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By Keruah Usit

Taib weakened by authoritative court ruling

ANTIDOTE Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud has been pummelled by two blows within eight days. Umno president Najib Abdul Razak will be able to exploit this to demand Taib’s support for him in public and in private, given Najib’s uncertainty over party elections later this year.

On June 21, the Court of Appeal delivered a crushing ruling against Taib’s land policies. In a suit filed by Iban plaintiffs, led by village chief Sandah anak Tabau against Kanowit Timber Company and Taib’s government, the court recognised the natives’ claim that pemakai menoa - communal land allowed to lie fallow for future use - falls under Native Customary Rights (NCR).