Suhakam to proceed with national inquiry into native land rights
Posted on September 18, 2011, Sunday
KUCHING: The national inquiry into the land rights of indigenous peoples by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has the support of the state government.
Suhakam commissioner Jannie Lasimbang revealed this yesterday during a consultation session on the national inquiry on native land rights at the Civic Centre here.
“The state government supports the national inquiry, which was conveyed to us during our meeting recently, attended by a few departmental heads,” she said.
She added that the outcome of the meeting also resulted in letters being sent to the state government and community leaders inviting them to attend consultative sittings in connection with the inquiry.
Jannie was banned from entering the state late last year.
The expert in indigenous rights issue also stated that the attorney-general’s office has also expressed its support on the implementation of the national inquiry.
“It believes the national inquiry will help in reducing disputes on native land rights,” she said.
Also present at the session wereSuhakam state commissioner Detta Samen and James Nayagam.
Detta said Suhakam met with State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani and state legal counsel Datuk JC Foong on Aug 15.
Suhakam was represented by its chairman Hasimah Nik Jaafar, deputy chairman Prof Dr Khaw Lake Tee and Detta.
According to Detta, the state secretary responded positively to the national inquiry to be conducted by Suhakam.
“We are very thankful for the state government’s positive response to the issue,” he said.
In his briefing, Detta said the national inquiry aims to advocate change in administration, recognition of legislation and politics towards the realisation and safeguarding of the land rights of indigenous peoples.
According to statistics provided to the press on complaints relating to native land in Sarawak, there are four complaints of encroachment and one on compensation this year.
The series of consultations and public submissions concerning the inquiry will be held at the Dewan Masyarakat in Serian (Sept 18), Betong (Sept 20), Sibu (Sept 22), Kapit (Sept 24), Bintulu (Sept 26), Miri (Sept 28 and 29) and Limbang (Sept 30).