Isnin, 8 Ogos 2011

Ahli Parlimen Kota Belud

Ahli Parlimen Kota Belud

No Land Grab In Kota Belud, Says MP (Terjemahan Dalam Bahasa Malaysia Akan Menyusul)

Posted: 08 Aug 2011 11:04 PM PDT

Kota Belud MP, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, has cried foul over allegations that he was complicit in a native land grab issue within his constituency.

Muslim natives in Kampung Rampayan Ulu accused Rahman of "selling" off 1,200 acres of their native customary rights (NCR) land to a private company after promising to help them resolve the issue.
The land involved is a beach area on which the company plans to build five-star hotels as a part of a tourism project.
According to Rahman the company was originally eyeing his hometown of Tuaran as an ideal development spot due to its close proximity to Kota Kinabalu.
But the Sabah state government ordered for the development to be carried out in Kota Belud instead to boost the district's economy.
Meanwhile, Rahman said that he knew nothing of these development plans until he was briefed by Sabah chief minister Musa Aman.
"Kota Belud is still poor, backward and hungry for development so of course I was happy that the project had been redirected here," Rahman told FMT.
"It's hard for development projects to come by Kota Belud and this was handed to us on a silver platter."

The company, however, felt differently as Kota Belud is a long two-hour drive from Kota Kinabalu. But after studying the area, it decided that the beach in Rampayan would be prime location as it was unoccupied and a distance away from the main road.
"I discussed the chosen location with all the assemblypeople as land is a state matter," Rahman said. "All of them approved of it so the next step was to verify the ownership of the land with the Land Utilisation Committee (LUC)."

"The size of the land involved is 853 acres and not 1,200 acres as reported. But it is still a huge amount and the only entity with the power to approve of its use is the state cabinet."

Rahman recalled that two LUC meetings took place in 2009. During the first meeting the committee were told that numerous individuals had previously applied for ownership of the land.
During the second meeting, the Land Department confirmed that none of those applications had been granted. In other words the Rampayan beach was fully owned by the state.
"The land status was very clear by the end of that meeting and the issue of NCR was never mentioned," Rahman said. "The next thing we knew the natives were protesting that their land had been stolen."
Land still not been approved
A meeting took place three months ago among Rahman, Tempasuk assemblyman Musbah Jamli, the Jawatankuasa Bertindak Tanah Warisan Kg Rampayan and district officers.
It ended with the district officers advising the natives to write to the Sabah Land Director with evidence of their case.
"But they couldn't produce the documentation to prove that it is NCR land and the department can't act based on verbal claims alone," Rahman said. "So we met them again to discuss their participation in the development should it go ahead."
"The villagers came up with a few good suggestions and agreed to return to the table with a proper list. But we haven't heard from them since."

Rahman also disputed the natives' claims that he had double-crossed them by writing a letter supporting the project and witnessing the approval of the development plan in August 2010.
"I submitted that letter before the first LUC meeting and it is a standard letter that I have written for many other projects," he explained. "The natives must have only just found out about the letter and assumed that I had gone behind their backs."
"More importantly the land has still not been approved for development yet because of the standstill over the NCR issue."

Rahman emphasised that he had double checked the status of the land to ensure that it wasn't NCR land and insisted that he would personally oppose the development if it was.
"I don't want to cheat the natives," he said. "I have nothing to hide and nothing to lose if this development ends up being cancelled."
"I will respect any NCR land and so will the state government but now – both legally and officially – the land registrar shows that this land belongs to the state."

Rahman also acknowleged the natives' request for the land to be distributed among themselves but questioned what economic benefits it would that bring to the district as a whole.
"There are neighbouring villages that welcome the job opportunities this development will bring," he said. "So do I put the protests of a few above the needs of many? We need to build on Kota Belud's strength and that strength is tourism and agriculture."
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