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Special task force to deal with squatters
Published on: Thursday, April 25, 2024
By: Mohd Izham Bin Hashim
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Special task force to deal with squatters
Joachim, who is also Chairman of the Special Task Force, noted that a comprehensive approach and management of squatter settlements in Sabah would involve five main strategies. 
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Government, through the State Cabinet, has agreed to establish a special task force with detailed strategies and a systematic action plan to deal with squatter colonies in the State.

“The task force has registered a total of 285 squatter colonies in Sabah as a lock figure, which will be followed by a structured action plan and management prepared for squatter settlements,” said State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Joachim Gunsalam. 

Joachim, who is also Chairman of the Special Task Force, noted that a comprehensive approach and management of squatter settlements in Sabah would involve five main strategies. 

“The measures include gazettement of suitable squatter areas into villages, resettlement of squatters through suitable plots and housing units, construction of affordable and low-cost in-situ housing,” he said. 

Additionally, he said the initiatives would also involve land swap for land ownerships with squatter colonies, and eviction from private land which lies in the responsibility of individual owners. 

He said this in response to Appointed Assemblyman Dr Aliakbar Bin Gulasan during his winding-up speech at the 16th State Legislative Assembly. 

Joachim said the management of squatter colonies will also involve all relevant authorities, including the district office, local government, enforcement agencies and technical agencies. 

“This is because the focus of the plan is not limited to resettlement, but also includes detailed planning in the preparation of public infrastructure and facilities of selected areas,” he said.  

Responding to concerns raised by Sulabayan Member of Parliament Jaujan Sembakong about the acute waste problem in Semporna, Joachim noted that the Ministry has taken steps to address the acute waste problem in the district, including a clean-up blitz in coastal residential areas. 

Expanding further, Joachim said a series of clean-up campaigns were also planned, including the cleanest village and joint clean-ups with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment (Kepkas), Semporna District Office, NGOs and local residents. 

He also noted that the district-level clean-up campaign will be held in May. 

On the proposal to upgrade the landfill in Sg Manila to a high-tech incinerator like those in the national capital and other cities, Joachin said the Ministry was considering a number of approaches to address the problem. 

“For now, there are two level four sanitary landfills with more effective operating costs, namely the Bukit Gemok landfill in Tawau and the Sook landfill in Keningau. 

He revealed that another plan to develop another landfill in Beaufort is in the works with funding from the National Solid Waste Management Authority. 

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