PITAS: The Gabungan Rakyart Sabah-Barisan Nasional (GRS-BN)-led State Government handed over 206 state customary land (NT) titles to applicants here.Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor said the State Government through the Land and Survey Department (JTU) remained committed and give priority to speeding up land applications for the people.
“As we all know, the process of surveying the land that has been occupied and worked on by local villagers was carried out by JTU through the State Customary Land Service Programme (Pantas) which was introduced more than 10 years ago.
“Therefore, the handing over of the land titles proves the State Government’s commitment to continue with the Pantas programme,” he said.Hajiji said this when officiating a groundbreaking ceremony for the Housing and Urban Development Authority’s Shophouse Development Project in the new township here on May 12.
He said the issuance of land grants through Pantas was started by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in 2011 to overcome delays in processing normal applications for the issuance of Native Title (NT) status grants for long-occupied native customary rights (NCR) lands, previously.
“The granting of these land titles has been done by the BN government for more than 10 years. The people may not know about it, but we in the GRS-BN Government do not focus only on politics alone, but what we are doing now is working to fulfill our promises to the people through the Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) development plan.
“There are many more programmes that we will do despite facing various challenges,” he said.At the ceremony, the Chief Minister also witnessed the handing over and gazetting of village reserves for 10 villages from Sawit Kinabalu to the Pitas District Office.
“I have discussed with the Managing Director of Sawit Kinabalu to give land to the people and it is realised today,” he said.“We do not want the people to become refugees in their own villages because there is no land,” he said, while hoping that the people would continue to support the GRS-BN government.
In another development, Hajiji, who is also the state Finance Minister, said the development of shophouse in the Pitas new township proved the seriousness, sincerity and concern of the government to develop the State, including in rural areas.
“We want to bring Pitas foward which was previously considered as a backward district, but under this GRS-BN State government, we will bring more progress.
“This is the government’s agenda and priority to ensure that every citizen can enjoy development in the state. I believe with the groundbreaking ceremony today, a development starting point for the new township of Pitas has begun.
“I am also calling on all parties whether leaders, departments and public agencies, the private sector and all walks of life to work together to ensure the implementation of commercial development in Pekan Baharu Pitas runs smoothly and is completed according to the set time period,” he said.
This commercial project in the New Township of Pitas involves the construction of 68 units comprising 52 units of two-storey terrace shops, two units of two-storey detached shops and 14 units of industrial lots.
“If you look at this project, it can be considered a mega project for Pitas. This kind of development will definitely be able to provide facilities to the community here such as employment and business opportunities,” Hajiji said.
Also present were the Minister of Local Government and Housing cum State Minister of Finance II, Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun; State Secretary, Datuk Seri Sr. Safar Untong, Pitas Assemblyman Datuk Ruddy Awah, who is also the Assistant Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation; Bengkoka Assemblyman Harun Durabi; Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Board (LPPB) Datuk Masiung Banah; JTU Director Datuk Bernard Liew; Sawit Kinabalu Group Managing Director Datuk Bacho Jansie; LPPB General Manager Rosemary Ahping and Pitas District Officer Firus Idzualdeen @ Benetty Mohd Dzul.