Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak to be corporatised, wants to establish learning institution on adat

A file photo of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly building.

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By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, May 24: Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak will embark on corporatization with the aim to establish an institute of research and learning of adat, or customs.

Adat may refer to legal rules or native law which falls under the responsibility of the council, or social rules which are not binding and enforceable in any court of law.

Minister in the Premier’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai said the corporatisation move will allow the council to conduct research, organise teaching and provide accreditation in adat.

“The teaching and accreditation would provide qualification and competency for those who aspire to serve as judges and practitioners in the Native Courts of Sarawak.

“To build up the capacity and competency of the Institute, the Majlis may organise research and teaching of adat by itself or in collaboration with local or foreign institutions or bodies.

“At the moment, the work on corporatisation is still in its preliminary stage. Until the corporatisation is fully materialised, the Majlis will remain as a Unit under the Sarawak Premier’s Office,” he said when presenting his winding up speech in the DUN sitting today.

Meanwhile, Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak chief Datu Ronnie Edward informed the press that the Native Courts of Sarawak requires more qualified people to serve as judges and practitioners.

“However, at the moment, we don’t have any (learning) college to teach the adat and we don’t have the power to do it now because my (position) is limited to advising the Yang di-Pertua Negeri and the State government as well as any person seeking advice on any matter relating to adat.

“Thus, we need to have the power to set up maybe a college or collaborate with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) or Universiti Malaya to conduct native law courses. Then, we can co-ed teaching and accreditation,” he explained. — DayakDaily