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Helping the impoverished and elevating the status of the Native courts

27 November 2023


KOTA KINABALU: Kadamaian State Assemblyman Datuk Ewon Benedick said the impoverished must be helped as Sabah should not always be known as having the poorest districts in the country.

In his Sabah 2024 Budget Debate Speech he proposed to the Sabah State Government, through the State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) or the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), to conduct a study on how many e-Kasih list recipients own land, whether they have been granted ownership titles or their applications are still pending.

“Subsequently, we can develop a special household income initiative programme for those on the e-Kasih list who own land by making their assets productive and developing them as sources of household income,” he said adding that the proposed special household income initiative development project can be proposed to the Federal Government for financing.

“We all know that land assets are not considered as a factor in determining the poverty line of households, so we can develop a special Programme for those who own these land assets.”

“I would also like to touch on the vision to elevate the status of the Native Courts to be on par with the Civil Courts and Syariah Courts. In this Budget, in addition to operational expenditure for payment of allowances to Chiefs, the allocation of RM370,010 provided for the Sabah Native Courts Training Institute (ILMAN) and the allocation of RM1,750,000 for the construction of the Native Courts building, in my view, is too small compared to this vision,” he said.

“ILMAN should develop study modules for at least a Diploma in Native Courts Law so that its graduates can be absorbed as Native Courts Judges or Lawyers or permanent positions in the Native Courts. The political appointment of Chiefs can still be continued with the agreement of the State Assemblymen but the vision to elevate ILMAN and the Native Courts should be realised starting with the introduction of diploma-level studies.”

He also request that the allocation to build the Native Courts building be increased, including obtaining additional allocations from the Federal Government to ensure that every district in Sabah has its own dedicated Native Courts building, including in Kota Belud, which he suggested, be built in the Kadamaian area.


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