PENAMPANG April 30, 2012: In 1994, villagers from Kampung Tampasak made a huge sacrifice for the people along major towns in the state capital when they made way for the construction of the Babagon dam.
Their old village is now under water, in the dam which is the source of water supply for the district as well as the city and towns like Putatan and all the way to Telipok.
The 350 villagers in Kampung Tampasak however are still in the dark as to the status of the land that had been allocated to them as their new village.
According to its Village Development and Security Committee chairman Nelson Malon, they are still waiting for the land use to be gazetted as “tanah perkampungan” (village land) which they had applied for since 1994.
“We have been living here for 19 years and we are afraid that we will be relocated again. But if the area is gazetted, then we will no longer have to worry about this problem,” he said.
Nelson also lamented that without being gazetted, the villagers would not be unable to withdraw their savings in EPF Account 2.
He said this when met at a briefing session with Moyog assemblyman Datuk Donald Mojuntin yesterday.
Donald explained that a total of 50 acres had been agreed upon to be gazetted as village land for the 359 villagers, but the process was going very slow.
“The matter is under process at the moment but the delay is due to the land matter process. I can however confirm that the Land Use Committee (LUC) had in 2011, approved that the land be ceded from the Jetama concession.
“It has all been agreed and is under process now. The problems faced by the village folk is always under our attention. Let’s not forget that they sacrificed a lot not only for Penampang, so that there is clean water for Penampang all the way to Telipok.
“We will try our utmost to help them. We will also try to assist them in whatever facilities they need to make their life more comfortable. There is also the worry that where they are now is only temporary.
“But that issue does not arise and I assure them that the village is here to stay but what they really want now is a guarantee letter from the Water Department which will allay their fears,” he stressed.
Donald said the decision to excise 50 acres from the Jetama concession for Kampung Tampasak was made in 2001 and the villagers are unhappy that the process is taking too long.
In the latest application, they wanted to know the status of the gazette, he said, adding that he knows that the people are impatient but he cannot blame them because they have been waiting for 19 years.
“We are equally accountable because we are the elected representatives so we have to take the blame. However, I think the government must expedite the process because they have made such a huge sacrifice,” he said.
Nelson also urged the relevant authorities to explain to them which areas had been gazetted for water retention so that the villagers could develop land which was not included.