Monday, June 16, 2008


Develop native title, NCR lands to improve economy: Dompok


Landowners with native title (NT) and native customary right (NCR) lands have been urged to develop them to improve their economy. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok in the making the call, said the lands should not be left idle. “As Bumiputeras, we are lucky to have NT and NCR lands which are suitable for agriculture so we should not let them remain idle,” he said, adding that agricultural activities are also proof of ownership of the lands. According to Dompok, there is immediate need to increase agricultural products, especially padi in Sabah to meet local demands. “With the increase in prices of necessities such as rice, there is a need to increase padi production and landowners must take this opportunity to utilize their land to its maximum for agricultural purposes,” the Penampang Member of Parliament said when presenting rubber tree seedlings to villagers in Kampung Dudar, Kota Belud last week. Dompok also said that the price for rubber in both latex and processed forms was good and could help improve the income of planters. “The price for latex is now RM7.55 and rubber sheets RM5.20 sen so planting rubber trees is one good way to supplement your income, “he told the villagers before praising them for the initiative to implement the cluster rubber plantation project which involved 39 participants with a total land area of 127 acres. The Sabah Rubber Industry Board (SRIB) Kota Belud and the Persatuan Tobilung Sabah (TOBISA) have also done a good job by taking the initiative to assist the villagers of Kampung Dudar, he said. “TOBISA’s role not only covers the cultural development aspect but also increasing awareness as well as organizing economic activities for its members and this is something which must be lauded,” Dompok said, adding that he is confident that other non-governmental organizations will emulate TOBISA’s efforts. Meanwhile, TOBISA President Muji Ampau in his speech earlier said Kota Belud is among the districts in Sabah which has a high poverty rate. “This rubber plantation project can help lift the villagers out of the hardcore poverty line,” he said.