Monday, February 13, 2012

NCR Land:The AG Is Right, Stupid!

Hantu Laut

A Sabahan, a federal minister, either he does not know the law, pretended not to know the law, or intentionally telling a lie to his people.Politicians playing to the gallery are nothing new, tools of the trade.


"The natives have been here well before laws were made… It’s only when the British came here were laws made, but tribal communities have thrived pre-independence, pre-colonial days, they have thrived and developed the system of culture themselves, the Penampang member of parliament said.

“So this includes ownership of properties, of land, they developed it and for you to say there has to be a cut-off point for this is not correct because all the native laws and customs pre-date laws made by legislature,” Dompok told reporters after witnessing the presentation of printed KadazanDusun language calendars to SK Putaton here yesterday and when asked to comment on Roderic’s statement which many Sabahan leaders disagreed with the state AG." ...Unquote

Read more here.

Obviously, this leader of the Kadazan people want this state to live by the law of the jungle and trying to usurp the law of the land.Natives customary rights (NCR) are well covered in the Sabah Land Ordinance which the Honourable Minister did not bother to familiarise himself with before he concludes that the State AG was wrong.

The AG was right that after 1930 no state land can be considered as NCR land unless the complainant comply with the requirements under the Sabah Land Ordinance of which the relevant sections are shown below

13. Enquiry as to native rights.

Upon the receipt of any application for unalienated country land it shall be the duty of
the Collector to publish a notice calling upon any claimant to native customary rights in
such land who is not yet in possession of a registered documentary title to make or send
in a statement of his claim within a date to be specified in the notice. If no claim is
made the land shall be dealt with as if no such rights existed.

14. Collector to decide claims.

Claims to native customary rights shall be taken down in writing by the headman or by
the Collector, and shall be decided by the Collector.

15. Definition of customary rights.

Native customary rights shall be held to be -
(a) land possessed by customary tenure;
(b) land planted with fruit trees, when the number of fruit trees amounts to fifty and
upwards to each hectare;
(c) isolated fruit trees, and sago, rotan, or other plants of economic value, that the
claimant can prove to the satisfaction of the Collector were planted or upkept and regularly
enjoyed by him as his personal property;
(d) grazing land that the claimant agrees to keep stocked with a sufficient number of
cattle or horses to keep down the undergrowth;
(e) land that has been cultivated or built on within three years;
(f) burial grounds or shrines;
(g) usual rights of way for men or animals from rivers, roads, or houses to any or all of
the above.

16. Procedure when rights established.

(1) Native customary rights established under section 15 shall be dealt with either by
money compensation or by a grant of the land to the claimant and in the latter case a title
shall be issued under Part IV
(2) Where the Collector decides that native customary rights established under section 15
shall be dealt with by money compensation, the affected land together with all buildings,
erection and crops thereon shall vest in the Government free from all encumbrances and shall be deemed to have been surrendered by the lawful claimant thereof upon such decision
being made.

Every country must have established laws that organise, regulate and bring order to society. No modern nation can live on archaic laws.If one is to go by Bernard Dompok's argument that these archaic and unwritten native law must be preserved than he should also consider bringing back head-hunting to Sabah and Sarawak, a tradition that these groups of natives used to practised in the past.

, another ignorant journalist, if you can call this type of writing journalism, or just another highly embellished political tub-thumping to hoodwink the people, typical of many Malaysian so-called journalists, never do research or check the facts before embarking on their journey of political brickbats, serving their paymasters blindly.They should just called themselves reporters who report verbatim.

It reminds me of the reporter who think
ultra vires as something insulting the dignity of the sultan that got Karpal Singh into trouble.The writer also tried to impress his readers that he is a man of letters as to quote something completely irrelevant to the subject matter as William the Conqueror proclaiming all of England as crown land, lest he forgets that Sabah and Sarawak were also known as crown land under British colonial rules.

His glossing over Article 153 of the Federal Constitution is completely irrelevant and has nothing to do with the land laws of Sabah and Sarawak which is different from the Land Laws of Peninsula Malaysia.

Sabah and Sarawak have their own Land Ordinance which supersede any Federal Land Ordinance.Lands are state controlled and Article 153 has no jurisdiction over land matters in both states.Article 153 is more on education,civil service, businesses, etc, encompassing the NEP (affirmative action for the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak)

NCR laws are not carved in stone as asserted by the minister to be in perpetuity from time immemorial.

Compliance of the law is the rule of the game and paramount to establishing whether the claimants have customary right over the land.There is no such nonsense as blanket cover of customary rights over lands in both Sabah and Sarawak as what the minister is trying to impress his supporters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And another Sabahan Federal Minister said that if the AG were right, they, the BN people reps would make sure that the law is amended. Gosh.. how stupid and emotional this man is! Does it mean that you can just change the law at your whims and fancies? Then what is the purpose of having laws in the first place?

Thanks for an excellent article, hope many Sabahans read it.