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‘Land issues in Sabah a serious problem’

February 17, 2011

All the communities in Sabah are affected by land issues but the solution is slow in coming.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has the highest number of recorded complaints on land issues, according to Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Commissioner Jannie Lasimbang.

“It is a serious issue as it involves all communities in Sabah. The solution is very slow (in coming) and it takes time to resolve,” she said, adding that the situation had reached a serious level and warranted an immediate solution.

Lasimbang was basing her views on  Suhakam statistics from 2005 to last year, in which the state had recorded the highest number of complaints on land issues in the country.

She said Sabah had recorded 977 cases, followed by Peninsular Malaysia (654) and Sarawak (251).

“For example, last year, out of 92 complaints we received in Sabah, we resolved only two… of course, it needs concerted efforts to solve all the complaints,” she said after attending preliminary discussions on the proposed national inquiry over land issues here today.

Jannie said that among the main land issues raised by rural villagers to Suhakam were the conflict of interest involving construction of dam, opening up of plantations and the plight of displaced local people, many of whom were found to have been occupying forest reserves for ages.

She felt it was time for members of the State Legislative Assembly to debate land issues, particularly complaints received by Suhakam, with a view to finding amicable solutions.

- Bernama


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