KUCHING: Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) has proposed that any archaic law and adat (customs) of the community relating to native customary right (NCR) land that have become obsolete and irrelevant be amended.
In a statement issued yesterday, it said this was so that it could enhance the value of NCR land and turn them into more viable economic assets rather than leaving them to remain idle or as frozen assets with little or nominal monetary value.
“DCCI views with deep concern the far-reaching effects and ramifications on the Dayak community the recent Federal Court’s decision in the case of Bisi Jinggot @ Hilarion Bisi Jenggut versus Superintendent of Lands and Survey and two others,” the statement said.
It said the decision would have some bearing on the community although it revolved around the Iban’s Tusun Tunggu adat and customs relating to NCR land transaction.
“In the said decision, it is, among other things, ruled that for an Iban native, a sale of NCR land is void and of no legal effect. The Federal Court, in applying the Tusun Tunggu adat decided that apart from acquiring NCR land under the temuda, an Iban individual can only acquire an NCR land by way of either inheritance or tungku asi (gift) and no other way.
“The practice of tungku asi is a form of token symbolising the transfer of a NCR land to the new owner, a relative, and this token is customarily of little value such as a meal or a pig,” it said.
It further said that it was public and common knowledge that the sale of NCR lands among Dayaks had been prevalent and acceptable practice among all stratas of the Dayak community from Lundu to Lawas for many decades.
“There are also numerous cases where the relevant authorities have issued titles to NCR landowners based on sale and purchase transactions of NCR lands between Dayak individuals.
“Many who have purchased these NCR lands have settled on the said lands and have farmed on, developed or improved the said land for many years.
“The practice of tungku asi has, for all intents and purposes, for the last many years become obsolete, not practised and has no relevance in this modern cash society.”