KOTA KINABALU: Caretaker Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal has only been returning plots of land taken away from the people by previous administrations that included PBS.
In asserting this, Warisan’s Kalabakan MP Ma’Mun Sulaiman was appalled that PBS Secretary-General Datuk Jahid Jahim had the cheek to question the chief minister for handing out the titles.
“I was not surprised Jahid had criticised the chief minister but it was embarrassing and disgusting as it came from PBS,” he said, in a statement here today.
“The people have been waiting for 30 or 40 years just to get a grant.
“What did PBS do in that time if not give away land to its cronies?”
According to Ma’Mun, crony companies received logging contracts for between 50 and 100 years.
“To ensure the loss of forest land is hidden and to honour the certification on the required percentage of forests in Sabah, many of the lands that had been developed by bumiputera Sabahans were suddenly gazetted by the PBS-Umno government as forest reserves.”
He said PBS had now resorted to questioning Shafie’s sincerity in returning what rightfully belonged to the people probably due to the cronies not being able continue their logging activities.
He reiterated that the land title distribution was nothing new as Shafie had gone all over Sabah for this purpose since last year.
He said, this year alone, thousands of hectares of land with permanent forest reserve status were de-gazetted by the state assembly as they contained local settlements.
“In my own area, I only got to know after becoming the elected representative that there was a Murut settlement that has existed there for over 30 years but the residents suddenly became squatters.
“This is due to their land being taken away by the PBS-Umno government,” Ma’Mun said, adding he brought up the issue with the chief minister to be resolved.
“Now the Murut community in my area are not squatting anymore on their own land.”
Towards this end, he said Jahid must be hallucinating when he claimed the issuance of individual land titles was the effort of the Barisan Nasional government.
“If this were true, then why did the people have to wait 30 or 40 years? How is it that the Warisan-led government could resolve this in two years?”