KOTA KINABALU: After lagging behind the civil and syariah courts, the Sabah native court is shaping up into one of the pillars of the country’s judicial system.
The native court is now catching up and taking steps to codify native customary rights of the Kadazandusun and Murut people.
Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the Federal Government’s support for the development of native courts would allow it to develop into another key wing of the judiciary.
“Native courts have not been improving like the civil and syariah courts but the situation is changing with the Government’s support,” he said after the ground-breaking ceremony for the RM5mil Penampang district native court complex.
Dompok, who is also Plantation Industries and Commodities Minis-ter, said RM60mil of RM100mil allocated by the Government was being used to build native courts in Kudat and Keningau and to set up the Native Court Institute.
He said the institute would help codify the diverse customary practices of the Kadazandusun and Murut people.
The institute, he added, would also help streamline and strengthen the customary rights of each district.
Dompok hoped six more native courts would be set up soon.
On the proposed Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah, he said the terms and conditions were being worked out, including suggestions from the state government.