The Oppositions had 26 months to reverse the transfer of titles to Fed while in power but remained quiet as a mouse

Columnist : Justin Sunam-Wong

The issue currently being spun by the opposition leaders on the handing over of land titles to the federal government as recently announced by the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor is most perplexing.

Why do I find it perplexing?

As clarified by the Land and Survey Director Bernard Liew Chau Min, these lands are for federal purposes acquired by way of Land Acquisition process and were approved before 2016 and premium were fully paid then.

This was done prior to the coalition government of Warisan, Upko and Pakatan Harapan forming the government back in 2018.

How did they not know of this while in power? And if they knew, why did not they do anything about it? While in power they could had exercised their power to halt such transfer. They could had negotiated with the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad to reverse or nullify the previous administration’s “error”.

But they did not, did they?

Or perhaps they knew it was a non issue as the previous administration before them had addressed the loss of land holdership with a change of policy. Hence, the elegant silence on this while they were in power. I mean, I would certainly not make a fuss about it, the matter had been resolved. It was a non starter.

As explained by the Director, the premiums to these titles had been duly paid for. The previous administration before Warisan was legally bound to honor the arrangement. However, the previous Sabah BN government had since then stopped issuing land titles and instead issues Gazette to subsequent Federal land application. Thus ensuring these lands remain under the State Government and the rakyat of Sabah.

Most of these lands in question are currently occupied by existing facilities such as schools, clinics and various services currently serving the people. Is the opposition trying to deprive the rakyat of these amenities for their political interest?

The leasehold for these titles are mostly for 99 years, they are not indefinite. Furthermore, we are gaining tax and premium paying land owners that are bringing public service facilities beneficial to the rakyat. So how could that be depriving the rakyat?

The opposition should cease such irresponsible politic which is acrimonious and unproductive to the people. It is high time for the oppositions to be a quality opposition and raise pertinent issues to act as check and balances to the government and not stoop to irresponsible politics that sow misinformation to the rakyat.