Land leases extended for Sibu folk

SIBU: In a move to prevent the land title issue from being exploited by the Opposition, the Land and Survey Department here has handed out 39 land titles whose leases had been extended by another 60 years.
The titles included those for nine houses in Rejang Park, one of the earliest housing estate in the town and 30 for agricultural land in Sibu and Kanowit.
During the May 2006 state elections, DAP candidates in the urban Chinese areas harped on the high cost of extending land leases and managed to win six seats at the expense of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP).
Yesterday, Sarawak’s Urban Development and Tourism minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh handed over the titles, with the two SUPP candidates for the Sibu and Lanang parliamentary constituencies – Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew and Datuk Tiong Thai King – in attendance.
The superintendent of the department Christina Lau said the department received 454 applications for lease renewal in the division, of which 206 had been approved.
Most of the leases still have about 20 years to go, and the owners had to pay the premium on a pro-rata basis.
The land lease issue is still being exploited by the DAP in the general election.
SUPP hopes that the renewal will allay fears that the government is out to acquire land for development projects.