Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (SALCRA) aims to be the number one land-development organization in Sarawak. SALCRA’s General Manager, Datu Vasco S. Singkang, says, “Consolidation and rehabilitation are our guiding principles. We want to consolidate land that is now scattered left and right and develop and rehabilitate idle land that has no value to be a commercially viable property.” SALCRA is a state-owned organization that is managed commercially; and currently managing lands belonging to 23,000 landowners, both natives and non-natives.
SALCRA welcomes the chance to partner with private investors in high-potential land-development projects. Although deemed as a native Malaysian organization, SALCRA can develop all classes of lands as defined by the Sarawak Land Code, compared to other investors. Currently it has about 247,100 acres (100,000 hectares) of land waiting to be developed. SALCRA has already planted approximately 123,000 acres (50,000 hectares) of oil-palm plantations as well as smaller tea plantations. Datu Vasco says, “Sarawak has approximately 3 million people on a land area that is about the size of the Malaysian Peninsula minus Malacca. We are bringing development to rural areas.”
SALCRA is committed to sustainable, environmentally friendly land use. The first stage in SALCRA’s land-development process is to ensure proper ownership of the land and to obtain the owner’s consent for a development project. SALCRA then performs an environmental survey, obtains approval from the government bodies overseeing land use, looks for funding for land judged appropriate for development, and then offers tenders for the project. Datu Vasco concludes, “Given all these stages, which generally takes around two years for each piece of land, proper land development is a long-term process. I want SALCRA to be viewed as a global benchmark for legally, environmentally and socially responsible land development, and we welcome international investors who can help us reach our goals.”
SALCRA is now broadening its business activities. It shall assume a more active role under the Government Transformation Program (GTP), particularly the National Key Economic Area (NKEA). The State Government of Sarawak has appointed SALCRA to be the Lead and Implementing Agency for one of the Entry Point Project Four (EPP4) – Integrated Cage Farming at Batang Ai, Sri Aman Division. Batang Ai was chosen due to its huge surface area of 8,400 hectares with vast potential for ideal production of high quality fresh fish from its pristine environment.
Research and Development (R&D) is another area that SALCRA is venturing into, of which requires partners or collaborators to realize the program. The current on-going R&D projects are the bamboo and agar wood research with a view for commercial development and oil palm seed garden for production of quality oil palm seed for its future plantations.