Land dispute cases may extend beyond six months depending on facts, circumstances, and behaviour of involved parties  

Jamit answering a question posed by the Bukit Semuja assemblyman during the DUS sitting on May 9, 2024.

By Marlynda Meraw

KUCHING, May 9: Land dispute cases may take beyond six months to resolve depending on the facts, circumstances, and the behaviour of the involved parties, says Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Native Law and Customs) Datuk Jefferson Jamit Unyat.

Jamit was responding to questions from Bukit Semuja assemblyman John Ilus about how long it takes for land dispute appeal cases in the Bumiputera Court to be resolved and why there are appeal cases over 10-years-old that have yet to be decided.


According to Jamit, it is hard for the Sarawak Bumiputera Court to set a period to resolve Bumiputera land dispute cases, from the time the case is registered until the final decision is made, especially if there is an appeal to the Resident Bumiputera Court and the Bumiputera Appeal Court.

“This is because each case depends on its own facts and circumstances, and the behaviour of the parties involved, including the lawyers appointed to represent any of the parties involved,” said Jamit during the fourth day of ongoing Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) sitting at the DUS complex today.

He explained that a case will normally take more than six months to be resolved, taking into account any appeals within the period, and in accordance with the procedures of the Native Courts Rules 1993.

“According to Section 5(3), Sarawak Bumiputera Court Ordinance 1992, a case related to a Bumiputera customary land ownership dispute will be heard in the District Bumiputera Court, which has jurisdiction over on the case (Court of first instance).

“Then, if the claimant or defendant disputes the decision of the District Bumiputera Court, an appeal can be made to Resident Bumiputera Court within one (1) month from the date the decision was made.

“Next, an appeal in the form of a petition for review of the decision of the Resident Bumiputera Court can be made to the Bumiputera Court of Appeal if the claimant or defendant is not satisfied with the decision,” he said. — DayakDaily