Hornbill Unleashed

January 6, 2017

Baru: Land code amendment only way forward on Adat

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Baru-BianLawyer Baru Bian does not see a review of the Dec 20 Federal Court ruling on Adat, in the case of “pemakai menoa” (territorial domain) and “pulau galau” (communal forest), as an option.

“We cannot pin our hopes on a favourable decision,” he said. “It’s not a guaranteed outcome.”

Again, he does not see Chief Minister Adenan Satem meeting with Dayak leaders on the Dec 20 ruling as an option.

“There’s no question of a negotiated recognition, a partial recognition, or conditional recognition,” said Baru in a statement in sematongexpress, a blog.

The only solution, said the Sarawak opposition leader, was for the state assembly to amend the Land Code.

“These rights must be recognised by the Land Code,” he said. “Nothing short of this is acceptable.”

Baru was commenting on a statement by Douglas Uggah Embas, a deputy chief minister, on a scheduled meeting between Adenan and Dayak leaders on the Dec 20 ruling.

“It’s just a feeble attempt to pacify the Dayak,” he said. “It offers nothing concrete.”

He feels the Sarawak government is trying to dodge the issue after realising the consequences of its complacency and negligence.

“There’s really nothing for Adenan to discuss with native communities,” he said. “Pemakai menoa and pulau galau are recognised as rightful lands by custom and Adat.”

The Federal Court ruled on Dec 20 that Adat, customary law, has no force of law on “pemakai menoa” and “pulau galau”, two native customary rights (NCR) land categories. The Federal Court ruled the two types of land were incidental – just custom – to “temuda” (cultivated land).

In short, Adat has force of law only on “temuda”.

Baru recalled that he did try to avoid the post-Dec 20 situation by submitting a motion and a Private Member’s Bill.

“They made it very clear why the Sarawak Land Code needed to be amended,” he said. “They set out the amendments.”

He also met twice with Adenan on the proposed amendments. Baru conceded the chief minister showed a “willingness to listen” and “find amicable and reasonable solutions”.

Baru said he explained the legal issues to Adenan and gave him a bundle of case law on the subject matter, emphasising that it concerned all native communities.

That was a long time ago, said Baru. “The chief minister did not do anything.”

Baru believes the chief minister doing nothing shows the state government did not want to acknowledge native rights on “pemakai menoa” and “pulau galau”.

Source : @ FMT Online


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