Tuaran earthworks stopped
Published on: Thursday, July 11, 2019
By: Kazalinah Kamaludin
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TUARAN: Only three hectares of reserve land in six villages here were affected by hill cutting by a private company and not 60 hectares as reported. 

Political Secretary to the State Finance Minister, Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas, said the earthworks were immediately stopped on July 4. 

“Inspections carried out by the Land and Survey Department found that the company involved encroached into three hectares of the Balak Bumputera Telibong forest reserve adjacent to the land owned by the private firm,” she said. 

She said the Department’s Sabah Director, Datuk Safar Untong, also confirmed that his office has ordered the company to stop earthworks immediately. 

“I will continue to discuss with the Department to find a solution to the matter which has caused concern among people in the six villages,” she said. 

Jo-Anna said this after visiting the project site. Also present were Tuaran Land Revenue Officer Michael Donnie Akang,and teams from the Department as well as village chiefs from all six village, Wednesday. 

The six villages are Bukit Giling, Kauluan, Tambulaong, Tambalugu, Bakut and Dansangai with a population of about 1,500 residents, most of whom are farmers. 

It was reported that the company took earth from the area to flatten a cemetery site nearby over the past two years. 

Bukit Giling Village Head, Siani Lipat, 58, was quoted as saying that the work contributed to land erosion and damage to the gravity water catchment. 

During the visit, Siani who was also present said they are happy that earthworks had stopped. 

“We will not hesitate in acting if the company returns to intrude into the reserve land in our village and surrounding area,” said Siani. 

Siani said villagers also want the land reserve to be flattened for replanting of trees as to prevent future erosion. 

Meanwhile, Jo-Anna also met with villagers who wants the land in the area to be gazetted as a village. 

“As a result of my meeting with several village heads, they also applied for the land to be gazetted as a village for the six villages to prevent residents’ rights from being jeopardised in future,” she said. 

She said they applied for their villages to be gazetted 30 years ago. 

“I will bring their application to the Land and Survey Department to ensure their welfare are looked into and to resolve problems faced by them,” she said. 



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