Data source
Date of text
08 Sep 2011
Seat of court
Kuala Lumpur
Original language


Type of text
National - higher court
Reference number
[2011] MYFC 36
Court name
Federal Court of Malaysia
Zaki Tun Azmi
Richard Malanjum
Raus Shariff
constitutional law, Human rights, indigenous peoples, land tenure

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.