Ranau September 08, 2011: The people of Kampung Luanti Baru are still harbouring hope of getting back their land despite "losing" it to a second party which had been given the approval for its land application submitted later than theirs about 10 years ago.
Village Chief, Rosliah Manjangki, said they could only watch in tears when the second party, which acquired ownership of the 250 hectares that they had toiled on and cultivated with plantations since the 1980s, chopped down the trees.
"We felt as though we are being neglected. It has been 10 years since we submitted our land application, but it seems that nobody bothers,"
Daily Express had previously highlighted the villagers' plight when they claimed that the land that they had been applying for was "grabbed" by a second party.
Rosliah said they tried to get in touch with the Land and Survey Department but were shocked when told by a department worker that the land title printing machine was out of order and, therefore, the department could not issue the land title to them.
"It was really illogical the second party only needed about three months to get the land title issued," she said, adding that it was a different story for the kampung folks who had to go up and down countless times to deal with the department.
According to Rosliah, they recently checked on the latest development pertaining to their land with the relevant authorities in the district, but it was confusing since they were told that the file containing the villagers' documents could not be found.
Now they planned to refer the matter to the Land and Survey Department headquarters in Kota Kinabalu to get detailed explanation as well as seeking assistance from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the matter.
The villagers also appealed to the department and elected representatives in the area to assist them end the predicament.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the District Assistant Collector of Land Revenue, when met, said they had already conducted a probe and a full report on the Kampung Luanti Baru folks had been submitted to the headquarters.
The spokesperson also advised the villagers to continue making follow-ups about their application at the department headquarters in the State Capital.