KUCHING, July 7: Native customary rights (NCR) land lawyer Dominique Ng today urged the state government to put the Sarawak Land Code Amendments Bill into effect immediately after it is passed in the forthcoming State Assembly sitting.
He also proposed it be made retrospective to 2017.
By so doing, he reasoned, land owners who had won their cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal but lost them in the Federal Court might be able to get their land back.
“I call upon the Sarawak government … upon Sarawak Bill being passed in the Assembly to immediately put it into effect. There should be no delay.
“The reason being there are still many cases that are going through the High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court,” Ng told a press conference here today.
He said any delay in implementing the Bill would mean these court cases would continue.
“I have actually written to one Court of Appeal and one High Court on these proposed land amendments, but I got shot down (because) ‘it is not enforced yet’.
“So I am urging the Sarawak government to immediately put it into effect. In fact, if it can be done, make it retrospective.
“The Sarawak government has done a lot of gazette notifications, a lot of orders, and so on that was retrospective.”
He suggested it be made retrospective to 2017 because many Federal Court rulings that were not in favour of NCR landowners were made last year.
“So, if it can be made retrospective to even before the first case, which is the TR Sandah case, I would be most grateful because it would be able to erase what has been a very bad stain in our campaign to defend NCR,” said Ng. — DayakDaily