Edward Andrew Luak believes the upcoming meeting between Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and Dayak community leaders on the customs of ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’ provides a ray of hope for the Dayak community.
“It is hoped that the Chief Minister would include all Dayak leaders who are knowledgeable in the Sarawak natives’ ‘adat’ irrespective of political affiliation. They should include lawyers who are expert on the issue, former Residents and District officers who used to handle native land matters and community leaders well versed on native land ‘adat’,” he said in a statement yesterday.
It was reported recently that the Chief Minister would hold a meeting with Dayak community leaders, although no date has been fixed yet.
Edward, himself a former administrative officer in the state’s civil service, opined that all is not lost for the Dayak community despite a ruling made by the Federal Court on Dec 19 last year that both ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’ had no force of law in Sarawak.
“There is hope, this time through a ‘Judicial Review’. If that is not an option, an amendment to the Land Code by the State Legislative Assembly could be taken into account. The Sarawak Land Code is a state law.
“Is there a merit in a ‘Judicial Review’? There are around 200 cases involving the natives versus the Sarawak Government, most if not all due to the issuance of Provisional Leases (PL),” he said.
He recalled during his time in the state administrative service, a friend who happened to be a community leader and a shareholder of a plantation company, related to him about their trip to their plantation land, at that time still issued under a PL.
“It happened to be in a Bidayuh territory. He told me that he was shocked to see that there were some villages and houses of worship within the plantation area. I learnt that the PL showed the roads, rivers and ridges as its boundary. Apparently there was no effort made by the authorities to conduct a proper survey before approving the PL,” he said.
It was reported that NCR lawyer Baru Bian would be filing for a judicial review on the Federal Court’s majority decision before another panel of Federal Court judges.
Baru, believed he had good ground to request for a review of the decision as there were many things that were not right with the decision of the apex court.
Source : @ The Borneo Post Online