Land titles not to buy votes, says Shafie

Sabah caretaker chief minister Shafie Apdal (centre) presents land titles in Kudat today.

KOTA KINABALU: Caretaker chief minister Shafie Apdal has rejected claims that he was attempting to buy votes ahead of the state election by giving out land titles to villagers.

Shafie said the state government has been on a drive to issue native land (NT) certificates to rightful recipients since last year.

“What’s wrong with that? I have been giving out land titles for over a year now,” he told reporters after presenting 399 NT certificates to villagers in the Kudat northern district today.

“This is not to buy votes. As long as the election writ has not been issued, then the caretaker government can still function to give (the land titles).

“If there is a writ, then it’s a different story (but) I can still hand out assistance.

“I know the law too (because) I have been a legislator for decades.”

Previously, Shafie had presented similar land titles to recipients in Tongod, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Keningau and Tambunan, among others.

Shafie also questioned why the state government should not help its people when the federal government could do so.

“If the federal government or agencies can make all sorts of announcements, how is it that as the caretaker chief minister, I cannot do the same for the state government or departments?

“If the federal agencies can function in Sabah, then why can’t the state-level departments act in a similar manner?” he asked.