By Brad Rantayy
MIRI, Sept 6: The state government is open to learning and emulating the native court system in New Zealand, as it looks to raise the level of Sarawak Native Court to be on par with the Syariah and Civil Court.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state, in the process of transforming its native court, will learn the experience of New Zealand concerning the handling of its Maori Land Court (MLC).
“We must have a strong Native Court that not only deals with the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land matters but also Sarawak native issues.
“The best country that Sarawak can emulate or learn from is the New Zealand Native Court system,” he said when launching the Land Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 forum, here, today.
Abang Johari added that the Native Court is a crucial platform to resolve matters concerning the natives including NCR land, Native Territorial Domain (NTD) and Native Communal Title.
About 500 participants, mainly local community leaders from the state northern region (Bintulu, Miri, Limbang and Lawas), took part in the two-day event.
The forum aimed to enlighten community leaders and native landowners on matters pertaining to their NCR rights, including Section 6 and Section 18 under the Sarawak Land Code.
“I believe this forum will help strengthen our vision and mission in further developing Sarawak people and its economy,” he said, while describing the forum as a crucial avenue to help clarify misconceptions on the Land Code (Amendment) 2018.
Abang Johari reminded landowners not to fall victim to any misleading facts on Section 6 and Section 8 of the Sarawak Land Code raised by irresponsible individuals.
He also advised landowners who acquired their NCR land titles to retain the ownership and avoid converting it into a mixed zone land.
“These are the biggest challenges we face, landowners (once they acquired their land titles) submit their application to convert their land to mixed zone and most of the time, we have to reject because it was not a good idea. Keep your land once you got the title and develop it,” he advised. — DayakDaily