KOTA KINABALU, 23 February 2021 : Warisan youth chief Datuk Azis Jamman’s statement claiming that the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah(GRS) state government was “giving away” more land to federal agencies has backfired on him.

Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (StarSabah) Sepanggar youth insisted that the more serious issue regarding land use in the parliamentary constituency is that of the illegal squatters.

“Why is Azis not talking about this, let alone addressing it?” asked its chief Rapi Mukis.

He was responding to the Sepanggar Member of Parliament’s statement two days ago in which he claimed that the state government was giving away more land when many areas had already been alienated to federal agencies.

“He should have known that these lands were acquired in 2016. As we all know, places like Inanam, Menggatal and Telipok are in dire need of better clinics and schools. These are for the people in Sepanggar.

“But has he ever spoken up about these needs? Now he is obviously trying to gain some political mileage by taking the government to task about this land issue,” Rapi said.

He pointed out that the clinics and schools also need bigger parking space in line with population increase in Sepanggar.

“What’s also important is that the problem of illegal squatters in Sepanggar needs to be resolved. He is the MP. People are questioning why is the number not reducing? In the eyes of the people, they’re growing like mushrooms. Just look at areas like those behind 1Borneo and Kg Noumbak.

“What has Azis been doing on this? That’s what people want to know because it involves land occupation that does not benefit the people at all,” Rapi added.

Sabah Lands and Survey Department director Bernard Liew Chau Min has clarified that the land titles handed over on Feb 18 were for federal purposes, acquired by way of the land acquisition process and approved before 2016. The land premiums were fully paid.

He said most of the land had already been constructed with schools, hospitals and other public facilities.

He pointed out that land titles granted to the federal agencies were especially meant for building of public facilities such as schools, hospitals, police stations or post offices to provide services to the public.