Close this search box.

Exploring Native Land Rights in Sabah

Harry Jonas and Holly Shrumm (Natural Justice) attended a symposium entitled “Sabah Native Land Rights: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward”. Chaired by Dr. Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan (UMS Kadazandusun Chair), it was hosted by the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) School of Social Sciences from 30-31 January in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The opening keynote was delivered by YAA Tan Sri Richard Malanjum (Chief Justice, High Court of Malaysia). Highlights of the paper presentations included:

  • Overview of Native Customary Land Laws in Malaysia (Dr. Ramy Bulan, Centre for Legal Pluralism and Indigenous Law, University of Malaya)
  • Governance of Customary Land and Natural Resources in Sabah (Datuk Osman Jamal, Director, Sabah Lands and Surveys Department)
  • Land Rights, Native Rights, and Human Rights (Tan Sri Simon Sipuan, Former Vice Chairman, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia)
  • Selection of Village Headmen in Sabah (Dr. Paul Porodong and Dr. Gaim Lunkapis, UMS)

As in many former British colonies, the legal landscape in Sabah consists of a mosaic of statutory, common, and customary law. Drawing on a burgeoning global jurisprudence in support of Indigenous peoples’ rights, many presenters called for greater legal pluralism, effective reform of decades-old legislations, and a national tribunal to address violations and the backlog of an estimated 300 000 native title applications.

31 January 2012


Governance of Lands and Natural Resources

Related News

East African Court of Justice to rule on jurisdiction and other preliminary objections in EACOP case

Media Advisory: Environmental and Lands Courts to Consider Lifting of Logging Moratorium 

A Critique Of The Kilifi Climate Change (Amendment) Act, 2023: Shaping County Laws In Line  With Communities’ Needs 

 Empowering Communities: Defending Land Rights through Legal Empowerment

The Unwavering Faith of Bora Imani: Lessons from Environmental Injustices

EACOP at the East African Court of Justice: Judgment reserved

Sign up to Natural Justice!

Receive our quarterly newsletter or get blog updates. Easily unsubscribe at any time.