Published on: Thursday, March 03, 2011 via Villagers lodge report against SLDB over land | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia..

Keningau: A police report has been lodged against Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB) for allegedly encroaching into the customary land of villagers, here.

The affected villages were Kg Binakaan, Kg Tuaran Baru and Kg Bangawong and the report was lodge by action committee chairman Ediwot Lantiong.

They claimed that the villagers had applied for 2,000 acres for settlement since Sabah gained its independent but it was not approved although the land has been surveyed by the Land and Survey Department.

However, several companies that uses SLDB to apply for the land had received approval and that they had started carrying out clearing work even though the villagers had used it for rubber, paddy and fruit cultivation for years.

Ediwot said that he lodged the report after he received no positive response from Sook assemblyman Datuk Ellron Angin over the matter.

“The government should take action. Why a new company that has just applied for the land was given approval and we didn’t?

We want about 200 acres for these three villages to carry our farm work,” Lantiong said.

Meanwhile, Pensiangan MP Tan Sri Joseph Kurup refuted claims by the villagers and urged them to understand the efforts of the government in helping develop their (villagers) economy.

Kurup’s communication officer Vincent Lee said that they had sent officers to inspect the land problems faced by the villagers, adding they hope to discuss the matter with District Officer to tackle the problem.