KOTA KINABALU 30/09/2012: Deputy chairman and legal adviser to Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap has maintained that the law regulating Native Customary Right (NCR) is very much alive in the state.
The former UPKO vice president and chairman of the party’s legal bureau said that the law on NCR in Sabah still subsists until today.
He pointed out that NCR was never repealed by the Land Ordinance 1930 and that the provisions of Sections 13-16 of the existing Sabah Land Ordinance clearly affirm that NCR laws are still very much alive in Sabah.
“Nobody should ever try to deny, nullify or amend those native rights. Therefore claim for NCR must be strictly treated as such in accordance with those provisions and not to be considered as a normal application for land as stated by the director of Land Survey.
“After all, as I know the Department has been receiving NCR claims before and has approved them under those provisions. There is no reason why they can’t continue doing it,” Maijol said in response to Land and Survey director Datuk Osman Jamal’s statement about NCR application recently.
Osman said that claims of customary land beyond the Land Ordinance 1930 would not be included under NCR but would instead be treated as new land applications.
According to Maijol, those provisions were put in by the legislators when Sabah was governed by the British because actually native customary law including NCR predate any law, and if the government wants to outlaw it now, there must be a clear and consensus action by the native legislators to do it.
“The Rambilin case is very clear on this. But I don’t think any native legislator will want to do it. The director can’t amend the law unilaterally as he pleases and I hope what he said doesn’t reflect the stance of the government because if it does then it will be a sad day for the natives in Sabah.
“The natives do not want their rights, both substantial and procedural, to be eroded or compromised,” he stressed.