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Permanent posts should be created in Native Courts


25 October 2023

By Nabalu News Journalist

PENAMPANG: The United Kinabalu Progressive Organisation (UPKO) put forward a recommendation that Diploma in Native Law be introduced and that there should be permanent positions in Native Courts (MAN) as in Civil and Syariah Courts.

Its president Datuk Ewon Benedick said, this proposal is crucial to empower the Native Court institution to be on par with the Civil and Syariah Courts. He stressed the importance of fulfilling the demands made by local communities during Malaysia's establishment, particularly the respect for Land Affairs and Customary Affairs by the Federal Government.

"My position all this time is that it should not remain on the Malaysia Day commemoration stone only but must be developed and empowered through the Native Court Training Institution (ILMAN) or the Native Court should be raised to the same level as the Syariah Court and Civil Court in this country, ” he said.

He said this when met by reporters after officiating the Closing Ceremony of the Leadership Transformation Course for Outstanding Village Heads Series 8 of 2023, Penampang District, at the ILMAN Lecture Hall, here, today.

Ewon said, in order to realize the proposal to introduce the Native Law Diploma study, his party is ready to submit input and proposed study modules to the Department of Native Affairs and ILMAN.

"It involves a discussion process that certainly takes time, but the vision should remain there, which is that the Native Court must be on the same level as the Civil Court and the Syariah Court. This is our way of respecting and appreciating the demands because without the indigenous community that supports the establishment of Malaysia, there would be no Malaysian nation," he said.

In terms of commissioning the traditional leaders, Ewon said, UPKO suggested that there should be a minimum amount that needs to be trained at least up to the level of diploma studies related to the Native Court.

"For example, in a district, if there are 10 Native Heads in that district, seven or eight people can be politically appointed for a term, but one or two of those people must remain until the retirement period, just like the officials (judges) in the Syariah Court and the Court Civilians who have their retirement age," he said.

Regarding the construction of the Native Court in the 13th Malaysia Plan (RMK13), Ewon who is also the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Development said that it should continue to be the input of the state government and the Sabah State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) to be elevated to the Ministry of Economy so that it is included in RMK13.

"As a member of the federal government cabinet, I fully support the vision and desire of the people of Sabah that a Native Court building be built in every district.

"This is not something new because in the 12th RMK some court buildings have been built in some districts and we want it to continue in the 13th RMK," he said.

He said, the construction of local court buildings in districts that do not yet have such buildings should continue.

He added that the construction of local court buildings in districts that have yet to have such buildings should continue, citing Kota Belud as an example of a district that does not have a Native Court building. The party president said other districts should also have that building.

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