KOTA KINABALU: The state government is set to evict and demolish squatter settlements occupying prime land in the city here that is owned by the Fisheries Department.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said he has received complaints from the public that the squatters, who are suspected to be undocumented migrants, have not only been actively subdividing plots to not only build their homes illegally, but also been growing vegetables in the 150ha area of Kampung Unggun here.
“Since the land has been gazetted for the Fisheries Department, the state government has the authority to take legal action against these intruders under the Sabah Land Ordinance (Cap. 68).
“The Kota Kinabalu City Hall can also act in accordance with the buildings by-laws or any other applicable rules and regulations on land use, ” he said.
Jeffrey, who is also Sabah Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, added that the situation seems to have been going on for a long time as the squatter houses now number more than 300, spread over about 50ha of the land.
Several police reports have been lodged in the past and demolition exercises have previously been carried out as part of coordinated operations involving the Fisheries Department, police, Land and Survey Department and city hall.
The Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) has also cut off electricity supply to the area but the intrusion continues.
“We need to put our foot down and say enough is enough. My ministry will collaborate with the police, city hall and the Land and Survey Department to conduct another demolition exercise.
“At the same time, we must ensure these stubborn squatters do not return or we will face the same problem again in a couple of years, ” he said.