MIRI (Aug 28): Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala has claimed that Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian had known that land belonging to him and his family would be surveyed under Section 6 of the Land Code 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.
In a retort the following day, Baru said it was his right as a native to be issued land titles under the Land Code and that NCR land should instead be surveyed straightaway under Section 18 of the legislation.
He maintained that surveys under Section 6 were a waste of time and money.
Gerawat reiterated that the Section 6 survey was to determine and demarcate the boundary between NCR land and State land.
Once that was done and gazetted, he said it became documentary recognition and proof of the NCR status of the land by the government, providing security and protection for NCR owners even before the Section 18 land title was issued.
“Allegations by detractors of Section 6 survey that NCR land surveyed under Section 6 will be lost as it will become State land after such survey is completely unfounded.
“The thousands of Section 18 titles issued in respect of NCR after Section 6 survey, including the Section 18 titles issued to YB Baru and members of his family in Trusan Land District, is conclusive proof that NCR land surveyed and gazetted under Section 6 does not loose its status as NCR land and become State land.
“If such NCR becomes State land as alleged, the Land and Survey cannot issue Section 18 title because title to alienate State land can only be issued under Section 13. Section 18 title can only be issued for NCR land but not State land,” said Gerawat.
He said the use of Section 6 had also expedited the issuance of land titles, pointing out that when Section 18 was applied directly about 5,200 ha per year was surveyed over 50 years but with Section 6, an average of 101,000 ha per year had been surveyed over nine years.
He said since the Section 6 surveys started, 29,558 Section 18 land titles had been issued for over 90,273 ha.
In this respect, he urged Baru and those who oppose the Section 6 survey to stop misleading the people.
“Many NCR land owners want and deserve to get Section 18 title to their NCR land. Do not deny them their rights and opportunity to have Section 18 title to their land by continuing to object and mislead them on Section 6 survey,” said Gerawat.