Hornbill Unleashed

July 14, 2013

Masing unsure of ruling on NCR land sale

Peter Sibon, reporters@theborneopost

Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing is not aware of any law in the state which forbids Native Customary Rights (NCR) land to be transferred to anyone outside the family or community of the owners.

He said this when asked to comment on the Federal Court’s dismissal of an appeal by Bisi Jinggot against the lower courts’ decisions to refuse him a declaration that he had acquired NCRs over several lots of land totalling 37.24 acres at Sungai Agas in Matang.

“That part of the law I am not aware of,” Masing told the Borneo Post yesterday. However, Masing lauded the decision by the Federal Court saying that natives should instead develop their NCR land themselves and not try to get a fast buck out of it.

“The judgment made by the Federal Court is very good for the native communities in Sarawak. We must welcome such a move,” added Masing.

In the appeal, Bisi, originally from Julau, had alleged that he entered into eight sale and purchase agreements with a number of Ibans to purchase the land and paid them the purchase monies. He claimed that the vendors had prior to 1958 created NCR over the land.

The respondents named in the suit were the superintendent of Land & Surveys Kuching, state government of Sarawak, Scouts Commissioner for Sarawak and Lembaga Kebajikan Darul Falah which is now the registered owner of part of the land.

The land in dispute was used as the site for scouts jamborees, and for the filming of the Hollywood movie ‘Farewell to the King’.

The Federal Court ruled that since Bisi’s acquisition of the land was neither in accordance with native (Iban) customs nor in a manner provided in the Land Code the transaction was unlawful.



  1. Of course James Masing, Alfred Jabu, William Mawan and all BN Dayak lawmakers are “blur blur” about NCR law because they wanted to bully the ignorant and poor natives in the rural constituencies to enrich themselves through dubious land deals.Why must NCR land be reviewed and for whose benefits if not the so called educated Dayaks and politicians from BN?

    Comment by Mata Kuching — July 15, 2013 @ 6:02 PM | Reply

  2. Tan Sri Dr. James – a name with such a heroic honorific may puzzle you not with his wits but vague and unconvincing statements. I had the chance of witnessing him live in tv; a pale and lacklustre speaker. With a Tan Sri to his name, he might find difficulty explaining simple things …….

    Comment by i knowit all — July 15, 2013 @ 5:29 PM | Reply

  3. How can he say that he is not aware of such law. He has been advocating the development of native NCR lands with non-natives and he should have probed further into the ramifications of such JVs before pushing the natives into accepting such JVs.

    He cannot claim ignorance. He should have consulted the law experts on NCR lands and exhausted all means to understand and be well verse in the interpretation of the law regarding NCR lands. He is a minister whom we natives look up to, to protect our lands ,to uphold our adat, customs and so forth.

    Please, Tan Sri Masing do not let us native down again!

    Comment by brian — July 15, 2013 @ 12:45 PM | Reply

  4. How could an Iban minister and someone in charge of land development be so ignorant of Dayak culture and land system or NCR law?

    Comment by Awaken Dayak — July 14, 2013 @ 6:38 PM | Reply

    • Minister of land development is a misnomer – lands under Pehin Taib, SALCRA under Jabu, FELCRA, FELDA, RISDA under Shafie Apdal. Can u tell me which statutory body is under Dr. James Jemut?

      Comment by robinhood — July 15, 2013 @ 9:32 PM | Reply

      • PELITA

        Comment by Iban Niah — July 22, 2013 @ 12:06 PM | Reply

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