KUCHING: The decision of the Federal Court to dismiss the review appeal by Iban communities from two villages in Sarawak is purely academic in nature.

Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali (pic) opined that the decision to dismiss the review was of no consequence to Sarawak.

Sharifah Hasidah

“The Sarawak government has amended the Sarawak Land Code to give Native Territorial Domain (NTD) a force of law,” she told New Sarawak Tribune.

“The Sarawak Land Code was ended in August last year and through the amendment, Pemakai Menua and Pulau Galau customs are now legally called Native Territorial Domain.”

Sharifah Hasidah pointed out that once land is claimed with evidence, a communal title in perpetuity will be issued under the amended law.

“It will be held under the community, not individual and this is to protect the rights of the natives. The term ‘Native Territorial Domain’ is used to include all natives.”

Sharifah Hasidah, who is a lawyer by profession stated that such is the law at present.

“No other place in the world recognises native rights towards their land so fully as our new amended Land Code,” she asserted.