PKR Baram chief Roland Engan has called for a holistic reformation in Sarawak, that includes incorporation of all customs of Sarawakians, especially those affecting NCR land, into the present legislations instead of just appointing a Dayak as state attorney-general.
The Kenyah lawyer was responding to the call by lawyer Abun Sui Anyit for a Dayak to be appointed as Sarawak attorney-general (AG) in a paper presented at the NCR Forum in the state capital last weekend.
“What Sarawak needs now is holistic reformation, that is law reform, political reform, economic reform, social reform etc,” he said yesterday.
Abun claimed that only a Dayak would be able to understand the culture of the natives – their Adat (customary law), customs and traditions, especially in relation to the recent Federal Court ruling that the native custom of ‘pemakai menoa’(territorial domain) and ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest) has no force of law.
In a three-to-one decision, the apex court allowed the appeal by the state government and set aside the orders of the Court of Appeal and High Court that recognised native customary rights (NCR) over ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’.
Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Shariff who led the three-member panel hearing the appeal explained that although the common law recognised the unregistered native customs, the state statutes and orders or proclamation made by the Rajahs and subsequently by the legislature of Sarawak did not appear to have recognised the custom or ‘adat’ of ‘pemakai menoa’ and ‘pulau galau’.
“The present government must have a political will to reform everything under its jurisdiction so as to ensure a just and harmonious multi-racial and multi-religious society in Sarawak,” Roland said.
He pointed out there was no issue of pemakai menoa and pulau galau not practised or are an integral part of Dayak Adat as the main issue is whether they have the force of law.
It was argued that they have no force of law because they have not been included as part of NCR under the present Sarawak Land Code.
Roland stood as PKR candidate in the 13th General Election in Baram in 2012 and the last state election in Telang Usan but narrowly lost on both occasions against BN candidates who won with wafer-thin majority.
Source : @ The Borneo Post Online