Proposed Land Code amendment among 8 private member motions denied

Sarawak Legislative Assembly Sitting, November 2017

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KUCHING, Nov 9: State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar shot down eight private member motions within an hour from about 6.30pm to 7.20pm.

The motions were tabled by Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian, Pelawan assemblyman David Wong, Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang, Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon and Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen.

Baru sought to apply for leave to introduce the private member’s bill titled ‘Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2017’ where he proposed to amend Section 2 of the Land Code.

He suggested that Section 2 be amended by firstly adding immediately after the definition of “chargor” – “‘Communal land’ means native customary land or territorial domain created in accordance with the customs of the natives of Sarawak”.

Secondly, adding immediately after the word “customs” in the definition of “customary law” the words “or practice of the native community”; and after the word “effect” the words “including the custom of communal native land or territorial domain”.

On the grounds of conflict of interest as Baru himself was or is still involved in a number of land cases, Asfia dismissed Baru’s motion after putting the application of leave for a vote where 58 state lawmakers objected to it while only 10 supported it.

Chong on the other hand, put forth the motion to stop all blasting of rocks at the 7th Mile quarry and Batu Stigang quarry as these quarries are too near to Taman Mei Lee Housing Estate and Lorong Bukit Stiggang housing estate respectively.

Chong’s motion was dismissed by Asfia on the grounds that the two quarries are in existence decades earlier than the housing estates, where it was the expansion of housing estates that encroached into the quarry areas and not the other way round.

Meanwhile, the motions of Wong, Chang and Dr Ting were all dismissed as Asfia deemed the issues they raised as under the jurisdiction of the federal government or under the Federal Constitution. — DayakDaily