KOTA KINABALU 27/09/2012: A group of natives is seeking confirmation from the State Attorney General and the Director of Sabah Lands and Surveys Department whether only native customary rights (NCR) claims that existed prior to 1930 would be entertained and determined.
Rambilin Bte Ambit and 18 others through their counsel Datuk Kong Hong Ming, also seek confirmation whether the Department of Lands and Surveys Sabah entertains and determines NCR claims that existed after 1930.
They also want to know whether the NCR claims over land that had been alienated and issued with land titles by the department would be entertained and determined.
He said in a statement yesterday that his clients are very concerned and confused over a report and statement from the Director of Lands and Surveys Sabah entitled “Claims after 1930 don’t come under NCR: Dept” appearing in the front page of a local daily yesterday, stating inter alia that claims of customary land beyond 1930 Land Ordinance will not be included under NCR but treated as new land applications.
On the same subject matter, he said his clients recalled that previously, the State Attorney General of Sabah had also made a press statement to the effect that there was no more NCR after 1930. The State Attorney General considered that there was a cut-off date in 1930 for NCR claims.
“There are many outstanding applications for land enquiries at the ACLR offices for NCR claims and many decisions on land enquiries and appeals are still pending.
“The statements from the relevant authorities such as the State Attorney General and the director of Lands and Surveys Sabah will certainly have far-reaching consequences and effects on those outstanding land enquiries and their decisions and appeals.
“It is uncertain to the native communities and the legal practitioners as whether the contents of the press statement of the learned State Attorney General and the Director of Lands and Surveys Sabah represent the official position of the State Government of Sabah in so far as NCR claims by natives are concerned,” Kong added.