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SAPP dragged into logging flap in Papar

 | May 27, 2012

A SAPP leader is allegedly linked to a logging operation near a controversial state government "mini estet sejahtera" (MESEJ) project in Kg Kinolosodon.

PAPAR: A Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) leader is allegedly linked to a logging operation near a controversial state Barisan Nasional government “mini estet sejahtera” (MESEJ) project in Kg Kinolosodon, Papar that is being investigated.

According to a police report lodged at the Papar police station on May 19, the landowner of the site where the logging took place named one Jamil William Corie as the person who instructed timber be extracted from the area. Corie is reportedly SAPP’s Bongawan Constituency Liaison Committee (CLC) vice-chairman.

Land owner, Joseph Anthony, 39, said in his police report that he found that virtually all the trees on his eight acre plot of land in Kinolosodon had been felled when he went there on May 19 after being told that there was some work going on near his property.

He said in his police report that a company worker by the name of Ah Chong told him that Jamil instructed them to extract the timbers from the area and he immediately telephoned the cellphone number of Jamil given by the logger.

“In our conversation, Jamil uttered derogatory words against me such as “stupid” and “uneducated”. Jamil also said that the land was under his jurisdiction. But the land concerned is indeed mine and I have land title to prove it,” he said.

According to Anthony, he had earlier engaged a surveyor to ascertain if his land had indeed been encroached.

“From the survey, it is confirmed that timber had been extracted from my titled land,” he said.

The matter came to light after a government project in the vicinity was questioned by a leader of the State Reform Party (STAR), Dr Nicholas James Guntobon, who noted that there were many wrong things about the project.

Guntobon, the STAR deputy chairman for Sabah, questioned the rationale of having the project on a steep slope along the Crocker Range in Ulu Kimanis as well as the building of 33 houses for hardcore poor families on such steep slopes.

Guntobon said Chief Minister Musa Aman, his deputy Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is state infrastructure minister and Kimanis MP Anifah Aman should explain how the government had chosen such a site for the project.

Police have been guarding access to the site ever since the police report was lodged on May 19.

Local BN leaders are concerned that the controversial project could damage the standing of the ruling coalition especially among the Kadazandusun community which forms a substantial number in Papar and Kimanis parliamentary constituencies.


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