KOTA KINABALU: The state government issued 208,197 Native Customary Land (NCR) grants involving a total area of 802,082 hectares to Sabah natives until March 30, this year.
Sabah Special Functions Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang said the issue of native land is not new because since time immemorial the state government has been issuing Native Title and Field Register land grants to the natives of Sabah.
According to him, last year, the state government through the Sabah Land and Survey Department had completed surveying 16,049 hectares of NCR .
“Of the total, 8,698 lots with an area of 13,449 hectares were individual NCR land and 2,600 hectares were communal grants,” he said when winding up the debate on the Chief Minister’s Department at the State Assembly, here Thursday.
He said to date, 70 communal grants had been issued with a land area of 47,195.81 hectares involving 10,260 beneficiaries from 212 villages in the 12 districts of Nabawan, Keningau, Sipitang, Kota Marudu, Papar, Ranau, Beluran, Tongod, Kinabatangan, Pitas, Tenom and Semporna.
In addition, Teo said five other areas comprising the three districts of Tongod, Beluran and Kota Belud with an area of 1,348.42 hectares involving 412 beneficiaries had been approved by the state government which was in the process of preparing the grants.
“Meanwhile, 14 more areas with an area of 11,244.19 hectares involving 3,079 beneficiaries are being processed for approval by the state government,” he said.
This year, he said, the Sabah Native Land Services (PANTAS) was measuring individual lots based on the status of the natives in 82 villages in five districts involving approximately 7,200 lots with an area of 10,817.48 hectares.
In a related development, Teo said the proposal to establish the Lands Tribunal was not required at this time, given that the existing legislation was adequate to deal with the issue of NCR claims fairly and equitably.