Shafie ends 12-year land tussle with 6,800ha grant

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal says he was giving the land back to the settlers to avoid a legal battle between the residents and the oil palm estate management.

SANDAKAN: A 12-year wait for land for 1,680 residents who had settled at the Bagahak plantation in Lahad Datu since the 1970s will soon be over.

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal said he had decided that the 6,800ha land should be given to the residents who had made the request 12 years ago.

He said Sawit Kinabalu, the company that runs the oil palm plantation there, would be compensated with 18,000ha elsewhere.

“We will give the land to all of the settlers.

“These smallholders had been involved in the programme since 1996, but they had been living in the area since the 1970s,” he said when launching the “Gold” cooking oil here.

Shafie said he was doing this to avoid a legal battle between the residents and Sawit Kinabalu, adding that it was more important to identify the problem and resolve it now.

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