Original language


Date of text
Type of court
National - higher court
Court name
Federal Court of Malaysia
Seat of court
Kuala Lumpur
Reference number
[2011] MYFC 36
Constitutional, Land Tenure, Standing, Indigenous Rights, Property, Evidence, Permits, Jurisdiction, Forests, Damages
Free tags
Land & soil
Zaki Tun Azmi; Richard Malanjum; Raus Shariff

In this case, the plaintiff, a group of indigenous people, challenged the new Sarawak Land Code which changed the land tenure legal framework with regards to native customary rights as it allowed the minister to extinguish any customary rights

The plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of the new land code in front of the Federal Court of Malaysia. The plaintiff pointed out that the new land code was violating the right to life and liberty, the right to equality, the right to property and their indigenous rights respectively protected by Articles 5,8,13,and 153 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

The Federal Court reviewed the new Sarawak Land Code and held that the compensation mechanisms offered by the Code for the extinguishment of the native customary rights was sufficient. Consequently, the Federal Court refused to answer the question of the constitutionality of the code and dismissed the appeal.