KUCHING, April 29 — A civil society today asked the state government to table a motion at the current sitting of the Sarawak State Assembly to reject the Petroleum Development Act and the Territorial Sea Act as not applicable to the state.
Sarawak Association for People’s Aspirations (SAPA) president Dominique Ng said the state government must state in clearly terms that the two federal laws do not apply to Sarawak.
“Tabling the motion a very important step to reject the two laws because the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is in power and they can do it as they are no longer subject to control by Putrajaya,” he told reporters after handing over a letter to Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar here.
He said the GPS government must not be afraid of the federal government since both are not in the same political coalition.
He said GPS should just do their job in rejecting the two laws as they have been claiming that they are championing for Sarawak’s rights.
“If they (GPS) can’t do the job, but instead put the blame on the PH federal government, I believe Sarawakians will not be easily convinced,” he said.
Ng and SAPA committee members also submitted a petition to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah asking him to expedite the enforcement of the provisions of the Sarawak Land Code amended last year.
He said over 1,000 owners of native customary rights (NCR) lands, who signed the petition, want Uggah to enforce the amended provisions, especially Section 6A relating to territorial domains and communal forest reserves.
“Although the provisions have been gazetted, they have yet to be enforced by the state government,” he said, explaining that Section 6A provides for the issuance of titles to territorial domain and communal forest reserves.
He said the provision also gives the force of law to territorial domain and communal forest reserves that the natives categories as NCR lands.
He said the section is very important because it also gives the force of law to claims on areas of 1,000 hectares outside the cultivated farmland.
“Uggah gave us an assurance that the amended land code would be implemented within this year,” he said, adding that he will write an official letter to the deputy chief minister to remind him of the assurance.