Villagers reap reward of joint venture project with KTS Pelita

SIMUNJAN: It was a day to smile all the way to the bank as KTS Pelita (Simunjan) Sdn Bhd distributed dividend worth RM750,000 to 177 landowners in Kampung Giam Lama and Kampung Mawang here on Thursday.

The earnings registered from oil palm plantations in the two villages, some 120km from Kuching can be expected many more years to come, if participants continue to give full co-operation to the joint venture among the private sector, the government and landowners.

KTS Pelita (Simunjan) Sdn Bhd senior executive officer Desmond Cheng said the corporation looked forward to further collaboration with landowners to generate even more income from next year.

“This is going to be the beginning of many such happy occasions. And I thank you all for your co-operation under the area development committee (ADC). We hope to get more co-operation in future,” he said during a simple ceremony to hand out dividend to landowners at the office of KTS Pelita (Simunjan) Sdn Bhd here.

Cheng disclosed blockades at the plantation site early this year had brought about a RM1.5 million loss.

He therefore appealed to landowners to address any issue in a rational manner to avoid such unnecessary losses, which may affect this year’s profit, hence their next dividend.

“The last blockade had caused a loss of RM1.5 million, but we will try our best to catch up.”

On the ADC, he said the committee would soon have an election to line up new office bearers.

He was confident the future committee would be a proactive team to further spur the plantation activities and resolving any issue that might crop up.

He hoped the committee and the landowners would work closely together with KTS Pelita (Simunjan) Sdn Bhd to help set up a role model of joint venture company (JVC).

“We want to make this a model JVC, which works better than other companies.”

Meanwhile, Kampung Giam Lama village head Bali Bandan, who was also one of the dividend recipients, called on landowners to fully co-operate with KTS Pelita (Simunjan) Sdn Bhd to generate income in the near future.

He said landowners should think of their future and help the JVC earn more income instead of causing trouble to the developer as well as the government.

“We want neither trouble nor mess as we expect to receive our dividend. Let us all work together with KTS Pelita (Simunjan) Sdn Bhd towards this end.”

As not all 177 landowners were at the presentation ceremony , Cheng with KTS Pelita (Simunjan) Sdn Bhd liaison committee member Dato Vincent Chapman visited five of the recipients to personally deliver the cheques.

One of them, Gilanggang Gambol, a landowner from Kampung Mawang, has to use a walking stick to move about.

Kampung Mawang village head Gelanggang Sanga said Gilanggang lives by her own.

The oil palm plantations in Kampung Giam Lama and Kampung Mawang started some time in 2003.

It is a joint project among KTS Pelita (Simunjan) Sdn Bhd, landowners and Land Custody Development Authority (LCDA), which serves as a monitoring agent.

The joint venture was initiated by the state government as an effort to develop idle native customary right (NCR) lands.

Among those present were Ministry of Land Development assistant administrative officer Untan Rajit and LCDA regional manager George Lentton.