Hornbill Unleashed

June 23, 2013

Sarawak loses appeal over NCR land decision

Joseph Tawie

The Court of Appeal’s decision has far reaching effects on more than 200 NCR land cases which are now pending hearing before the High Court.

The Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold a ruling that the pemakai menoa (territorial domain) is part of the native customary rights (NCR) land, is not only a victory of NCR land owners in Sarawak but it also strengthens the political belief and reputation of the opposition especially PKR.

The court dismissed an appeal by the Sarawak government against the earlier judgment of Justice Yew Jen Kie.

Encroachments by the state government into NCR land have always been a hot political issue in previous elections and will continue to be so in future elections.

Thus the decision of the Court of Appeal yesterday had far reaching effects on more than 200 NCR land cases which are now pending hearing before the High Court.

The land owners (plaintiffs) Tuai Rumah Sandah Anak Tabau and Tuai Rumah Lajang and 28 others were represented by Baru Bian and his lawyers from Sarawak PKR.

Bian is also the chairman of the Sarawak PKR and Ba’Kelalan state assemblyman.

Commenting on the decision, Bian said: “This decision of the Court of Appeal is a victory for the people of Sarawak who have been fighting for the recognition that their NCR lands is not limited to the temuda as the state government has been trying to claim.

“It remains to be seen whether the BN government will respect the decision of the Court of Appeal in carrying out perimeter surveys and whether they will be more respectful of the rights of the native people when issuing timber licenses etc to logging and plantation companies,” he said.

In the High Court, Sandah and Lajang had sued Kanowit Timber Company Sdn Bhd and the state government for encroaching into their NCR land, including their pemakai menoa (territorial domain) vide a timber licence issued by the state government to Kanowit Timber Company Sdn Bhd.

The company had argued that NCR should be restricted to the temuda covering an area of 2,712 hectares, which had been cleared before 1958.

However, Justice Yew ruled in favour of Sandah and Lajang, declaring that they were the rightful owners of the NCR land covering an area of 5,512 hectares, including the pemakai menoa, and that the defendants had unlawfully encroached into the plaintiffs’ land.

The High Court had declared that they have customary rights and/or native customary rights over the lands edged as shown in the map marked ‘M’ to the statement of claim.

The court also declared that the company and agents had trespassed on the land and that they be restrained from further trespassing, clearing, using or occupying Sandah and Lajang’s native customary rights land.


  1. A definite slap in the face of Mr Masing who wanted us Dayaks to settle for lest with his temuda perimeter survey joke! Let see if he has the guts to come out and congratulate these two Tuai Rumah for their bravery in fighting for the all of us Dayaks who are constantly being bullied into parting with our ancestral lands by taib,his chinese cronies and their gangsters!

    Salute to Tuai Rumah Sandang,Tuai Rumah Lajang and the 28 others who managed to take back some of our Dayak pride and respect. Our often deficult journey to reclaim back whats rightfully ours has just been restarted by your huge victory. You fought the mighty taib, his cronies and their bully boys and won!

    Comment by brian — June 24, 2013 @ 9:19 AM | Reply

    • BN Dayak MPs and ADUNs are illiterate about NCR lands.and they had been complicit in Taib’s Mahmud development of enriching himself , his family and cronies.

      Comment by Awaken Dayak — June 24, 2013 @ 12:52 PM | Reply

    • I doubt Masing has the balls to say his perception of NCR is wrong; being exclusive of Pemakai Menoa (territorial Domain). You know why? He hasn’t got the backbone to incur the wrath of his paymaster. In my opinion, he is a traitor to the Dayak cause of having our rights correctly recognised by the gov’t. The biggest traitor amongst our Dayak MPs & Ybs is Mr. Yes Minister himself …… menteri takut pengecut yg sangat megasihi Si Gergasi Antu Rua Antu Rangka.

      Comment by Bujang Rengguang — June 25, 2013 @ 11:53 PM | Reply

  2. Thank you YB Baru Bian. God blessed you. Where are the Iban lawyers?

    Comment by edward, m — June 24, 2013 @ 1:26 AM | Reply

  3. The corrupted Bn must now take heed of the highest court’s decision regarding the interpretation and defination of NCR land in carrying out the petimeter survey. Those petimeter surveys in the past which had omitted permakai menoa ( territorial domain) must be resurveyed.

    Dayak NGOs and associations together with Pakatan Rakyat must ensure the Bn government respect the decision of the highest court and remedy the situation.

    Comment by Irene Kana — June 23, 2013 @ 2:44 PM | Reply

    • perimeter surveys….

      Comment by Irene Kana — June 23, 2013 @ 2:45 PM | Reply

  4. the truth will prevail and the crook will be jailed goes the saying. The sooner the crook jailed the better.

    Comment by the Mukah Watcher — June 23, 2013 @ 7:06 AM | Reply

  5. Well, at least these judges have some back bones and integrity . They cannot be easily intimidate by $$$$ or C4 !!!!!

    Comment by gou — June 23, 2013 @ 2:44 AM | Reply


    Comment by MANINSTREET — June 23, 2013 @ 12:07 AM | Reply

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