Abang Johari declares GPS as ‘saviour of our native land’

Posted on : 07 Oct 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari officiates at the forum as (from left) Jaul, Uggah, Asfia and Fatimah look on.

SIBU: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has declared Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as “the saviour of our native land”.

Speaking when officiating the Sarawak Land Amendment Bill Forum for the central region here today, he said the 2018 amendment to the State Land Code had given force of law to Native Territorial Domain (NTD).

“The GPS government had opted for a political solution with the amendment rather than through the court process.

“The amendment is to recognise NTD. If we had relied on the court process, we would have lost everything. We are fortunate to have GPS. GPS is the saviour of our native land,” he said.

Abang Johari said although the recent appeal case of Tuai Rumah Sandah Tabau had failed, it was purely academic and not relevant.

“We have amended the State Land Code to give the force of law to NTD. This is very important to allow us to save our land. Native owners can own and can use the land,” he added.

Abang Johari said the path to amendment had been very trying and challenging.

“But it was done with a lot of consultations with community leaders, legal experts, Dayak traditions experts and others,” he added.

Abang Johari also said the amendment had been the wish of the late Pehin Seri Adenan Satem before he passed away.

“He had instructed Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah to settle native customary rights (NCR) land issue properly and carefully for the benefits of the owners.”

“Although a great majority (of native landowners) had appreciated, there were some who had questioned the government’s move.

“Worst still, they began to instigate the land owners to oppose operations like the Section 6 of Sarawak Land Code to define the boundaries between state and NCR land,” he asserted.

More than 1,300 participants comprising community leaders, non governmental organisations and civil servants from Sibu, Mukah, Sarikei and Kapit divisions attended the two-day forum.

Also present were Uggah, State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion and Minister of Welfare and Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Children’s Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.