Friday, February 3

Call to set up Native Land Tribunal

My colleagues and I welcome the suggestion by Tan Sri Richard Malanjum that a Native Land Tribunal be set up in Sabah and we call for the same to be set up in Sarawak. The statements made by Tan Sri Richard at the Symposium on Sabah Native Land Rights at Universiti Malaysia Sabah fortify the views expressed by us in our Media Release dated 16 January 2012 in which we expressed our support for the call by the Bar Council for a specialized Indigenous People’s Court to be established.

Whether it is called the Indigenous People’s Court or the Native Land Tribunal, the important thing is that this forum should provide an appropriate process to investigate land claims brought by the natives of the land. As pointed out by Tan Sri Richard, there are certain limitations to having such cases heard in Civil courts, such as the requirement of strict compliance with the Evidence Act, unfamiliarity of judges with native adat and culture, and lack of judges.

This proposed Tribunal or Court should comprise of qualified individuals preferably standing on par with High Court judges. Of utmost importance is that they must be well-versed in the adat, customs and culture of the people. They must be given the power to hear cases which involve non-natives, unlike the current Native Court which does not have such power. Their remedial power must be equivalent to the High Court’s to grant injunctions and unlimited award and damages, which again is restricted in the current Native Court.

The composition, ambit and procedure of the proposed Native Tribunal or Indigenous People’s Court are open for debate and discussion. What is clear is that there is a pressing need for this specialized tribunal or court given the recent calls by various parties for its establishment. It is our hope that the Chief Justice will heed the calls and initiate steps to carry out the proposal.

PKR Sarawak

State Assemblyman
N 70 Ba’ kelalan


Apai irau said...

It is better to set up the Tribunal now.Hundreds of NCR cases against the government(including Provisional Lease holders) are pending in courts and at the same time the government continuously taking away NCR land.It would be useless to have one when the land are all taken away.Nevertheless,knowing how Taib and his accomplices in the person of Jabu,Mawan,Manyin and the Land Minister Masing,i am sceptical if the formation of the tribunal could go through,not at least until Taib go.

Anonymous said...

If the Tribunal is set up by BN Government it would comprised of Penghulu, Temenggong and Pemancha and Ketua Kaum. All these are subservient to government of the day. Any Tribunal made of these peoples will be fighting against the natives who want to protect their lands. To these people their allowances and BN promises are enough for them to survive throughout posterity, until kingdom come!.
I, while agreeing there is a need to handle this issue of native lands, prefer any such Body to be set up be manned by "qualified" people. These "qualified" people must not have from the Civil Service, and the powers of such Body must so much that its decisions be questioned in court in point of law, and not on evidences of "origin of native rights".
However it must be realized that as long as PBB and CM Taib helmed the State Government of Sarawak, I think we can forget this. It is a dream but which even late Martin Luther King Jr. would not have made it a part of his "dream". I say this be'cos at every election rural voters who matter very much when NCR land is involved are easily bought with cheap and simple BN promises. Thus BN got elected at every election.

Land is under State control. So even if Pekatan Rakyat won the Federal Government after GE13 but with PBB/BN still is government of Sarawak, there is nothing that the Federal Government under PR would do to resolve this as well.

The problem of NCR lands is carried over from the Rajah, British Colony and until the present time when it has become easier for exploitation by BN Government, only paying lip service to it otherwise. And it benefits PBB/BN in the long term to maintain status quo.
The so-call perimeter survey exercise conducted utilizing fund from Federal Government, which is considered a failure, is another example of such "exploitation" of the peoples' NCR land woes. So I say: no, any Tribunal will not work, not yet.

Anonymous said...

LAWMEN....What takes you so long to come with such a move? Extensive damage has been done and YOU all realised it, but didn't even bother to fight for our rights.

FairviewBetong said...

Is the NLT necessary??????

The present able Sarawak State government is a venue accommodative enough to handle not only major problems but also the tiny winny little issue such as NCR land matters.

One must remember that the whole purpose is to develop idle (NCR Land) areas for good returns where landowners also benefits.

It is a good well researched programme initiated on a purpose to uplift the economic income of the landowners who are majority dayak.

Thus far, i could not recall ever came across any report by the relevant authorities that Senior politicians (Ministers & their cronnies) been given the (NCR) land and in turn sold it off to developers for immediate profit.

That being the case, i am of the view that YB Baru and PKR may find it better to discuss the (land) matters with YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Alfred Jabu, Tan Sri James Masing and Tan Sri William Mawan before embarking on the formation of the NLT.

As far as i am concerned, the three Tan Sri are a native Iban who are sypmathetic towards dayak cause, Clean from state rewards especially NCR land, of high moral values and other perfect criteria a person can find in the true leadership of a dayak community leader.

On the other hand, i find YB Baru a man at par with the three Tan Sri. With their high professionalism, i beleive and hope the two divides can amicably discuss and handle the land matters without having to go through the NLT or the court of law.

Nan ke adat ke bebasa ke ketuai bansa kitai.

Dayak Mansang dalam kitai betuai ke Tan Sri kitai.