Thursday, May 29, 2008


Illegals start colony on rented land in Penampang: Council


Landowners in the district have been warned against renting their land to illegal immigrants or face the consequences of their action. District Officer William Sampil in issuing the warning, said a special team to address the matter had been set by and spot checks on landowners in the district would be conducted soon. The team will be assisted by the police and enforcement officers from the State Land and Survey Department, he said, adding that action would be taken against landowners in the district who are found to have rented their land to illegal immigrants. “I have been informed that the illegal immigrants start their own colony on the rented land and this is one reason for the influx of illegal immigrants to the State and district,” he said during the full council meeting here yesterday. “These people would construct houses on the land they rented and their families will live with them. As the family increases, more structures will be put up and soon their relatives will come and build houses there. “With the illegal colonies come many problems, including health and sanitation, as these places do not have proper drainage or sewage systems,” he said, adding that wastes including from humans, are thrown around the colonies or into nearby public drains. “This is a burden to our society and we need not wait any longer to take action as this issue has been highlighted over and over again by the public. So any landowners in the district who are renting their land to illegal immigrants should take this warning seriously and remove the transient migrants from their property,” he said. Meanwhile Council Vice Chairman Chong Pit Fah said after the meeting that action must be taken as the problem had been around for a long time and had to be solved immediately. “How can we allow them to stay on our land and build any kind of buildings without proper drainage or sanitation?” he asked. Two Council members who preferred to remain anonymous, said some of the illegal immigrants are also involved in criminal activities such as drug smuggling and peddling. “It makes sense as without any proper documents, they are unable to secure employment so they deal in drugs and this business is a threat to our children, youths as well as families,” they pointed out. Other matters raised during the meeting were implementation of the new local plan (Putatan), the proposal to prepare a plan for Babagon and a “Total Landscape Master Plan” policy for all areas under the authority of the Penampang District Council.