Proposed native land tribunal for
KOTA KINABALU, February 2, 2012 (The Borneo
Post) -- Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has expressed full support
and plan to bring the proposed setting up of the native
land tribunal to the Barisan Nasional committee on land
issues chaired by the Chief Minister of Sabah for discussion
and recommendation to the State Government.
PBS secretary general Datuk Henrynus Amin
said the idea of a native land tribunal is very good and
the party expects its implementation by the relevant authorities.
“BN Sabah has identified land issues as
one of its priorities with the Chief Minister himself now
taking the lead to find solution,” said Henrynus when commenting
on the proposal of a native land tribunal by Chief Judge
of Sabah and Sarawak, Richard Malanjum, during the Symposium
on Sabah Native Land Rights at Universiti Malaysia Sabah
Henrynus said PBS is fully aware and sympathetic
to the numerous cases of unresolved land dispute between
villagers and big companies where illiterate and ignorant
villagers may have lost their native land to big companies
through fraudulent means.
“There were cases where villagers were
being duped into selling their land or forced to sign unfair
agreement by unscrupulous land brokers who then resell agricultural
land to land developers at higher prices.”
He said PBS is seriously looking into cases
where illegal syndicates actively applying for native land
without title and without the knowledge of the unsuspecting
land owners who may have fully developed their land under
native customer rights (NCR).
He added the numerous reports of victims
of these syndicates who cheated native land owners of their
property simply boggled the mind.
In most cases, aggrieved villagers or native
land owners have no means to get legal redress as they could
not afford the hefty legal fee, he said.
“Though there were some legal assistance
rendered by NGOs or in some cases politically motivated
lawyers in the past, the long process and cost of traveling
back and forth to Kota Kinabalu have deterred them from
pursuing their case,” he said.
“As a result, the vast majority of aggrieved
villagers or native land owners simply had no access to
Henrynus said the proposed native land
tribunal should provide aggrieved native land owners or
NCR owners with an easy and affordable venue to seek legal
redress in their land dispute in the same way as house buyers
or consumers can get legal redress for their problems.