State green-lights Sarawak Native Court reform

Abang Johari (third right) together with (from left) Dawi, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Datin Patinggi Juma'ani Tuanku Bujang, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Department (Native Laws and Customs) Datuk John Sikie Tayai and former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu cuts the Sarawak Native Court 25th Anniversary cake.

KUCHING, August 24: Sarawak Native Court has been given the green light to pursue greater autonomy and independence equal to the Civil and Syariah courts.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg advised members of the Sarawak Native Court, led by its Chief Registrar Datu Michael Dawi Alli, to set up a committee and conduct detailed studies from all angles before forwarding a proposal to the state government.

“As time goes by, people are getting more sophisticated. To deal with this sophistication we need to review on how to manage the justice system based on our native ‘adat’ (customs). I therefore agree with the proposal to relook at (the position of) our Native Court.

“But we have to form a special committee comprising of people from the legal fraternity, from the native community leaders, those who are very familiar with out customs and our Bumiputera laws, and those from the academics side.

“This is so that we can have a proper structure in our effort to move forward towards a certain level of quality in terms of our Native Court and constitution,” Abang Johari said at the Sarawak Native Court’s 25th Anniversary dinner here on Friday.


Abang Johari (right) receives a memento as a token of appreciation from Dawi, as Datin Patinggi Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang looks on.

He added that further discussions are needed with members of the Sarawak Native Court on how to go about forming the special committee, which would then recommend to the government on the ideal structure of the Sarawak Native Court later on.

“If you want be autonomous and independent just like any other court (Civil and Syariah) then it has to be further studied from all angles. If that is done, I am sure you can move forward to a new era,” Abang Johari continued. — DayakDaily