Update Native Laws, urges Chief Minister
There is a need to constantly update the Native Laws in the State so that they are not deemed irrelevant or outdated, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said. The State Government, he said, wants the native court system to be more dynamic and streamlined so that it can develop according to changes and current needs, Musa said when officiating the State-level Native Court Conference here yesterday. “This however does not mean that we have to change our customs, just the need to ensure that the native courts and customary legislation are on par with other judicial systems,” he said. Musa also pointed out that improvements to customary legislation have to be carried out continuously to avoid being outdated and duplication. Done properly, there will be no opportunities for any quarters to ridicule the customary judiciary, he said adding that it would also reduce instances of abuse of power which could affect the people’s confidence towards the native courts. He also pointed out that while other judicial systems such as Civil and Syariah have developed and improved, the Native Court has been left behind. “Before the existence of the Syariah Court as a judicial entity, a ‘kadi’ (Islamic judge) would be posted at the Native Court to preside over cases. But now, the Syariah Court has developed further than the Native Court,” he said. According to Musa, customary practices which afready have a place in the Government’s administration have to be transformed for the benefit of the general public and attention must be given towards giving prestige to customary law. To this end, improvement, checking and comparing customary laws with current customary practices or needs as well as other laws in the country are some of the steps that must be taken from time to time, he said.