KUCHING, Oct 16: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing believes that Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak (MAIS) is the best authority to define ‘pemakai menoa’.
Masing explained that there are three categories of native customary rights (NCR) land including ‘temuda’ (land which has been cultivated since 1958), ‘pulau galau’ (communal reserve) and ‘pemakai menoa’ (land where natives can hunt and forage for their livelihood.
He said ‘temuda’ and ‘pulau galau’ are undisputed NCR land.
“Only category three and that is ‘pemakai menoa’ needs to be defined. The most definitive authority on ‘pemakai menoa’ is Majlis Adat Istiadat Sarawak,” he said in a statement today.
He explained that it was because MAIS is very powerful authority on native customary laws and this body must be presided over by informed and suitable Dayak leaders.
“It must be filled by credible people with suitable ability. We must put square pegs into square holes,” he added.
Masing who is also Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister said when one definition is settled on, then it would minimise dispute over NCR land issues.
“Once the definition of NCR land is done, the government may table the laws in which the definition is included. Once the laws are passed, then the ‘quarrel’ on NCR land definition will be a thing of the past,” said Masing who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president. — DayakDaily