State land code amendment gives legal recognition to PMPG, says Idris

Datuk Idris Buang

KUCHING, Sept 12: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang reiterates that Sarawak Land Code (SLC) Amendment 2018 legally recognises ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’ (PMPG).

“The Federal Court decision yesterday of not allowing the application of the claimants to review a previous Federal Court judgment on their case, historically and effectually puts the legal position of the status of PMPG traditional land, if any, as merely ‘usufractuary only’ at most and not proprietary in nature”.

“That previous Federal Court judgement which remains status quo now, however, is purely academic as it is automatically subsumed by the force of statute in the forms of the already functional Sarawak Land Code (SLC) Amendment 2018 in particular Section 6 and 6A which for all purposes and intent gives the legal recognition to PMPG land with indefeasible proprietary title.

“In summation, in its forms and substance and and in all practicality, the SLC 2018 Amendment is actually the one that is giving the PMPG the legal recognition which it never had before, even from the courts of law, despite so much hoo-has and rhetorics made by some quarters,” according to Idris in a statement today.

He added that it is even more undeniably cogent and clear now as it has always been that the legal recognition for PMPG is only made by the SLC 2018 Amendment through the sincere effort of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led state government .

“It is conclusive proof that GPS is sincere to the Bumiputeras especially the Dayaks in respect of giving legal cognisant (sic) to their titular ownership of their respective traditionally acquired land.

“And with that being said, I hope those who carry on denying this piece of truth, should now stop harping and (continue) bluffing the rakyat that our Land Code Amendment ‘did not confer any proprietary rights’ on the land (PMPG) concerned, as that is unjust and unethical,” noted Idris.

Idris made these remarks in response to yesterday’s Federal Court decision to dismiss the review application by NCR land claimants tuai rumah Sandah Tabau and Siew Libau’s case involving the recognition of the NCR land in Sarawak.

The long legal battle involving two tracts of land totalling nearly 18,000 ha in Kanowit-Ngemah had come to an end after four judges to one in the Putrajaya Federal Court ruled in favour of the Sarawak government, the provisional lease holder by dismissing the application yesterday (Sept 11, 2019).

One of the claimants’ lawyer Joshua Baru was reported as stating that the four judges felt that the claimants’ grounds for review were more of an appeal instead of judicial review and therefore dismissed the application.

‘Pemakai menoa’ refers to territorial domain while ‘pulau galau’ refers to communal forest reserves. — DayakDaily