Malaysia

Sabah hands out land titles benefitting 1,022

Sabahan villagers sign up for their communal land titles and dividends.Sabahan villagers sign up for their communal land titles and dividends.KOTA KINABALU, March 5 — Sabah has given communal land titles benefiting 1,022 residents in 16 villages in Lalampas this week, in what is seen as a move to keep the rural vote for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the communal land title will cover 3,691ha of land that will be developed under one of the five Agropolitan projects lead by the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC).

“The Agropolitan projects are long-term mega-leap programmes with far reaching goals of eradicating poverty in the state,” he said here on Thursday.

“The most important factor in the communal title is the land cannot be sold,” Musa stressed.

Communal land is developed on a long-term basis by agencies such as the Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB) and communal title owners will reap the benefits.

It is projected that land owners can look forward to an estimated RM800 to RM1,500 a month from these developments, ultimately bringing many native Sabahans out from under the poverty line.

“We strongly believe it is a programme that greatly benefits us, both the people and the state. It will ultimately help the fight to eradicate poverty especially at the abject level,” the chief minister said.

Sabah is the first state in Malaysia to grant the communal land titles, with the first title issued to 1,040 villagers of Kampung Salarom Taka in May 2010 for 3,650ha of land being developed by the Sabah Land Development Board (SLDB) with oil palm and other crops.

The communal title model dictates that a designated parcel of land will be collectively placed under identified owner names and put on the title, according to a statement from the chief minister’s office.

The land cannot be subsequently sold without the collective agreement of every name within the title. Family members can be named to inherit the right of ownership to the communal title, but the title itself cannot be transferred nor mortgaged.

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