Ba’Kelalan rep to continue pushing for Land Code amendment
Published: Thursday November 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday November 21, 2013 MYT 4:07:59 PM BARU BIAN (PKR-Ba’Kelalan), a leading native customary land rights (NCR) lawyer, says he will continue to push for an amendment to the Sarawak Land Code.
This is despite all of Baru’s motions dismissed at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday.
“I’ll definitely raise it again during the next sitting,” Baru told reporters, emerging from the assembly in the evening, during which five Opposition motions were rejected in 45 minutes.Baru had presented two motions to the Assembly.
In the first, he urged for an amendment to Section 2 of the Sarawak Land Code.
The motion called for the state government accept reserved forests area, or “pulau galau”, and the communal land, “pemakai menoa”, under the definition of NCR.
Presently, the state government only recognises cleared or farmed land “temuda”.
In the second motion, the lawyer urged the state government to adopt recommendations as presented by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) mid this year, also on improving native land rights.
Assembly speaker Datuk Seri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar rejected the motions based on technicalities.
He said the motions as filed by Baru could not be debated during time set aside for debates on the state Budget.
Also, Asfia noted that there were cases proceeding at the courts on native land rights.He explained matters before the courts could not be discussed in the Assembly.
“But in my opinion,” Baru insisted to reporters, “the courts at the highest level have already confirmed the definition (to include two more categories of NCR).
“I hope my colleagues in the Barisan Nasional state government will make the amendment and also accept the recommendations of Suhakam.”
With the five Opposition motions dismissed yesterday, there remains no more motions from Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives.
The other dismissed motions in the afternoon were from See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) on legislative reform, Alan Ling (DAP-Piasau) on the outsourcing of Miri City Council’s city parking system, Yap Hoi Liong (DAP-Dudong) on abolishing toll charges at Sibu’s Lanang bridge.
Like Baru, See said he would highlight the contents of his motion in debates over the next few days.
The crux of his motion was for more consultation between ministers and elected representatives.