MIRI, Jan 16 — Sarawak Dayak Oil Palm Planters Association (Doppa) members say they are willing to pay for Native Customary Rights (NCR) land surveys to expedite the state government’s efforts and enable the early issuance of perpetuity land titles.
In a statement, Doppa president Napoleon R Ningkos said the association is willing to help enable the expeditious surveying of their NCR land.
He proposed the Land and Survey Department allow government-registered private land surveyors to survey verified NCR land planted with oil palm or other cash crops.
“The costs and expenses of engaging these private registered land surveyors will be borne by the Doppa members,” he said.
Napoleon suggested this effort would complement the state government’s new NCR initiative with the amendment of Section 6 of the Land Code, 1958, a move welcomed by the association.
Under this amendment, NCR lands are identified upon receiving the community’s application and surveyed for gazettement under Section 6A.
The claiming native community then jointly applies for the issuance of titles to the said lands under Section 18 for native titled lands in perpetuity.
According to Doppa, surveying of NCR land under this new initiative via the Land and Survey Department may take a long time, involving manpower and logistics.
“Many of the applying communities have not received any reply to their applications,” he said.
He pointed out having titles for Doppa land is crucial for areas planted with oil palm or other cash crops, and it is a criteria required for bank financing purposes, Malaysian Palm Oil Board licences, Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil certification, and foreign worker approved in principle applications.
Doppa pointed out there is urgency for land titles due to the recent federal government announcement that oil palm replanting initiatives or grants may also require titles.
It added that several years ago, the Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development had through its One-Stop Centre initiated a programme whereby Doppa members could apply through the ministry for NCR status verification of their planted lands.
However, Doppa said less than 10 per cent of the applicants had their lands verified to reap the benefits. — Borneo Post