Official: Sabah already gave names to all state islands

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has already named and gazetted all its islands in accordance with state enactments.

State Land and Survey Department director Safar Untong said the island-naming exercise was carried out two or three years ago.

“If I am not mistaken, Sabah was among the first few states to name all its islands,” he said yesterday.

On gazetting these islands, he said the procedures had been completed with the respective district administrations.

“In Sabah, we have our own policies on how to go about naming and gazetting our islands or lands. I don’t see any problem here,” said Safar, adding that Sabahans were also involved in naming islands as they knew better what to call them.

“Maybe not all the islands appear on national maps, but the same is true of many roads and villages in the country.

“I think it is sufficient that the district administrative offices have information about our islands.”

Safar was responding to a Sunday Star report that puts Sabah as having the highest number of unnamed islands.

The report said state governments had also been told to place border stones or boundary markers to establish ownership and prevent the possibility of intrusion by foreigners.

The report said the records of the Federal Survey and Mapping Department and the National Hydrography Centre showed that there were 392 unnamed islands in Sabah alone.

“We are also working towards identifying and naming other seaside entities such as rocky reefs, atolls and sea shelves,” Safar said.

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