Dr Stephen Rundi Itom, Kemena State Assemblyman.

Kemena state assemblyman Dr Stephen Rundi Itom reminded land owners in Bintulu Division to thoroughly verify their land ownership status before demanded compensation from Government.

Without directly referring to Nor Nyawai case – Dr Rundi said he was aware, many landowners often resorted to use blogs, opposition parties to fight for their rights – when their demands not met.

“Let’s be clear – Native Customary Lands are those lands being cleared before 1958 and Temuda lands were those after that year,” he said in a press conference on Sunday.

He said it was land classified as Temuda that was often the source of disputes in the state.

“When government didn’t compensate Temuda landowners after their lands were taken for development – they started to use online media to vent their angst without consulting the government,” he said.

“State government not robber and had never robbed people’s lands.”

“If there were group confiscating people’s lands in my constituency – I’d be the first to fight for them.”

He however added – they must first make sure such land legally belong to them.

Dr Rundi said state government still open its door to negotiate with Temuda landowners.

“They can come and tell government. We will help then… but with condition they must be willing to negotiate.”