Up to May 30, the Native Courts of Sarawak has handled 11,003 civil cases involving native customary rights land cases, applications for native community recognition, and customs violations this year. Of these, 5,962 are still pending.
State Native Laws and Customs Assistant Minister John Sikie Tayai said for cases involving NCR land disputes and applications, there are currently 19 appointed full-time magistrates. They comprise the president of the Native Court of Appeal, two Resident's Native Court magistrates and 16 District Native Court magistrates.
“In addition, the Native Courts of Sarawak is also run by 52 ex-officio magistrates comprising 12 division residents and 40 district officers,” he told the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly sitting in Kuching today.
He was replying to a question from Yussibnosh Balo (PBB-Tellian) on the current number of magistrates and cases that had yet to be settled in the Sarawak Native Courts.
Sikie said native customs violation cases were handled by 2,546 community leaders, 390 penghulu and 87 pemanca or temengong (headman).
Meanwhile, Community Well-being Assistant Minister Francis Harden Hollis said 301 drug traffickers were arrested by police between January and June this year compared to 498 in 2017.
He said Sarawak was ranked No.1 nationwide for the preventive detention of suspected drug traffickers for the first time since 2017 and No.2 for drug confiscation.
“This is in line with the increased efforts made by the police to combat drug trafficking,” he said when replying to Juanda Jaya (PBB-Jemoreng).