Villagers disappointed no word yet on land appeal

Raymond-Ahuar-mandalom-forestKOTA KINABALU: Villagers awaiting word on their appeal over a pressing land matter are disappointed that Prime Minister Najib Razak did not bring them any good news when he visited Nabawan recently, says Pakatan Harapan Sabah Youth chief Raymond Ahuar.

Ahuar said PH Sabah had sent a memorandum regarding the matter five months ago to Pensiangan Umno division head Abdul Ghani Mohamed Yassin and were hoping that Najib’s visit on Jan 19 to Nabawan would bring good news to the people involved.

“We are not sure if Ghani handed over the memorandum or if the government is more concerned for the eight companies granted the land, as opposed to the people in the interior,” he said.

According to Ahuar, they intended to present a memorandum to Najib on the Mandalom Forest Reserve issue last August but the trip had been cancelled prompting them to send the memorandum to Ghani instead.

The memorandum urged the government to revoke the granting of land to eight companies and award it to the people instead.

He revealed that the Sabah government had approved the conversion of 32,000 acres of land in Mandalom, Pensiangan from forest reserve status to state land status.

“We welcome this but unfortunately there are so many things wrong with it because residents only get 6,005.88 acres or just 18.77%.

“What is more surprising is that 62.7% of the land is now owned by eight companies that have already been given grants despite the ownership of the land having not been settled yet.

“The residents on the other hand were only given communal grants,” he added.