Nine villages in Kota Marudu will be getting titles 12 months from now for their Native Customary Rights (NCR) land involving about 2,200 hectares.
Land and Surveys Department Director, Datuk Safar Untong said the Native Land Services (Pantas) programme will be used to survey the land in Marak Parak Zone involving about 800 lots in Kg Sorinsim, Kg. Marak Parak, Kg. Pangapuyan Baru, Kg Laguhang, Kg Tangkol, Kg Talamason, Kg Pompodon, Kg Kias and Kg. Sunsui.
He said a total of 298 land applications have been approved in these nine villages that have been surveyed and most have been issued with titles involving more than 1,956 acres.
The land to be surveyed through Pantas are the remaining NCR areas that have been occupied by the villagers for generations. Five teams will survey the estimated 800 lots on the NCR land in the nine villages and the work would take about eight months to be completed.
"Therefore, issuance of the land titles for the nine villages would begin a year from now," he said in his speech at the launching of the Pantas surveying programme on NCR land in Marak Parak Zones by Energy, Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus J. Ongkili cum Bandau MP at the open hall in Kg Marak Parak.
Safar called on the rural communities in the nine villages to give full cooperation to the surveying teams.
He said part of the forest near the nine villages will be zoned as water catchment area (protected area) in an Integrated Management Plan for Bandau Floodplain and Associated River Catchment Study carried out by Department of Drainage and Irrigation, which is at the final stage to be tabled to the Sabah Water Resource Council.
Under the Pantas programme, Safar said a special building will be built in the Land and Surveys Department which will be named as 'Native Land Administration Section' that will address land matters involving Sabah natives and will be administered exclusively and effectively.
At the moment, he said the section has 101 personnel doing field work of surveying and personnel in the office and the manpower would be increased once the special building is completed in February next year.
This article was first published in Daily Express.