Tuesday, May 6, 2014

BARU BIAN'S PRIVATE MEMBER'S BILL TO AMEND THE SARAWAK LAND CODE


LAND CODE  (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE, 2014


A BILL


An Ordinance to amend the Land Code [Cap. 81 (1958 Ed.)]



Enacted by the Legislature of Sarawak -


Short title and commencement


1.- (1)  This   Ordinance   may   be   cited   as  the   Land   Code   (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014.

(2)      This Ordinance shall come into force on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint, and the Minister may appoint different dates for the coming into force of different provisions of this Ordinance.


Amendment of section 2


2.         Section 2 of the Land Code [Cap. 81 (1958 Ed.)] (in this Ordinance referred to as "the Code") is amended -


(a)       by adding immediately  after subsection (a) of the definition of "Native
Customary Land" the following new subsection (aa)"


"(aa)  such  definitions  under  subsection  (a)  shall  include cleared/farmed land (temuda or its equivalent), reserved forests area (pulau galau/pulau or its equivalent) and communal land/territorial domain (pemakai menua or its equivalent);

(b)        by adding immediately after the definition of "Native Customary Land" the following new definition:

" "native rights" means rights described in section 7A(l ), created by or belonging to a native over land not issued with a document of title;"

Amendment of Section  5


3.         Section 5 of the Code is amended-


(a)       by adding  immediately  after  the word "Minister"  in the  last line of subsection (a) the words", after free, prior and informed consultation have been obtained from any person whose Native Customary Rights over such land are affected,"


New Section 7A


4.         The Code is amended by adding immediately after section 7 the following new section 7A:

"Transfer, etc., of native customary rights over land


7A. - (1) The following  are rights  belonging  to a native over any land  in respect of which no document of title has been issued-

(a)       rights lawfully created pursuant to section 5(1) or (2);


(b)       rights and privileges over any land declared as a Native
Communal Reserve under section 6(1);


(c)        rights within a Kampung Reserve;


(d)       native customary land as defined under section 2 under the definition of Native Customary Land subsection (aa)


(2) Any rights described in subsection (1) may be transferred or transmitted to, or inherited or acquired by, any native.


(3) The transfer, transmission, inheritance or acquisition of native rights over  land  under  subsection  (1)  shall  be  in  accordance  with  the system  of personal law applicable to the community to which the native belongs and shall be regulated by rules made under section 213.




EXPLANATORY  STATEMENT

The Objective of this Bill is principally to amend certain provisions of the Land Code [Cap. 81 (1958
Ed.)] ("the Code") to-

a) spell out more clearly the definitions  of "Native  Customary  Land" which has been affirmed in the
High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court in the numerous cases listed below:-

1. Madeli Salleh v Superintendent of Lands & Surveys & Anor [2005] 3 CU  697 (CA);

2. Superintedent  of Land & Surveys, Miri Division & Anor v. Madeli Bin Salleh [2007] 6 CLJ
509 (FC);

3. Luking Uding & Ors v Superintendent of Lands and Surveys Kota Samarahan Division  &
Ors [2011] 7 CU  342;

4. TR Gayan & 3 Ors v Vita Hill Sdn Bhd, High Court Sibu Suit No. 21-4-2009;

5. Usang ak Labit & 3 Ors v Rosebay Enterprises  Sdn Bhd & 2 Ors High Court Sibu Suit No.
21-1-2010;

6. TR Sandah ak Tabau & 7 Ors v Kanowit Timber Sdn. Bhd. & 2 Ors High Court Sibu Suit
No. 21-2-2009;

7. Numpang ak Suntai & 13 Ors v Quality Concrete Holdings Berhad & 6 Ors High Court
Kuching Suit No. 22-218-2010-II;

8. TR Nyutan ak Jami & 2 Ors v LCDA & 2 Ors High Court Kuching Suit No. 22-249-98- III(I);

9. Jubang ak Punjab & 3 Ors v First Binary Sdn Bhd & 3 Ors High Court Kuching Suit No.
221-10-2007-1;

10. Director of Forest & Another vs TR Sandah ak Tabau & Ors, Civil Appeal No. Q-01-463-
11;

II . Superintendent  of Lands and Surveys & Anor v Usang ak Labit & 3 Ors Civil Appeal No. Q-01-138-03/2012 (CA)

b) Amendment to section  5 will ensure  that extinguishment of native customary rights  to land is in adherence to the international  requirement embodied  in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous People that native customary rights to land cannot be extinguished in whatsoever manner without free, prior and informed consultation  with those whose native customary rights are affected and adequate compensation to those affected;

c) Furthermore, the amendment to section 5 will adopt the recommendation  of the Human Rights Commission 's (SUHAKAM) Report of the Land Rights  of Indigenous Peoples released  on the 5th of August 2013.

c) The Federal  Court's decision  in Bisi ak Jinggot v Superintendent of Lands & Surveys, Kuching Division  [2013] 5 MLJ 149  has had an adverse  impact  on the practice  of the natives pertaining  to transfer,  transmission, inheritance or acquisition  of native rights over land to other natives.  Therefore, the new  section  7A  is to  ensure  that  the Code  is  up to date  on  the practice  pertaining  to transfer, transmission, inheritance or acquisition of native rights over land to other natives.

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