State BN not in time to table Land Code amendment during current DUN sitting

Datu Penguang Manggil

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KUCHING, Nov 11: The state Barisan Nasional leaders will not come up with its proposed amendment to the Land Code in time to be tabled at the ongoing State Legislative Assembly sitting which is in session until Nov 17.

The tabling of the amendments to the Land Code has been delayed due to the difficulty in determining the size of the ‘pemakai menoa’ (territorial domain).

Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil who is a member of the Pemakai Menoa and Pulau Galau (PMPG) Committee, the special task force led by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Uggah Douglas Embas to solve Native Customary Rights (NCR) land issue, disclosed this to DayakDaily today.

“The main problem we are encountering is how big should be the size of ‘pemakai menoa’. We have no problem with ‘pulau galau’ because it is within the NCR land,” said Penguang.

He said presently, the committee is working out the appropriate size for ‘pemakai menoa’ based on the size of the longhouse.

“We are still working on the legislative amendments (to the Land Code). We agreed that it should be amended.

“However, there are some critical areas such as the appropriate size of ‘pemakai menoa’. How big should be the size of ‘pemakai menoa’? How big is enough or acceptable?” he told DayakDaily today.

He said a panel of practising lawyers from NGOs has been engaged to come up with a comprehensive proposal while the Majlis Adat Istiadat (MAIS) is the secretariat.

“For example, for my longhouse in Entulang, Marudi which has 109 doors, how big should be the size of ‘pemakai menoa’ we are entitled to? And for my neighbours who have 50 doors, how big should their ‘pemakai menoa’ be and so on,” explained Penguang.

He also revealed that Uggah will be addressing the whole issue during the latter’s winding up speech at the State Legislative Assembly to explain the stance of the state government clearly.

“It is not true that the state government does not want to make amendments (to the Land Code) but rather we want to do it comprehensively, once and for all.

“It is also not true that the Iban leaders did not do anything for the Native Customary Rights (NCR) land.”

“We did not agree with the one proposed by YB Baru (Bian, PKR Ba Kelalan assemblyman) because it was too hastily drafted and too scratchy. We want a comprehensive one,” he said. — DayakDaily