Kadazan Watch on
Pusaka Land and Other Matters

27 March 2013: Pusaka Land
Not enough is being done to discourage or prevent Kadazans from selling off their lands.

"TUNGKUS" and Land with Native Titles
The majority of these titled lands were inherited from their parents and or grandparents. These are classified under local customary laws as "Pusaka" (a Sanskrit word that means "treasure" or "heirloom". It is "Tungkus" in the Kadazan Language.

The successor(s) in title is (are) not allowed under the law to sell or alienate this type of landed property. However, there are many who sell the land that they had inherited. These include land with ownership in perpetuity. The titles to these parcels of land are issued under "Native Title" or N.T. The ownership of such land is intended to remain with the family in perpetuity (forever). Non-natives cannot own Native Titled land. But there are loop-holes in the law.

Thus, a native -
1. CANNOT sell land which is a "Pusaka Land"
2. CANNOT sell Native Land to a non-Native

The present law is that if a Native Land owner secretly sell a Pusaka land, any of his or her close relatives can prevent the sale. However, notices for the transfer of ownership are put up in notice boards at respective district Land Office. There is little likelihood that the relatives will know.

If no one objects to the sale within three (3) months, the sale becomes permanent. Once this had happened, ownership of the land cannot revert to any of the close relatives. Although non-natives cannot own N.T. land they will get hold of such land via this means.

Kadazan Watch recommends that the Land Office publish the notice of sale in at least two local papers. But who will make this a reality? Even a simple thing as this may never get implemented because there are many parties with conflicting interests. What they fail to realize is that the land being sold belongs to a particular family, and their only land.

Non-natives Acquiring Ownership of Native Land and Pusaka Land

The law does not allow non-natives to own any land issued under Native Title.

However, Kadazan Watch had come to know that there are ways of going round (circumventing) the law. The native owner is offered an attractive price for the land. He or she accepts and receives payment with the condition that he or she can always redeem the land.

Letter of Attorney will take care of bank's requirement for approving a loan to purchase and develop the land. In time the value of the land will appreciate. And it will become impossible for the owner to raise the money to redeem the land. The land becomes "locked" in perpetuity.

In the meantime, the native owner may have to oblige the buyer in applying for the conversion of the land title to any title other than a Native Title. The moment this is approved the purchase will come into effect and the land, now under a different title, is alienated to the non-native.

It is necessary to amend the law whereby any dealing with any N.T. land will be null and void if it is later found out that the land is alienated to a non-native. It does not matter when the wrong-doing is discovered. Any government officer who goes ahead with the alienation to a non-native is held responsible and made to answer to this wrongdoing. The officer must face the full brunt of the law.

"Mata Pencarian" Land
The other type of land is classified under "mata pencarian" which is property acquired by the owner through his or her efforts. This can include Native Titled land. The owner can sell this type of land during his or her lifetime. However, he or she cannot sell Native Titled land to a non-native. (But see above.)

Once the land's ownership is passed down to the next generation as an inheritance, it becomes "Pusaka Land".

Refugees in One's Own Homeland
If Kadazans continue to sell off their land under whatever titles, they will end up landless and become refugees in their own homeland. This can have disastrous consequences for their people.

Stem the tide before it becomes too late. Keep your land for future generations. Value and keep your "pusaka land." Remember, land fit for human habitation is becoming scarce.

ACT NOW! for the sake of the next generation and thereafter.

November 18, 2014: Are the descendants of Maragang drifting apart?
If the descendants of Aki Maragang (KDMs) - particularly their leaders - are not very careful, the different tribal groups of natives could drift apart.
This is to the detriment of their people as the 'Momoguns' of Sabah. This does not do justice to their yearning for unity as one people.

There is no acceptable excuse for not continuing to strive for better understanding in order to forge a unity that is strong and lasting. Such unity cannot come about by way of rhetoric or showing that any particular grouping is better than another or the rest.

People can easily detect whether leaders are sincere in their struggles to bring about unity of purpose and action, a meeting of hearts and minds.

Read article on:
The Huguan Siou institution is a Kadazandusun Pusaka

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