By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
PENAMPANG: Darell Leiking supports the call by the Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak, Richard Malanjum to have the Native Court system independent and free from the hands of the State executive.
“I fully support his contention that the judiciary (Native Court) be free from the executive especially when it comes to the appointment of Native Chief,” the Member of Parliament for Penampang,
“I believe many of us have seen instances where several state-backed individuals who angered the KadazanDusun communities, but somehow seemed to have been protected from being brought to the Native Court.”
Leiking pointed out that previously there had been a State religious head who for no reason at all, said that the Kadazan is a politically-invented race causing anger amongst the community to the extent a Kadazan organisation had brought his case to the Native Court.
“But did (the individual) ever apologize or even pay the requisite ‘sogit‘ or even had his case read in the Native Court.
“Probably not, so the executive interference on our Native Court system is real,” he said.
Leiking contends that one way of preserving the identity and dignity of the Sabahans within the Federation of Malaysia is to give credence to the existing Native Customary Laws of Sabah which by Constitution (as assures under the Malaysia Agreement 1963) to be laws applicable to all Natives of Sabah.
He said this law had been in practice and enforced in Sabah way long before the formation of Malaysia.
The Parti Warisan deputy president said Kadazans have their unique native laws and so does the Dusun, Murut, Bajau, Sungai etc and he reckons all the differing ethnics in Sabah respected each other’s native laws back then.
“Even the British colonials paid respect to this Native Law by preserving the OKK’ (Orang Kaya-Kaya) or OT’ (Orang Tua) leadership status in certain districts in Sabah and to allow them to hear civil and minor criminal cases within their own Native communities,” said Leiking.
“So I don’t see any problem for our Native court to be alleviated and accorded the stature as our civil and Syariah courts and in fact, this will be an effective way to ensure that non Sabahans who are in Sabah will be mindful and sensitive of our rich tradition and cultural values,” he added.