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Datuk Azis Jamman

19 Feb 2021

KOTA KINABALU: Warisan Wira Chief, Datuk Azis Jamman has taken the Sabah GRS government to task for handing over almost 2,000 hectares of state land to federal agencies.

He said to “give away” such a vast amount of land was shocking and seemingly undermined the rights of Sabahans.

“We do not object building infrastructures such as schools and hospitals but the point is that the federal government already possesses large tracts of land in Sabah.

“Why is the current state government giving away more land when many areas already alienated to the federal agencies have been left idle for many years?

“There are many people in the rural areas who do not even have an inch that they can call their own and yet the state government today continues to neglect their needs,” he said in a statement today.

Azis who is also the Member of Parliament for Sepanggar said the previous Warisan-led government had gazetted areas in Inanam, Karambunai and Darau that can already be developed for infrastructure to benefit Sabahans.

“GRS should get its priorities right and that is to serve the people. What should be top on their list now is to repair existing roads and fix dilapidated schools. By giving away more land for new projects seems unnecessary at a time when the existing infrastructure in Sabah is in bad shape.”

He also cited the case of 200,000 acres that was given to Felda to be developed for oil palm smallholders but eventually only 1,500 of them stood to gain even though the rightful number of beneficiaries should have been many times that number.

“Who is managing the remaining 70 per cent of the area? While Felda benefits, kampung folks remain poor and instead of helping them, the GRS government deprives them of the opportunity to own land,” said Azis.

He said what the state government has done is in glaring contrast to the previous Warisan-led government which awarded villagers with Native Land titles.

Warisan president, Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal had distributed more than 10,000 acres worth of land titles to rural folks from 2019 to 2020.