The state government claims that they have created 2,000 millionaires through the Native Customary Rights JV concept, but others claim they are only paper millionaires.
KUCHING: The Sarawak government claims that they have created 2,000 millionaires through the new Native Customary Rights concept but detractors say they are “paper millionaires”
Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian says that they are only paper millionaires.
He was refuting claims by assistant minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development) Mohd Naroden Majais’ statement that 2,000 participant in the NCR exercise were now millionaires.
Naroden had said that through the NCR land development and new concept through JV, about 2,000 landowners who have 50 acres and above now are holding assets worth a million ringgit.
“Therefore, we can say that the scheme has created not less than 2,000 rural Bumiputera millionaires,” the assistant minister had said.
Bian who is also the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman said: “His statement is misleading. In terms of acreage you may say they are ‘paper millionaires’.
“The truth is that they are ‘bankrupt millionaires’, because they have not been paid their dues by the investors and government agency’s agent like Pelita or LCDA (Land Custody Development Authority).
“Two cases had been nullified by the court including the brain child NCR land project of Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud in Machan, Kanowit.
“After nine years the investors said that there are no profits so there are no dividends, so what millionaires is he is talking about?
Commenting on the same issue, Patrick Sibat Sujang, a former NCR land development committee member of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) accused the assistant minister of misleading the people.
“While on paper, the value of the land could be worth millions of ringgit, but it is useless and meaningless to the landowners as under the JV concept, the landowners had surrendered their land to the JV companies.
“As the landowners have no rights to their land, they are now at the mercy of the investors. They cannot sell their land or get back their land.
“To me the landowners are condemned to poverty for the next 60 years,” said Sujang, pointing out that some landowners received no dividend at all.
“Even if some of them are paid dividends, it is far below the poverty line, and some scheme participants in Lubok Antu received less than RM10 worth of dividend per year,” he said.
“Tell me how the landowners can become millionaires under this concept?
Sujang believed that the only way the landowners can become rich is for the new concept to be replaced by a rental system.
- - Taken from Free Malaysia Today