S’wak to have only one definition for ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah speaks to reporters during a press conference.

KUCHING: The state government will come up with only one unified definition for ‘pemakai menoa’ (territorial domain) and ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest reserve).

Since the definition will be used for all ethnic groups in the state, ‘territorial domain’ will be used instead of ‘pemakai menoa’, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah told reporters today after the opening of the inaugural International Conference on Borneo Book Publishing & Borneo Books 2017.

“We are still working on the definition. We have some interesting proposals from various parties; many people have had meetings and submitted memorandums, so we study that,” he said.

He added that he had attended a function in Sibu earlier in which the definition of ‘pemakai menoa’ was on the agenda.

The definitions of ‘pulau galau’ and ‘pemakai menoa’ are said to be central to the conservation of Sarawak native customary rights (NCR) land and disputes over their definitions have created many conflicts.

On Dec 20 last year, the Federal Court ruled that the Dayak people cannot apply native customary rights (NCR) to claim virgin forests as their territorial domains and communal forest reserves.

This Friday, the Federal Court will deliver its judgment on TR Nyutan Jami on issues related to whether a land title can be defeated by NCR claims.