Definition of Natives of Sarawak

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DEFINITION OF NATIVES OF SARAWAK
In 1920 a native was ‘a natural born subject of H.H the Rajah.’ In 1933 this became ‘a natural born subject of any race now considered to be indigenous to the State of Sarawak;’This definition was later carried into the Land Ordinance of 1948.In the later revised version of 1958,Section 5(7) on Native reserves leaves it to local customary law to determine whether or not a person is ‘a member of the native community.’(Borneo Research Bulletin 30:28-40,1999) According to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia Article 161(6)(a), a native is a person who is a citizen and either belongs to one of the races specified as indigenous to the State or is of mixedblood deriving exclusively from those races. The races include:

Bukitans,Bisayah,Dusun,SeaDayak(Iban) ,Dayak(Bidayuh),Kadayan ,Kelabit ,Kayan,Kenyah,Kajang (Sekapan,Kejaman,Lahanan,Punan,TanjongandKenowits),Lugat,Lisum,Malay,Murut,Penan,Sian,Tagal,Tabun and Ukit. RIGHT OF NATIVES IN SARAWAK (NATIVE CUSTOMARY RIGHTS)

Prior to James Brooke’s arrival in Sarawak there was in existence a system of land tenure based on adat(Natives Customary Laws).That system remained virtually the same over the following century.Native customary rights to land consisted of rights cultivated the land , rights to the produce of the jungle,hunting and fishing rights, rights to use the land for burial and ceremonial purposes ,and rights of inheritance and transfer .According to native ideas ,the clearing and cultivation of virgin land confers permanent rights on the original clearer (Geddes 1954:Freeman 1955;Richards 1961). Most of natives in Sarawak ,with the exception of the nomadic Penan ,classify the land surrounding their longhouses under two general categories
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