KUCHING (Aug 28): Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian has refuted claims that he had knowingly allowed native customary rights (NCR) land in Trusan land district to be surveyed under Section 6 of the Land Code for him and his family.
Reacting to claims made by Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala and Muara Tuang assemblyman Dato Idris Buang, Baru asserted that neither he nor his family members knew that the Land and Survey Department had surveyed their land under the said section.
“We neither applied for the survey nor were we informed of it. I demand evidence from Idris Buang, Gerawat Gala and the relevant authority that they had informed me or my family members that the Land and Survey Department intended to survey my area under section 6 where the said lots were located.
“Had I been informed, I definitely would have objected and advised Land and Survey to directly issue the titles under section 18 of the Land Code, because obviously, it would have saved time and cost,” he said in a statement.
The Parti Sarawak Bersatu presidential council member urged the Gabungan Parti Sarawak politicians to stop their “illogical arguments”.
“Why blame Baru Bian for your Government’s unwise policy that wastes time and money?
“These long and rambling statements are nothing but empty noise which only serves to raise speculation that the elections are imminent, and these politicians are only trying to score points with their political masters,” he said.
Baru maintained that NCR land must be surveyed immediately under Section 18 of the Land Code.
“Do not waste time and money on double work when you can issue titles under section 18,” he said.
Section 6 is applied by the Land and Survey Department to conduct perimeter survey of NCR land for native communal reserves, which would then be gazetted, before the department carries out individual lot surveys under Section 18 for the issuance of land titles.
Earlier today, Gerawat had claimed that Baru had known that land belonging to him and his family would be surveyed under Section 6 but did not stop it from proceeding.
Reacting to Baru’s insistence that he did not officially write in to request the Section 6 survey for the land in question in Trusan land district, he said it was the Ketua Kaum who had applied for the survey on behalf of his community.
Gerawat, who is the Dewan Undangan Negeri Deputy Speaker, said the Land and Survey Department would then hold dialogues with members of the community to explain the Section 6 survey, which would proceed if the people agreed with it.
“Surely YB Baru would have known and could have objected to the Section 6 survey of his family NCR land, but he kept quiet until YB Datuk Amar Douglas pointed it out,” said Gerawat, referring to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas’ revelation on Wednesday.
Uggah had revealed at a function in Miri that four lots of land belonging to Baru and his family at Trusan land district were surveyed and gazetted under Section 6 of the Land Code in 2011 and issued titles under Section 18 of the same law in 2015.
He said he was perplexed by how Baru, despite being so vocal against Section 6, had together with his family members accepted the method of survey for their own NCR land.