The newly appointed committee of IGMS after the annual general meeting at Tun Openg Library.

KUCHING: The Sarawak Malay Graduates Association (IGMS) has urged the state government to come up with several initiatives to constitutionalise the Sarawak Malay Native Customary Rights based on cultural heritage and history of customs.

Its president Prof Datuk Sanib Said said this is vital to ensure Sarawak can achieve sustainable growth along with fair and equitable distribution of customary rights across ethnicities.

“We urge the state government to reactivate the Sarawak Malay Customs and Tradition Board (Lembaga Adat Istiadat Melayu Sarawak) as stipulated in the State Islamic Council Ordinance, so that it can be implemented as soon as possible,” he said during the IGMS Annual General Meeting at Tun Openg Library, Satok here last Saturday (Oct 17).

He suggested that forming a task force team would expedite the process of implementation.

“The Sarawak Malay Native Customary Rights task force must hold a meeting immediately upon formation because the (earlier) task force that was set up by the Sarawak government had a discussion about amending the native land code to include Malay community,” he stressed.

He further said that he had no option but to voice out the long overdue issue and admitted that the Malays had been waiting too long to see the outcome.

“The Sarawak Malay itself comprises different customs. This effort is vital because we must recognise the sovereignty of early Malay kingdoms involving land administration.

“The Adat Istiadat Melayu Sarawak Council will perform the duty of documenting and researching Malay customary rights, advising the Sarawak government on legislation and cultural heritage of Sarawak Malays for publication and as reference, and that the state government must recognise the Sarawak Malay rights that have been published and acknowledged as one of the legislation sources in the state,” he added.

The amendment, he added, must consider the history of the ancient Malay kingdom, based on oral and written literacy.