Unresolved land ownership issues back on the table
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
LAND ownerships, titles and deeds to land were being raised again this year during the first meeting of the fifth session of the State Legislative Council (LegCo0 Meeting.
One of the Appointed Council Members, Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Goh King Chin said that the issue has not been resolved since the last sessions.
The land issue has been brought up by the people with regards to change of land conditions, transfer of ownership and ownership of land properties by permanent residents, according to Pehin Dato Goh.
He pointed out that permanent residents fall into two categories: permanent residents holding foreign passports and permanent residents who are Bruneians holding certificates of identification.
Many of these permanent residents asked why they were not allowed to buy a house of their own, said Pehin Dato Goh who also pointed out that it would be a good move to allow permanent residents to own their own houses as this will help enhance the national economy.
"It's not as if these permanent residents will buy the houses only to sell them, because the prices of houses in Brunei is constantly going down year by year," he said noting that this was one of the biggest concerns on land issues that were raised by the people.
The Council Member also raised another issue on the provisions of a flyover for pedestrians near the Chung Hwa Middle School near Sheraton Utama Hotel across the parking lot. "What is the outcome of this project?" he asked.
In his response to the questions, Minister of Development Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Abu Bakar said that the matter is still under consideration and assures the Council Member that the matter is "seriously" being considered by the ministry.
The big issue with the ministry now is that not only they need to consider these issues for those who are holding red identification cards, but also to those residents who do not own any land whatsoever. "Therefore, hopefully, our ministry will be able to grasp the matter in a more comprehensive approach," said the minister.
With regards to the flyover for pedestrians crossing the road from Chung Hwa Middle School, the matter has also been looked into by the Public Works Department as are all other projects of this nature.
However, the place is considered to be a location that has a very heavy flow of traffic, therefore the construction of a flyover has to be carefully planned so that it is structurally sound to be able to handle the matter, the minister added.
The Brunei Times