LIMBANG: The government, on Wednesday 1 November, paid out over RM6.8 million in compensation for lands acquired for three public infrastructure projects in Limbang and Lawas districts.
The landowners received their cheques from Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also Second Minister of Urban Development and Environment, during the compensation and land titles presentation ceremony.
Awang Tengah said the acquisition of lands for public road and utilities infrastructure is critical for Limbang and Lawas to grow in tandem with development in other areas in the state brought about by the Pan Borneo Highway.
"For specific projects with definite area required, we applied Section 48 of the Land Code where compensation is paid according to market price and the remaining lands are issued with new land titles" he said.
An amount of RM3.27 million was paid to 63 landowners for the acquisition of 32 lots of land (17.745 ha) for Sungai Limbang Bridge, Sg Bunut 2 Bridge and connecting road; RM1.99 million to six landowners for Limbang Town 132/33 KV substation and RM1.56 million was paid to eight landowners for Lawas Town (Long Tuma) 275/33kv substation.
One landowner received over RM1 million while others received several hundreds of ringgit as compensation.
Awang Tengah said this proved that allegations that the government failed to give notice and pay appropriate compensation for land acquisition were unfounded.
"This compensation of RM6.8 million for the three projects show that the government does not take away land without compensation to landowners" he said.
The second Limbang Bridge project would unleash a new wave of development as it would be part of the Pan Borneo Highway passing through Limbang Town and Lawas Town when it is completed.
Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, said road connection from Muara to Temburong in Brunei and linkage to Limbang and Lawas is changing the physical, social and economic landscape of both districts.
On the proposed construction of the two power sub-stations, he said it is the way forward for Limbang and Lawas districts to be connected to the state grid, paving the way for greater economic development and rural electrification without using fossil fuel.
Earlier in his speech, Limbang Land and Survey Department superintendent Awang Nazri Saperi expressed his appreciation to the landowners for giving up their lands for the infrastructure projects.
Also present at the function were Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang, Limbang Deputy Resident Selamat Yanjah Jati, Limbang District Officer Jamalie Busri, other heads of government departments and community leaders.