Sarawak NCR land - a new development model

News article, 29 Aug 2011: "Felcra-like model to develop native land in S'wak"
Sarawak has introduced a new land management system modelled after Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra) Bhd to develop Native Customary Rights (NCR) land in the state..... According to state land development minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, the pilot project involving the new land management model was carried out in Pasai Siong, near Sibu......"The agreement with Felcra was reached in June this year. This is the first time we used this model on the NCR land management. This model has been used by Felcra in other land areas under the Ladang Rakyat scheme, but this is the first time it was applied to NCR land.... "This is because, to develop NCR land, you need the consent of landowners. Felcra will manage this pilot project with a fee for 15 years," he said.... under the new land management model, NCR landowners would hold 90% shares, with the remainder to be held by Sarawak Land Custody Development Authority (LCDA). Felcra will source all the funding required and will only charge management and marketing fees.... (source:

Khor Reports comments:
a) This is a promising new proposal for NCR land development in Sarawak. This is an advancement from the Sime Darby land deal proposals in FY2009, where the plantation sought a 60% stake, while offering the native landowners 30% and LCDA/Pelita 10%.
b) Previously, oil palm land deals have been in the eastern state of Malaysia have been problematic in their general poor inclusion of native landowners. Such issues are exemplified in the IOI Pelita case where a secondary land purchase has been bogged down by controversy from the initial land deal.
c) This suggests that any plantation should be concerned about the level of inclusion of local and native peoples in their current and existing projects. This "social agenda" is likely to become a significant issue for plantations.
d) Investors in plantations might become more keen to ask plantation companies to better disclose such risks, as well as the conservation / environmental usability and risks of their land banks.

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