KUCHING, Jan 24: Comprehensive amendments will be made to Sarawak Land Code (Cap 81), native ‘adat’ and other subsidiary legislations, assured Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Speaking at the opening of the Pemakai Menoa and Pulau Galau conference today, Uggah admitted that a recent Federal Court’s ruling has caused much anxiety and dissatisfaction among the natives, and hence the state government is committed to finding a political solution to resolve the case holistically and amicably.
He said a series of meetings and consultations with all interested parties such as community leaders, indigenous politicians irrespective of political inclination, legal practitioners and various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were held recently.
Native Customary Rights (NCR) affects all native communities, including the Malays and Melanau besides the Dayaks.
“The conference today aims at finding various concepts, ‘adat’, and practice on creation, acquisition and occupation (of pemakai menoa) among the different native groups. We search to verify and endorse the Majlis Adat Istiadat research and findings on pemakai menoa.
“We want to consolidate the various native practices and ‘adat’ that would be useful for the government to find legal and political solutions to all issues relating to it,” Uggah said.
It is also the hope of the state government to clear and erase all doubts and perceptions among the native communities that the government is not sensitive to the needs and native rights over NCR land, especially the allegation of “perintah merampas tanah rakyat” (state government seizing the people’s land) .
Among the other amendments to be considered are those pertaining to other related laws such as the Native Customs (Declarations) Ordinance 1996, the Native Courts Ordinance 1992, the Interpretation Ordinance 2005 and the codified Natives’ Adat. — DayakDaily