An Introduction to Sabah Native Land Law

Product Code: 9789674124069
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  • 2016. ISBN 9789674124069
  • (soft cover). 186 pages
  • Rooshida Merican Abdul Rahim Merican, Jady @ Zaidi Hassim, Wan Syazana Akmal Wan Roslan & Hanani Azren Husin

In the global perspective pertaining to the native land law, there are several instruments that have been formed in order to tackle this impotant issue. The foundational documents for indigenous land rights in international law include indigenous and Tribal People Convention, 1989 (“ILO 169”) and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peiokes. For instance, the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 also known as ILO-convention 169, or C169.  On the other hand, Sabah Land Ordinance is unique for being aspired by Native Customary Rights land law unlike other states in Malaysia. Sabah land law is not derived from the Torrens system as those of other states.  Sabah operative land law is the Sabah Land Ordinance; unlike Peninsular Malaysia National Land Code and the Sarawak Land Code.  A special feature of the Sabah Land Ordinance is tht it does not have provisions on indefeasibility of title, aimed to protect natives’ rights in Sabah. The discussion covers cases and issues relatied to Native Customary Rights, indefeasibility of title, registration of title, disposal of State lands, dealings and restraints of native land, and adverse possession and encroachment.   Among major issues highlighted are those arising grom manipulations of the Ordinance provisions and lacuna pertaining to Native Customary Rights (NCR) vis a vis the non-natives rights to acquire and develop native land.   Suggestions are made toward amending several provisions in the Sabah Land Ordinance to avoid a quasi-judicial execise of power and manipulation of law by irresponsible parties with vested interests in dealing with Sabah land issues. The recommendations call for Sabah government, judicial and enforcement agencies to continue upholding the law and enhance enforcement to enable Sabah development programme and native NCR land rights prosper as aimed to be.

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