Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said the federal government and the state government have agreed to implement a new initiative to carry out en-bloc surveys of native customary rights (NCR) land in the state.
He said the initiative, costing RM20 million to implement, would be carried out before the end of this year and would continue during the 10th Malaysia Plan.
The move was to ensure ownership of NCR land among the natives of Sarawak and to help them increase their income and uplift their economic well-being, he said.
"The main objective is to allow for the commercial development of the land so that it can benefit the rural people in line with the objectives of the New Economic Model," he told reporters after launching the "Sentuhan Harapan Petronas" (Petronas' Touch of Hope) programme here today.
He also said that the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) laboratory, which deals with matters concerning the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak, had met in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in March to help resolve issues affecting the communities of both states, including land ownership.