KOTA KINABALU: A man who bulldozed through a private land, claiming he had gotten permission from Sabah head of state (TYT) Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, has been asked to stop all activities there.
The man, identified as Arsad Ghani, said he applied for land lots on behalf of 674 people at the Kg Kurol Melangi, Kg Likas area.
He claimed he was given the green light by TYT and the Chief Minister to proceed with land-clearing works.
However, Sabah Land and Survey department director Datuk Safar Untung said this was not true.
He said the land was owned by a government-linked company and the state therefore had no authority to allow people to claim it.
“We have gone to the site to speak with Arsad and told him about the situation.
"We have also instructed him to stop all works and to get the heavy machinery out of the land,” he said.
Safar said city hall officials had also issued eviction notices to several families now living in three squatter houses in the area.
Before he moved in to stake his claim, Arsad showed a letter (widely circulated on social media) allegedly sent to the TYT’s office to apply for the land in October 2018. He said the land would be used to help house villagers who did not have homes.
A video that came with the letter shows a man, most likely Arsad, saying he had already gotten the approval needed to clear the land for lot distribution purposes.
He is heard telling this to "an interviewer" while workers operate heavy machinery such as excavators in the background.
Likas assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt said he went to the area for to inspect.
"Though the address in the letter stated Teluk Likas, this is not under my constituency. It is under Karambunai," he said.
He said the landowner have been notified and he would be responsible in ensuring that the land was not be encroached upon again.