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KUCHING, Dec 9: The state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is calling on Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas to reveal the name of the federal minister who had asked Sarawak to adopt the national Land Code.
State PKR vice-chairman Boniface Willy Tumek in a statement said they are giving Uggah three days from Dec 10 to reveal the name of the minister who made that ‘offensive suggestion’, and to call for an emergency sitting of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) to condemn and to reject the suggestion.
“Sarawak PKR is shocked by the statement made by Uggah at a meet-the-people session at Rh Entinggan, Spaoh last Saturday in which he mentioned that a minister in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had suggested to him that Sarawak adopt the National Land Code in replacement of the Sarawak Land Code.
“Telling off that minister is not sufficient rebuke for a matter so serious and a deputy chief minister should be capable of taking more drastic action than a mere light slap on the wrist,” he said, responding to Uggah’s statement today.
Boniface said that the National Land Code is a body of law that governs all land matters in the federated Malayan states otherwise known as Peninsular Malaysia, while the Sarawak Land Code is the law that govern all land matters in Sarawak.
He said PKR Sarawak finds it extremely offensive and hard to believe that a full minister in the PH government had the temerity to suggest something as audacious as replacing the Sarawak Land Code, one symbol of the autonomy of Sarawak as spelt out in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), with another law that symbolises colonialism.
“Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah however failed to name that minister. A full minister in the PH government should have been very aware of the prevailing sentiment of Sarawakians with regards to MA63 and the autonomy of Sarawak and anything that suggest that their rights would be further eroded, even if just remotely, would have the most profound ramifications in the coming state election,” he said.
Boniface said land matters, even before the formation of Malaysia, was a matter for the government of Sarawak to administer, and to replace the Sarawak Land Code with the National Land Code would be unthinkable.
He argued that state land matters fall squarely within the State List under the Federal Constitution, meaning Sarawak has 100 per cent control and legal jurisdiction over its lands and the federal government cannot impose any law over state lands.
“That being the case, the suggestion mentioned by Uggah must be handled with a degree of seriousness proportionate to the importance and urgency of the matter.
“It would not be farfetched to say such a suggestion would not have been made unless senior leaders in the PH government had been thinking about it,” Boniface opined. — DayakDaily