BAU, Sept 19 ― The Sarawak government has gazetted over 750,000 hectares as native customary rights land (NCR) under Section 6 of the Sarawak Land Code in the last 10 years, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said today.
He said the gazettement was based on a new perimeter survey initiative on over 942,000 hectares adopted since 2010 to demarcate NCR land within the state land.
“After the perimeter survey, the state government will conduct survey on individual lots based on applications by the landowners and these lots will be issued with titles under Section 18 of the land code,” he said in handing out NCR land titles to their owners at Kampung Tanjong Poting, Singai here.
He said the ownership of land issued under Section 18 will be in perpetuity and the owners do not need to pay a land premium.
He said the new perimeter survey initiative has helped speed up the demarcation process for Sarawak’s land resettlement programme compared to the method used before 2010.
“Within a period of 50 years, we could only succeed surveying 260,000 hectares of NCR land or the average about 5,200 hectares a year while the number of applications was numerous,” he said.
He also said the state government does not force landowners to undertake the survey.
“Before we conduct the survey, we hold dialogues with the landowners so that both sides are clear on the process and to sort out any problems that can arise later or dispute among the landowners.
“Once we have reached an agreement, the survey work will start,” he said.
However, he added that land which is being disputed and filed with the court, will not be surveyed unless those involved withdraw their court cases.
Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep said he is grateful to the state and the Dayak Bidayuh National Association which helped with documentation for the NCR land titles issued to individuals.