Malay body wants Land Code Amendment Bill be put on hold

Sanib (left) showing the 300-page document titled ‘The Sarawak Malays Stand and Claims on The Native Customary Rights (NCR) Issues’. With him is Baham secretary Samsol Morshidi.

KUCHING, July 5: Badan Hak Adat Melayu Sarawak (Baham) has requested the state government to postpone tabling the much anticipated Sarawak Land Code (SLC) Amendment Bill in the coming State Legislative Assembly sitting.

Baham chairman Datuk Dr Sanib Said, who claimed Baham represented 21 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), also called on all Sarawakian native Malays, Kedayan, Jati Miriek and Vae Segan to demand for the postponement and raise their concerns regarding the customary rights claim.

“The bill must be put on hold because the task force formed by the government in 2017 only involved certain native groups, not native Malays, Kedayan, Jati Miriek and Vae Segan. The Malay representatives were only appointed in February 2018.

“Because of that, the native Malays, Kedayan, Jati Miriek and Vae Segan could not complete their pursuit in gathering information throughout Sarawak,” Sanib told a press conference today.

Established in January 29 this year, Sanib said Baham was unable to conduct research and seminars at Sibu Division, Bintulu, Limbang, Sarikei and Kapit on this matter.

“In addition, Baham was not given a copy of the draft, which made us wonder if the draft is an official government secret. The draft that we saw was the one leaked and went viral on social media. If the content of the draft is genuine, then the request of our native Sarawak Malays, Kedayan, Jati Miriek and Vaie Segan were not included.

“Therefore, this is unfair and is a denial of rights of the natives in the SLC amendment process. This is in contradiction to the United Nation’s Declaration,” he claimed.

Baham has also compiled a 300-page document called ‘The Sarawak Malays Stand and Claims on The Native Customary Rights (NCR) Issues’ in early May.

Sanib said they had documented the facts under native customary rights worldwide and based on the history and cultures of the natives.

“Baham, therefore, demands that the historical rights of Santubong government, Kalaka state, Saribas state, Malano state, Samarahan state, Sadong state and Baram state that existed long before the establishment of the Brunei government and Brooke rule to be protected and be returned to the rightful owners,” he said.

He said they had all the evidence to prove that Sarawak Malays’ history existed since very long ago and the evidence is all chronicled in the document. — DayakDaily