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Plan to help evicted Palau squatters
Published on: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
By: Larry Ralon
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Plan to help evicted Palau squatters
Hajiji says the state government has ‘something good’ for the Bajau Laut community whose houses were torn down recently for security reasons.
Kota Kinabalu: The State Government is preparing a plan for Palau (sea gypsy) squatters affected by a recent eviction exercise in Tun Sakaran Marine Park (TSMP) in Semporna, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor. 

“We are planning something good for them. But what had been done (the eviction exercise) involved security, the sovereignty of our country. The issue should not be politicised,” he said.

Some 138 illegal squatter dwellings were demolished at the gazetted Park during the exercise. 

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew also said the operation was carried out due to security issues following recent shooting incidents in Darvel Bay (where policemen were injured) and cross-border criminal activities in unauthorised settlement locations. 

“The sovereignty of the nation’s laws in force in this issue must be upheld,” she stressed.

Agencies involved in the eviction included the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Marine Police, Semporna District Office, Esscom, Immigration Department, National Registration Department and Semporna District Council.

Liew said TSMP is one of the areas proclaimed as a Park area or a State Park. Any violations of provisions fall under the Parks Enactment 1984.

Fishing, erecting structures without permission and farming automatically empower Sabah Parks to take action accordingly.

“The issue of deforestation on Bodgaya Island for agricultural purposes and the construction of over 200 structures without permission is an example of a violation against the Enactment.

“All actions that have been implemented have been agreed upon by the relevant agencies in several meetings, including eight TSMP community representatives who unanimously requested the immediate demolition for sake of nation’s security.

Meanwhile, Hajiji has asked Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to investigate the cause of the water supply disruption problem faced by students. 

Hajiji said there was actually enough water supply to the university over the last two months as shown in the State Water Department (JANS) record, except for two or three days when the supply was interrupted due to a bursting pipeline which was resolved. 

“JANS is continuing to supply water to UMS. We also have Tubewells in UMS that can provide additional supply.

“We don’t know what is happening in UMS. I have asked UMS to investigate the cause, maybe there is a broken pipe,” he said.

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