Hornbill Unleashed

July 15, 2013

SDNU wants to clear doubts over NCR land

Samuel Aubrey, reporters@theborneopost

Dayak leaders call for review on native customary rights land code, ordinance to clear confusion over sale and development of the land

Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) yesterday called for a review of all land code, laws or ordinance following a Federal Court’s ruling that native customary rights (NCR) land cannot be transferred by sale and purchase agreements.

Its vice-president Anthony Banyan said Dayak leaders should initiate such a review to address land problems which affect the community.

“The laws related to NCR must be up to date so that Dayaks can catch up with the progress of the country,” he said yesterday.

One of the salient points brought up in the ruling by Chief Judge Malanjum was that native customary rights could not be transferred by the owners of such rights to persons outside their community.

He was of the view that legally, under the new NCR land development concept, natives would not be able to enter into joint ventures with persons outside their community to develop their NCR land.

Touching on that ruling Anthony said, “The legality of all deals like joint ventures on NCR land may be affected. If that is the case, then NCR land in joint ventures and NCR development projects should now be given back to NCR land owners,” he said.

On the positive side, he said the court ruling could mean that land owners could rest assured that their ownership on NCR land are protected.

Meanwhile, Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing also concurred there should be a review saying the ruling was based on outdated perception of Dayak demographic pattern in the state.

He pointed out at present, the Dayaks are no longer confined to areas of their birth as they are working and residing all over Sarawak.

“This ruling (by Federal Court) limits them to acquire NCR land in areas of their current residence or employment. Freedom for Dayaks to make better living should not be restricted by outdated laws. However, I agree with laws that will restrict non Dayaks from purchasing NCR land to prevent sale for quick cash and render them landless,” he said.

On Thursday, the Federal Court in Putrajaya passed the ruling when Chief Justice Tun Arrifin Zakaria, Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal judges Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Embong, Tan Sri Surayadi Halim Omar and Tan Sri Hasan Lah unanimously dismissed an appeal by Bisi Janggot against the lower courts’ decision to refuse him a declaration that he acquired NCRs over several lots of land totalling 37.24 acres at Sungai Agas in Matang.

Delivering the unanimous judgment of the Court, Justice Surayadi held that under native custom, the original feller of virgin jungle who occupied the area cleared for farming had rights to the land (specificaly Temuda) which may be inherited by his heirs.

These rights may be lost by the native abandoning the area. Justice Surayadi held no NCRs so acquired over the temuda by a native may be sold to another person who does not belong to the same community.

He added that even the expert witness Nicholas Bawin, had testified that there was no native custom that allowed the sale of NCR land, but such land may be inherited or if the owner of the land moved from the longhouse, he may transfer his NCR land to relatives such as cousins who in turn would compensate him with “tungkus asi”.

It was said this custom of “tungkus asi” had been upheld in a number of decisions of the Native Court of Appeal in Sarawak.



  1. apa mau bising bising lagi…bikin kepla pusing sja la….. kmu dayak yang undi BN?….dayak yang kasi majority BN? apa mua bising bising lagi….. sendiri kasi urus lah sekarang

    Comment by Rod.. — July 16, 2013 @ 9:56 PM | Reply

  2. To us natives, selling NCR lands to people outside the community means only one thing and that is selling such lands to non-Natives which is clearly forbidden by the law. There shouldn’t be any confusion about that and James Masing and his Native YBs must have the guts to put this wrong perception and interpretation about the native community NCR lands before we natives loose it all!

    And there is no such thing as abandoned NCR lands in native adat, NCR lands belongs to the native for as long as there is a living descendant of the original feller of the virgin forest. Whether the non-natives like it or not but that’s our adat over NCR lands so take it and live with it!

    Comment by brian — July 15, 2013 @ 12:10 PM | Reply


      Have we forgotten that prior to 1963 NCR land was “inalienable”?

      Then when the Rahman/Taib gang seized power they started to privatise all of Sarawak and break down its communal system and life style with land seizures and destruction of long houses societies.

      Have Dayaks such short memories that they ave already forgotten their culture after being seduced by the new brown colonial masters’ lies about “security and prosperity” with “independence in Malaysia”?

      The Dayaks have been the first to enjoy the fruits of the new colonial “independence” by being made more poor than before and the last to enjoy any prosperity which was monopolised by the ruling elites of Taib and family timber triad tycoons dirty Dayak Datuks etc.

      Yet today we still have all these pathetic Dayak “leaders” who know the only way to help Dayaks is to hold out their hands to beg from their new colonial masters in Kuala Lumpur to give back what the stole from us Sarawakians!

      Dayaks to make any head way you must unite with all others to regain Sarawak independence so we can control our own land country and destiny!

      Comment by ANGRY DAYAK — July 15, 2013 @ 2:25 PM | Reply

    • Selling to a Dayak YB or another Dayak is also forbidden by law when he has never been part of the community where the NCR was created. So the question of non native does not arise as they cannot enter into any S & P at all with NCR landowners. Most of the times it was the Dayak politicians from BN and their cronies who were deceiving and cheating the poor and uneducated Dayaks which the community must be aware of. Who supported Taib Mahmud or the Land and Survey Department to extinguish NCR land rights if not the Dayak YBs from BN? DAP, PKR and PAS never supported such dubious policy of the Taib’s administration. The Chinese has no power to influence the thief minister to extinguish the rights of certain NCR and had rejected the corrupted regime of Umno Baru led BN at state and federal level. Who must the natives blame now if not all the corrupted Dayak YBs from BN.

      Comment by Mata Kuching — July 15, 2013 @ 5:28 PM | Reply

      • I agree Mata Kuching. Those dayak MPs and lawmakers from BN are responsible for supporting the bill to amend NCR status which was unconstitutional.The Sarawak Land Code was devised to restrict the defination and interpretation of NCR so that the corrupted regime under Taib Mahmud can award the reverted land to the state for re-alienation to their own cronies.

        Comment by Augustine William — July 15, 2013 @ 9:04 PM | Reply

      • “The Chinese has no power to influence the thief minister to extinguish the rights of certain NCR…..” But they helped drafted the new land code which favours them and the land grabbers!

        Comment by brian — July 16, 2013 @ 9:06 AM | Reply

        • Who are the Chinese? Name them if you have the proof and there are several hundred thousand Chinese in Sarawak. Do you know that not a single timber concession was given to a Chinese even if he is a crony of Taib Mahmud? These Chinese cronies of Taib Mahmud were merely logging contractors and did not own any concession. The few crooked and corrupted Chinese cronies of Taib Mahmud do not represent the Chinese population in Sarawak and you sound like a born loser when it was the corrupted Dayak politicians who had been deceiving and cheating your own community and your finger is only trained at the Chinese..

          Comment by Richard Lee — July 16, 2013 @ 5:57 PM | Reply

          • Siapa makan chili,dia rasa pedas! Do you know who bashed the old poor iban man just a few month ago while he was waiting for his son at the school because of land dispute.? Do you know who was shot by the ibans in Batu niah a few years back because of land dispute. Do you know who pukul the father and son just last year because of land dispute.

            Comment by brian — July 17, 2013 @ 8:52 AM

          • Shallow mind, Were not these incidents happened as a result of disputes about NCR lands between Dayak land owners and Chinese who encroached into lands that does not belongs to them?

            And who are the born losers? People who came here to get away from their ” success” in a far away country in leaky boats long ago or aren’t they just lucky that they ended up here in Sarawak?

            Comment by brian — July 19, 2013 @ 12:23 PM

      • Question: Is Taib Dayak or Malay? Is he entitled to grab NCR land?

        Comment by ANGRY DAYAK — July 16, 2013 @ 10:52 AM | Reply

        • He has grouped and termed himself as Malay/Melanau. If someone takes what does not belongs to him, that’s grabbing no matter who he is, Dayak or non Dayak and he has no right to do so.

          Comment by brian — July 16, 2013 @ 4:17 PM | Reply

          • Gangsters can be from any community and ethnicity. If an Indian gangster was hired to whack a Dayak landowner over land dispute does that mean it was the Indians who grabbed and bully the dayaks? If some gangsters who happen to be Chinese and any race were shot by Dayak landowners in the longhouse it is a good lesson for these gangsters.

            Comment by Shallow Mind — July 18, 2013 @ 7:33 AM

  3. Educated Dayaks like Dr. James could not answer a rather basic issue. NCR land could not be sold to a non-native – this is the core of the matter. I would like the highly touted lawyer – Baru Bian to head whatever panel to decide/develop/determine issues on NCR. Dr. James is already a Tan Sri who is extremely big and distanced on issues affecting rural folks. Baru Bian the up coming CM should head issues affecting the underprivileged, powerless and defenceless. What have the Tan Sris (Taib, Jabu, Adenan, James, William, Linggi and George Chan) done to develop natives/asli/asal/bumiputeras).

    Comment by i knowit all — July 15, 2013 @ 11:12 AM | Reply

    A system opposite of UMNO de-meritocracy & dumb and dumber system.

    Comment by MANINSTREET — July 15, 2013 @ 10:49 AM | Reply

  5. NCR land need to solve…

    Comment by rianahmunap — July 15, 2013 @ 9:57 AM | Reply

  6. Educated Dayak leaders must not fool themselves and their community that the many JV development with NCR owners were legally and truly an equitable JV. In many instances certain unscrupulous YBs from BN had actually deceived the NCR landowners into entering an illegal sale and purchase agreement by acquiring 60% to 70% of the NCR land, leaving about 30% to the owners for JV.. Such illegal agreement must be rescinded through the court.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — July 15, 2013 @ 9:00 AM | Reply

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