KOTA KINABALU, Aug 24 (Bernama) -- The Sabah Land Development Board’s (SLDB)
main thrust over the next two years is to ensure the successful implementation
of three of its agropolitan schemes as well as opening up new land for oil palm
in the interior.
In a statement today, SLDB said it was committed to help the state develop
land in partnership with the people, especially the poor in the far-reaching
It said the agropolitan schemes, a government transformation project, aimed
to alleviate hardcore poverty in the state.
"They are designed to ensure its participants would benefit and be paid
dividends from income generated from its economic activities.
"Once fully implemented, the three integrated schemes -- Tongod, Tenom and
Lingkabau -- would have various infrastructure, utilities, houses, schools and
health clinics and accommodate over 3,500 participating families," it said.
SLDB is one of the agencies entrusted by the Sabah state government to
develop land issued under the communal titles together with the village
It said the first oil palm-based agropolitan scheme at Tongod, covering
almost 4,000 hectares, would be ready for implementation by year-end once the
environmental impact assessment report was approved.
An oil palm nursery has since been set up and the management team
mobilised, it said.
The board said while oil palm would be the main crop, it would also reserve
a portion of the land –- community economic zone -- for livestock rearing as
well as the growing of cash crops, which would give the participants additional
On the Mini Estet Sejahtera programme (MESEJ), another state government
initiative to eradicate poverty, it said 14 98-hectare oil palm mini estates
were now at various stages of maturity.
MESEJ is a programme under the Ministry of Rural Development and SLDB has
been appointed to develop and manage these mini estates.
SLDB said it has also been given the mandate by the Sabah Economic
Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) to develop and manage the Keningau
Integrated Livestock Centre project in Sook.
"The project will start off with an initial herd of 500 head to produce
(beef) and milk for local consumption as well as export.
"Tendering process by SEDIA for infrastructure work is being carried out at
the moment," it said.
Meanwhile, Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, has advised the SLDB
management to be prudent on its spending and ensure that profits were ploughed
back into projects that were beneficial for the people.
Musa said this at the ceremony to hand over SLDB dividend to the state
government here today.
He said SLDB should continue with proven projects rather than venture into
areas outside its scope and expertise, which could lead to failure.
"The money must be spent wisely as it belongs to the people and SLDB is
entrusted to use the money within the necessities that include development of
land and operation works," he said.
SLDB is paying a dividend of RM10 million to the state government, its third
over the last five years.
It paid RM1 million in 2006 and RM20 million in 2007.
No payments were made in 2008 and 2009 as SLDB was in expansion mode.
Last year, it paid out some RM16.752 million in dividend to 3,474 settlers,
participants and smallholders who are partners in its various oil palm-related
Up to July this year, some RM14 million in dividends were also paid to
the same group of people. -- BERNAMA