KUCHING: In its form, substance and in all practicality, the Sarawak Land Code (SLC) Amendment 2018 gives the ‘Pemakai Menoa’ and ‘Pulau Galau’ (PMPG) legal recognition which it never had before despite so much “hoo-ha and rhetoric in some quarters”, remarked Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Information Chief Datuk Idris Buang (pic).

Idris Buang

“The Federal Court’s decision (Wednesday, September 11) not to allow the application of the claimants to review a previous Federal Court judgment on their case historically and effectually puts the legal position of the status of PMPG traditional land, if any, as merely usufructuary only and not proprietary in nature,” he said.

“The previous Federal Court judgment which remains the status quo now, however, is purely academic as it is automatically subsumed by the force of statute in the form of the already functional SLC Amendment 2018, in particular Section 6 and 6A, which for all intents and purposes gives legal recognition to PMPG land with indefeasible proprietary title.”

The Muara Tuang assemblyman pointed out that it is even more undeniably cogent and clear now that the legal recognition of PMPG is only made by the SLC Amendment 2018 through the sincere effort of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state

He felt that this is conclusive proof that GPS is sincere towards the bumiputeras, especially the Dayaks, in respect of giving legal recognition to their titular ownership of their respective traditionally acquired land.

“With that being said, I hope those who carry on denying this piece of truth should now stop harping and bluffing the rakyat that our Land Code Amendment did not confer any proprietary right on the PMPG land concerned as that is unjust and unethical,” sounded Idris.

He was reacting to a Federal Court’s ruling on Wednesday (September 11) which upheld an earlier court decision not to grant rights to claimants from two villages in Sarawak over their NCR land.

In a 4-1 majority decision by a five-member bench, the Federal Court held that there was no basis for a new panel of the Federal Court to review an earlier decision of the court.

Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed and Federal Court judges Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin, Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh decided the majority decision while Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri David Wong Dak Wah dissented.