Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg has assured that the state government currently helmed by him will continue to defend the native customary rights (NCR) land.
He stated this when reading the Sarawak BN manifesto for the Tanjong Datu state by-election at its launch here today.
At a media conference later, Abang Johari who replaced the late Adenan Satem as the new chief minister 28 days ago, said the state government would study indepth the land issues related to 'pemakai menoa' (territorial domain) and 'pulau galau' (communal forest reserve).
Asked to comment on Ba'kelalan state assemblyperson Baru Bian's statement that the Pemakai Menoa and Pulau Galau committee should also comprise representatives of non-governmental organisations, Abang Johari said he was listening and open to views on the issue.
Baru had lauded the setting up of the Pulau Galau and Pemakai Menoa Committee as good news for the Sarawak bumiputera communities.
About one week prior to the passing of Adenan, he had said he was willing to listen and consult with all the communities on the resolving of the 'pemakai menoa' and 'pulau galau' land issue.
Last December the Federal Court ruled that the 'pemakai menoa' and 'pulau galau' land was a custom and practice but it was not enshrined in the law.
In the judgment, the highest court allowed the appeal by the Sarawak state government and set aside the High Court's ruling that recognised the 'pemakai menoa' and 'pulau galau' as NCR land in Sarawak.