Peninsula-based firms in Sabah land scam

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    KOTA KINABALU: Gaps in the law are allowing foreigners, including Chinese nationals, to get their hands on native customary rights (NCR) land in Sabah by using illiterate and ignorant Orang Asal as nominees and trustees on paper.

    Peninsula-based public-listed companies do not disclose these “shady transactions” in their annual reports because they are not required to do so, said the latest Selvarajasomiah blog post.

    “The whole idea is to circumvent the law and reap millions (billions) from the land after adding value to it by planting oil palm or others crops.

    “In most cases, the public companies do not show any of these landed assets in their annual reports, which are hidden under profits and nominees.

    “The Securities Commission and the Stock Exchange should investigate to ascertain whether any deceitful practices have been committed in this regard,” says the blog posting.

    The blog cited the case of an Orang Asal who was employed in Sabah as a driver at RM2,000 per month by a public-listed company.

    When he tried to collect BR1M, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) told him that he was not eligible since their records showed he was earning RM5,000 per month.

    “So, who declared to IRD on his behalf and paid his taxes? He and many other natives are not able to benefit from any legal advice nor will they ever be able to find and to put their names to the ownership of these lands as they are entrenched in some remote place in the interior. This is a simple case of an abusive employer-employee relationship,” said the blog.

    The blog added that creating illegal documents and making false declarations were not innocent errors but an eleborate scam between poor natives and corporations.

    The blog also explained in detail the modus operandi of the fraudsters and placed the onus on the Sabah government to resolve the issue.

    The blogger wanted the Sabah government to act against those perpetuating the fraud although the law clearly stated the intention of the founding fathers, framers of the Federal and Sabah Constitution on the protection of the Orang Asal.

    Source: Free Malaysia Today