Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Since 1981, the world has come together to celebrate the annual 'International Day of Peace (IDP)' on September 21st every year aiming to promote peace, ceasefire and non-violence throughout the globe. Today, after almost 20 years of implementation, one can be sure of it's prevailing successes in maintaining global stability in unison.

Speaking of peace - in split seconds - one's thought will be characterized by pictures of war, disputes among nations, political stability of a country etc. Because peace is very synonymous with war free zone, we often neglect the kind of threats that may affect our peaceful existence in terms of security, sovereignty, sensitivity, social beings etc. Rarely a case whereby social hassles and impending natural disasters occurred in our mind. Critiques may argue that since social welfare and disasters alike are both internal problems within a nation's jurisdiction to combat, thus we assumed that everybody is in peace. In short, our interpretation is: No War = Peace.

However, looking at the world today, even if there was no war or disputes in a particular country, still there is no peaceful atmosphere engulfing the whole lot once the way things used to be were not in their proper set anymore. For instance, the existence of such driving forces such as the financial system and globalization, that maneuver the world today towards the destination - by default - they prefer to go, is gradually taking it's toll in plummeting world peace.

Globalization believed to benefit both investors and the host country, in the end, guarantees the latter's downfall as can be seen in the 1997/1998 Asian Financial Crisis. Win-win situation type of trades believed to deliver positive impacts to both parties, at last proved to be loop-sided. Third party involvement in engaging disputes among nations planned to end it once and for all, over time proved to be a political move deployed to gain control of the country's richness. Hence, you tell me, can those innocence who are to be the preys of such deprived situations be counted as peaceful even without 'literal' war?

Though the effort of making the world a better place to stay - by initiating IDP - is commendable, the fact remains that we are presently being coerced to face new kind of threat which transcend all nationalities and boundaries as stated above.

World War I & II may had become part of human history and they deserve condemnation of highest degree, but what about these 'virtual' wars? If they can make a stop to barbaric warheads, why not apply the same principles to globalization as well? If the idea of globalization is indeed proved to be beneficial to the parties involved, then get on with it but should it be a liability and cause detrimental effects to the people, why hesitate?

All in all, I'm grateful for this peaceful nation of mine, Malaysia. I hope you too will enjoy your peaceful time in your respective country with the spirit of fully in grasp of being peaceful and echoes it's chimes to a better melody - by choice - you want it to be!

Till the next posting.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It's September 16th, 2010! Marking the 47 years old birthday of Malaysia Federation. The very essence of the nation's spirit is now bequeathed to the next generation of today's youth - hoping that we will further understand each other by maintaining unity, narrowing disparity and to reduce factions among society.

In the end, though we are different - rooting from various ethnicity and beliefs - still we share a thing in common, which is to be able to call this fortunate country: Malaysia, our home. While many others who are less fortunate are currently straying on the hassle streets of New York or trying very hard to live a day to it's dawn in Swaziland. Here you are, both me and you freely breathing Malaysia's air with pride, honor and peace - the least we can do is to keep it that way for our future generation to savor too.

Happy Malaysia Day 2010 with the spirit of celebrating differences in a common way!

Till the next posting.

Friday, September 3, 2010


The article is written based on the urge that anybody should know and understand the Native Customary Rights (NCR) Land, the simplest way from a layman perspective who doesn't read law.

By definition, land tenure is the system of rights and institutions that governs access to and use of land and other resources. In Sarawak, the customary land tenure is characterized by both formal and informal attributes. The formal attribute is that the NCR rights are recognized and protected by the Land Code. But it is also informal customary land tenure because it's recognition and acceptance are based on the Adat Law of the Iban community (Dimbab Ngidang, 1998).

The Iban land tenure system
uses the concept of territory, called the 'pemakai menoa' for the exerting rights of access to land resources within a longhouse community (Henry Ling, 2010). The boundaries of this territory are usually marked by natural features such as rivers and ridges (Lambat, 1994). On the other hand (Cleary and Eaton, 1996) reported that native communities could claim customary rights to land only applied to the following:

1) Felling of virgin jungle before January 1st 1958

2) Planting of fruit trees

3) Use of land for burial grounds or shrines

4) Use of land in any class for rights of ways or any other lawful methods recognized by the Land Code.

5) Purchase or by exchange of gifts such as gongs or/and cannons.

History of NCR land in Sarawak has been in household lips since the days of the colonial rule dated from century ago. In 1863, the first land law was promulgated resulting in 'all unoccupied and waste lands' are to be the property of the government. The significance of the 1863 Land Order was that although the natives could continue to practice customary tenure within their domain, they could no longer claim rights to land outside their existing domain, which is now belonged to the state (Evelyn Hong, 1974).

In 1949, the Land Classification Ordinance introduced by the colonial government further restricted the creation of customary rights to tenure to 6 methods (Hooker, 1976):

1) The felling of virgin jungle and the occupation of the land thereby cleared

2) The planting of land with fruit trees
3) The occupation or cultivation of land
4) The use of land for burial ground or shrine

5) The use of land of any class for rights of way

6) Any other lawful method

Applications to these rights had to be made for permits issued by the district officer, which may or may not be granted. This definition of customary tenure by the government frustrate certain transactions admitted by systems of native personal law (Porter, 1967). The Adat Law and the customary tenure were codified and this further curtailed the rights of natives to land even more.

In 1946, Sarawak was ceded to the then British Crown and they introduced the 1948 Land Classification Ordinance that further denied the customary rights to land for the natives. In 1952, an amendment was made pertaining to the lawful occupation for the different classes of land created. This resulted in the following rules (Porter, 1967):

1) Native who were in lawful occupation of the NCR land were declared to be licensees of Crown Land

2) The Crown assumed total proprietorship of all land in the state of Sarawak

The ordinance was further amended in 1955 resulting in a total prohibition on spontaneous creation of further customary rights law (Idem, 1967). Direct effects of these as reported by (
Henry Ling, 2010) are that:

1) Natives are now forbidden to open up new forests

2) Forbidden to exercise customary rights or operate under customary tenure in new areas

3) Natives could no longer move freely to establish new swiddens, settlements in new area as they did in the past.

Generally, a native may be said to own land if he holds a document of title issued by the superintendent or surveyor when he can claim customary rights over the said land. It is clear law that until a document of title has been issued in respect to over the land which he claimed to be NCR land, such land shall continue to be state own land.

Sarawak Land Code, 1958 (SLC) section 5 clearly recognizes NCR which may be created in accordance to the native customary law of the community concerned which is native Iban in this case. Section 22 provides recognition to native holdings where such claim to land must be registered. Section 30 provides for the compensation to be paid should the government resumes possession of any occupied land for any purposes (DayakBaru, 2010)

The current uproar lies not in the knowledge of the NCR land issue anymore. The natives are fully aware of the issuance of a document title for their NCR land claim to be approved. However, the biggest problem is that
genuine native rights under the SLC are not guaranteed unless they are all given due registration of native rights with land titles. The question is how many cases such as the success story of Mr.Nor Anak Nyawai? How can one register and lawfully true to their claims if most of their applications were being tossed and rejected along the process?

We are not asking for more, we are just asking for what we believe we deserved...

Till the next posting.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Its been months since my last post and I'm not going to blame it on busyness since I learned a remarkable lesson from an Iranian friend of mine lately. He said being BUSY stands for 'Being Under Satan's Yard'. So, with a little pat on the shoulder, I tried to convince myself; whenever I'm busy, so to speak, I'll just consider it to be in the state of 'timely occupied'. Not bad though. Imagine somebody asked 'Hey, how have you been?' and you said, 'I'm good, just pretty much timely occupied!'. Now, that's sublime and creative.

That aside, guess what's new? Yep, AS I SEE IT has a new-vibrant-forward looking-riveting-look! As the others would say 'Its time to change' @ 'Change we must' kind of slogans. I guess this new template should be sufficient to compensate for the writer's block long awaiting post.

Anyway, this posting is dedicated to Malaysia's 53rd Independence Day! Merdeka! Though the whole country's Merdeka's spirit is understandably low; maybe due to the fasting month, embroiled unity etc. One still can be sure that this country has done wonders. Not going to make a list here since it's going to be miles ahead. One can be really proud of the achievements Malaysia had even as we humbly celebrated our 53rd national day.

However, true meaning of independence would never be fully comprehended without the essence of unity, political stability, economic prosperity and society's welfare of the nation. Looking back at our society nowadays - it seems to me, as the younger generation - we are falling short of truly being independent. Policies made to bridge disparities among races, in the end, guarantees it's arrival. Factions deepen, everybody claimed to be a hero but refused to take actions, wishful thinkers and apple polishers alike.

Truth is we are more towards the end-tail of the bell shape normal distribution graph neglecting the core problem that sprung under our nose. The leaders cared more on differences rather than similarities among the people. Desperately, they launched taunting moves to provoke society's sensitivity - all for the effort of them being champions, worthy of the gold platter! Even if that requires bloodshed. In that case, what's the difference between us, the so-called independent nationals of this country, compared to our previous invaders? The British ruled us through division and disparity between races, and now we emulate this act, pretending to be better? You tell me. It is after all, George Santayana - the great philosopher - that once said 'Those who cannot remember the past will be condemned to repeat it!'

My sincere hope is that, Malaysians will be all true Malaysians in the future. The kind of Malaysians that answer, with head held high, 'I'm Malaysian!' to question like 'Race/Ethnicity'. Not to suggest denouncing own ethnicity here, but what matter the most is the spirit of truly beholding the concept of 1Malaysia. No more unwanted voices saying 'Go back to China' and 'Lazy Malays'. No more claim saying 'You are black, so you are Indian' and no more 'Oh, you are an Iban? You live on trees don't you?' kind of stuffs because like it or not we are all walking under the same sun, so why can't we live as one? (echoing Scorpions: Under the same sun)

Till the next posting. Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan ke-53!
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