Hornbill Unleashed

February 1, 2018

Historian must back Malay kingdoms in Sarawak claim

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

joas-sarawakJaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS) or the Indigenous Peoples’ Network of Malaysia view with great concern a statement made by a certain controversial historian, Sanib Said, in the Borneo Post under the headline “Malays seek definition of their native customary rights (NCR) land”.

In the article, Sanib claims that the Sarawak state government should “recognise the sovereignty of early Malay kingdoms involving land administration, and boundary rights of the early Malay kingdoms, not only in the coastal areas but also in the interior that includes Ulu Sarawak, Ulu Skrang, Ulu Lemanak, Ulu Layar, Belaga, Tatau, Kakus and Baram.”

This statement without any credible written historical documentation or oral evidence may create disunity and divisiveness between the Malays and the various indigenous groups in Sarawak.

JOAS does not deny that the Sarawak Malays are Orang Asal, indigenous to Sarawak and that they too have native customary rights to land as well as their fishing grounds offshore.

We welcome the fact that the Sarawak Malays are also voicing out their concerns on their territorial domain as with the other Orang Asal groups in Sarawak on the “pemakai menoa” and “pulau galau” (PMPG) issue and that their customs and practices on their territorial domain should be respected by the state government.

However, to say that the Sarawak Malays should claim their territorial domain based on the early Malay kingdoms in Sarawak without supporting historical evidence is outrageous and outright mischievous.

It is a known fact that the interior areas mentioned by Sanib are the Dayak heartlands.

There are a few Malay villagers scattered in the said areas but, each community has a defined communal boundary with each other.

Even some of these Malay villages cannot be concluded as being ethnically Malay just because they profess the religion of Islam.

Sanib should present his hypothesis on the early Malay kingdoms in Sarawak with credible historical documentation and proper archaeological studies and not try to distort history as we know it.

On another note, JOAS lauded the PMPG seminar held in Kuching recently to discuss the PMPG issue.

However, we regret that the seminar was not inclusive of all the civil society groups as was seen by the barring of one of our affiliated organisations, Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) from the event.

From the outcome of the said seminar, there was a consensus among all the participants present that the concept of PMPG does exist and it should be given the “force of law” contrary to a decision made by the Federal Court in the Sandah Anak Tabau & ors case.

It is with this regard we again urge the state government to speed up the recognition of PMPG or the territorial domain of Sarawak’s Orang Asal and rightly give it the force of law.

The longer this issue is delayed, more NCR lands would be lost.

Thomas Jalong is secretary-general of Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS).

Source : The FMT Online



1 Comment »

  1. Its laughable that this sanib fellow wants to go back into malay kingdom history which has nothing to do with the ulu areas of Sarawak.
    Even the sultanate of brunei never reached those areas and never administered a single long house there. Malay rulers or kings were never heard of in those areas!
    The fact is the so call malay kindoms or even sultanate of brunei never administrated over the whole of sarawak.
    The truth is Brunei relinquished Sawarak to the white rajah because they failed to defeat the Dayaks in their heartlands….

    Comment by Brian — February 2, 2018 @ 1:31 PM | Reply

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