Minister says Sarawak DCM misinterpreted land code proposal

Xavier said his suggestion was for the National Land Code, Sabah Land Ordinance and Sarawak Land Code to be assembled  into a single document for use during forums or convention at the international level. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali
Xavier said his suggestion was for the National Land Code, Sabah Land Ordinance and Sarawak Land Code to be assembled into a single document for use during forums or convention at the international level. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUCHING, Dec 11 — Federal Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar today said his suggestion for the land codes of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak to be assembled into a single document has been wrongly interpreted.

“What I had suggested at the National Land Council meeting was for the National Land Code, Sabah Land Ordinance and Sarawak Land Code to be assembled  into a single document for use during forums or convention at the international level,” he said in a statement.

He said this would enable the federal government, especially his ministry, to convey any information about the country in a single document instead of the current three.

“However, I regret to say that my proposal has been twisted and interpreted wrongly,” he said when responding to Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas , who said that the state would not agree with any suggestion to replace its land code with a single land code in its land administration.

Uggah, who represented the state government at the National Land Council meeting  last week, had said the suggestion was not only preposterous but also ignorant of the peculiarities  and complexities surrounding land issues in Sarawak.

Xavier said Uggah’s allegation was baseless as the matter was discussed at the land council meeting, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and were attended by mentris besar and chief ministers and their representatives on December 3.

He said he had informed Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal during a courtesy call in September to group the three land laws into a single document for use during forums or conventions.

“I have never made any suggestion that Sarawak autonomy or Sabah autonomy on land be abolished,”  he said, adding that the understanding between the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 will always be respected by all.

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