Land applied by local residents in Keningau now owned by others
3rd July, 2009
KOTA KINABALU: It has emerged that the land which local residents in Keningau applied for more than two decades ago had now been owned by others.
As such, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has been urged to investigate the matter.
A spokesman for the land applicants Ampiu Ambulian from Apin-Apin who applied for 14 acres of land told New Sabah Times yesterday this was a serious matter as the people have been waiting for their land title since the Berjaya rule.
He said the villagers had been having sleepless nights because their land had been grabbed by others and that they were even threatened with bodily harm if they enter the area.
Ampiu recalled that the then Berjaya administration had come up with a land scheme to allocate landless people with 15 acres along the road from Keningau to Nabawan.
He claimed that the people sent in their applications and to their knowledge the land title had already been issued but when there was a change of government, the land office refused to release the titles to them.
He quipped that this was a violation of human rights as they should have the rights to land ownership.
“I therefore urge the Malaysia Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), former Bingkor Assemblyman during the Berjaya rule, Datuk Ayub Aman, former Senator RM Jasni, former Pensiangan Member of Parliament Datuk Robert Evans and former Sook Assemblyman Tan Sri Suffian Koroh as well as the present Pensiangan MP Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and representatives from the Land & Surveys Department to explain to the people why such a thing could happen,” he said.
He also said there had to be a resolution to the problem and that the land office as well as the former elected representatives in question should be able to shed light on the matter as they have full knowledge of the scheme.
“We are not pointing the finger at anyone but the land office as the issuing office should be able to tell us why the land titles were not given to the applicants.”
“To my knowledge 16,000 acres of land in each of the constituencies were divided among the constituents where each applicant would get 15 acres,” he said.
And, he also said the land applicants were accused of selling their land to big companies. “How can we sell the land when we don’t even have the titles?”
Ampiu believed the problem had nothing to do to with the then administration but those at the land office who failed to discharge their duties.
“Until this matter is resolved we will not keep quiet because we don’t want this problem to recur in future where people can simply come in and grab other people’s land.
Meanwhile, he also urged the relevant parties to help resolve the matter.