Sarawak CM: We will reject false claims to NCR land

MUKAH, April 6 (Bernama) -- Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud today reiterated the state government''s stand of not entertaining any false land claim.

But at the same time, the state government will not allow those with genuine claims, especially over Native Customary Rights (NCR) land, to be "cheated of their rights". Taib gave this assurance when launching the Land and Survey Department's Land and Survey Information System (LASIS) for the Mukah Division, here, today.

The system is an integrated land information system incorporated with Geographic Information System or GIS capability.

It was jointly developed 25 years ago and continuously refined and enhanced based on the Information and Communication Technology platform by the department, Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (SAINS) and the Information and Communication Technology Unit in the Chief Minister''s Department.

The international and national award-winning system involves the automation of much of the major work processes of the department in enhancing its service delivery efficiency. It is used in land planning, survey computation, cadastral mapping, land alienation, land valuation, titles registration and the land revenue system.

Taib also gave the assurance that the government would uphold utmost integrity when dealing with land-related issues. He cited a case in the 1980's involving the residents of an Iban longhouse, Rh. Chang who had claimed ownership of a piece of land between Sibuti and Niah in the Miri Division.

"The government then had given the right to develop the land to a private company. But it later decided to rescind the right when it found a piece of document signed by the Resident of the Miri Division under the former colonial government which had indeed allocated the land to the longhouse folk. The government could have conveniently hid it but it did not do so," he said.

Taib said the state, with a population of 2.5 million, had a good land administration system although it was still plagued by land ownership and boundary disputes. He said the situation had been aggravated by instigators out to gain political mileage by exploiting the land issues. "We have to date issued 600,000 land titles and another 188,000 titles for NCR land," he said.

On LASIS, he described it as a big boon to the state's land development programmes where it aimed to open up hundreds of thousands of hectares before 2020.

It would also be a tremendous boost to the development of SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy) within the next 20 years with its emphasis on heavy and downstream industries, marketing, handling of logistics and transportation and others, he added.

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