been involved in efforts since 2012 to create Kg Rukutan and have it gazetted in January 2015 together with Datuk Jumat Idris, who was then Sepanggar MP, under the previous government.

Spokesman Osman Marajin, who has been living in Kg Rukutan for 20 years and is among the 60 initial household heads involving 120 people, said they were the first applicants for the land. 

“The land was surveyed and divided into 60 lots and certified by the State Land and Survey Department in 2016,” he said.

As Kg Rukutan pro tem village headman, he said the land has high sentimental value for them. 

“We worked hard to establish and gazette the village three years ago as we were squatters of Kg Padas, Manggatal, situated next to Kg Rukutan, who needed land to build houses.

“We have fulfilled all procedures and complied with the existing regulations and laws pertaining to creating and gazetting Kg Rukutan. 

“The only thing left for us to do is to get approval from City Hall to build houses on the lots based on its standard, that is 30” x 40”, costing about RM40,000 each, which we have been pursuing since 2016.

“Unfortunately, the only response we got from the City Hall was that our applications are still under process until the new Mayor, Datuk Nordin Siman, was appointed in December last year.

“Subsequently, we made the effort to meet the new Mayor recently to re-look at our applications, which was agreed by the latter,” said Osman, who has eight children, to Daily Express after they staged a peaceful protest at the site in Kg Rukutan on Sunday.

The main objective of the protest, he said, was to demonstrate their objection to the group encroaching into their lots and indiscriminately destroying their structures so as to indicate their ownership of the lots.

“After all our hard work and land clearing, this group came to claim our lots and brought down our structures as if we do not have the rights (to the lots).

“Several of our structures were burnt down and damaged by them before they put up theirs. Of course, we are furious with what had happened which resulted in quarrels and disputes.

“I fear that if this crucial and pressing matter is not resolved, untoward incidents might happen,” Osman said.

To a question, he said they are appealing to Sepanggar MP Datuk Azis Jamman to intervene in the dispute and resolve it in a fair manner as soon as possible.

According to Osman, he was made to understand that the Deputy Home Minister had been informed about the situation and arising issues in Kg Rukutan and will look for a resolution. - Hayati Dzulkifli


Other News

Follow Us  

Follow us on            

Sabah Top Stories