Hornbill Unleashed

November 13, 2014

‘Restrict transaction of NCR land to 500 acres’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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> Joseph Tawie

Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How has warned the state government not to turn the natives of Sarawak from being custodians of their ancestral land into commodity traders.

“But they are custodians of not just the present generations’ rights but countless generations yet to come,” he said when debating the Land Code (Amendment) Bill 2014 yesterday.

The Bill was introduced by Deputy Chief Minister and Rural Development Minister Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang.

See who is Sarawak DAP vice-chairperson, reminded the state assembly of the various judicious decisions on native customary rights (NCR) land.

“I am obliged to urge this august House to put safeguard in the proposed amendment to section 5 and 5A against the ‘commodifying of NCR lands’ by the passing of this amendment bill.

“Indeed, to many natives and even the non-natives, lands are more than dollars and cents. Besides allowing transactions over NCR lands, there are certainly more ways to enable the NCR landowners to ‘profit’ for their lands,” he said.

See (left) who is also an NCR land lawyer, said that he must put on record the decisions of the Apex Court of which this amendment must comply due to the nature of native customary rights in lands.

“The Federal Court has reminded us in details how the earlier ancestors had never thought of NCR lands as mere commodities but instead, how lands carry significant history, customs, spiritual well-being, self-sufficiency and security,” he said.

See said that what the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjun had said was that “NCL (native customary land) was and is intended for the upkeep and survival of the inhabitants of each longhouse community. There is no element of commercial enterprise involved”.

He also quoted the decision of Justice David Wong that the “natives are the original inhabitants of the country and to treat claims for NCR by looking at it only from the point of ownership of the lands by the natives is not entirely correct. These claims should be looked at with the concept that the natives are part of the land as are the trees, mountains, hills, animals, fishes and rivers”.

“We must therefore bear these judicious decisions, founded on customary practice and beliefs, in my mind in this present amendment, that transfer for valuable considerations must be for a fixed term and be reverted to the original landowners upon the expiry of the terms of the transaction which should be 60 years,” See said.

Debating on the same bill, the Ba’Kelalan assemblyperson Baru Bian proposed to the government to restrict the acreage of NCR lands to be transferred under the proposed amendment to section 5(2) of the Land code to 500 acres.

“This restriction of 500 acres is to safeguard against abuse,” said Baru, who is Sarawak PKR chief.

He said that besides restricting the acreage to one transaction, the transaction must be registered at the district office which has jurisdiction over the land and the village chief should be notified.

Baru said that if his suggestion was not possible to be incorporated  in this Bill, he proposed that the same could be laid down as rules made under section 213 of the Land Code in particular subsection (1)(e).


  1. What the fuk? 500 acres times 100 individual transactions will equal 50,000 acres and the numbers individual sales will only multiple when the natives were deceived or lured.

    Comment by Mat Som — November 14, 2014 @ 9:18 PM | Reply

  2. What NCR lands are we talking about? The natives ncr lands claims which are recognized by the courts are not being recognized, are challenged, are disputed and rejected by pbb,taib,cm, jabu and their Chinese tycoons. The state is just about to give these mega rich tycoons the whole of rural Sarawak when they approved their 60 years timber concessions license come 2017. Their will not be any Natives claims to our Pulau Galau, Pemakai menua and so on because right now all these are under their control and already logged. They are not going to give these lands back to us natives, so what are our Dayaks elected representatives doing about that? Remember the forestry dept and stidc are controlled by non dayaks so they can do whatever they want and these is one of them.

    Comment by brian — November 13, 2014 @ 10:50 AM | Reply

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