Ewon: Ongoing Efforts to elevate the stature of the Native Court of Sabah
30 September 2023
By Nabalu News Journalist
KOTA BELUD: President of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO), Datuk Ewon Benedick, stated that the efforts to elevate the Native Court of Sabah (MAN Sabah) are a continuous struggle for the party to bring it on par with the Syariah Court and the Civil Court.
"In Sabah, we have three types of courts, namely the Civil Court, the Syariah Court, and the Native Court.
"My struggle and UPKO's longstanding goal have been to ensure that all three courts are of equal standing. That is why UPKO will continue to play a significant role in elevating the Native Court and it will be an ongoing struggle," he said.
He made these remarks when delivering a speech at the inauguration of the State Customary Law Literacy Seminar organised by the Kota Belud Women and Family Association (KBwake) at Skyblue Kg.Piasau, here, today.
Ewon, who is also the State Assemblyman (ADUN) for Kadamaian, said that one of UPKO's achievements so far is the establishment of the Sabah Native Court Training Institute (ILMAN) in Penampang.
"I have also proposed the creation of a Native Court building in Kota Belud and hope that it can be implemented in the 13th Malaysia Plan (2026-2030).
"The construction of the Native Court building in Kota Belud is necessary to eliminate the need for it to operate from the District Office. We just need to identify a suitable site for the building.
"In terms of funding, we can seek assistance from the federal government.They have been supportive of our endeavours thus far, and we will continue to engage with them to secure the necessary allocations," he added.
Ewon stressed the importance of the Native Court in preserving and upholding the customary laws and traditions of Sabah's indigenous communities. He emphasised that the Native Court plays a vital role in resolving disputes and maintaining justice within these communities.
"As a party, UPKO is committed to safeguarding the rights and interests of Sabah's indigenous peoples. Elevating the Native Court is not just a symbolic gesture but a practical step towards ensuring that their voices are heard and their legal needs are met," Ewon asserted.
He also expressed his gratitude to the Kota Belud Women and Family Association for organizing the State Customary Law Literacy Seminar. He recognised the significance of such initiatives in promoting legal awareness and empowering individuals with knowledge about their rights and responsibilities under the customary laws of Sabah.
In conclusion, Ewon reaffirmed UPKO's unwavering dedication to the ongoing struggle of elevating the Native Court of Sabah.
He pledged to continue working tirelessly towards achieving parity between the Native Court, the Syariah Court, and the Civil Court, thereby strengthening the judicial system in Sabah and ensuring equal access to justice for all.