Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing has assured the Dayak community that he can convey their desire for the Sarawak Land Code to be amended to include their claim on customary land directly to the chief minister.
He also pledged to do so at the next state cabinet meeting, and expressed confidence that Tan Sri Adenan Satem will be responsive to the native customary rights (NCR) matter.
“There is no need for Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) to submit a memorandum to the chief minister because I am part of the government,” the party president said today.
Speaking to reporters after handing over the state government financial assistance to 22 NGOs and churches, he said there must be limitation to any claim over “pemakai menoa” in term of size.
“Pemakai menoa” refers to a virgin forest where the Dayaks in rural longhouses forage for food and other forest products.
Masing, however, said that there is no need to define temuda (cultivated land) and pulau galau (communal forest reserve) because they are already recognised as native customary rights land.
On December 20, the Federal Court ruled that the Dayak people cannot apply their NCR on land to claim virgin forests as their territorial domains and communal forest reserves.
In a 3-1 majority decision, the apex court allowed an appeal by the Forest Department and the state government in a case filed by headman Sandah anak Tabau and other seven other NCR landowners over an area in Ulu Machan, Kanowit.
Source : @ The Malay Mail Online