KUCHING: Dayak BN assemblymen should support the proposal to amend laws related to Native Customary Rights (NCR) land even when tabled by elected representatives from the opposition parties.
“As responsible representatives they should support anything that will benefit the people. It does not matter who makes the proposal. If it is something good they must by all means give their full support,” said Datuk Dr Anthony Nait the chairman of Kuching branch of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia).
He said this to comment on the plan by state PKR chairman Baru Bian to submit a motion for an amendment to Sarawak Land Code at the next State Legislative Assembly sitting.
During a media conference here on Tuesday, Baru, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, said the amendment would include ‘pemakai menoa’ (communal land) and ‘pulau galau’ (communal forest reserve) in the definition of NCR land under Section 2 of the Land Code.
He said the inclusion was necessary as such land had since been affirmed by the court as land created in accordance with the customs of the natives of Sarawak. He was thus looking forward to the support of all Dayak BN assemblymen for the motion, consistent with the call to amend the Land Code.
Nait said he too hoped that the Dayak assemblymen would do their people a favour by supporting the proposal for the amendment.
“The time has come for them to put what they have talking about all these while into action,” he said.
Another Dayak-based non-governmental organisation – Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) – echoed Nait’s statement.
Its vice-president (1) Anthony Banyan said the proposal to amend any laws related to NCR land should be supported by all Dayak leaders to enable the community to catch up with the country’s progress through proper land management and development.
“The proposal should not be politicised by politicians for their own gain. Anybody can propose it but it must be put in black and white and display for public viewing with ample time given for the Dayak people to read, study and to make comments on it.
“In this context I believe all Dayak leaders will support the proposal for the benefit of the community as a whole,” he said.