A total of 10,634 Native Court cases have been settled out of 16,468 at present, says Sikie

John Sikie addressing a press conference at Media Room of DUN Complex on Nov 29, 2022.

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Nov 29: A total of 10,634 Native Court cases have been settled out of 16,468 cases as of Nov 24, 2022, says the Minister in the Premier’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai.

Sikie stated this in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

“As of Nov 24, 2022, the total number of registered cases in the Native Courts was 16,468; of these, 10,634 cases, or 64.6 per cent, had been settled.

“The Native Courts Sarawak is making a proactive action in settling the outstanding cases through the Contract Magistrates to assist the court.

“The focus is on the settlement of cases involving Native Customary Rights (NCR) land disputes and land compensation,” he revealed.

He went on to explain that the functions and operations of the courts are to be performed by the Residents and District Officers under the current Native Courts structure, noting that the Residents and District Officers are ex-officio Magistrates presiding over native courts cases.

“Besides the Residents and District Officers, the functions of the Native Courts at the community level are performed by the Headman or Ketua Kaum and Community Leaders or Ketua Masyarakat.

“The Headman are the Presiding Officers of the Headman Courts at the village or kampung level while those who are appointed as Penghulu, Pemancas, or Temenggongs are the Presiding Officers of the Chiefs and Chief Superior Courts,” he added.

Sikie continued stating that currently, the overall numbers of Magistrates and Presiding Officers serving the Native Courts Sarawak are 7,119.

“These comprise of one Judge who is the President of the Native Court of Appeal, 58 Ex-Officio Magistrates (comprising of all the Residents and District Officers), 3 Residents and 16 District Native Courts Contract Magistrates, and the Presiding Officers comprising of 6,492 Headman, 456 Chief’s Courts, and 93 Chief’s Superior Courts,” he clarified.

Furthermore, he mentioned that to-date, over 6,000 people had attended the Capacity Building Programmes organised by the Native Courts since 2014.

“The programmes are aimed at enhancing the skills and competency of the Presiding Officers in handling their court cases.

“For this year 2022, six more Capacity Building Programmes were carried out for the Presiding Officers and Assessors of the Headman, Chief’s and Chief’s Superior Courts throughout the State,” he remarked.

Sikie also highlighted that three similar programmes had also been implemented for the Court Clerks, Peons and officers of the Resident and District Offices dealing with Native Courts matters. — DayakDaily