KOTA KINABALU, Nov 30 — The Sabah Land and Survey Department has cleared some 86 per cent of backlogged land application cases since 2015, said chief minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
He told the state assembly here today that the department has gradually reduced the outstanding applications from 280,695 to 37,857 within the last eight years, up to October 31 this year.
“The department will work towards clearing the entire backlog by2023, “ said Hajiji in his text read by assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan during the question-and-answer session at the assembly sitting here.
He said that over the years, the large number of cases solved were due to several initiatives including the Sabah Native Land Services Programme (Pantas), the use of the global navigation satellite system to measure the plots, and the field-to-finish survey process.
Hajiji, who is also state finance minister, said for land titles applied for via Pantas, applications would take around 12 months to process while applications made through other channels could take up to 24 months.
He said 27,572 grants involving 42,429 ha of land had been approved through Pantas from last year up to October 31 this year.
“Other measures taken to speed up the processing of applications included getting help from private surveyors to reduce dependency on government personnel.
“Through our programmes, we found that issues like not being able to contact land applicants, hard to reach areas, and objections to applications, among others, had slowed our work,” he said.
Earlier, nominated assemblyman Aliakbar Gulas told the House how some villagers had to wait for 30 years or more just to get titles to land that they had lived on for generations and wanted the chief minister to commit to a time frame or key performance index.