KOTA KINABALU (Bernama) – Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman yesterday said that native customary rights (NCR) in Sabah would always be protected and upheld in the process of approving applications for state-owned land.
Also, he said, land applications from Sabah natives, would be given priority in line with the provisions in Section 70 of the Sabah Land Ordinance.
“Therefore, land applications from individuals or companies owned by individuals who are not originally from Sabah are not given priority by the state government,” he said in reply to a question from Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing (PKR-Tamparuli) at the state assembly sitting, yesterday.
Musa said the state land-ownership policy practised by the Land and Survey Department gave priority to NCR, so NCR land or state land occupied or developed by the natives would not be included when approving applications for land from companies, individuals and government agencies.
He said although the state government could approve land applications from individuals, companies, corporate bodies or Malaysian-registered associations based on Section 10 of the Sabah Land Ordinance, priority would be given to government agencies, individuals, companies or corporate bodies originating from Sabah.
“I wish to inform this august House that I, as the Sabah chief minister and since holding the post, has never approved land applications of companies from outside (Sabah). This is because I know that land (in the state) is for Sabah natives,” he said.
To a question from Datuk James Ratib (BN-Sugut), Musa said the state government had issued 62 communal grants in 11 districts involving 33,202 hectares of land, 153 villages and 8,039 beneficiaries.
“For 2014, the state government through the Land and Survey Department, planned to issue 20 communal grants involving 22,800 hectares of land in eight districts,” he said.