The reforms on land and NCR laws will ensure unequivocal and clear recognition of NCR as well as the establishment of Sabah Land and NCR Commission, Sabah Native Land Foundation and Sabah Land Tribunal.

There will also be a decentralization of land administration from central-based to region-based while the native land rights will be uplifted, strengthened and protected. A demographic mapping will be undertaken to identify and confirm native rights, NCR, land occupation and population while the category of land use in Native Titles (NT) will be extended to include commercial, industrial and other uses and not just restricted to agricultural use.

Land and NCR Commission will be established to implement and manage a new land policy based on a masterplan

The Commission would be responsible for the supervision of the land administration in the state where power and authority would not be concentrated in the hands of one person only, he said, adding that in the present system, the authority and decision of the director in alienating lands to anyone under Section 9 of the Land Ordinance could not even be appealed as provided in Section 41.

“Under the new land policy, NCR will be recognized first in land alienation after which Sabahans will be accorded priority. The present policy of the state government in failing to recognize NCR and alienating land to companies against existing original settlers will be abolished.

“The director of land recently disclosed that out of 2.1 million hectares of land available for alienation, the state had already alienated about 1.9 million hectares of which only 31 per cent was alienated to natives and the other 69 per cent to others.

“It is wrong for the government not to give priority to natives and Sabahans in land alienation. This land policy will put a stop to the current land and NCR disputes where companies are given vast tracts of tens of thousands of acres leading to destruction of plants and crops of the original settlers, and the destruction of homes and eviction of natives will be stopped,” he stressed.

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