The Kota Marudu MP said insufficient government funds to conduct land surveys hampered rural natives' ownership of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land and land on which they had toiled for generations.
"Numerous Sabahans have voiced grouses that many native land claims have yet to be processed despite applications made years ago. The delay is caused by the Land and Survey Department's lack of funds," he said during a working visit to Kampung Tangkol in Mukim Marak Parak where he also participated in the Kaamatan celebration, near here.
Ongkili lauded the Federal Government for stepping in and allocating RM26 million for Sabah to conduct survey for the NCR land, which is a key issue with the people.
"This allocation is much welcomed and appreciated as land is a State matter.
However, the amount is insufficient to clear the huge backlog in all districts.
Hence, I urge the State Government to double the existing state allocation for surveys so that we can resolve this problem," he said. Ongkili added that it was only by surveying the NCR land can they be protected from intrusion by huge companies.
"An annual allocation of at least RM100 million by the State Government for the next three years will clear all the backlog of surveys. This means land assets would be in the hands of most natives who rightfully own this land of Sabah," he said. During his visit, Ongkili noted that Mukim Marak Parak, with a population of 3,500 in 22 villages, had progressed from a sleepy hollow to a shining model of successful rural transformation carried out by Barisan Nasional.
"Ten years ago the area was a sleepy part of Kota Marudu with the 45km road linked to Kota Marudu a popular site for spotlight hunting as there were not many motorists plying the road.
Today the road is being upgraded as a major link between Kota Marudu and Ranau.
A RM10 million water supply system is being built to cater to 12 villages along the Marak Parak-Kota Marudu road while 18 of the 22 villages have electricity supply and mobile phone service is available in all the villages.
"The Education Department has secured a site for a new secondary school in Marak Parak to serve the six primary schools in the area. Almost every household has a plot of rubber trees as a source of income," he added. Ongkili described these projects as the delivery of promised economic transformation by Barisan Nasional.