Sunday, October 26, 2014
Malay Reserve land: Peninsular's version of NCR land issue
There is a forum today to be held today 2:00 PM at Dewan Ulama ISTAC at persiaran Duta off Jalan Duta Kuala Lumpur on the issue of Malay Reserve land. It is jointly organised by Perkasa and ISTAC.
The keynote speech will be delivered by Former Chief Judge, Tun Ahmad Fairuz bin Sheikh Abdul Halim and it will be followed by two papers by Prof Dato Dr Nik Zain bin Nik Yusuf, former KSU for Ministry for Land and Cooperatives and Director general for Department of Land and Mineral, and Dr Hasrol, Senior Lecturer, Department of Estate Management, Faculty of Architecture, Planning, and Survey, Universiti Teknologi MARA.
Although Malay Reserve Land issue have been openly discussed in many other seminar and forum before and over the years, it is usually positioned in side session. It is far in between and resolution to the issue have been muted. Not much progress made since acquired Malay Reserve could not be replaced by land of similar character.
At least, disputes on Native Customary land (seldom called NCR land) in Sabah and Sarawak, usually involving ownership claim, could revert to the Native Court for settlement. NCR land is being championed by the opposition and there positive response from state government give attention.
Unfortunately, Malay Reserve issues have no serious champion and disputes left unresolved.
The problem with Malay Reserve Land is basically land acquired were not replaced and in place, the compensation has been insufficient. Construction of infrastructure, especially highways and property development continued despite unsettled resolution to disputes and court judgement ignored.
Ironically, the culprit were the UMNO-led government or GLCs. It is time the Royal Council of Malay Rulers and Government take a serious effort to establish a Royal Commission and address the problem in according to the Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.
Those "pejuang" on Malay rights and interest should make the effort to come because an extensive effort to compile statistics and information had been done in the papers and exhibition. For those unable to attend, they can tune in to Mob.TV website for live stream.
Hopefully there is a serious follow-up after this.
The Enactment on Malay Reserve was introduced by the British colonial government in 1914 to preserve Malay ownership of land to perpetuity. Article 89 of the Federal Constitution specifically mention that Malay Reserve land to be cancelled or transferred must be replaced with land of similar character and size.
According to Auditor General Report 2013, there are 65 unresolved issue on Malay Reserve land in Pahang.
There is supposed to be 3 million hectare of Malay Reserve land. However, only 1.3 million hectare remained in 1965 and believed to be significantly lower.
There seemed to be no political will on the Federal government which is responsible to control, monitor and pressure state government to replace the land. On the other hand, it is common for landowner to have unrealistic expectations especially on land valuation.
It is time Federal government to take heed of the problem. If there ignore, the opposition will take up and claim ownership of the issue. They are committed than UMNO in championing issues but it s usually political desak-desak and disputing settlements.
It is not a serious effort to solve.
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