The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has dared PBS and the state government to do away with the Unit if it was the best option for the state
This is SAPP’s response to PBS attacking its president Yong Teck Lee on the issue of the Forest Management Unit (FMU).
Yesterday, PBS Vice President, Datuk Herbert Timbon Lagadan singled out the decision by SAPP President, Datuk Yong Teck Lee for creating FMU, saying there is merit and truth in the public perception that the creation of the FMU was a form of land abuse.
He also said that many problems related to Native Customary Rights (NCR) on land was because the haphazard issuance of land titles which were approved to outsiders and denying land ownership to locals.
SAPP’s Youth Chief, Edward Dagul, said if Herbert sincerely believes that the FMU is detrimental to the natives’ right to owning land then he should say so to the Chief Minister instead of accusing Datuk Yong Teck Lee of wrongdoing.
“Herbert seems to forget that that he is part and parcel of the current administration which has not only maintained the FMU programme but also, judging from what has been reported in the media, is positively upbeat about the programme.”
Edward also pointed out that Chief Minster, Datuk Seri Musa Aman had in the past also stressed that the FMU programme was vital and for the record he “was praised for the success of the FMU programme at an official function in Sandakan in May last year.”
Edward accused Herbert of trying to distract people’s minds from the fact that no one from the PBS had commented on the statement by the State Attorney General on the status of NCR which is making the people wonder about Herbert’s stand on the matter.
“Is he in agreement with the State AG’s statement on the validity of the NCR status?” he asked.
Edward also asked Herbert whether he had actually read and understood the Sustainable Forest License Management Agreement (SFLMA) where in Clause 23 and 24 the protection of rights and privileges of natives or “forest community” is clearly stated.
“The programme works and it is the non-compliance on the terms under the SFLMA by the current licensees that is causing the problem,” he said.