No title rectification for NCR land once lease given – Federal Court

See (right) speaking to the landowners outside the Courthouse Complex after the judgment was delivered. Photo by Chimon Upon

 

KUCHING: The Federal Court today ruled that the High Court cannot order for the rectification of title to exclude native customary rights (NCR) land from the lease that has already been given.

Counsel See Chee How, who was present in court, told reporters that “all that the Court can order is compensation for that area that has proven to be NCR over the lease given”.

“It is a mistake by the government to give this lease. So go by the extinguishment and compensation, that’s it.

“It has been deemed extinguished and they will pay compensation,” he said after Deputy Registrar of Federal Court Edwin Paramjothy Michael Muniandy delivered the judgment.

When asked for further explanation, he said that once a lease is issued over the area, the success of proving the existence of NCR does not entitle the NCR land owners to that part of the land.

“The damages to them is compensation. The indefeasibility of title is immediate, upon the issuance of the lease.”

See, who is also Batu Lintang assemblyman, said the Court of Inquiry would determine the amount of compensation later.

He stressed that the NCR landowners involved wanted their land back instead of compensation.

“If they want compensation, they would have gone to the companies to ask for it instead of coming to the court,” he said.

The appellants of the case were TH Pelita Sadong Sdn Bhd and TH Pelita Gedong Sdn Bhd (TH companies), RHB Islamic Bank Bhd, Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) as well as the state government.

Nyutan Jami.

They appealed against the decision made in a High Court which was in favour of the respondents including Nyutan Jami.

On September 2013, the High Court ruled that the respondents had proved NCR on their land.

Also met at the court house, Tuai Rumah Nyutan, with tears rolling down from his eyes, said they just wanted their land back rather than being compensated.

He also mentioned that NCR landowners would want a “better solution” when it involved disputed land cases.

Nyutan said he inherited those parcels of land from his ancestors and the land is now gone for good.

 

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