Published on: Sunday, July 20, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Member of Parliament Jimmy Wong has called upon the State Government to consider giving away land instead of building low-cost housing for the purpose of relocating water villagers.
The DAP Sabah Chief said that giving away land to qualified citizens who live in water villages would definitely be more effective than building low-cost housing under the PPRT scheme which will take years.
Wong was commenting on the statement by Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Hajiji Mohd Nor.
"That's wasting of time. We need to address the issue as soon as possible as this is the best timing to demolish water villages along the coast in which illegal immigrants, arms and drug smugglers and militants might have a place within."
Wong said the idea of giving away land in fact was inspired by former Chief Minister the late Tun Mustapha Datu Harun.
He was allocating land with certain basic framework and amenities to those in need, known as Enam Tiang policy before, according to Wong.
"Today, we still can see the heritage of Enam Tiang policy in Kepayan area, Kampung Muhibah in Tawau and Lahad Datu, etc," he said.
Wong opined that the best thing a government can offer to the poor was allocating land to empower them.
"Where are our thousands of acres of Felda land settlement scheme? Why is the majority of promised land not distributed to the poor? One acre of land easily fulfills the needs of the water villagers," Wong claimed.
Besides, he also suggested that the land allocation plan be moderated by a neutral party, such as Suhakam (the Human Rights Commission), in order to prevent any manipulation.
"We don't want criticisms towards PPRT such as of cronyism and nepotism, repeating in the proposed land allocation," he said, adding that drastic and effective measures should be taken in order to address the security issues which have affected the State badly recently.
"Policy makers are welcome to contact me to share the idea and develop it feasibly," he said.