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Defending indigenous rights: State govt to enact or amend laws

10th August, 2018


KIULU: The state government will enact new laws or amend existing laws to ensure the rights of the indigenous people in the state are protected.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said that it is the reason behind the creation of the Ministry of Law and Native Affairs after taking control of the state in the last election.

According to him, the ministry which oversees the indigenous people’s rights to land, religion and culture would create new laws to ensure the rights can be implemented.

He concurred with Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Madius Tangau who, in his speech earlier, said that having the correct religious status printed in their identity cards is also a right of the indigenous people.

Shafie said that such problems will be rectified by the new ministry which will also look into ensuring no religious and racial extremism in the state.

“That is why I put an activist, Janie Lasimbang and a former district officer, Uda Sulai who has ample experience in dealing with native affairs on the ground as Assistant Ministers of the Law and Native Affairs,” he told a press conference at the state-level World Indigenous People’s Day celebration here yesterday.

Speaking of the event, he said that the unique indigenous cultures of Sabahans are an asset that can be exploited not only commercially but also in terms of promoting indigenous Sabahans.

He said that the rich cultural heritage such as traditional attire, traditional cuisines can be turned into small industries if they are commercialised.

This, he said, will help improve the livelihood of the community.

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