He said that the state government was aware of the fact that many areas in the state lacked basic infrastructure.
“The state government will continue to strive to improve and give whatever is best in terms of infrastructure development,”
he told reporters after winding up the debate on the government’s police speech for the Finance Ministry at the State Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday.
When asked on the issue of people occupying forest reserves, Musa said the government was willing to consider the applications by those who had been living in these areas for decades.
“We are prepared to change the forest reserve status to that of a state land so that people will have the right to own a land. But don’t take advantage of this by encroaching into forest areas just so that they can have their rights to the land,” he said.
Earlier, Musa said the state administrative complex, which is under construction, would allow for a closer collaboration among ministries and agencies, and enable the public to carry out dealings with the government under one roof.
He said the complex was funded by contribution from state agencies and companies as well as allocation from the state government.
KOTA KINABALU March 29, 2012: The State Government has accepted the fact that the people have the right to claim lands which they have occupied for generations as their own.
“We (state government) are ready and willing to turn these lands, which have been gazetted as forest reserves, into state lands to enable the people to claim them,” Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said yesterday.
The Finance Minister assured the people that they need not worry as they are a responsible government and are always ready to listen and fulfil the people’s needs.
“We want to get the message around that we are a responsible government. We know that the opposition is taking advantage of the situation… we do not want the people to be influenced by their lies that we are irresponsible,” said Musa.
He also gave the assurance that they would go down to the ground from time to time to check on the presence of such cases.
Musa said they would be working closely with the Forestry and the Land and Survey Departments to ensure that their claims are genuine.
“My advice to the people is not to misuse these advantages. Do not purposely encroach on forest reserves in the hope that the government would turn the areas into state lands. Only lands inherited from their ancestors would be considered.
“I also hope the people’s representatives and community leaders in their areas will monitor the situation and ensure that they are genuine villagers in the area.
“There have been cases where people claimed cemeteries belonged to their ancestors or parents, but we later discovered that they belong to someone else’s family members,” Musa told reporters during a press conference after the State Assembly sitting ended yesterday.
He described the sitting as “successful” and many issues were raised which showed that the assemblymen are in the know of situations affecting their constituents.
“As a responsible government, we are working hard to improve and provide the best to the people, especially in terms of development.
“We realise that we have not given it all, but in any case where there is a need, such as electricity and water shortage, we would ensure that these needs are met. This also shows that we are working hard to ensure that whatever is troubling the people are overcome … we will continue to provide our services to the people and ensure only the best are offered,” he said.
When asked on the request by most backbenchers for the setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants, Musa said the State Government also shared a similar stand on the issue and would be discussing the matter further with the federal leaders soon.
When asked whether he agrees that the RCI should be set up before the 13th general election, Musa replied: “Let us discuss with the federal government and wait for a decision.”